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Cindysphinx
12-10-2009, 07:08 AM
Was playing a league match the other day. Indoors, with curtains between the court.

Opponent (with a big serve, if that matters) missed her first serve, and my partner let it go back to the curtain, where it lay out of the way. Before opponent could start her second serve, ball from neighboring court rolls slowly onto our court, near the net. Server's partner scooted up and rolled it back over to the adjacent court and took her position.

Server yells, "Do I get two serves?"

My partner yells back, "Why?"

Server points racket in direction of where ball had rolled in. My partner looked at me and I said she doesn't get a second serve just because a ball rolled onto the court between first and second, but go ahead if you want. My partner said to take two serves.

Here's what the Code says:

Delays during service. When the server’s second service motion is
interrupted by a ball coming onto the court, the server is entitled to two
serves. When there is a delay between the first and second serves:
• the server gets one serve if the server was the cause of the delay;
• the server gets two serves if the delay was caused by the
Receiver or if there was outside interference.
The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first
and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server
receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an
interruption. The receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently
prolonged to justify giving the server two serves.



If you were the server, do you request two serves in this situation? If you were the receiver, would you have given her two serves? Do any of the intangibles (importance of point, importance of match, strength of first serve) matter to you in deciding whether to give two serves?

Personally, I don't ask for a second serve because of a delay unless the delay is really ridiculous or the receiver caused it. If I think I should get a second serve, I will just stand there a second or two to see if the receiver will grant the second serve. If not, then I toss the ball as many times as it takes to make sure I won't DF.

Personally, I don't think it is really very good manners to ask for a second serve unless the delay is really egregious. Still, if asked I will usually give them a first serve just out of courtesy, in the hope they will do the same for me later.

raiden031
12-10-2009, 07:13 AM
Since the ball came from a neighboring court, I'd say that warrants two serves, even though the delay was minimal.

cak
12-10-2009, 07:16 AM
If someone has to move to retrieve the ball, I give them two serves, because I figure that's a delay.

I've never asked for two serves, but then again, in our area the above is pretty standard, so it doesn't come up much. I have had other's ask, and unless it was a delay because they hit their first serve out, I give it to them.

Nellie
12-10-2009, 07:22 AM
I am pretty generous - I think that if the server is delay, not through their own actions, I would give them a let. However, if the delay is by something weird that would not lead to a let during the point, I would not offer the let prior to the serve.

PimpMyGame
12-10-2009, 07:23 AM
I'd give two serves for that.

jrod
12-10-2009, 07:31 AM
The time it takes to clear a ball from the court that strayed from an adjacent court is no greater (on average) than the time it takes to clear one that say resulted from the errant first service bouncing off the back curtain and rolling into the court.

In the later case, the server is not entitled to 2 serves, so I maintain the server isn't entitled to 2 serves in either case. The only time 2 serves should be granted is if the adjacent court players do something additionally to further disrupt things.

Duane
12-10-2009, 08:07 AM
$ 500,000.00 in prize money, No let.

anything else, Give the let!

:)

kylebarendrick
12-10-2009, 08:13 AM
The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first
and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server
receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an
interruption. The receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently
prolonged to justify giving the server two serves.

Makes it pretty clear you do not need to grant two serves in that situation. It seems, though, that virtually everyone does so sticking to the letter of the law here tends to create arguments. I don't think granting a first serve is necessary, but I tend to do it anyway.

I don't make exceptions based on the situation (score, etc.) except that I am less likely to grant a first serve if the other players have been acting like jerks.

The server should never ask for a first serve unless the stray ball interupter their service motion (per the code). Your technique of waiting for a second or two for the receiver to offer it seems like a good way to handle it.

amarone
12-10-2009, 08:40 AM
I would give two serves. I never ask for two serves; I may pause and look at opponents to give them opportunity to offer, but if they do not, then so be it.

EP1998
12-10-2009, 09:01 AM
You definitely should give two serves if it is from outside interference (neighboring court) even if it takes the same amount of time as to housekeep your own ball. The fact that it comes from another court means two serves, period. It is just good manners.

kylebarendrick
12-10-2009, 10:52 AM
What does manners have to do with the fact that the server was not unreasonably delayed? They already missed one first serve, how about the fact the the receiver deserves to see a 2nd?

As I said above, I give first serves in that situation since that is clearly what people expect. But the code is pretty clear that it isn;t necessary.

Cindysphinx
12-10-2009, 10:59 AM
Yeah, what we're seeing here is Etiquette Creep.

The Code doesn't require something, so people say it is a matter of manner or etiquette. And before you know it, it becomes an entitlement and anyone who abides by the Code becomes the Bad Guy?

Like Kyle said, my opponent had missed her booming first serve. It felt to me like she was taking advantage of the situation (where there wasn't an unreasonable delay) to get a second bite at the apple.

woodrow1029
12-10-2009, 11:11 AM
If it's before the second service motion starts, second serve.

If it's during the motion, or it takes a very extended amount of time to clear the ball, first serve.

But as the code says, it's the receiver's decision in this case.

