You Cannot Be Serious! Hawk-Eye To Replace Line Judges At ATP NextGen Finals In Milan

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ATP Next Gen Finals

The inaugural ATP NextGen Finals, staged in Milan between the 7th and 11th November, will replace line judges with revolutionary new ‘Hawk-Eye Live’ Technology, the ATP has announced.

The new technology will automatically call close line calls, and referees will monitor video screens around the court to check for foot-faults. It means that the chair umpire will be the only on-court official physically present at matches. The ATP issued a statement where they claimed that the new technology would provide the best quality of officiating for its up and coming stars, the likes of which include Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, and Denis Shapovalov. It hinted that the trial scheme could be introduced on a wider scale on the ATP Tour in the future.
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The move was met with a mixed reception from tennis fans on social media, with some fearing that it might damage the atmosphere of tennis matches in the future. Nonetheless, it is clear that the use of this technology is another attempt by the ATP to distinguish the tournament from others on the tour, in addition to the four-set-per-game, best-of-five set matches and the elimination of the advantage-rule.

It seems as though the fundamental aim of the tournament is to provide a glimpse of the future stars of the game, and to shock the purists of the tennis world. It seems unrealistic to think that both the trial scoring system and Hawk-Eye Live would be implemented throughout the tour, especially in tournaments that value their traditions to the extent that Wimbledon or Roland Garros do, for example. Moreover, there is no public record of there having been discussions between the ATP and the players themselves, which is worrying.
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Technology over tennis at ATP NextGen Finals

As of writing this article, there had been no reaction from any of the players who currently sit in the ATP NextGen Finals qualification spots. It is a shame that the ATP is relying on new proposed rule changes to make the tournament stand out, instead of creating an environment where players can express themselves freely and showcase their character. The players are, after all, the most important part to a tennis tournament, aren’t they?

The ATP NextGen field is full of incredible characters, which could have made the tournament interesting without the proposed rule changes. Instead of introducing us to a potential Rublev-Coric or Zverev-Shapovalov rivalry, the tournament risks being overshadowed by the rule changes instead of the star-studded quality of its line-up. Hopefully, the players will shine despite the proposed changes. But at the moment, it seems like an unnecessary change to a tournament that would have been memorable in its own right.

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