best women challenger in tennis caroline wozniacki

Power to the Player: Tennis Players Who Challenged Calls More

Challenging a call is often a tough path to tackle. Good thing, there’s Hawk-Eye, the on-court computer replay system, to guide the umpire and linespeople to revert the call in their favour.

In an article published in the New York Times, a study suggests that tennis players should challenge “out” calls more than “in” calls because the probability of the officials erring an out than an in is high. 

Nonetheless, this should not count as bad refereeing. Instead, it has to do with the inherent bias of human perception of moving objects like the tennis balls.

Power to the tennis players

Based on statistics also, the lower-ranked tennis players who challenged a call are more often right compared with top players. 

This is empowering in the sense that the challenge rule gives the tennis players a voice and a chance to overturn the rule without resorting to violent reactions.

Before we proceed with the names of tennis players who challenged calls more, these are the things you need to know about challenging calls in tennis.

FAQs about the challenge system

What is a challenge in tennis?

Tennis has a challenge system wherein the player can disagree or question the call that the line judge made. 

How many challenges can a tennis player make?

Tennis players can use one challenge for each set. However, they are allowed up to three challenges per set regardless of the tournament especially when the challenges are unsuccessful. If the set had a tie-break, another challenge is provided to the players.

What happens when a tennis player challenged a call?

The player retains the same number of challenges if he or she is right. If the player is wrong, he or she will lose one challenge.

Best and worst challengers in tennis

In a 2009 study of the US Open, here are some of the best and worst challengers in tennis.

Men’s tennis

1) James Blake, 6 out of 11 right (55%)

2) Rafael Nadal, 4 out of 11 right (36%)

3) Novak Djokovic, 3 out of 10 right (30%)

4) Andy Murray, 5 out of 21 right (24%)

5) Roger Federer, 5 out of 28 right (18%)

Blake is the best challenger among the men’s tennis players who go 55% of his challenges right.

Federer is the worst challenger with only 18% of his challenges right and overturned to his side. On the side note, Federer never liked the challenge system especially the Hawk-Eye who he called “a menace” once.

Women’s tennis

1) Caroline Wozniacki, 4 out of 7 right (60%)

2) Elena Dementieva, 3 out of 5 right (60%)

3) Serena Williams, 2 out of 7 right (29%)

4) Jelena Jankovic, 6 out of 22 right (27%)

5) Sybille Bammer, 3 out of 12 right (25%)

Wozniacki and Dementieva are the best challengers in women’s tennis, who got their 60% of their challenges right.

Bammer is the worst challenger with only 25%.

Williams is not a good challenger but not a bad one either, with 29% of the calls she challenged was right.

Featured Image Source

Have you seen a tennis play that warrants a challenge but the player did not call for it? Please let us know in the comment.

tennis players to retire in 2020 carla suarez navarro

3 Tennis Players to Retire in 2020

Is Roger Federer planning to retire from playing tennis in 2020?

The answer is indefinite. There are no reports or claims on whether Federer will retire in 2020. 

In lieu of that, tennis fans should be asking who will retire in 2020.

Here are the prominent names.

1) Carla Suarez Navarro

Navarro announced on December 3, 2019 that she will be retiring in 2020 after playing a full season. She shared the news during a press conference at the Barcino Tennis Club.

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player ranked career-high No. 6 in February 2016. Navarro played at the quarterfinals of the Australian thrice and French, and the US Opens twice.

Navarro said, “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life—it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. … Tennis will always be in me.”

She has already won $11.58 million in career prize money.

2) Bryan brothers

The phenomenal doubles players are set to retire in 2020 as well. Bob and Mike announced their retirement last November following their US Open bid.

Dubbed as the most successful doubles partnership in the history of Open era, the Bryan brothers have a total of 118 trophies they won over 25 seasons of playing tennis. They have four Grand Slam titles and one Olympic gold medal.

From 2005 to 2017, the Bryan brothers were also awarded the fans’ Favourite Team at the ATP Tour. 

The twins turned 41 years old this year. They had a 1,102-358 record.

Moving forward

Federer faced serious challenges this 2019, two of which are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic reclaimed the No. 1 spot and Nadal is closely trailing behind him.

