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umpiring tennis
Dr Jyoti Anand loves umpiring tennis in her spare time.

While she enjoys playing tennis, Dr Jyoti Anand of City Smiles in Melbourne and Maude Street Dental Surgery in Shepparton, also umpires at international tennis tournaments. Interview: Frank Leggett

“In 2015 I umpired at the December Showdown—one of the major tennis tournaments in Australia. A lot of the players get pretty fired up and often question the call of the umpires. They can be very intimidating but it’s important to stick to your guns. It’s always very interesting when the Hawk-Eye electronic line calling system confirms my call.

“I started playing tennis when I was about eight years old. It’s a difficult game for a kid as it requires a lot of coordination and technique, but I was pretty persistent. I played at a regional level until I was 17. While I like playing, I love watching professional tennis on TV. January is my favourite month. I just watch tennis constantly.

“During my time at La Trobe University in Bendigo, one of the heads of tennis umpiring came to an open day to recruit umpires. I applied but the process is quite competitive. You are screened through a basic application and then undertake a lengthy training course. In 2015, I qualified as a linesperson and started umpiring at higher regional level tournaments.

“Towards the end of 2015, I umpired at the December Showdown, and was able to see great Australian players such as Sam Groth and Jordan Thompson.

“In 2016, I umpired at the Australian Open, mainly during the qualifying rounds. I had to take a year off in 2017 as I was on placement for my final year at uni. At the beginning of this year I umpired at the Australian Open again. It was an awesome experience, particularly as I had the good fortune to umpire for Dylan Alcott, the wheelchair tennis player.

“One thing I love about umpiring is the social aspect. You meet so many new people and there is a real camaraderie. I’m passionate about tennis and during a typical day at the Aussie Open, you umpire one hour on and one hour off. In that hour off you can watch whatever game you like. 

“When I started umpiring, I couldn’t really enjoy the match because I was so nervous. These days, even though it requires all of my focus, I can generally watch the point being played and still enjoy the game.  

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