My opponent’s second serve was interrupted by his partner calling a let for a stationary ball on the side of the court. Despite knowing that a server should be given a first serve if interrupted, I only offered a second serve because the interruption was made by his partner. Courtesy might suggest offering the first serve, but what does the rule say?

— Sukhdev Pettengill, Watsonville, CA

A server shouldn’t start his motion until he’s sure the court is ready for play. It’s OK if he wants to play the point with a stray ball on the court. But his partner can’t then generate a new first serve by suddenly deciding the standing ball needs clearing.


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