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What's the Call: Clearing the balls

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October 12, 2015 09:54 PM

Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.

The USTA Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee is here to answer your questions. Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!

Question: During my match, I did not pick up a ball on my side of the court because it was closer to the net and out of the way in my mind. During the following point, the ball landed on the ball left on the court. I was not able to reach the ball that was misdirected as a result of hitting the ball. Can I call a let? What happens when a ball in play hits a ball lying on the court? Whose call is it? (submitted by Ming Xie)

ANSWER:  No, you may not call a let in this situation. Because you chose to leave the ball on the court, it became part of the court for that point and you accepted the risk of the ball in play bouncing off the stray ball. Per Rule 26, you are not entitled to a let for hindrance when the hindrance is something you caused.

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For the "Friend at Court" handbook and more information on the rules of tennis, visit the Officiating homepage.

 

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