© Ella Ling

Bernard Tomic

Australian Open diary - Hawkeye splits boys from men


Bernard Tomic may be the future of Australian tennis (copyright, every newspaper and broadcaster in this country) but the 19-year-old has a long way to go when it comes to mastering Hawkeye, the challenge system now used on the show courts at all the grand slam events and most other tournaments around the world.

Maybe BnNard, as the locals call him, thinks the secret is about challenging as often as possible, because in four matches, he challenged the on-court ruling 24 times, but was successful a woeful three times, or 12.5 percent.

Now there are a few people worse off than Tomic in the stats but of those on zero percent, none have made more than five challenges, so they are nowhere near as bad as the Australian.

Now everyone knows Roger Federer hates Hawkeye (it seems he just doesn’t trust it) but what always amuses me is that his record is always pretty dodgy. Here so far, he’s made just three correct challenges out of eight, putting him at a poor 37.5 percent.

Top of the tree on the men’s side is Richard Gasquet with three out of three while going into his match with Lleyton Hewitt, champion Novak Djokovic is alongside him with one out of one. Maybe he’s just been winning too easily to even bother.

On the women’s side, Lucie Hradecka, Sabine Lisicki and Iveta Benesova all managed 100 percent but they only made four challenges between them. Of those making at least five, Maria Sharapova has the eagle eyes, with four out of five. The serial offender? Ana Ivanovic with just three out of 10.

And overall, the women have been more successful than the men so far with 36.7 percent to 29.9 percent. Thanks Bernie.

As the wife of arguably the best player of all time, Mirka Federer is not exactly short of the odd pound, so she will have been utterly disgusted if a rumour sweeping the Twitterverse turns out to be true. Apparently, Mirka was shopping in the Prada store inside the Crown Casino, where many of the players stay, when a member of staff asked her to leave because “there’s nothing in here you can afford”. It seems too unlikely to be true, but then this is Melbourne.

The second week of a grand slam sees the outside courts filled with juniors as their events get under way, which gives everyone in media room the chance to flick through the media guide to get accustomed to some of the up and coming players.

It is an invaluable resource but half the fun is looking at the hobbies and aspirations. They range from the obscure to the incredibly specific – one girl a few years ago wanted to be the number three in the world. Not number one or number two, just number three.

This year’s set of players is no different, with Australian Nick Krgios listing one of his hobbies as “girls”, while American Gabrielle Faith Andrews saying she wants to: “Use tennis as my platform to do great things” and Miyu Kato of Japan, who wants to “become a popular player”.

And the 2012 winner of the Luksika Kumkhum award for most bizarre name goes to Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul of Thailand. That’s the usual spelling, thanks.

Finally, let’s hope Ivan Lendl did not tape Channel 7’s coverage with Jim Courier of Andy Murray’s match with Mikhail Kukushkin. The American never beat Lendl in his playing career and spent most of their brief match discussing how weird a person Lendl is. That will go down well.