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Blask
01-18-2009, 12:35 PM
This did not happen to me or anyone else I know but as I was playing this morning on a court next to a private lesson I thought about this.

Let's say I was in the middle of a match, say at the tail end of the 2nd set with an opponent and there is a private lesson next to me. My opponent goes to pick up our balls after a point but grabs a ball that was hit over from the lesson next to us. The hypothetical ball could be completely dead as a lot of lesson balls are and could seriously affect play, especially on the clay surface.

If my opponent (either intentionally or unintentionally) grabs the wrong ball, serves with it, can I call a let after the point is over? I don't think you can really get a good look at the ball during a point to realize it's not the same ones you've been playing with. Also, obviously there is no way for me to realize it's not the right ball before the point starts.

Just curious, thanks!

Jim A
01-18-2009, 12:58 PM
all points played in good faith stand...that is in the Code..

so if you are playing someone and they are serving...but somehow after a point you wind up serving..the point still stands (played in good faith) ..same if they serve from the same side on consecutive points,etc..

SteveI
01-18-2009, 01:15 PM
all points played in good faith stand...that is in the Code..

so if you are playing someone and they are serving...but somehow after a point you wind up serving..the point still stands (played in good faith) ..same if they serve from the same side on consecutive points,etc..

Ditto...good call

Blask
01-18-2009, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the answer. Like I said, it didn't happen but I thought about it while I was playing a match this morning.

blakesq
01-18-2009, 01:57 PM
I think it DID happen. And I am going to report you to the USTA police!

Thanks for the answer. Like I said, it didn't happen but I thought about it while I was playing a match this morning.

Blask
01-18-2009, 03:57 PM
I think it DID happen. And I am going to report you to the USTA police!

Nice!! Hopefully they don't search my house!

darkhorse
01-24-2009, 07:23 AM
I think if you were to hit it once you would notice that the ball is dead, you may be able to convince your opponent to at least check the ball. If it's the wrong one, replay the point, but if it was the right ball, you lose the point.

Probably not actually in the rulebook but I think that's a sensible thing to do.

SunDog
01-25-2009, 07:34 AM
Very interesting, IMO. I do not see anywhere in the rules that states that the opponents have to agree on which balls they are using. There are only rules that cover which balls are elligable for play, and what to do in the case of a broken ball or a soft ball. For a broken ball (no compression) the point is replayed. For a soft ball (some compression) the point stands.

This seems to be a significant hole in the rules. One would think that each opponent is entitled to know the general condition of something as important as the ball in play - prior to the point beginning. If you take the next logical leap - to someone trying to gain an advantage - there is no rule (other than the ones that address the general sense that you should not cheat) that would stop some one from intentionally inserting a softer ball into the match at some point to gain an advantage.

Prior to a match beginning, both opponents or teams have an opportunity to become familiar with the balls with which the match is supposed to be played. In an officiated match, the new balls are given to the next server by the official and are therefore inspected by the person responsible for maintaining the even playing field.

Officials - please chime in.

SunDog
01-25-2009, 08:28 AM
Here is the question that I sent to my official friends (husband and wife team of traveling officials):

XXXXX,

I dont see where the rules of tennis cover this situation:

Player A (the server) either intentionally or unintentionally inserts a softer ball than the three that a given match started with. A point is played with the softer ball. Player B (who expected a much bigger bounce) loses the point and suspects that the ball just played is not one of the balls that they started with - and upon inspection - he finds that he is right.

Does the point played in good faith (in the case of the unintentional insertion) stand? Since one cannot prove the intent of the server (to intentionally insert) or if he accidentally used a stray ball from say another court, would all points played in this scenario stand?

The only rule close to this says that points played with a soft ball - stand. Points played with a broken ball are replayed.

Thanks in advance.

Here is her reply:

I could not find a rule in the book that exactly covered this scenario. YYYYYY and I discussed this case and we have concluded that if the receiver returned the ball and the point continued then the point stands. But if the bounce was so bad that the receiver didn't even try to return it, then it should be a let. However, since we play tennis under the code, it would be the courteous thing for the server to offer to play a let in either case.

Nellie
01-25-2009, 11:05 AM
Let's say that the point was simply a serve and ace (due to the ball being clearly flat/damaged). Even though the point is over and played in good faith, I would still call a let and argue that the ball was defective. On the other hand, if the ball was slightly soft (e.g., you grabbed an older ball) and there was a rally, than I could see the argument of a point in good faith.