In a 4.0 team match, I was at the net when a shot—and an opponent’s dampener—came at me. The dampener missed me, but my return went into the net because I was watching it. I wanted to play a let, but felt it should have been our point. They said the dampener became a permanent part of the court and it was their point. Who was right?
— Paul Brooks, Boise, ID
They were right for the wrong reason. Under Rule 24.g, a point is lost if a player’s racquet—and the dampener is part of the racquet—touches the opponent’s court while the ball is in play. In this case, the call should be made by the dampener’s owner (or partner). But as you later described it to me via email, you saw your shot hit the net and bounce on your side before the dampener hit in your court, so the point had already been lost when the “touch” occurred.
Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.
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