The Australian Open just started, kicking off the first of Tennis' Grand Slam tournaments for 2007. It is also the second Grand Slam tournament to use Hawk-eye replay/challenge technology (something I talked about in a blog posting a few months ago, Technology in Tennis: Hawk-eye), after its first use at the 2006 US Open, along with other US Open Series tournaments.
Since the US Open is unique in that it actually uses a tiebreaker in the final set of play (i.e. the 3rd set of a best of three sets match, or the 5th set of a best of five sets match), the rules for using the Hawk-eye replay/challenge system in the final set of matches had to be modified for the Australian Open and presumably other Grand Slam tournaments, should they choose to use Hawk-eye. Once the score is six games all in the final set, the "challenge counter" will reset so that the players have another two challenges each for the next six games regardless of any of their previous queries. I haven't heard anything about the French Open or Wimbledon using Hawk-eye, so it'd be interesting to know if Hawk-eye operations is technically possible on their surfaces, and whether the go-ahead would be given for its use.
It is too bad that Hawk-eye is only available on the main stadium at the Australian Open (Rod Laver Arena). It is not available on the second stadium court (Vodafone Arena). This is unlike the US Open which had the Hawk-eye system in place at both Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums. I wonder why the second stadium court doesn't have Hawk-eye. Is it a matter of money? Or perhaps they don't have the video screens inside the stadium? It'd be interesting to find out the answer to this.
You can see summary statistics on the player challenge system by visiting the Australian Open's Video Line Calling web page. Who will have the highest percentage of successful challenges at the end of this Australian Open?
Australian Open, tennis, technology, Hawk-eye