Tennis-X Notes: Hawkeye Needs Reboot? Serena and Wie

Posted on January 17, 2007

From Reuters on Hawkeye going gaga in the heat during Amelie Mauresmo's match at the Australian Open: "But an incident at set point in the opener reignited the debate about Hawk-eye, in use at the grand slam event for the first time, when Mauresmo challenged a call after a deep shot from the Russian teenager was called in. Mauresmo challenged the call and the television graphic on the main showpiece court showed the ball had bounced beyond the baseline, but the caption below read 'In', leading chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer to ask the players to replay the point. The Frenchwoman, the first player to ever refer a call to Hawk-eye at Melbourne Park on Monday, duly wrapped up the set and match, but it again raised question marks about the validity of instant replay first used in a slam at last year's US Open."

ATP President Etienne de Villiers on on-court coaching: " research we've done tells me very strongly that coaches should not be allowed on the tennis court...What came through very clearly is that this is a gladiatorial contest -- it's mano a mano, woman against woman...And there's something very magical about that, so let's not mess with it."...From tennis blogger Peter Bodo: "Serena Williams and Michelle Wie: I don't know about you, but that cameo of Wie watching Serena's match and the inane commentary and interview looked to me like a cheap publicity stunt -- an embarrassing knock-off of the Roger Federer-Tiger Woods U.S. Open love fest of last year. And the fawning over Serena's agent Jill Smoller (I know and like Jill, this isn't about her), who presumably set up the video-op, made me cringe. I don't have time to go into all the incestuous dimensions at play in that scenario, but this was both tediously self-aggrandizing and self-debasing (Who cares if Serena is out-of-shape and a borderline embarrassment to the concept of "professionalism." Michelle Wie, is here, just like Tiger was for Roger. Isn't it cool how alike golf and tennis are?). My take: I wish it were LaVar Arrington, like in the good old days when Serena was kicking booty and taking names."...From the New York Times on American Mike Russell: "He has had to absorb the multiple blows of three knee operations linked to a rare degenerative condition that causes bone to break off the femur. He has had to recover from badly torn hamstrings and hip muscles and even clotting in his lungs after an extremely negative reaction to a marathon flight to Australia last year. "I couldn't last more than 10 minutes on the court," he said. "I ended up needing blood." But the love of the game and the life that goes with it have burned brightly enough to keep Russell from quitting."...From the India Times: "India No. 2 Harsh Mankad has opted out of the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group One opener against Uzbekistan, to be played indoors on red clay at Namangan from February 9 to 11. "I want to step aside from this tie and focus on my tennis," the Mumbaikar told TOI. "I've had a few issues with the team in the past and nothing has changed. It doesn't help me mentally to have to go through that again at this point in time, particularly as I am returning from injury and looking for a fresh and positive start to the new season." The 27-year-old US-based pro had earlier stated his unhappiness with the selection process and the manner in which he was treated vis-a-vis selection."...From the Herald Sun's Leo Schlink: "Australian Open officials have wasted no time in cracking down on unacceptable player behaviour. With the tournament's first round still incomplete, 11 players have been fined after a volatile start to the event. And it appears officials have grown tired of umpires being subjected to outside influences by issuing $2500 penalties to Chile's Paul Capdeville and Spain's Annabel Medina Garrigues for receiving illegal coaching. Argentine Juan Monaco and Italian Daniele Bracciali were both given $2500 notices under the same rule, reduced to $1275 on appeal. Frenchman Marc Gicquel was docked $2500 for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his marathon five-set win over Australian Alun Jones, while former finalist Rainer Schuettler was hit with a $1275 fine for the same offence. Russia's 2005 champion Marat Safin lost $630 for racquet abuse with Romanian Edina Gallovits docked the same for ball abuse. Jean-Rene Lisnard (audible obscenity), Mathieu Montcourt (unsportsmanlike) and Alize Cornet (ball abuse) were handed $320 fines."...From tennis writer Matt Cronin: "Nadia Petrova really went after Serena Williams, saying that she essentially has passed it as a player. The two will play in the third round. Petrova's ever-evolving coaching situation seems straightened out -- she's brought two coaches to Melbourne with her -- Tatiana Matokhniuk, whom she worked with as a junior, and Lars Wahlgren -- and a trainer. She's approaching a Navratilova-sized entourage: "Now all I need is to bring along a couple of dogs," she joked. Her experiment with living in Moscow again is over. The nomadic Russian has moved to Cyprus (she loves the food, the environment and the people), where Matokhniuk runs a club. When asked whether she was following Marcos Baghdatis, she said, "Maybe, he's single now, right?" Believe it or not, the Russian won't be there long -- she'll be moving to Monaco sometime this year. Busy and cold Moscow wasn't for her. She says that she lost a little confidence in her Russian and amazingly, is still; more comfortable starting conversations in English than in her native tongue. Remember though, that she also lived in Egypt and Amsterdam. She'll also play doubles full-time with Svetlana Kuznetova this year...For a good perspective on the Extreme Heat Policy, read Tracy Austin's column in The Australian [full confession I help her write her columns]."...From The Australian's Courtney Walsh: "Tony Roche was seen sporting a big grin while chatting on a mobile phone in the corridors of Melbourne Park yesterday. The reason for the master mentor's joy? Given our spy overheard him saying, "Yes. And he's a break down too", we'll take a punt and say he was talking about Andy Roddick, who at that moment was trailing French wild-card Jo-Wilfried Tsonga by a set and a break. Perhaps Roddick's defeat of Roche's charge Roger Federer at Kooyong on Saturday frightened their camp more than the Swiss champion let on...For the first three sets of his first-round match with Wayne Arthurs, Austrian Stefan Koubek must have thought he was still in Europe. He kept hitting the soles of his shoes with his racquet until one fan in the crowd yelled out: "Yep, make sure you get all that clay out." He didn't touch his shoes once in the remaining two sets."