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Bob and Mike Bryan took issue with a line call during their second-round doubles match against Eric Butorac and Jack Sock on Saturday. Bob took a cue from Sergiy Stakhovsky’s improvised “Hawk-Eye” earlier this week and grabbed his phone to take a photo of a disputed ball mark, earning a warning from the chair umpire.
The Bryan brothers went on to oust their U.S. compatriots 7-5, 7-6 (2).
While it’s all a fun joke to go to the phone and take a picture of a mark to show up the umpires, the use of phones on court for any purpose is not permitted. In this age of texting, Twitter and WhatsApp, players could easily use their phones to receive illegal coaching.
“It’s only going to happen more,” Roger Federer said of smart-phone use. “I think it’s pretty funny, actually. The problem is that clearly there could be coaching going on through mobile devices.
“It would probably be so easy to do. Go to the toilet and you hide it somewhere. I’m just saying anything is possible. You have to hope that the players use it in a funny way, and it’s not meant to be bad or disrespectful.”
Stakhovsky was fined $2,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for his picture-taking during a first-round loss to Richard Gasquet. No word yet if Bob will face a similar fine, but unless he followed Gael Monfils’ example and received the umpire’s permission to use his phone, he should. Grand Slam committee director Bill Babcock told Reuters that the rules surrounding the use of phones on court will be reviewed.
“Although the current rule is conclusive in that players are not allowed to use devices at all unless approved, we can and should always consider ways to make sure the rule is consistently enforced,” he said.