Top-notch umpire is as good as gold
The players weren't the only elites at Victoria Park - in fact umpire Eva Asderaki may well belong to a group that is more exclusive than the players. Asderaki is one of six women who bear the title of 'gold umpire'. To earn this title, umpires have to pass rigorous rounds of selection, courses and tests.
'In total, there are probably only 20 female umpires internationally, including six with gold. Men are getting used to seeing us umpires, although this is still a time of transition,' says Asderaki, who hails from Greece. This isn't Asderaki's first time in the region, though she hadn't been to Hong Kong before. 'I have been fortunate to have umpired at two Olympics, in my own country in 2004 and last year in Beijing. This is my first time in Hong Kong, and it was great to arrive before the tournament started to see the fireworks here for New Year's Eve.'
On the court, Asderaki is helping to prevent the fireworks, and this time she has Hawk-Eye technology on her side. 'As officiators, this technology makes players less likely to argue with our calls, and when they question us, it makes it easy to show them why we made our decisions. Everybody likes it: the crowd, the players and us umpires.'