Coco Gauff and Andrey Rublev prove tennis has a real problem (for now)

Tennis has several issues between players and officials last week.

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First came Coco Gauff who was forced to argue with a chair umpire about a blatantly missed call by the umpire. This was in the round of 16 of the Dubai Tennis Championships, a match Gauff would eventually win. But not without the chair umpire getting in the way and calling a serve out that was clearly in.

Gauff asked for a supervisor but the request was denied by the chair umpire. The umpire should have allowed the supervisor, however. Likely, the umpire simply knew he had missed the call and did not want to risk further embarrassment. Gauff argued with the umpire for some time but kept her calm.

The second issue of the week was more emotionally spectacular. Andrey Rublev was playing Alexander Bublik for a place in the Dubai Open final and the match was 5-all in the third set. Had Rublev's ball been called correctly (the ball was wrongly called out but the video review showed the ball was in which would have resulted in the score going to deuce), what followed would not have happened. Rublev immediately became angry and shouted at the linesperson who had missed the call. He was disqualified for his actions.

Coco Gauff and Andrey Rublev became victims of bad tennis oversight

The issue in both cases is the people in charge of tennis - the officials of the ATP and WTA - have been slow to come around to existing technology. Electronic line calling has been available and used in many tournaments, but far from all. This causes inconsistent officiating at tournaments and allows for human error. One might wonder just how many tennis outcomes would have changed over the decades had electronic line calling been available.

But the system was not until recently but has been for several years. Tennis could have and should have incorporated the system earlier. Had that been the case, the situation with Rublev having a complete meltdown would not have happened. (To be fair, he was partially disqualified after being accused of using a Russian slur at the linesperson when there appears to be no video evidence that truly occurred.)

The positive side of this is that the ATP has adopted the electronic line calling system for all tournaments, except the French Open which feels the clay shows where a ball landed, beginning in 2025. So the problem above should be fixed on the men's side.

But the WTA for some reason has not yet made the change to electronic line calling. Hopefully, they will move forward with that soon. Otherwise, while the men are having fewer Andrey Rublev outbursts, the women's side will continue to have moments where Coco Gauff has to try to speak her peace to a chair umpire that refuses to listen.

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