© Ella Ling

Kylie Minogue at Wimbledon

Wimbledon diary: Hawk-Eye could be the difference


The considered opinion from many observers here is that Sunday’s final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer could go down to the wire. The nerves, the expectation, the pressure; everything points to a great match, especially if Andy Murray can reproduce the serving prowess he appears to have found in the last few matches. Matches can be won and lost because of a matter of inches, or even millimetres so thank heavens Hawk-Eye is in use at Wimbledon, and at every grand slam event these days.

I know it’s extreme, but can you imagine what it would be like if Murray was denied a first grand slam title because of a dodgy line-call. Just for fun, let’s say Hawk-Eye could make the difference between a win and a loss.

Well, if it is used, the chances are that it will be in Murray’s favour. The Scot is not the most accurate challenger of line-calls in the world but he is far, far better than Federer, whose lack of belief in the whole thing in the first place perhaps colours his judgement. Going into the final, Federer has been successful with just 17 percent of his challenges. That’s three right out of 17.

Murray, on the other hand, has actually had the most correct challenges, with 10, but has lost 21, which makes his accuracy 32.3 percent. That’s just above the average in the men’s event, of 30.9 percent. As usual, the women’s average is slightly higher, at 33.8 percent.

Now we all know that some players make obviously frivolous challenges, occasionally using the break to gather themselves and regroup when they need to. That certainly applies to Murray and perhaps to Federer, who doesn’t trust it anyway. For the record, for players who made 10 or more challenges, Novak Djokovic was top of the pile on the men’s side with nine correct challenges out of 20 (45 percent). And on the women’s side, Ana Ivanovic was top with five correct challenges out of 10 (50 percent). Serena Williams rarely challenges but has won three out of four (75 percent) while Agnieszka Radwanska has lost all three of her challenges.