The retractable roof over Centre Court
A God sent for London’s frequent showers and breezy conditions, the roof is an engineering feat. It “consists of two sections opening north and south. A total of 10 trusses in the two sections span 77 m over Centre Court and support 17,060 ft² of fabric. A wheeled carriage or “bogie” at each end of the 121-ton trusses roll along two sets of parallel rails to move the roof section. Overall, 40 bogie motors, two on each of the wheeled carriages, position the roof trusses. ..It would seem that such a complex system would need an equally complex control panel. But the process of opening and closing the roof had to be as simple as possible. So the control panel consists of just a few buttons. These control actions such as Move to park, Move to championship, Sunshade, Open, Close, and Emergency stop”
The Player Challenge system
Players have unlimited opportunity to challenge, but once three incorrect challenges are made in a set, they cannot challenge again until the next set. If the set goes to a tie break, players are given additional opportunities to challenge.
As The Australian says “The Hawk-Eye (sensor based) system, which is accurate to within 3mm, shows that judges are wrong 27 per cent of the time on occasions when players challenge their calls, and have a similar failure rate on marginal calls when unchallenged.
Figures for individual competitors show that some players' instincts are so good that they have successfully contradicted line judges three quarters of the time. The fallibility of human judges suggests that John McEnroe, who earned the nickname Superbrat during the 1980s for his outbursts at umpires, may have been justified in shouting "You cannot be serious".”
Coming up next, technology to curb the growing “grunting” on the courts. The plans include
- The development of a handheld device — a kind of Hawk-Eye for noise — for umpires to objectively measure on-court grunting levels.
- A new rule setting acceptable and non-acceptable noise levels based on acoustical data gathering and analysis.
- Education at large tennis academies, national development programs and at all levels of junior and lower-tier professional events.
Gone are the days you got up at unearthly hour in New Zealand to watch the finals on TV. As Internet TV News says
“The BBC Sport website will provide up to six live match streams as well as news, interviews and video highlights. And for the first time tennis fans can also view the action on the go via their mobile phones and tablets using the website. The BBC Sport website is also providing live text commentaries and a column from Andy Murray after each of the British number one’s matches. The new BBC Sport app for connected TVs will also give audiences access to the BBC’s interactive coverage.”
And of course there are many more national and regional options given the Swedish, Spanish, Swiss and Serbian domination of the sport in recent times.
Photo Credit: Wimbledon site