When Tech Fails: Sabalenka & Sakkari's 40-Minute Delay at Indian Wells

When Tech Fails: Sabalenka & Sakkari's 40-Minute Delay at Indian Wells

by Zachary Wimer

Last last updated

In an age where technology dominates almost every aspect of our lives, the 2023 Indian Wells witnessed a unique turn of events, proving that even the most advanced systems can falter.

In the first women's semifinals match, Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari were forced to wait for a staggering 40 minutes due to a widespread technical issue. The problem emerged when the announcer was unable to announce Sabalenka's entrance, despite having successfully introduced Sakkari moments earlier.

It soon became evident that the issue was not limited to the audio system, as the Hawkeye Live line calling system, which was slammed by Jelena Ostapenko in the past, and the chair umpire's microphone were also malfunctioning.

With the tournament organizers scrambling to find a solution, both players were informed of the situation by a WTA supervisor. The question on everyone's mind was why the match couldn't proceed with traditional line calling if the technology couldn't be fixed promptly.

The answer lies in the fact that the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells is one of the few events on the tour that has adopted electronic line calling on all courts, leaving no backup plan involving human line judges.

Sabalenka, who had no other option than wait as her opponent Sakkari, was heard talking to her box.

"They don’t have anyone who can fix it. They have no idea what the problem is. They’re just trying to reboot the system."

After 40 minutes, players were able to finally get out there and compete for the spot in the final as the system started working again.


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