Tennis analysts say that he would announce his retirement while or after playing at Roland Garros. Federer has been deliberately skipping the French Open despite being stronger at clay courts. 

His last match in Roland Garros was in 2015, against his perennial partner, Stan Wawrinka. This year, he sparked an interest in appearing in the clay courts once more.

Unfortunately, Federer was already feeling it as evident by big upsets on the initial rounds in the latter parts of 2019. He was finding difficulties maintaining the expected level of intensity from these rounds to the finals.

Unless he would win Grand Slam titles this year, the assumptions that 2020 is Federer’s last year of playing tennis won’t subside.

What about Serena Williams?

Or it should be Venus? She hasn’t won a Grand Slam, but she managed to win three matches on a major tournament. She lost four matches, though. She hasn’t appeared in the 50 since 2013.

Serena is, of course, a different story. In September, Serena claimed that she would retire from tennis in 20 years. 

Serena was having a hard time going back on track since she gave birth. But still, she has no plans of putting down her tennis racket—at least not anytime soon.

Featured Image Source

We need your best guess. When do you think Roger Federer will retire from playing tennis? Let us know.

tennis players who are late bloomers stan wawrinka

5 Pro Tennis Players Who Bloomed Late in Their Career

What age do most tennis players start?

Experts say that the majority of professional tennis players today began practising tennis when they are between 4 and 6 years old.

Is this true for all tennis players? No. Can I start playing tennis at 15 or 20? Yes. Will I win a major title at that age? Who knows.

Take a cue from these tennis players who are late bloomers.

5) Monica Niculescu

Niculescu is a Romanian tennis player who reached her career-high 28 when she was already 28 years old.

Turning pro in May 2002, she played in singles and doubles category. In 2017, at the age of 30, she played at the Wimbledon Championships women’s doubles.

She is known for her unorthodox style of play, using the forehand as her primary stroke. In a Sports Illustrated interview, she once said, “I play very different; I don’t give you a rhythm. It’s hard to know when it started.”

4) Feliciano Lopez

Lopez turned pro in 1997. However, he reached his career-high ranking at the ATP, No. 12, when he was already 33 years old in 2015.

Also, Lopez was the only male Spanish player to reach Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2005, then again in 2008 and 2011. The last player who was able to do such a feat was in 1972. 

However, it was in 2016 that he first won a Grand Slam title at the French Open. He played in the men’s doubles with Marc Lopez.

He also played in the 2017 US Open Finals in the doubles tournament.

While he experiences difficulty in recovering after a match, Lopez relies on his fitness regime to extend his career.

3) Roberta Vinci

Vinci is the other half of the dominant women’s doubles with Sara Errani. They dominated the 2012 to 2016 Grand Slam doubles. She reached her career-high in doubles category at No. 1 in 2015.

However, she also performed in the singles tournament, reaching the world’s No. 7 career-high in 2016. Part of her ranking was brought by upsetting Serena Williams once during the US Open in 2015.

Vinci was the oldest player in the Top 10 at 33 years old. She was also the fourth Italian tennis player to achieve that status.

Vinci retired in 2018.

2) Angelique Kerber

Kerber turned pro in 2003 when she was only 15 years old. However, it took her thirteen years to reach the No. 1 ranking in September 2016. She was the oldest to achieve such ranking at 28 years old.

She reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2012 and 2018. However, she had already won the Australian and US Opens in 2016 and Wimbledon Championships in 2018.

In 2016, she upset Williams who was the No. 1 then.

As of November 2019, Kerber ranked No. 20.

1) Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka was Roger Federer’s perennial men’s doubles partner. However, both achieved greater success playing for the men’s singles.

When Wawrinka started playing alone, he went on to win three Grand Slam titles such as Australian Open in 2014, French Open in 2015, and the US Open in 2016. He defeated all the No. 1 ranked tennis players then on each tournament.

He also played in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon twice, in 2014 and 2015.

With all these, The Economist dubbed him as tennis’s great latecomer.

Featured Image Source

Subscribe to read more one-of-a-kind stories about tennis.