Thursday, March 23, 2006
Let's go to the videotape, Mary!
That's Mary, as in Carillo, of course! So the world of tennis has approved using video instant replay to correct or challenge line calls. Big news, right? Right. Under the news rules, a player has the option to question a line call twice in a set, and yesterday we saw its inception. Young American Jamea Jackson, who knew her shot was out and it was appropriately called out, still questioned the call, because hey, she just wanted to be the first. And who can blame her? Unfortunately, Jamea, this may be your only entry into the tennis history books.
And although I personally think this is a fine addition to the game because there are times when a horrendous line call unfairly determines a match, I am afraid we are going to miss out on some truly wonderful confrontations between players and linesmen or chair referee. Wasn't it always fun when a player would continue to stare down some 50 something year old woman who made a stupid call? What about when J-Cap would curse under her breath for the next half hour over a particular call? And can anyone really forget the 2005 Wimbledon final when wonderful Lindsay Davenport told the chair, "If I was doing my job as poorly as you are, I wouldn't be here today!" I know I can't be the only one who thinks of that daily. (Thanks, Dav, for using the correct adverb: poorly.)
The picture from this blog is from one of the greatest line challenges in recent memory. John MacEnroe was slightly before my time, and frankly he annoyed me. But in the '04 Open when Serena hit a ball that was clearly a foot within in the line, yet it was called out, she made one of the greatest on court displays arguing for justice. I almost loved her then. J-Cap went on to win that match, but then fell in the semi's and it was the saddest thing ever.
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