Roger Federer in action against Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/ Gulf News

Dubai: Former world number one Roger Federer has spoken out in favour of human judgement over the use of Hawk-Eye technology in tennis.

"What I like without Hawk-Eye is just the players challenging the umpires more often. The umpires had to be very aware. People today don't lose any energy over arguing with umpires any more, which back in the day we used to. I think also their mental strength came into play more often," Federer told the media following his Dubai Duty Free Men's Open quarter-final win over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny late on Thursday.

"Now you just move from point to point to point so you don't see that much character any more. That's kind of what I miss, because I just felt it was going to even out eventually throughout your career with all the good and bad calls."

Federer has never been a great fan of the use of Hawk-Eye in tennis. In fact, he has gone on record urging organisers to stop using it, saying it's "killing" the sport.

And he would be in support of spectators getting a good view of arguments with umpires in the absence of Hawk-Eye.

‘Good days'

"I think some fans who have never seen Hawk-Eye think it's amazing to see how accurate or inaccurate, whatever, it can be. I mean, I believe it's pretty accurate," he said with a hint of irony.

"So I see fans liking that, but then those are maybe the ones who don't remember the arguments back in the day with the umpires, which was when the booing starting, fans getting behind you or against you. I mean, those were the good days, sometimes."

The former world No 1, a four-time winner here, is aware of the huge following he has via social media websites, which show he has more than ten million fans following him this week.

"Yes. More than Switzerland has people," he said laughing. "I don't know if the ten million are on live score or watching my match, but I definitely feel great support by my followers, how they're into it.


"My website has been up and running a long time. They've been really so supportive of me for such a long time and always present in the stadium and showing their colours and support. Also I guess on Facebook or other websites and so forth I know that I also have a lot of the support.

"So I try to be as good as I can with information. I don't like to post too much sometimes. I like to do it when I think it's the right time. So far, there's not too much complaint.

"I guess you can always give more [information], but then it eventually maybe gets a bit silly if you post too much stuff.

"I try to do what I feel is natural and so far it's been fun. It's got to be fun for me and not a must, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it."