Monday, December 3, 2007

Australian Open 2007, Melbourne Park , Melbourne, Australia.

The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments to be held each year. It is held each January at Melbourne Park. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905. Like the other three Grand Slam events, it was contested by top-ranked amateur players and known as the Australian Championships until the advent of open era in 1968.
Originally based at the grass courts at Kooyong in the city of Melbourne's inner south-east, the tournament was in danger of fading into irrelevance before being revived in 1988 with a shift to Melbourne Park (then called Flinders Park), a new (Rebound Ace) hardcourt venue next to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the southern fringe of the central business district. Mats Wilander was the only player to win the tournament both on grass and on Rebound Ace.

Like all the Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions, men's, women's, and mixed doubles, as well as junior and master's competitions.

New technology for line-calling

This was the first time that the tournament used the Hawk-Eye system in an official line-calling capacity, as an auxiliary to the human line judges. Players were given the opportunity to challenge a human line call if they believed it to be incorrect, by having Hawk-Eye confirm or overrule the original call. The system was installed on only one court being used for the tournament, in the Rod Laver Arena.

At the beginning of a set, the players were each given the opportunity to incorrectly challenge a maximum of two line calls during the set. A player who still had some incorrect challenges remaining was allowed to make an unlimited number of correct challenges, but when a player had no incorrect challenges remaining, his or her opportunity to challenge line calls was lost. Players received an extra incorrect challenge during a tiebreak. The players regained both challenges at the beginning of each set and also after every 12 games in the final deciding set. Unused challenges did not carry over when this happened.

An additional aspect to the new system was that a video replay screen was installed inside the arena for the first time, to display the results of the challenges. The screen also allowed the spectators (and players themselves) to view instant replays that could previously only be seen by the television audience and those viewing the match on screens outside the stadium. This implementation caused noticeable drama in a match between No. 2 Amélie Mauresmo and Olga Poutchkova in which Mauresmo challenged the in call on Poutchkova's shot and the replay showed the ball out graphically but still called the ball in.

Australian Open, Melbourne

The Australian Open was held in December from 1977 through to 1985, returning to its original January date in 1987. In 1986, because of the return to January, no tournament was held.