Eliminating the guards and eliminating the human component of the process may have been a necessary measure to reduce the number of people on the tennis court in the midst of a pandemic.
But it could also be a positive for sport safety, where every decision about whether the ball is out or in the air counts, if not a switch.
One thing is for sure: widespread use of technology eliminates tantrums, which often trigger the show. There’s no point in discussing the definitive evidence the cameras have shown in Melbourne Park.
This is the only negative about this. “There is no one with whom to discuss the verdict,” said Tommy Ball, the 53rd American in the world, during a video call with The Associated Press. “You can’t blame anyone if you think the ball was good but it actually stung outside.”
Jennifer Brady, a US Open semi-finalist in October and ranked 22nd in Australia, thinks that’s a good thing. “I’d rather not argue with someone. If it clicked outside, it penetrated outside. If it stung inside, it stung inside.”
Both Paul and Brady, like most players, welcome the use of technology and the end of human failure.
“It’s kind of neutral,” said Canadian Rebecca Marino.
But not everyone is convinced of the infallibility of technology.
Frances Tiafu, who reached the quarter-finals in Australia two years ago, describes the innovation as “terrible”.
“I hate her,” he said on Wednesday after questioning the errors in the second-round match, which he lost to Novak Djokovic. “I can’t stand that.”
Francesca Jones, who lost in the first round to a player who left the qualifying round, said the system was “extremely questionable”. He said there was a bullet from his opponent that was announced inside when the TV showed he was out.
“I prefer human error over technological error,” said Jones, who asked for a review.
Riley Oblka disagreed with a series of judgments against him for standing on the goal line in his first-round match, but he accepts the technology nonetheless.
Some rulers ’decisions are ridiculous. They frustrate the players. “You are preparing a lot for a tournament and these things happen at important points,” Oblka said. American ranked 38.
Oblka said allowing cameras and computers to make decisions “removes confrontations”. “I support that. I hope they use it in all the big tournaments.”
Serena Williams has extensive experience with contested failures, including one for standing on the goal line late in the match she lost to Kim Clijsters in the 2009 US Open semifinals and other decisions against her when she fell to Jennifer Capriati in the quarter-finals of Flushing Meadows in 2004 year.
Williams said he felt “weird” when he first played without referees, only with the main referee.
“Now I like it. It eliminates a large portion of human error, which I definitely don’t need. Maybe I appreciate it more.”
Even Tiafu, a 23-year-old American who is ranked 64 in the world, admits the technology is definitely here to stay.
I insist, “I know technology is of a very high standard, but I don’t believe in it.” “It doesn’t matter what I say. They won’t change anything because Frances Tiafou said it, but I will never support that.”
Let’s leave the last word to John McEnroe, famous for his fights with referees during his career winning seven Grand Slam tournaments.
McEnroe agrees to use technology and eliminate human error.
“If you like the human element, I have a better idea: let the guys decide,” said McEnroe, now commenting on ESPN. “There will be fun.”
Associated Press correspondent John Bay in Melbourne contributed to this report.