Federer calls for hawk-eye consistency

2012-01-20 09:07

Roger Federer urged greater clarity on the use of Hawk-Eye after a “stupid call” caused a stormy climax to David Nalbandian’s acrimonious defeat at the Australian Open.

Nalbandian clashed with the chair umpire after the official refused to allow a key Hawk-Eye challenge on break point near the end of his five-set loss to John Isner on Wednesday, saying the Argentine asked too late.

And all-time grand slam record-holder Federer, a renowned critic of the electronic line judge system introduced in 2006, described the controversy as “crazy” following his third-round win over Ivo Karlovic.

“Isn’t it great, Hawk-Eye, what happened, right? That’s why we have it, right, to talk about it because we don’t use it?” the Swiss said sarcastically.

Federer, the president of the ATP Player Council, said there should be a more uniform way of deciding if a player had taken enough time to challenge a line call.

“It was just crazy and there were misunderstandings and the crowd was loud. You can’t shout across the court and talk to the umpire,” he said of the Nalbandian incident.

“You have to go up to him (umpire) and the umpire could maybe understand that as stalling and not give it (a challenge) to him any more.

“I have had issues in the past where I think my opponents take a crazy amount of time, and then they decide to challenge.”

Federer said his solution was for both chair umpires and players to work together on resolving the “grey area” over Hawk-Eye challenges.

“I think it’s both ways. Umpires need to be super-flexible and firm, but also the players need to be the same and help the cause that something like this doesn’t happen,” he said.

Tennis traditionalist Federer said instead of people discussing the rollercoaster Isner-Nalbandian match, instead they were “talking about this one stupid call.”

“Unfortunately, it might have changed the outcome of the match potentially,” he said.

Federer said it was the type of point that needed to be challenged either by Isner, Nalbandian or the umpire.

“We needed to see the call. It can’t be that there is no call,” he said.

“So it was just so unfortunate. I felt bad for David, but it was still a great match.“I guess the players and the umpires need to get it right in terms of helping each other.”

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