Home News US Open 2023: Andy Murray Brands VAR’s Inaugural Use a ‘Comedic Debacle’

US Open 2023: Andy Murray Brands VAR’s Inaugural Use a ‘Comedic Debacle’

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US Open 2023 VAR Debacle

Andy Murray advanced to the second round of the US Open by defeating France’s Corentin Moutet.
US Open 2023
Location: Flushing Meadows, New York
Dates: August 28 – September 10
Media Coverage: Extensive daily text and radio updates available via the Sport News Center website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live, and 5 Sports Extra

Tennis’s Grand Slam circuit just got its first taste of video-assisted review (VAR) technology at this year’s US Open. But the historic occasion swiftly descended into what Andy Murray dubbed a “comedic debacle” due to technical glitches.

While the British tennis star was on the cusp of winning his first-round match in New York against Corentin Moutet, the Frenchman called upon VAR to review a potentially game-changing double bounce that chair umpire Louise Engzell had missed.

Eager to right any wrongs, Engzell donned headphones and attempted to watch the crucial replay. Yet, after what seemed like an eternity, she declared that the VAR system was experiencing “technical difficulties.”

“It dragged on for about four minutes,” lamented Murray, who was trailing 15-30 in a game where he was serving for the match win. “I’m all for technology assisting in making the correct decisions, but it needs to actually function. Otherwise, the whole endeavor devolves into a farce.”

Swedish umpire Engzell found herself unable to review the contentious play on her dedicated tablet. This happened despite the jumbotron at the Grandstand court in Flushing Meadows displaying the replay for all—players, officials, and spectators—to see.

“This should be the verified video source,” Engzell explained, gesturing at her unresponsive tablet. “I’ve got zilch. The VAR is kaput.”

Addressing the crowd, Engzell added, “Regrettably, the video review system is down. The footage you’re seeing is from the television broadcast, so the initial call will remain as is.”

US Open authorities acknowledged that the official on-court tablet had experienced a malfunction, preventing the chair umpire from accessing the necessary video for a review.

According to official guidelines, “A video review and any subsequent call should be made by the chair umpire via the video sent to their court-side tablet. If that video is unavailable, the initial call will stand.”

Technicians reportedly fixed the faulty tablet right after the match concluded.

Although tennis has long embraced technology for line calls, this marks the first time that chair umpires have had access to VAR for immediate incident checks. These checks can include everything from double bounces and hindrance to players making contact with the ball or net during play.

“I was aware of the VAR technology but clueless about its implementation,” Murray said, who equalized the game at 30-30 after the botched review and eventually clinched the match. “Even if the chair umpire couldn’t access the video, the big screens were showing multiple angles that clearly indicated the ball had bounced twice. So, who’s the ultimate authority here?”

“I’m just relieved the original call was upheld, and I secured the point,” he added.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about US Open 2023 VAR Debacle

What happened with the VAR technology during Andy Murray’s first-round match at the US Open 2023?

The video-assisted review (VAR) technology malfunctioned during Andy Murray’s first-round match against Corentin Moutet. The chair umpire, Louise Engzell, was unable to access the replay on her tablet, leading to a long delay and causing Andy Murray to call the event a “comedic debacle.”

Who was Andy Murray’s opponent in the first round?

Andy Murray’s opponent in the first-round match of the US Open 2023 was French tennis player Corentin Moutet.

How did the chair umpire attempt to resolve the issue?

Chair umpire Louise Engzell tried to watch the replay using her dedicated on-court tablet. However, due to technical difficulties, she was unable to access the video, and thus the original call stood.

What was the official response from US Open authorities about the VAR glitch?

US Open officials confirmed that the on-court tablet had malfunctioned, which prevented the chair umpire from reviewing the video. They also stated that if the video is not available on the chair umpire’s tablet, the original call on the court would stand.

What other types of incidents can VAR technology review in tennis?

VAR technology in tennis can review a variety of incidents including double bounces, hindrance, and cases where a player touches the ball or the net.

How did Andy Murray feel about the VAR incident?

Andy Murray was frustrated with the malfunctioning of VAR technology. He stated that he’s in favor of using technology to get the right calls but criticized its effectiveness, calling the situation a “comedic debacle.”

Did the VAR incident affect the outcome of the match?

The original call stood due to the VAR malfunction. Andy Murray managed to level the game at 30-30 after the botched VAR attempt and went on to win the match against Corentin Moutet.

Was the malfunctioning equipment fixed?

According to US Open officials, the malfunctioning tablet used for VAR was repaired immediately following the match.

What was the crowd’s reaction to the VAR malfunction?

The article doesn’t provide information on the crowd’s reaction to the VAR malfunction. However, it was noted that the big screens inside the Grandstand court displayed the replay, which was visible to the players, officials, and spectators.

What other media coverage is available for the US Open 2023?

Extensive daily text and radio updates are available via the Sport News Center website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live, and 5 Sports Extra.

More about US Open 2023 VAR Debacle

  • Official US Open Website
  • BBC Sport’s Coverage of the US Open 2023
  • Sport News Center’s Tennis Section
  • Explainer on Tennis VAR Technology
  • Interview with Andy Murray on VAR
  • Previous VAR Debacles in Sports History
  • Profile of Chair Umpire Louise Engzell
  • Corentin Moutet’s Career Highlights
  • Overview of Tennis Officiating and Technology
  • Grand Slam Tennis Rules and Regulations

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TechNerd101 August 30, 2023 - 4:06 am

The irony of it all. Tech fails in a sport that’s embracing it. Maybe they can get a sponsorship from a tablet company haha.

DoubleFault August 30, 2023 - 4:23 am

No excuse for this at such a high-level competition. VAR’s a joke if it’s not implemented right.

SarcasticSam August 30, 2023 - 6:33 am

Great job, tech guys. Maybe next time let’s just stick to human error, at least we’re used to that.

UnbiasedOpinion August 30, 2023 - 8:19 am

This is one for the history books, but not in a good way. Major tournament and the tech decides to take a day off?

Music2MyEars August 30, 2023 - 10:21 am

So much drama, someone put it to a soundtrack! But seriously, hope they fix this soon. Sports needs tech but only if it works right.

SportsGeek23 August 30, 2023 - 11:31 am

Man, technology is supposed to make things better, right? What a mess! I feel for Murray, guy’s trying to focus on the game and then this.

MovieBuff99 August 30, 2023 - 12:40 pm

If this was a movie plot, people would say it’s too unrealistic lol. Seriously tho, get it together US Open.

TennisFanatic August 30, 2023 - 2:32 pm

Ugh, can’t believe this happened. It’s 2023, how do we still have tech issues like this in major sports?

CasualObserver August 30, 2023 - 3:55 pm

murray had a point. When tech backfires, it’s like slapstick comedy but without the laughs.


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