Lame_Backhand
12-10-2009, 12:00 PM
If a ball rolls on the court, if anyone has to move to get it, I give the server 2 serves. It does stink when a big server misses the big first serve and you are going to get a ball you can "hit", then you have to give 2 serves.......:shock:

kelkat
12-10-2009, 12:17 PM
I would give two serves. Personally, for me, it's not a matter of a delay but more a disruption/break in concentration.

EP1998
12-10-2009, 12:25 PM
What does manners have to do with the fact that the server was not unreasonably delayed? They already missed one first serve, how about the fact the the receiver deserves to see a 2nd?

As I said above, I give first serves in that situation since that is clearly what people expect. But the code is pretty clear that it isn;t necessary.

It's in the case of outside interference - someone else's ball rolls over. It may not take that much time to send it back over, but it is a delay that was not the fault of the server. Totally different from the server housekeeping their own ball.

kylebarendrick
12-10-2009, 01:46 PM
It's in the case of outside interference - someone else's ball rolls over. It may not take that much time to send it back over, but it is a delay that was not the fault of the server. Totally different from the server housekeeping their own ball.

I'll repeat the code again:
The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first
and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server
receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an
interruption.
This is the rule and it is written specifically for this case.

cak
12-10-2009, 02:03 PM
Server's partner scooted up and rolled it back over to the adjacent court and took her position.


The partner had to move. I'd call that prolonged enough to be considered an interruption and give her two serves.

dragon2o00
12-10-2009, 02:17 PM
Yeah, what we're seeing here is Etiquette Creep.

The Code doesn't require something, so people say it is a matter of manner or etiquette. And before you know it, it becomes an entitlement and anyone who abides by the Code becomes the Bad Guy?

Like Kyle said, my opponent had missed her booming first serve. It felt to me like she was taking advantage of the situation (where there wasn't an unreasonable delay) to get a second bite at the apple.

correct me if i'm wrong but it sounds like you're taking more of an issue here because the server has a bigger serve, as if the server had a smaller one, giving two serves isn't an issue.

the server should've gotten two serves. it may irk people when a server ASKS for two serves but the server should've gotten two.

EP1998
12-10-2009, 02:59 PM
I'll repeat the code again:

This is the rule and it is written specifically for this case.

ummm...if you're talking the code you're ignoring the part about two serves if it is outside interference. A ball rolling in is outside interference. If it rolls right to the person it may not take that long, but it is still not the server's fault. It also puts you off just a bit when something rolls on versus missing your own serve. Seems grounds to me and good sportsmanship to give the two serves.

The next part about the time delay refers more to the housekeeping issue.

Curious though if this happened to you and your opponent offered you two serves if you would refuse and say you only deserved one?

dlk
12-10-2009, 03:11 PM
Let me get this staight? If I serve and miss (no let) & I'm beginning to serve my second serve and a ball from another court rolls onto our court, I'm allowed (Basically a re-do of my first serve) a fresh service attempt. If this is what I understand you to be saying, this is the weakest panzy rule I've ever heard of. And if someone wanted to honor this rule, I would gladly let them have it, cause anyone who would enforce this is a freak.

onehandbh
12-10-2009, 03:35 PM
I usually just give them 2 serves if they ask or when in doubt.

btw, is it a let if you toss the ball up in the air and begin your
swing and then a seagull soars by and snatches the ball
in mid-air before you can hit it?

woodrow1029
12-10-2009, 04:22 PM
correct me if i'm wrong but it sounds like you're taking more of an issue here because the server has a bigger serve, as if the server had a smaller one, giving two serves isn't an issue.

the server should've gotten two serves. it may irk people when a server ASKS for two serves but the server should've gotten two.

No, the server should not have gotten 2 serves.

woodrow1029
12-10-2009, 04:23 PM
Let me get this staight? If I serve and miss (no let) & I'm beginning to serve my second serve and a ball from another court rolls onto our court, I'm allowed (Basically a re-do of my first serve) a fresh service attempt. If this is what I understand you to be saying, this is the weakest panzy rule I've ever heard of. And if someone wanted to honor this rule, I would gladly let them have it, cause anyone who would enforce this is a freak.

Are you serious? You don't consider it a hindrance if you have started your service motion and a ball comes in the court from another court?

forthegame
12-10-2009, 04:40 PM
She missed the first, why does she get two?

dlk
12-10-2009, 05:20 PM
She missed the first, why does she get two?

Exactly. Fine, Woodrow, (second serve) you're in service motion & a seagull grabs the ball, you get another chance w/second serve, but not another first serve. BTW, I'm not bothered by a ball entering my 'area' during service motion (I'm focused & don't think I'm Nadal or Fed in a GS:shock:).

Cindysphinx
12-10-2009, 05:34 PM
I'm surprised that there is even an issue here *given that the Code addresses this exact situation.*

We can talk about seagulls and outside interference all day, but the Code says that when a ball rolls onto the court from an adjacent court, that is not a case for a second serve.

