The moment Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram REFUSE to play on until Hawkeye replays are turned off after a 50-50 call went against the No 1 seeds in their Wimbledon doubles quarter-final
- Court 2 saw a moment of drama at Wimbledon in a men’s doubles quarter-final
- No 1 seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram were left furious over a Hawkeye call
- They believed they had broken at 5-5, only for Hawkeye to label the winner as in
- Ram and Salisbury were furious and refused to play until machine was turned off
- A court supervisor was called before they reluctantly agreed to carry match on
- In an epic quarter-final, Salisbury and Ram dug in to win 6-3, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
- WIMBLEDON 2022 LIVE: Follow all the action as it happens today at SW19
Britain’s Joe Salisbury and his American doubles partner Rajeev Ram threatened to go on strike on Wednesday unless the Hawk-Eye system was switched off on Court 2.
Salisbury and Ram, the world No 1s, won their five-set slog against French pair Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, but were outraged when a controversial review went against them en route to their 6-3, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory.
The duo thought they had broken their opponents and would serve for the second set. Roger-Vasselin’s volley looked long but after a challenge Hawk-Eye said the ball had nicked the baseline.
WHAT IS HAWKEYE?
Hawkeye has been used to make tight calls in tennis since 2006.
The technology uses six or more computer-linked television cameras which are placed around the courts at Wimbledon.
The way it works is that the computer reads in the match footage in real time, and it cleverly tracks the path of the tennis ball on each camera to determine if tight calls are in, or out.
Every camera angle is then combined into one to produce a 3D representation of the path of the ball which crowds at Wimbledon see on the big screens.
Salisbury told umpire Fergus Murphy: ‘I’m not starting again until you turn it off. The machine is obviously wrong, so turn the machine off. There’s no chance that was in.’
The pair asked for the supervisor to come to Court 2 and he told them he would investigate. The match continued and an All England Club spokesperson said later: ‘The referee’s office has reviewed the footage and has determined that there is no reason to be concerned about the quality and accuracy of the electronic line-calling during this match.’
Salisbury said: ‘I guess there’s a chance we all saw it wrong. Maybe we need to get our eyes checked.’
‘There’s no way,’ Ram said in his rant, ‘no way at all. We’re turning the machine off. We’re not in the future here man.’
‘There is NO chance that is in,’ said Salisbury. ‘You know it is wrong. Can you get the supervisor?’
The supervisor came on court in a bid to placate the furious pair but they continued to insist that the machine isn’t working and has to be turned off.
Told that he would investigate, the supervisor disappeared and Ram and Salisbury were ordered to play the remainder of the second set, which they went on to lose 7-6 in a tie-break.
Doubles pair Rajeev Ram (left) and Joe Salisbury (right) briefly refused to play on in their Wimbledon men’s doubles quarter-final over a controversial Hawkeye call up break point
The No 1 seeds were convinced they had broken, only for the challenge to show the ball as in
A replay showed the ball appearing to drop out, beyond the line, but Hawkeye disagreed
The moment with a break point opportunity up 40-30 at 5-5 was a key one and the pair sat down at the end of the second set furiously shaking their heads.
The two top seeds will be glad it was not match defining as they edged a five-set epic 6-3, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
Replays showed the shot from Roger-Vasselin go long but the technology supported the French pair and said it had in fact caught the line.
Ram and Salisbury struggled in their attempts to refocus in the following games, going on to lose the tiebreak 7-1, having ran away with the first set 6-3. Ram in particular was still visibly irritated prior to the third set, sat on his chair shaking his head.
Incensed by the call, Salisbury and Ram vented to the court supervisor, and they demanded that the Hawkeye machine was turned off for the remainder of the quarter-final on Court 2
But the pair were able to reset themselves and they quickly raced into a 3-0 lead in the third set, securing an early break to re-establish control of the quarter-final clash.
After the third game in the third set the court supervisor re-appeared and appeared to tell a disbelieving Ram that they believed the call was in-fact correct to which the reply came: ‘Really?!’
They held their nerve thereafter to close out the third set 6-1.
They were able to steady the ship, going on to dominate the third set and re-take control
Mahut and Roger-Vasselin showed plenty of spirit to force a deciding set, taking the fourth impressively, 6-3.
From there Salisbury and Ram, who have never won Wimbledon but are two-time Grand Slam champions after winning the Australian Open in 2020 and the US Open in 2021, showed their championship credentials.
They grabbed a break in the decider and served impressively to close it out 6-4, leading to wild celebrations which were in stark contrast to the scenes towards the end of the second set.