In a doubles match on clay, my first serve was returned for a winner. But my opponent then checked the mark made by the serve and it was out. He politely gave me a first serve. Should he have?

— Jim Determan, Davenport, IA

Your opponent was perhaps too polite. While he can give you a first serve, he doesn’t have to. As you describe it, you were not unduly delayed by him playing your first serve, checking the mark and seeing that it was indeed out. This is akin to the time it might take to clear a first-serve fault, which, under The Code, Item 30, would not result in a fresh first serve.


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

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