NadalFan1990
12-10-2009, 06:00 PM
they didn't begin the serve motion, so I wouldn't give two.
if the ball came in the middle of the motion/toss, I would give two serves
or, if the ball came in the middle of the rally, I would give 2

jmnk
12-10-2009, 07:12 PM
Personally, I don't ask for a second serve because of a delay unless the delay is really ridiculous or the receiver caused it. If I think I should get a second serve, I will just stand there a second or two to see if the receiver will grant the second serve. If not, then I toss the ball as many times as it takes to make sure I won't DF.

Personally, I don't think it is really very good manners to ask for a second serve unless the delay is really egregious. Still, if asked I will usually give them a first serve just out of courtesy, in the hope they will do the same for me later.

To address the original question - I would give him/her two serves. Otherwise you are going to have an argument when/when not 'time is so prolonged as to constitute an interruption' next time it happens to you.

But my other question is related to the quote above. Somehow you feel it is not good manners for an opponent to ask for a second serve, but it is OK for you to toss the ball on purpose repeatedly to the point of almost DF. This logic escapes me..

jswinf
12-10-2009, 07:31 PM
I usually just give them 2 serves if they ask or when in doubt.

btw, is it a let if you toss the ball up in the air and begin your
swing and then a seagull soars by and snatches the ball
in mid-air before you can hit it?

How about if you complete that swing and propel both ball and seagull within the proper service box? Anyway, seems like pretty heavy lifting for a seagull.

tennisee
12-10-2009, 07:58 PM
Personally, I don't ask for a second serve because of a delay unless the delay is really ridiculous or the receiver caused it. If I think I should get a second serve, I will just stand there a second or two to see if the receiver will grant the second serve. If not, then I toss the ball as many times as it takes to make sure I won't DF.

Personally, I don't think it is really very good manners to ask for a second serve unless the delay is really egregious. Still, if asked I will usually give them a first serve just out of courtesy, in the hope they will do the same for me later.

I agree completely with this - I would not ask, thinking it bad manners, but neither would I refuse the request (especially if the server uses the word "egregious")

Cindy: "Hey, do I get two?"
Me: "Why's that?"
Cindy: "I feel the delay between first and second serve was egregious."
Me: "Have as many as you like."

On the other hand - I think "really egregious" borders on tautology, leading to the following:

Cindy: "Hey, do I get two?"
Me: "Why's that?"
Cindy: "I feel the delay between first and second serve was really egregious."
Me: "Sorry - tautology. Second serve."

HunterST
12-10-2009, 08:17 PM
Are you serious? You don't consider it a hindrance if you have started your service motion and a ball comes in the court from another court?

I think he means it's ridiculous that the server gets to redo their first serve even if the delay/incident occurs after you've already missed the 1st serve.

If any distraction occurs during a second serve i'd give them another 2nd serve every time, but why should they get to re-try their first serve also? Doesn't make much sense.

10sguy
12-10-2009, 08:59 PM
Folks, the rules/Code are clear. The judgement about whether or not to consider it a let (meaning "first serve" - start the point over) lies solely with the receiver(s). If the receivers are fair minded and understand how to apply the code then there's no problem. Frankly, a lot of the various code/rule interpretation problems which often occur (and which we see "discussed" here), arise because folks haven't bothered to read and digest/understand the rules of tennis. Yes, there will always be lazy people who'll complain that opponents are being "too picky," etc., when the oppponent simply understands the rules and wishes to adhere to them. Hey, I guess maybe you try your best to educate them and, failing that, don't play with them.

Ripper014
12-10-2009, 10:53 PM
Anytime there is a break in play (or a questionable line call), I will aways offer 2 serves unless we have had some sort of altercation earlier in the match. In which case I am a little less generous, but if a ball interrupts the flow of our match I will offer too start the point again from the beginning... (ie. first serve).

AlpineCadet
12-10-2009, 10:59 PM
If you could slaughter them, you wouldn't care about giving them two serves.

Ken Honecker
12-11-2009, 12:02 AM
I might give them a bonus serve if a mad dog ran on the court, chased them around the net a couple of times biting them on the heinie once or twice and causing me to bust a gut laughing, otherwise tough.

Cindysphinx
12-11-2009, 03:39 AM
But my other question is related to the quote above. Somehow you feel it is not good manners for an opponent to ask for a second serve, but it is OK for you to toss the ball on purpose repeatedly to the point of almost DF. This logic escapes me..

No, what I mean is I toss the ball as many times as it takes to make absolutely sure I am hitting a good toss and so won't DF. I don't do this to distract or bother my opponent or to make them feel guilty. It's just that if there is a delay between first and second serve, I can tighten up. Tossing the ball a few times will help me get that second serve in.

I think asking for a first serve when you are clearly not entitled to one under the Code is the same as asking to play a let when you are not entitled to it (e.g. you're not sure of your call). It strikes me as a little grabby. I think this thread shows the sense of entitlement to a first serve is more widespread than I thought!

Social match? Sure, whatever. You can have lets or first serves or long breaks or whatever. During a league match? Let's just follow The Code.

