Wimbledon to increase player challenges

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/t/tennis.jpg' class='caption'> Wimbledon will give players three chances per set to challenge line calls using video technology at this year's tournament.

Updated: May 24, 2007 15:59 IST
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Wimbledon, England:

Wimbledon will give players three chances per set to challenge line calls using video technology at this year's tournament - one more than the US and Australian Opens.

Wimbledon is introducing the Hawk-Eye system on Centre Court and Court No 1 at the June 25-July 8 championship for the first time.

The existing cyclops technology will be moved to courts 2, 14 and 18. Cyclops, which has been used at Wimbledon since 1980, uses infrared beams to help determine if serves are in or out.

Wimbledon announced last month it would follow the lead of the US and Australian Opens in introducing Hawk-Eye, but did not say how many challenges players would get. The French Open, which runs May 27-June 10, will not use the system.

"The extra potential challenge recognizes both the importance of the service on a grass court and the fact that cyclops will not be deployed on the service line this year," All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said on Wednesday.

"Statistics also show that players have been very sensible in their use of the technology so far, and it is right to grant them additional opportunities to use this highly accurate assistance."

Large screens will show line-call replays on the two courts at Wimbledon. Each player or doubles team is allowed a maximum of three incorrect challenges in a set. If the set goes to a tiebreaker, the players are given an additional challenge.

In the fifth set for men's singles and doubles, and the third set for all other events, the slate is reset if the score is tied 6-6, with each side able to make up to three incorrect challenges in the next 12 games.

Wimbledon said chair umpires can refuse "an electronic appeal" if they believe the challenge was not made quickly enough. The umpire can also request a replay if the line judge was unable to make a call on a point-ending shot.

Hawk-Eye will also be introduced at the Queen's Club grass-court warmup for Wimbledon. The tournament will adopt the same protocol as Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin and Fernando Gonzalez are among those entered.

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