On clay, a hard serve skidded on the bounce and jammed me. Simultaneous with my awkward return, my partner called the serve out, but not very loudly. No one stopped play or said anything, and on the seventh shot of the rally one opponent hit the ball into the net. At that point, the other opponent said that my partner had called the serve out. We checked the mark, and the serve had caught the line. What should have been the correct outcome?
—Wendall Walker, Seminole, FL
This point should have ended once your team reversed its out call on the serve, with the point going to your opponents under The Code, Item 12 (when a call is reversed, “the point goes to the opponent and is not replayed”). However, it’s clear from the seven-shot rally that ensued that both sides ignored the initial out call and decided to play out the point in good faith. At this point, it’s up to the teams to amicably decide the best outcome. There are two options: Play a let, if that’s agreeable to everyone, or you win the point because your opponents missed while playing out a rally with every intention of it counting.
Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.
Got a question? Email it to: email@example.com