I hit a ball that my opponent played back as a half-volley drop shot. However, in hitting the ball my opponent had his hand on the strings, flat and pressed. Is this a legal shot?

— Richard Bruer, Clearwater, FL

We’re playing tennis, not handball, right? It’s not legal because the hand pressed against the strings will most certainly make contact with the ball. Under Rule 24.i., it is a loss of 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