Cindysphinx
12-11-2009, 03:46 AM
Anytime there is a break in play (or a questionable line call), I will aways offer 2 serves unless we have had some sort of altercation earlier in the match. In which case I am a little less generous, but if a ball interrupts the flow of our match I will offer too start the point again from the beginning... (ie. first serve).

OK, I lost ya there.

Questionable line call? Meaning if someone isn't sure of a line call, you play a let and give two serves?

jmnk
12-11-2009, 05:20 AM
No, what I mean is I toss the ball as many times as it takes to make absolutely sure I am hitting a good toss and so won't DF. I don't do this to distract or bother my opponent or to make them feel guilty. It's just that if there is a delay between first and second serve, I can tighten up. Tossing the ball a few times will help me get that second serve in.

I think asking for a first serve when you are clearly not entitled to one under the Code is the same as asking to play a let when you are not entitled to it (e.g. you're not sure of your call). It strikes me as a little grabby. I think this thread shows the sense of entitlement to a first serve is more widespread than I thought!

Social match? Sure, whatever. You can have lets or first serves or long breaks or whatever. During a league match? Let's just follow The Code.
OK, I suppose I misread your statement. Fair enough, although from the wording it sure looked like you are doing 'the tossing' on purpose.
Regarding original question - since per code it is up to the receiver to decide if two serves are warranted you, as a receiver, would technically be OK never to grant to serves no matter what the delay is. It is up to you, per Code you have the right. You asked what others do and it looks like most interpret the rule such that if the delay, of any length, happened because of the balls from other courts strayed onto your code than it is two serves. I think this is more to --not-- have an argument - otherwise again, how would you ever decide what delay is acceptable? If the server/server's partner has to make two steps to get rid of the ball? Five steps? 3 seconds? There's no rule. In fact many times it may take --more-- time to get rid of the ball that went into the net on the first serve and you have to go and remove it from the center of the court vs. if a ball from other court rolls just to where you were standing when serving. Still, I have rarely, if ever, have server complain that he wants to reply the first serve because he needed to get rid of his netted ball.
Also read your own quote "It's just that if there is a delay between first and second serve, I can tighten up. Tossing the ball a few times will help me get that second serve in." You indicated right there you can tighten up due to the delay. For you it may be 4 seconds delay, for fast server it might be anything that does not allow him to serve second serve immediately.
But again - per rule it is your call.

Cindysphinx
12-11-2009, 06:04 AM
Yes, like many things in the Code, it is subjective.

Say a ball rolls onto the court from adjacent court. Server's partner picks it up when she could have just pushed it off to the side. She then tries to knock it over the net to the adjacent court, but she misses. She retrieves it again and this time she knocks it over.

First serve or second serve?

Technically, I would say second serve because the serving team caused the delay. Still, I'd probably give two serves because a lot of time would have passed. It it happened a second time in the same match, then I might not be so generous.

That said, many of us put way too much emphasis on the importance of a delay between first and second. I have one doubles partner who goes ape (and tends to DF) if there is any delay (say, because returner returned what she believed to be an "obvious fault"). This is entirely in her head. All of us should be able to hold it together and hit a good second serve even after a delay (perhaps by tossing the ball a bunch of times!).

larry10s
12-11-2009, 07:50 AM
Social match? Sure, whatever. You can have lets or first serves or long breaks or whatever. During a league match? Let's just follow The Code.
i agree. also i do think the server was trying to get a second chance to use her weapon.

kylebarendrick
12-11-2009, 08:13 AM
ummm...if you're talking the code you're ignoring the part about two serves if it is outside interference. A ball rolling in is outside interference. If it rolls right to the person it may not take that long, but it is still not the server's fault. It also puts you off just a bit when something rolls on versus missing your own serve. Seems grounds to me and good sportsmanship to give the two serves.

The next part about the time delay refers more to the housekeeping issue.

Curious though if this happened to you and your opponent offered you two serves if you would refuse and say you only deserved one?

1) No - the code in this case "The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server receiving two serves" is specifically referring to a ball the comes onto the court from outside. You can't claim that another "outside intereference" rule trumps this since that is the case this rule is referring to.
2) As I noted above, I generally grant two serves in this case since it starts arguments otherwise and it just isn't worth it.
3) When someone offers me a new first serve, and I don't believe it is warranted, I usually just say "thank you" and hit a second serve.
4) To me (based on the rules and not some other interpretation of manners) a delay from a ball rolling on that would deserve a first serve would be if either the server or their partner had to do more than take a few steps, pick up the ball, and send it back where it came from. This is based on the text in the code saying "the time it takes to clear a ball" and these are standard steps for clearing a ball.

I hate it when a ball rolls on, the server's partner picks it up, and then holds it for 30 seconds before sending back to the other court - clearly pimping to get a first serve for their partner. I'll let them get away with it once.

I do find it interesting, though, that so many people tend to err on the side of giving a server an unwarranted do-over rather than on the side of the receiver who (a) the code says gets to make the decision, and (b) deserves to receive a 2nd serve since the server missed the first one.

jswinf
12-11-2009, 08:32 AM
[QUOTE=kylebarendrick;4188760]1) 3) When someone offers me a new first serve, and I don't believe it is warranted, I usually just say "thank you" and hit a second serve.

