Wimbledon could follow the Australian Open's lead by using an automated system to make calls; Tim Henman, a member of the All England Club committee, said discussions are taking place over the possibility of removing line judges for the 2021 Grand Slam, which starts on June 28
Tuesday 16 February 2021 12:50, UK
Wimbledon's organisers are considering replacing human line judges with an automated system for this year's championships, in what would be a first in the 144-year history of the event.
Tim Henman, who is a member of the All England Club committee, has said discussions are taking place over the possibility of removing line judges for the event, which starts on June 28.
The Australian Open is currently deploying a HawkEye system, with the technology making calls in-time without the use of line judges.
Wimbledon's organisers are desperate for this year's championships to go ahead, after those in 2020 were cancelled because of coronavirus.
Using HawkEye's technology, which is already in place for line challenges raised by players, is seen as a way to reduce the number of people inside a venue which has always been tight on space.
In a statement given to Sky Sports News, the AELTC says: "Our strategic vision is to ensure that Wimbledon maintains its position at the pinnacle of the sport, and as such, we will always review any innovations with interest, while taking care to maintain the unique quality, character and image of The Championships and ensure we have consulted fully on any change or introduction to understand the implications for all our stakeholders.
"The highly skilled individuals who make up the officiating community are not only vital to the delivery of The Championships, they play a key role in the fabric of the sport."
Around 300 line judges are employed by the All England Club each year, and are a famous part of tennis' oldest and biggest tournament. They work on a rota, covering all 18 courts over the two weeks of the event.
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