Roger Federer, after winning his sixth Wimbledon and 15th Grand Slam overall is now considered by many as the Greatest Player of All time.
Hes certainly one of the most talented players to have held a racquet. Forehands, backhands, serves, returns, volleys, drop shots—you name it and he'll do it in such and astounding fashion that you can do nothing more than to shake your head in disbelief.
He has reached the semis of a Grand Slam on 21 successive occassions, played 16 of the last 17 finals and he currently holds three of the last four Grand Slams. What more is there for this man to prove?
The first thing that comes to mind is a certain Mr.Nadal. The newly ordained GOAT does hold a losing record against the Spaniard and in spite of winning their last meeting he would love to beat Rafa in a Grand Slam or two and get that record straightened out.
But aside from his great rival, there is one other thing that the magnificent Federer is yet to master, or even show some level of competency for—the Hawkeye System.
The hawkeye system uses cameras placed around the courts and some fancy triangulation technology to show us in 3D where the ball landed.
The system was first introduced for the Grand Slams at the Australian Open in 2007. Each player gets a fixed number of challenges (earlier two, now three) per set and if they feel the call from the chair umpire is wrong or even questionable, they can use one of their challenges to check the call.
Roger Federer has not been a fan of the system since the very beginning. He felt it would now allow the umpires to get slack and hide behind some bad calls—if you feel its wrong, you challenge it.
In fact, during the 2007 Wimbledon finals against Nadal he believed that the system was wrong. He was so convinced that he actually asked the umpire to turn it off in the middle of the match. His request was of course denied.
In his 2009 round of 16 match against Thomas Berdych at the Australian Open, Berdych called upon hawkeye to challenge one of the calls, but for some reason the system failed and was not able to give a shot of the ball. The original call stood.
Following the match Roger slammed hawkeye further for not being reliable.
But Federer's woes with hawkeye don't end there.
On the tennis court there is no greater player to watch than Federer for his artistry and sheer mastery of the game. However on the hawkeye challenges, the great man literally falls flat on his face.
Some of the calls he challenges are so ludicrous that they almost make him look silly. Its like hes moking the whole system by saying, "Well I know I hit that one out, but let's just see what you have to say." So far its mostly been out, well out.
In fact even the calls that he challenges on his side of the court are sometimes mind boggling.
In the extremely tense Wimbledon final Roddick served an ace (well obviously he did) and it looked good and clean. But the master decided to challenge the call. The result? In by almost a foot it appeared.
He himself must have laughed at that one.
In fact during this year's Wimbledon, Federer has been so off with his challenges that the commentators were saying that the one and only challenge he got right in the finals was the only one he got right in the whole two weeks of the tournament!
Roger Federer's challenges are often so outrageous that it would not be surprising if we were to hear a loud "You cannot be serious!" shout on the court. Only this time it would come from the chair umpire and not the player, in response to one of the challenges.
When asked about the challenge system in his press conference Federer once said "Well the system is there and so I use it."
Use may be the wrong word there Rog, more like abuse it!
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