What do you do if you fault on that serve?

kylebarendrick
12-11-2009, 08:59 AM
Take another - but that rarely happens

jswinf
12-11-2009, 09:47 AM
That's what I'd do.

I'm generally inclined to offer a let with any kind of interruption to the server's rhythm, though I seldom play in really competitive situations. I trespass in this section of TT because it's so interesting.

A few ball-on-the-court situations get my goat:

1. Opponent serving in doubles loves to stand way wide in the deuce court and slice way wide toward the alley. Several times over the course of 3 sets he misses wide by a couple feet or more so the ball hops the low court-separating fence and is in another court. No let for him.

2. Kind of a public-court thing, people on the next court don't seem to know that they should give you your ball back if it finds it way to their court, or don't seem to notice it, so it takes quite a while with pleading and cajoling.

3. Players on next court have a ball roll onto your court, maybe a first serve off the tape, but by the time you pick it up they've started a point and can't be bothered to ackowledge their errant ball, so you just stand there like a frozen moose while they play a brilliant 30-shot rally.

Ripper014
12-11-2009, 09:57 AM
OK, I lost ya there.

Questionable line call? Meaning if someone isn't sure of a line call, you play a let and give two serves?


It has happened to me occassionally... when an opponent calls a ball out and then corrects himself. He will offer to replay the point... and I am ok with that. In my case if it were to happen I would surrender the point to my opponent since it was my mistake. But it is seldom a match turns on a single point (unless it is the last one), and as competitive as a match is I am still able to see that tennis at our level is still a game. Not a matter of life and death... hmm... let me correct myself... it is not even a matter of life and death at any level... SERENA..???

I guess my point is that I would offer up the first serve before my opponent would even ask for it... I have played with many that have accepted my generosity and many that have not. It plays to the character of the player... if it indeed bothered the rhythm of the player I would hope he/she would take the first serve... if not I would hope he/she would decline it.

OrangePower
12-11-2009, 10:46 AM
A minor interruption between first and second serve does not warrant a let, even if the interruption came from an adjacent court. So the server does not get another first serve.

If I was serving I would expect a let under one of the following conditions only:

1. The interruption was significant enough to cause a disruption of focus AND was not of my own (or partner's) doing. An example would be if my opponent took 3 mins to return a ball from another court.

2. The interruption occured after I had started my actual service motion, for example as my ball-toss was in the air.

Having said that: Even though I would not offer a let after a minor interruption, if the opponent specifically asked for a let, I would agree. Because life is too short to stress out over something so minor during a game.

jmnk
12-12-2009, 12:19 PM
A minor interruption between first and second serve does not warrant a let, even if the interruption came from an adjacent court. So the server does not get another first serve.

If I was serving I would expect a let under one of the following conditions only:

1. The interruption was significant enough to cause a disruption of focus AND was not of my own (or partner's) doing. An example would be if my opponent took 3 mins to return a ball from another court.

2. The interruption occured after I had started my actual service motion, for example as my ball-toss was in the air.

Having said that: Even though I would not offer a let after a minor interruption, if the opponent specifically asked for a let, I would agree. Because life is too short to stress out over something so minor during a game.
but who decides what 'minor' versus 'major' interruption is? Per code it is the receiver - so it is going to be sometimes you, sometimes the opponent. You could obviously have a different view on what 'major' is. So rather than having different rules/cases depending on who serves I would rather agree both sides gets two servers any time any non-your ball comes onto the court. It happens maybe 5 times per match, if that (meaning ball oncoming between serves).
Also, the same issue is going to arise when you have oncoming ball during a point. Sometimes a let is pretty clear, sometimes not; like a ball is rolling slowly toward your court, you see it, it may/may not make it to your court, you have an advantageous position in the point - yet an opponent claims the let.
My point is that to me the consistency is a more important issue than when to grant first serve. So to do it any time is a better solution than leaving the interpretation to the receiver (meaning the interpretation changes depending on which side serves).
Also I think you may want to use watch next time. Do you know how long 3 minutes is during a tennis match? You would be crazy --not-- to grant/expect two serves for interruption that is as few as 15-20 seconds

OrangePower
12-12-2009, 12:31 PM
but who decides what 'minor' versus 'major' interruption is? Per code it is the receiver - so it is going to be sometimes you, sometimes the opponent. You could obviously have a different view on what 'major' is. So rather than having different rules/cases depending on who serves I would rather agree both sides gets two servers any time any non-your ball comes onto the court. It happens maybe 5 times per match, if that (meaning ball oncoming between serves).

You have a point regarding interpretation of 'major', that's why I said that if the opponent specifically asked for two serves then I would not argue about it, even though it's 'officially' my call. But I would not ask for a let for myself unless it was really obvious.

Also, the same issue is going to arise when you have oncoming ball during a point. Sometimes a let is pretty clear, sometimes not; like a ball is rolling slowly toward your court, you see it, it may/may not make it to your court, you have an advantageous position in the point - yet an opponent claims the let.

