I was coaching a high school doubles match that was in the middle of a tiebreaker when the opposing team served to the wrong side (to the deuce court instead of the ad court). The other coach and I noticed the mistake, but disagreed on how to proceed. I said that they should serve to the ad court, even though that was technically the incorrect side on this point. The other coach said that they should correct the mistake immediately, thus serving to the same opponent twice in the deuce court. Who was right?
— Bill Bodenschatz, Westmont, NJ
The other guy got it right. While it might not seem logical to serve to the same opponent in doubles twice in a row, that’s the fastest way to get things back on track. Your way would perpetuate the error. Rule 26.a says this type of error “should be corrected as soon as the error is discovered and the server shall serve from the correct half of the court according to the score.”
Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.
Got a question? Email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org