I was ahead 5–1 and about to serve when my opponent and I switched sides in a tiebreak. We were asleep at the wheel,  as my opponent served the next point to my ad side, and the point after that to my deuce side. He won both points. I then realized something was wrong, and pointed out that we messed up the side and who the server was. How should we have scored the tiebreak? I think it should have been 5–1, and my serve to his deuce side, even though that meant wiping away two points played in good faith. We called it 5–2 and my serve.

— Hugh McTavish

So you knew you’d played both points “in good faith”—yet you decided to wipe out one of them? That’s contrary to The Code, #2. Rule 27 guides what should have happened, and it’s complicated. Once your opponent served in error at 5–1, it should have been your serve, since he had completed what was supposed to be your turn of service. But then he served again, winning the point. Now it’s 5–3 in your favor. And it’s your serve to the deuce court, because an error in service order made on an even-numbered point is “corrected immediately,” shifting the serve back to you. At that point, if you had just served one point and then shifted back to his serve, you would have been on track.


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

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