Tuned In

The Morning After: Aces

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I’ve said time and again that I don’t really watch TV sports, but I make an exception once a year for the Wimbledon finals, so yesterday I saw most of the vast, epic match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. What amazes me watching tennis from a TV standpoint, however, are the advances in computer-pinpointing precisely where a ball landed in relation to the line, complete with graphics down to the fraction of a millimeter.

It was ironic, for instance, to see Nadal challenge a line call (and get a ruling in his favor) on a Federer shot that landed barely out, and have the action narrated by John McEnroe—who, in his day, would have had to have an operatic fight with a line judge over the call. Now the machines bloodlessly make the correction without anyone having to exercise their lungs.

There’s something sadly John-Henry-versus-the-steam-drill about it all. Who will teach our children to curse in public if not tennis pros?