Here I don't think that it's the same issue. In the case of interruption between serves, the server had already missed the first serve, and so was in the position of having to make a second serve already, even without the interruption. And there is no issue of safety.

Whereas with a ball potentially coming onto the court while a point is in play, there is no argument - it's a let. It's a matter of safetly, which must always be the primary concern. I would always want my opponent call the let even if I have the advantage. How does my opponent know that I noticed the ball? Imagine my opponent does not call the let because he thinks it's unfair to me or that I see the ball, but in fact I don't see the ball, it comes onto the court, I step on it and break an ankle. How are we both going to feel then? And also, advantage in a point is not always clear at most levels - for example I am as likely to make an error off an easy sitter as put it away :-)

Cindysphinx
12-12-2009, 04:20 PM
You could just as easily have a rule that says you don't get a second serve unless your actual service motion is interrupted. That would be objective.

Then everyone would be on notice that you'd better find a way to deal with delays between first and second serves.

I wonder why the Code wasn't written that way. There's less potential for conflict and conflicting interpretations.

Solat
12-13-2009, 06:10 AM
i didn't read the 3 pages thru but I know they actually changed this rule last year here in our comps that there is no awarding of a first serve if a ball comes on court between serves. I think ours has a clause for major interruptions but otherwise no.

In the end its gotta be the receiver who decides, I mean no server is going to turn down a 2nd crack at a 1st serve

tennisee
12-13-2009, 11:52 AM
I mean no server is going to turn down a 2nd crack at a 1st serve

Because of this thread I paid attention to what people did during my comp on Saturday. These are grass courts, and this particular club is a bit unusual because low stone retaining walls at the back of some courts cause the balls to bounce around a bit more than normal.

Anyway - I did not see anyone ASK for a let. Lets were usually offered if a ball (or player running for a wide ball) came over from from an adjacent court in betwen serves. I saw two offers of a let declined because the server did not feel it was warranted for such a minor interruption.

Cindysphinx
12-13-2009, 05:09 PM
I don't think I would turn down the offer of a first service. Why?

Because if I had declined the offer and then missed the second serve, I would feel like a complete and total idiot.

I do remember once when the receiver offered me two serves, and I didn't think it was warranted. Social match. Before I served, I jokingly yelled I would make sure the first one was a fault. For yuks, I tossed the ball and tried to kill it. It was an ace up the middle to the ad court.

Oops.

Taxvictim
12-14-2009, 07:50 AM
I wonder why the Code wasn't written that way.

That's the real question, and therein probably lies the way to think about the answer. Why is there any rule about a let at all? Why not just give two serves only, regardless of any delay?

My opinion is that it relates to muscle memory. You take a first serve, and if you miss it, you have an idea about how to adjust your swing, feet, ball toss, etc. for the next serve. If you get interrupted or delayed (through no fault of your own or your partner's), you have lost that muscle memory, and your chances of double faulting are worse. If the server is the person who has to move his feet to clear an outside ball, no matter how quick it is, I always give two serves, because I think the rules and the Code expect a server to get one shot, then a legitimate chance to make adjustments before the second serve.

This same idea applies to the server's partner. His job is to clear first missed serves quickly, hold the extra ball, and do everything he can to let the server concentrate and think only about his serves.

It's the same as throwing darts. You usually throw three in a row, making tiny adjustments to your second and third tosses as you go. If you had to move around and take delays in between tosses, your darts score would be much worse.

We're pretty generous at our club about giving first serves. I have never asked for a first serve, however, and I have sometimes declined it when the other team offered it due to delay caused by me or my partner.

One time while playing another team, the other team's captain came through the gate on our court while my partner was between serves. The capt. took his sweet time re-latching the gate and walking off our court. My partner turned to the other team and said, "Where are we, fellas?" They said, "Thirty all, second serve." My partner said, "No class", then served.

kylebarendrick
12-14-2009, 10:10 PM
I remain amazed that even though the rules specifically state that the delay caused by a ball rolling onto the court between serves is not a sufficient delay to warrant a first serve, people somehow manage to believe that the intent of the rules is to award a first serve in that situation.

Explains a lot actually...

OrangePower
12-14-2009, 10:19 PM
That's the real question, and therein probably lies the way to think about the answer. Why is there any rule about a let at all? Why not just give two serves only, regardless of any delay?

My opinion is that it relates to muscle memory. You take a first serve, and if you miss it, you have an idea about how to adjust your swing, feet, ball toss, etc. for the next serve. If you get interrupted or delayed (through no fault of your own or your partner's), you have lost that muscle memory, and your chances of double faulting are worse. If the server is the person who has to move his feet to clear an outside ball, no matter how quick it is, I always give two serves, because I think the rules and the Code expect a server to get one shot, then a legitimate chance to make adjustments before the second serve.

This same idea applies to the server's partner. His job is to clear first missed serves quickly, hold the extra ball, and do everything he can to let the server concentrate and think only about his serves.

It's the same as throwing darts. You usually throw three in a row, making tiny adjustments to your second and third tosses as you go. If you had to move around and take delays in between tosses, your darts score would be much worse.

