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Rediff.com  » Sports » Murray, Hawk-Eye spoil Ljubicic's birthday

Murray, Hawk-Eye spoil Ljubicic's birthday

March 20, 2009 08:19 IST

Ivan Ljubicic had a double birthday letdown on Thursday when he lost to Andy Murray in the quarter-finals of the ATP event at Indian Wells and was wrongly denied a point by the Hawk-Eye system.

The big-serving Croat was beaten 7-5, 7-6 on his 30th birthday after being frustrated by a successful Murray challenge at 4-4 in the ninth game of the second set.

On break point, Murray's shot bounced outside the line with Ljubicic in position to hit a winner but the Scot challenged the linesman's call.

The Hawk-Eye technology, which reconstructs the ball's most likely path by combining its trajectory with images from cameras positioned around the court, surprisingly supported Murray by incorrectly assessing the ball's second bounce.

"I didn't play the ball because it was clearly out," Ljubicic told reporters after losing the match in just over two hours.

"The (Hawk-Eye) operator showed a second bounce instead of the first. It's just human error, and it's frustrating when you see such a clear mistake.

"We really wanted to take control of the human error with that machine, and then you have a human error of the operator who is controlling that machine. It's a strange situation."

FURTHER SALT

Although the point was replayed, the Croat lost it to Murray to trail 4-5 and rub further salt into his wounds.

"I just kept thinking about it," Ljubicic said. "I couldn't believe what was happening.

"I couldn't win that point by smashing the ball, calling it myself or leaving the umpire to call it. Really, the options to lose that point were none after that ball bounced."

Murray, who edged ahead 3-2 in career meetings with the Croat after booking his place in the last four at Indian Wells, conceded he had been fortunate with his challenge.

"Obviously I got pretty lucky," the 21-year-old said. "Supposedly he (the operator) took the second bounce of the ball, which obviously landed on the line.

"So it wasn't the technology problem. It was sort of human error, which can happen with line calls. But I don't think it had a huge bearing on the outcome or the result."

Source:
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