Instant replay at US Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Instant replay made its debut at Grand Slam tennis on Monday and two points from an overwhelming win at the US Open, Andy Roddick wanted to test it.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Instant replay made its debut at Grand Slam tennis on Monday and two points from an overwhelming win at the US Open, Andy Roddick wanted to test the system. Roddick was certain his serve had nicked the net. He'll never know for sure - only line calls can be reviewed. "I tried to challenge a let today, but they wouldn't let me," the former Open champion said after overpowering Florent Serra 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. History was made, however. Mardy Fish of the United States became the answer to a trivia question when he was the first player to ask for a replay, questioning a sideline call during his win over Simon Greul of Germany. A few seconds later, a virtual replay appeared on the scoreboard at Louis Armstrong Stadium. The call stood, the shot was good. "It was close. I figured it was in," Fish said. "I felt like I still had two challenges. Might as well use it." Fish was the lone player to call for a replay through the afternoon session. Asked how it felt to be the first, Fish laughed and said, "I have no idea." First try The NFL, NBA and NHL already employ replay, and tennis decided to try it after testing the Hawk-Eye technology at 10 events that led up to the Open. In those tournaments, 39 percent of the 839 challenged calls were overturned. "I like everything about it," Roddick said. "Personally, for me, I think it's a good thing because I spend less time whining about calls." There hasn't been a lot of opposition, maybe because the system is so accurate. The 10 small cameras tracking shots at both Arthur Ashe Stadium and Armstrong measure marks within three millimeters, an error margin roughly equal to the width of a ball's fuzz. Not bad, considering two cameras are mounted almost 34.5 meters (115 feet) above the blue courts and the others are 8.75 meters (28 1/2 feet) off the ground. The two show courts are the only ones at the Open that have replay, at a total cost of about 300,000 dollars. Players get two challenges per set, plus another one for tiebreakers. If the call is reversed, the player keeps that challenge. And, the results come fast. Too fast, in fact. Tennis officials actually told the Hawk-Eye folks to slow it down a bit so the drama can build in the crowd. So instead of posting a 3-D, computer-generated image on the stadium scoreboard in two seconds, the graphic appears on the scoreboard - with "In" or "Out" - in about eight seconds, just enough time for fans to shout their opinions. "The human aspect of line calls is gone, obviously," Fish said. "In a way, it's good because you're not going to lose over a bad call." (AP)

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