A slight scrape of the racquet on the net caused a whole lot of confusion.

In a singles match, I charged the net and hit a hard volley at my opponent’s feet at the baseline. He deflected it back with a lob. As I turned to go after his shot and watch where it landed, my racquet scraped the net. His shot landed long and I called it out. He protested, claiming that my racquet hit the net. I said no, since my racquet touch was not part of my shot. Who was right?

— Joe Brennan, Boise, ID

He was. There’s no “but-I-didn’t-mean-it” clause that gets you off the hook for touching the net with your racquet (or anything else) while the ball is in play, violating Rule 24.g. And under The Code, Item 19, you are honor-bound to concede the point.

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

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