History made with Overrule Overrule
By Tennis Week
Michaella Krajicek, a name to remember for a bar bet of the future, became the first player to initiate an electronic review in ITF-sanctioned play.
The “historic” event took place in the third game of the opening set as the Dutch 16-year-old was serving in women’s singles to China’s Shuai Peng in Hyundai Hopman Cup qualifying play. Krajicek and partner Peter Wessels competed against Peng and partner Peng Sun for the eighth slot in the event’s 18th year.
Pascal Maria, sitting in the chair, overruled the linesman’s call that Peng’s return was out. Urged on by her coach and some excited fans, Krajicek brought a television staple onto the court of play. A bit demurely, she requested a look at the call by Hawk-Eye, the ball-tracking system approved in October by the ITF — and in place at the Hopman Cup for the first time since that announcement — for on-court review of disputed calls.
To the satisfaction of observers, Hawk-Eye confirmed Krajicek’s vision of where the ball landed superior to Maria’s and the former junior No. 1 was rewarded with the point. Although Peng lost that point, she did capture the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and had no complaints later with the innovation, “Yeah, I really liked it, because sometimes the umpire can’t see whether it is good or in, so if they can have a look at this, it is really good.”
Hawk-Eye was called on throughout the remainder of the day as Wessels went on to defeat Sun 6-2, 6-2 and with the Dutch defeat of the Chinese 6-4, 6-4 in mixed doubles play to gain entry into Group B.
Home team Australia takes on Germany next as Group B round robin play commences (Argentina is the other team in the group). Group A action will begin with the U.S. taking on Serbia and Montenegro (teams from Sweden and Russia fill out the group.
Play at the Burswood Dome in Perth, Australia, continues throughout the week with the winner of Group A taking on their Group B counterpart Friday, January 6, 2006 (check television listings for coverage) to determine the champion. Action can also be followed via the web at www.hopmancup.com.au