Our opponent was hitting his second serve when a ball from another court rolled onto our side. The server didn’t see it and didn’t hear his partner say, “Let.” His second serve landed out. We gave him a first serve, but could we have claimed the point?

— Jonathan Lockeretz, Atlanta, GA

Good on you for being good sports. That’s never the wrong way to play. As in so many cases, timing is the key issue. If the “let” call came before the second serve was struck then a first serve would be in order (The Code, Item 30). However, if the call came after the serve was struck it would be a double fault, as the server was not hindered.

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

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