Novak Djokovic is in favour of technology replacing line judges everywhere

Probably not surprisingly, Novak Djokovic is a fan of the absence of line judges at the Australian Open.

In fact, he doesn’t think they are needed at all.

The world number one infamously cost himself a shot at the US Open last year when he was booted out of the tournament for angrily swatting a ball that, accidentally, hit a female line judge in the throat.

This year’s Australian Open is being conducted entirely without line judges, as a reaction to COVID-19 restrictions.

Linespeople have been replaced by “Hawk-Eye Live” technology on every court and Djokovic, the defending and eight-time Oz Open champ, is happy with that.

In fact, after cruising to an opening round win on Monday night, Djokovic said didn’t see a reason why umpires were needed at all if the technology was available.

He said he’d support technology being used at every tournament, should they be able to afford it.

“Well, I think back in New York in August, US Open last year, someone asked me whether I would support the idea of introducing this kind of line call technology at every tournament,” he said.

“I said that I support that, because I feel, yes, I understand that there is, you know, a tradition and history and the way we kind of got used to the line umpires being there, and I think it‘s nice that there is a lot of people and also volunteers with these line umpires that love tennis and love to have an opportunity to be out on the court and be close to the players and be part of a great event.

The line judge Novak Djokovic hit at last year’s US Open wasn’t happy (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“But I think when you draw a line that generally I actually am in favour of technology. I think it‘s proven to be very accurate in this particular instance.

“I don‘t see a reason why we need the line umpires, to be honest, if we have technology like this. I would of course keep the ball kids, but line calls I’m in favour of this technology.”

Djokovic also refused to bite after sparring partner Nick Kyrgios called him a “strange cat” in response to the Serbian’s suggestion he had “no respect” for the Aussie.

“I‘m not gonna answer to anything,” he said.

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