A man of the cloth and judge of the line

Reverend Paul Ugo Arinze has been living a double life. His day job is a Catholic Priest and he also works as a tennis umpire both in the Wimbledon and US Open.
Reverend Paul, who previously worked as the director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison, looking out for young people who considered a career in Catholicism, is also a trained tennis official.

Reverend Paul Ugo Arinze

As well as serving as an umpire at tournaments in the United States, he worked as a line judge at two Grand Slam offerings in the form of the US Open and Wimbledon.

Back in 2011, Father Paul told the New York Times of his ‘double life’: “The chair umpire is much like have the responsibility of the Parish.”

“You’re in charge of the servers, the people that read, the people that help and you have to manage it.”

He chuckled when asked about players praying on court: “I always say God has more important things to do than root for a team or player. Because if he did, then everyone would win.”

Father Paul, who is still an active priest, was adamant that he would never pursue tennis officiating on a full-time basis, because he enjoys his day job too much.

He fell in love with the sport watching the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert back in the 1970s and 80s.
Line judges have been at Wimbledon since the tournament started back in 1877, but they could be replaced by 2025.

The ATP Tour has recently announced that calls will all be automated after 2024 – which could prompt Wimbledon to follow.
However, the iconic tournament does not have to follow the same rules, which could lead them to stick to tradition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *