I heard on television that Novak Djokovic has his shoes shaved. Isn’t that illegal?

—Suzanne Gibson, Palm Beach, FL

The shoes might consider it a felony, but there’s nothing in the rules that prohibits it. Neither is there an ITF or ATP tour regulation prohibiting the practice, which enables players to more readily slide on hard courts. The USTA does have one regulation regarding shoes (TR IV.A.3.), but it simply says that “A player may not wear shoes that mar or damage the court.” That hardly applies here.


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

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