In doubles on clay, a hard first serve hit close to the service line; my partner called it out as I hit my return. The return would have been a clean crosscourt winner. Then my partner double-checked the mark and saw that the serve hit the back edge of the line. Since my return would have been a winner, I considered calling the point ours. The server thought it should have been his point since we missed the original call. I reluctantly agreed to play a let and a first serve for the opponent. Who was right?

— Dan Sinclair, Worthington, OH

Ah, the seeming unfairness of it all. “But I hit a winner. But my partner’s call didn’t affect my shot. But, but.. . .” All those buts don’t add up to a let. The Code, Item 12, is clear on this: “A player who calls a ball out shall reverse the call if the player becomes uncertain or realizes that the ball was good. The point goes to the opponent and is not replayed.” The server was right, you lost the point.


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

Got a question? Email it to: courtofappeals@tennis.com