How have the rules of tennis changed over the last century?

The rules of tennis haven’t changed much over the last century. From 1908 to 1961, the server used to have to have one foot on the playing surface during the serve. Tie breaks were introduced in the 1970s. More recently, Hawk Eye has been brought into the game - and not without its fair share of controversy...

Hawk Eye has become as big a part of Wimbledon as the over-priced strawberries and the rain. Some people like the idea and some don’t. The concept is much the same as the proposed goal line technology in football.

The rules for Hawk Eye at Wimbledon are quite simple: each player is allowed three unsuccessful challenges for each set. If a set reaches a tie breaker, the players gain an extra challenge. If in the final set the score reaches 6-6, the number of challenges are reset to three, and again at 12-12.

Here are two positive views about Hawk Eye from Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova:

“On top of getting just the calls right time after time, which will be nice, it’ll add another aspect for TV viewers. If a player has two challenges per set, it will add drama and excitement. This will add to tennis and take out a lot of human error” (Andy Roddick).

“As a player, I want to know the line calls are as accurate as technology will allow. In that sense, [Hawk Eye] is great news for all players” (Maria Sharapova).

Despite these positive aspects of Hawk Eye, it also has its downside in that it slows the game down and some players purposely challenge a call just to have a break after a long point.

What do you think? Is Hawk Eye and goal line technology good news for sport?


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