LONDON – In a world-first, the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan will feature live Electronic Line Calling on all lines on court during the tournament. The launch of ‘Hawk-Eye Live’ marks the latest in several innovations being trialled at the inaugural tournament, and means the Chair Umpire will be the only match official on court during the event.
Ground-breaking new technology, pioneered by Hawk-Eye Innovations, will be used to deliver ‘Hawk-Eye Live’ on all lines throughout all points. When triggered, the new system will make an instant automated “OUT” call. By default, given that each call will be final, the Electronic Review ‘Challenge’ system will not feature, however, all close calls will be accompanied with visualisation of the “OUT” call on video screens around the stadium. Foot-faults will be determined by a Review Official who will be monitoring via cameras placed on the base and centre lines.
‘This could be a landmark moment for officiating in our sport,’ said Gayle David Bradshaw, Executive Vice President, Rules and Competition, ATP. ‘Our athletes work incredibly hard and they deserve the very best and most accurate officiating we can offer. The technology is now in a place where we feel comfortable trialling this new system in a real tournament environment. The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan is the perfect place to do this, and we look forward to monitoring the results and assessing the merits of this new system.’
The launch of Hawk-Eye Live at the Next Gen ATP Finals adds further weight to the tournament’s mission of trialling innovation and new technology in men’s professional tennis. The technology behind ‘Hawk-Eye Live’ has been comprehensively tested and developed by Hawk-Eye Innovations over the past 18 months, in close co-operation with the ATP.
‘The Next Gen ATP Finals provides a fantastic platform to showcase the Hawk-Eye Live technology, which we see as the future of tennis officiating,’ said Sam Green, Director of Tennis, ELC at Hawk-Eye. ‘Working with the ATP has allowed us to refine the system to not only improve the quality of line calling, but the overall fan experience.’
Earlier this year, the ATP announced several other innovations and rule changes set to take place at the tournament, which is being used as a platform to promote the future stars of the sport, as well as test case for innovation and potential rule changes.