On the second point of the second game of the second set, the opponent who had received the first point on the deuce side switched to the ad side to receive. She said it was a mistake that she had received the first point and wanted to replay the point they had just lost. I said it was our point, but they could switch back for the next point. Who was right?

— Jenn Lucas, Spanish Fork, UT

You can’t make a mistake when it’s impossible to make one. Doubles teams are allowed to switch their order of receiving at the beginning of any set, or before a tiebreak in lieu of the third set (USTA Comment 15.2). The receiving position in the previous set doesn’t have any bearing. So however they line up for the first point of a new set can’t be a mistake, and in the absence of a mistake, there’s nothing to correct. The team must receive in that order for the remainder of the set. If you want to be generous and let them change back, feel free, but the rules are on your side.


Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.

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