With the availability of intelligent technologies, the human element has highly diminished from every aspect of life. Even in tennis, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic called for replacing the line-judges with the hawk-eye technology. On that note, British professional Andy Murray highlighted his concerns regarding the discontinuity of the line judges.
The only role of a lines judge is to call the ball ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the line. However, human error is very high compared to technological accuracy, leaving many players wrongly accused.
Also, considering the demand of the new audience, other sports have also adopted technological support rather than relying on humans.
As the pandemic outbreak put a halt on many pockets, it also affected tennis severely. Apart from the tickets going unsold, the players received a big cut in prize money. The situation even forced organizers to consider cost-cutting means where line judges found themselves on the wrong side.
2-time Olympic Gold medallist, Murray, explained, “If I had to pick one I would rather have Hawkeye and people. But, there’s obviously a cost to having both right now.” He added, “Hawkeye, especially for smaller tournaments, is expensive, it’s not that cheap. So, it’ll be interesting to see what they’ll be doing going forward.”
Recently, London hosted its last season-ending tournament without the presence of line umpires. Murray, who also played without them in Cologne, made a worrying revelation in regards to line judges’ future.
Winner of 3 Grand Slam tournaments, Murray feels comfortable when people call the lines. In defending the importance of line judges in tennis, he also explained how the chain of their career works.
Andy said, “A lot of the umpires would have started as lines judges. So, if you take the lines people away, their career path changes a lot, and that’s something of a bit of a concern.”
“Most of the umpires on the tour are very high level and very good, and I am sure most of them probably started as lines judges to learn. So, that’s the one problem I would have with it,” concluded the former World No. 1.