During a doubles match on clay, my partner’s second serve landed in and made a clear mark inside the service line. The other team called it out. I asked them to look at the mark. One of them walked over, cleared the mark with his foot and said, “Our call—out.” I appealed to his teammate and he rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders. Is there any rule against this?

— Jim Prieto, Manchester, NH

The Code, #21, says that “a player is not required to show an opponent the mark.” However, rubbing out
a ball mark is, in polite circles, considered to be a concession that the ball was good. Rubbing out the mark and then claiming the point is an invitation to have a racquet wrapped around your head—not that I would ever advocate that. The point goes to the other team.


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

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