We're pretty generous at our club about giving first serves. I have never asked for a first serve, however, and I have sometimes declined it when the other team offered it due to delay caused by me or my partner.

One time while playing another team, the other team's captain came through the gate on our court while my partner was between serves. The capt. took his sweet time re-latching the gate and walking off our court. My partner turned to the other team and said, "Where are we, fellas?" They said, "Thirty all, second serve." My partner said, "No class", then served.

Good theory, but I don't buy it. Because what about singles, where you don't have a partner to clear netted first serves? Basically, you have to get your serve to the point where you can just walk up to the line and make your second serve without the benefit of a 'practice swing' a.k.a first serve. Otherwise you will be double-faulting all over the place in singles.

Taxvictim
12-15-2009, 04:47 AM
Good theory, but I don't buy it. Because what about singles, where you don't have a partner to clear netted first serves? Basically, you have to get your serve to the point where you can just walk up to the line and make your second serve without the benefit of a 'practice swing' a.k.a first serve. Otherwise you will be double-faulting all over the place in singles.

The pros have ball boys for this. Many first faults in singles don't necessarily require clearing by server (long, wide, or the ball stays at the net). For a ball the server does have to clear, the chance of a double fault is higher. In those cases, I end up hitting a much softer second serve, just to make sure it gets in. If I can hit my second serve almost immediately after my first serve, however, it's about 80% of first serve power.

When my wife was still a beginner, we'd play games where I only got one serve. That was a good way to learn to hit second serves right out of the box.

Taxvictim
12-15-2009, 04:51 AM
I remain amazed that even though the rules specifically state that the delay caused by a ball rolling onto the court between serves is not a sufficient delay to warrant a first serve, people somehow manage to believe that the intent of the rules is to award a first serve in that situation.

You're right. It's a tough situation because, at our club, the etiquette has evolved to the point where you are expected to give two serves if the server has to clear a ball. If I didn't do that, and pulled out my copy of the Code after the match to explain why, it wouldn't get me much more than glares and a lonely table in the club bar afterward. But, I'm going to bring it up with the gang tonight after World Team.

I guess it's like foot faults. There's a rule against foot faults, but no one ever calls them, even when they're pretty blatant.

Cindysphinx
12-15-2009, 06:39 AM
I think people make too much of the delay between first and second.

All you have to do is play some practice matches where you only get a second serve. That will get you into the habit of making second serves regardless of what happened with your first serve.

I'm with Kyle. I can understand people believing etiquette requires a first serve blah blah blah. But even when confronted by the clear language of the Code, they don't change their position. Very surprising, that.

kylebarendrick
12-15-2009, 08:23 AM
You're right. It's a tough situation because, at our club, the etiquette has evolved to the point where you are expected to give two serves if the server has to clear a ball. If I didn't do that, and pulled out my copy of the Code after the match to explain why, it wouldn't get me much more than glares and a lonely table in the club bar afterward. But, I'm going to bring it up with the gang tonight after World Team.

I agree with you, which is why I generally go ahead and give people a first serve. It isn't worth arguing about.

My best example was in a doubles match. The server missed his first serve and, before he was even in position for the second, a ball rolled straight to his partner. The partner quickly tossed it back to the other court and the server proceeded to ask for a first serve. As this was the shortest possible delay (which didn't even delay him) my response was like Cindy's: "Why?". He proceeded to double fault and the match was unpleasant from there. When we discussed it later he didn't care what the Code said - only that at their club they always give first serves.

It does vary by club though. Some clubs routinely award first serves for anything: ball rolls on, bird flies overhead, someone sneezed in the clubhouse, etc. Others (golden gate park in SF is a good example) have so many balls bouncing around that you'd never complete a match if you kept awarding first serves.

ttbrowne
12-16-2009, 05:38 AM
No, No second serve. Even when our friendly group is playing, there's no second serve. We even turn down second serve offers.

But if you want to do it.. don't do it because you think you're gonna get a break from the other team.

tennytive
12-16-2009, 07:24 AM
I'm the first to offer the other guy 2 for any reason. My partner didn't like it too much when I recently gave 2 and got handcuffed with a service winner to go down 5-3. But we came back to win the set 7-5, so it all worked out.

If the guy keeps hassling you, you might try suggesting if he got his first serve IN, he wouldn't *have* to ask you for 2.

Steady Eddy
12-17-2009, 08:31 AM
In friendly matches I like to see most points played vs seeing double faults. It also helps if most players make a reasonable effort to get their first serves in play. I often offer two serves to my opponent if there's an interruption. I don't think I've ever refused a request to start a point over.

Peggy
12-23-2009, 01:51 PM
I agree - if you are questioning because of the strength of serve you must have at least entertained giving them first serve but secretly didn't want to so you could have a better chance to return the serve. I usually try to give the most beneficial call possible hoping that my lead will be followed and overall we'll have a more accurate, giving the benefit of the doubt, etc. match possible. I generally won't ask but sometimes people do not know the rules so if there was a delay I'll ask. One person's short delay is another person's long delay.

