French Open 2019

The clay court season of the tennis season comprises of about one-third of the ATP and WTA season. They are the slowest form of tennis courts on tour do not use the ball-tracking system in any of their events which also includes the clay major tournament. The French Open 2019 is about to get underway and as always the event will be conducted without the HawkEye.

The HawkEye is used to track the trajectory and it depicts the spot of the shot. This technology is extensively used in professional tennis and it curtails the argument between chair umpire and the players.

In tennis, HawkEye was introduced during Hopman Cup 2006 and thereafter the US Open 2006 broke the ice for using HawkEye in Grand Slams, and the Australian Open 2007 followed by Wimbledon 2007 (on Centre Court and Court Number One) availed HawkEye in their tournaments. And the French Open has never really thought of installing the ball-tracking system in their tournament.

French Open 2019
French Open 2019

The tournament directors of clay court events deny applying Hawkeye in their tournaments. The clay tournaments are free of HawkEye since it is easy to spot the place where the ball has bounced. 

HawEye is ruled out during the clay swing as the mark is left by the ball on the mud. It is quite visible on a clay court where the ball exactly lands. The staff at French Open clears the court quite often during matches in order to avoid the overlapping of the marks of the previous shots which adds accuracy to the chair umpire’s judgments.  

A layer of dirt is gets shifted when the ball bounces on the court and the use of HawkEye might give erroneous results. The HawkEye is definitely accurate than a human eye, but however, even this technology is not absolutely precise (its manufacturers cite a 3.6 mm margin for error).

The physical mark on the court is the best possible approximation for deciding the accuracy for the shot. To verify, the chair umpire often comes down to examine the place of the bounce before declaring his/her final decision. 

French Open 2019
Karolina Pliskova had an altercation with the umpire before French Open 2019 at Rome Masters

However, in the tennis world, during the clay swing, there is an eternal debate taking place between the players and chair umpires for the precision of the shots. The players land up losing their important points during their matches when umpire declares his/her decision.