The U.S. Open will be the first Grand Slam to use a Video Review (VR) system to assist chair umpires when calls are challenged at this year’s tournament, with the system already generating positive feedback at various ATP events.
The system will allow players to challenge a range of decisions, such as those relating to double bounces and foul shots, and will use various camera angles to get the best view of an incident, according to a document on the U.S. Open media site.
“The VR official and VR operator will then send the video to a screen on the chair umpire’s chair as well as stadium screens when available,” the document said.
Chair umpires will review the evidence to determine if the original call has to be overturned or confirmed. If there is no clear evidence to change a call the initial decision stands.
The ATP has had a VR system in place at its Finals, Next Gen Finals and ATP Cup in recent years and a source at the men’s governing body said its use was widely considered positive.
The WTA does not use a VR system at its events and has no immediate plans to bring one in, a source at the elite women’s tour said.
The U.S. Open said players and their teams would get three challenges per set and an additional one for tiebreaks and that the system would be available on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 17 and Court 5.
Tennis already uses ball-tracking and electronic line-calling technology in certain events and the VR system will aim to further reduce the potential for human error.
The U.S. Open added the system will also be used to monitor player behaviour.
“In addition to the VR available on select courts to review chair umpire decisions, the tournament referee will have the ability on all courts to review situations … to determine if a player will be defaulted for a code of conduct violation.”