Ripper014
12-23-2009, 01:56 PM
I agree - if you are questioning because of the strength of serve you must have at least entertained giving them first serve but secretly didn't want to so you could have a better chance to return the serve. I usually try to give the most beneficial call possible hoping that my lead will be followed and overall we'll have a more accurate, giving the benefit of the doubt, etc. match possible. I generally won't ask but sometimes people do not know the rules so if there was a delay I'll ask. One person's short delay is another person's long delay.

I could not agree more... if offered a first serve I would only take it if I felt it interferred with my first serve. Otherwise I would thank them and tell them it was ok... and that I would just play out the point.

Peggy
12-23-2009, 05:00 PM
I could not agree more... if offered a first serve I would only take it if I felt it interferred with my first serve. Otherwise I would thank them and tell them it was ok... and that I would just play out the point.
Hi Ripper 014 - Thanks for the little quote at the end "Doing whatever it takes to win . . . does not make you a winner." I couldn't agree more. Frankly I want my opponents to play out of their mind because the better my opponent plays the better I play and improve too. Winning on any certain day is not the goal for me - getting a good workout and having fun is. I think Sampras did his amazing run by working on improving over winning too. What a great sport this is.

Ripper014
12-23-2009, 05:06 PM
Hi Ripper 014 - Thanks for the little quote at the end "Doing whatever it takes to win . . . does not make you a winner." I couldn't agree more. Frankly I want my opponents to play out of their mind because the better my opponent plays the better I play and improve too. Winning on any certain day is not the goal for me - getting a good workout and having fun is. I think Sampras did his amazing run by working on improving over winning too. What a great sport this is.


The little quote is my signature... you can put something on your profile as well. You can find it in your UserCP (control panel).

woodrow1029
12-23-2009, 05:56 PM
Peggy, when were you an official? Did you work pro tennis, or just amateur?

Peggy
12-23-2009, 07:02 PM
Peggy, when were you an official? Did you work pro tennis, or just amateur?
I just worked as an official for a short time at USTA tournaments and playoffs in Denver. I moved to Washington state and have since decided to quit USTA completely and am only playing now for fun and exercise. It's a blast.

Ken Honecker
12-24-2009, 03:11 AM
Welcome to the hotbed of tennis that is Washington State. Our 3.5's are everyone else's 5.5's LOL

woodrow1029
12-24-2009, 07:41 AM
I just worked as an official for a short time at USTA tournaments and playoffs in Denver. I moved to Washington state and have since decided to quit USTA completely and am only playing now for fun and exercise. It's a blast.
Oh ok. I was wondering if I had met you before. Doesn't seem like it though. I am an ITF silver badge chair umpire, and been officiating since '97.

Peggy
12-24-2009, 10:29 AM
Oh ok. I was wondering if I had met you before. Doesn't seem like it though. I am an ITF silver badge chair umpire, and been officiating since '97.
I would have stayed with it if I had stayed in Colorado but have become very disillusioned with USTA here in the PNW so now am just playing for fun. I'm hitting more with a hitting partner and playing casual singles and improving my tennis and my fitness and my enjoyment of the sport. Last spring and early summer I almost quit the sport entirely. Merry Christmas. Keep up the good work and maybe we'll see you on TV?

tennisee
02-07-2010, 12:26 PM
After posting on here earlier saying how everyone at my match was giving two serves at the drop of a hat, I have just had the exact opposite experience.

Same courts, different team - young guys though, good sports, but they would NOT offer a let.

I even had a ball roll between my feet while I was getting ready for the second serve. I stop, asertain its origin, return it - no let offered.

First time I found it a little annoying, only a tiny bit - but it was good, because I thought "no way am I giving you guys a free point with a double fault as a result of this" and did not.

Once I knew what to expect it was fine; almost like there is NO let offered EVER. I enjoyed the extra challenge of staying focussed.

I'm serving at match point and the social players on the court next to me have drifted really close to my sidelines and start a loud discussion in between serves. I say, "excuse me guys, I'm serving on match point, would you mind keeping it down?"

It was quite comical - they said "Oh, sorry. Were we distracting you? Would you like a let?" To which I had to rather mournfully reply "Well yes, you did, and I would actually, but I'm afraid it's not really up to you to offer a let - the guys down the other end need to ." Thos guys, of course, are in the ready position and silent as the grave.

After that I no longer expect a let for anything really; It's one less distraction thinking "why wasn't I offerd a let?" One can concentrate more fully on the next serve. I think this should make me a better player in the long run.

amarone
02-07-2010, 02:26 PM
Same courts, different team - young guys though, good sports, but they would NOT offer a let. I have watached a lot of junior tournament tennis and have never seen a let offered for a disruption between serves. I suspect that they don't know the rule/guideline.

blakesq
02-08-2010, 06:54 AM
If I am about to start my second serve, and the opponents, or my partner, are putzing around to retrieve a ball and send back over to another court, causing me to delay my second serve, I usually have no problem asking for a first serve.

Matt H.
02-10-2010, 11:41 AM
unless the delay is caused by the server, i'll usually give 2 serves to any distraction that lasts longer than 5 seconds.