Wimbledon has always been a special event for the players and fans from around the world. The most awaited Grand Slam of the year has always been full with excitement since its inception. Apart from the players and fans, it's also one of the most memorable events for the match officials. One such official is Sagar Kashyap, 23, from Mysuru in India, who recently became the youngest Indian umpire to officiate at a Wimbledon match.
But if he had to pick a match of his career, Sagar would choose the 2015 Wimbledon final which Novak Djokovic went on to win against Federer. "For someone who grew up watching Wimbledon on TV with my dad, it was a special feeling to be on court during the final," he says. There's a second reason. At 28, Sagar had become the youngest Indian ever to officiate at the Wimbledon.
It's not just the on-court calls that line umpires have to tend to. Part of their job responsibility also includes accompanying a player to a toilet break or dropping a gentle reminder to a slightly forgetful player that he is required to change sides on court. "We are allowed to interact with players in official tournament parties but we avoid talking about on-court or tennis-related stuff," says Sagar.
"When we walk on to the court as officials we forget who the players are," he says. "The moment you bring their personalities into the picture, it gets difficult to do your job."