The 2022 WTA Finals tournament are being played at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. That means the best-of-best tournament of the season returns to the US after 17 years. So, since last time the tournament was played, applied-technology in professional tennis has changed a lot.
For the tournament, the first eight-ranked women players in the Women's Tennis Association will play in a round-robin tournament to qualify for a semifinals, then to the finals. This new tournament system meet the needs to make more attractive this type of tournaments. In fact, that isn't the only thing new in the final tournament of the season.
The innovation made by the USTA goes beyond and impacts the referee's job. Which includes line judges, who are responsible for making the decision in tough spots. Those men and women aren't on the sidelines anymore because the USTA decided to opt for a new system based on applied-technologies.
Why there are not line judges in the WTA Finals tournament sidelines?
Tennis tournaments held in U.S. soil have always been the front-runners for new applied-technologies in professional tennis. In fact, in 2006, the US Open tournament was the first Grand Slam to use the electronic line calling system. However, at the time, they kept the line judges on the court, in order to help the chair umpire.
But since the 2020 pandemic stroke out, the USTA decided to take out line judges from the tennis tournaments held in the US. In fact, both ATP and WTA tournaments use the electronic-line calling system and the Hawkeye technology in their tournaments when there are played in the United States.
So, it may seem off to watch a tennis game without line judges, but it's a simple change that has multiple benefits. For example, the electronic-line calling system is based on the actual facts, not what somebody could have seen at the moment. In fact, takes off the pressure for a line judge, especially in a tournament with such relevance such as the 2022 WTA Finals.