Players to be allowed three unsuccessful challenges per set

Updated: March 19, 2008, 12:23 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- All professional tennis tournaments using an electronic replay system will offer players the same amount of challenges per match starting next week.

Each player will get a maximum of three unsuccessful challenges per set, plus one wrong challenge in a tiebreaker, the International Tennis Federation said Wednesday in a joint statement with the ATP, WTA Tour and Grand Slam committee.

Players can still make an unlimited number of correct challenges.

Previously, the men's and women's pro tours offered only two unsuccessful challenges per set plus one in the tiebreaker. The ITF's team competitions, including the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, offered unlimited challenges.

The unified system will start next week at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

For matches that don't use tiebreakers, players will get an addition three challenges for every 12 games played.

"The players will know where they stand," ITF spokesman Nick Imison said. "There hadn't been an agreement up until this point."

The U.S. Open previously allowed only two unsuccessful challenges per set, while Wimbledon and the Australian Open allowed three. The French Open, played on clay, doesn't need replay technology because balls leave a mark on the surface.

"With an additional challenge per set, we look forward to the Chase Review being used more frequently at this year's U.S. Open," tournament director Jim Curley said in a statement.

Each individual tournament will still be able to decide whether it wants to use the technology, and most will only have one or two courts wired for the replays. But it will ensure that all major matches are using the same rules.

"This is another example of the effort of all governing constituencies in the sport to find a balanced, unified approach to issues of common interest," the ITF said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press