Hawk-eye system to not prevail, says Turkish line judge

Hawk-eye system to not prevail, says Turkish line judge

Burak Akın - ISTANBUL
Hawk-eye system to not prevail, says Turkish line judge

The hawk-eye system, which was used instead of line judges, can perform all tasks from detecting a foot fault to calling out, but it is very expensive and can only be used in big end-of-season events for now, according to Esin Kıratlı, a line judge who represented Türkiye in four Grand Slam finals, the 2022 Tokyo Olympic Games final, and Wimbledon decider between Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic.

“The hawk-eye system, which was used in the U.S. Open and Australian Open, has started to replace the umpires quickly, especially in the COVID-19 period,” Kıratlı said.

However, the tournaments that can only afford to install a system for one or two courts, the ones with lower budgets that do not use the system, and clay court tournaments will continue to use line judges, according to Kıratlı.

You don’t have time to feel much on the field when your mistake is revealed through the hawk-eye, said Kıratlı. “Since the match continues, I try to forget and maintain my concentration.”

Kıratlı stated that she loves her job as a line judge and doesn’t ever think of going to the chair.

Line judge and chair umpire are positions that require very different responsibilities, said Kıratlı, stating that she also has a chair umpire certificate. “The important thing is to do what you do with love and pleasure.”

“It is very special and I am very proud to represent Türkiye in all organizations, big or small. My family and close friends are always with me,” said Kıratlı, who has taken part in Roland Garros three times, Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon two times, and in the finals of the Tokyo Olympics.

She said that the most special matches for her were the Wimbledon semifinal between Federer and Nadal in 2019 and the final between Zverev and Khachanov at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kıratlı got the coaching certificate and started teaching tennis following her graduation from the school of physical education and sports of Selçuk University in the central Anatolian province of Konya. She joined an umpire course for a tournament to be held in Konya, where her story began.

“Anyone interested can follow the website of the Turkish Tennis Federation and attend the courses,” Kıratlı said, adding that the federation opens a significant number of umpire courses throughout the year.

“I try to guide and help everyone who reaches out to me as much as I can,” she added. “I hope I can continue to be involved in tennis for a long time as an umpire or in different roles.”