My partner and I play the Australian formation in doubles. Our opponents both play back. The receiver’s partner became confused and thought I was serving to her, as she claimed I was serving from the right of the middle baseline mark. I claimed I absolutely wasn’t; it would be counter-intuitive to do so as I was serving to the ad court. Did she have a claim?

— Michelle Immler, Brattleboro, VT

Not at all. As server you may take a position anywhere between the sideline and the centerline of the side diagonally opposite the court you are serving to (Rule 16). You can crowd that centerline as much as you want to, and even lean or jump across it as part of your service motion, so long as you don’t touch the court on or over the extension of the centerline before contacting the ball. If you did, it would be a foot fault (Rule 18.d.)


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

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