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bhaskart
05-19-2006, 10:35 AM
Hi all

I have a rules question...
I was playing doubles yesterday and my partner was having trouble with his serves. He hit 2 doubles in a row and I could see he was a little tight. I was going to suggest that he loosen up a little by hitting a couple of serves into the back fence (our side) before he steps up to serve the next point but then I wasn't sure if that would be ok by the rules. I wasn't intending that he spend several minutes doing this but within the time bounds of a normal pause between points. I know several of us smack balls into the net or the fence when we get frustrated - I'd think that hitting serves into the back fence would fall under the same category and be ok by the rules (as long as it doesn't pose a danger to anyone on court).
Whatz the verdict?

Ripper
05-19-2006, 10:46 AM
Hi all

I have a rules question...
I was playing doubles yesterday and my partner was having trouble with his serves. He hit 2 doubles in a row and I could see he was a little tight. I was going to suggest that he loosen up a little by hitting a couple of serves into the back fence (our side) before he steps up to serve the next point but then I wasn't sure if that would be ok by the rules. I wasn't intending that he spend several minutes doing this but within the time bounds of a normal pause between points. I know several of us smack balls into the net or the fence when we get frustrated - I'd think that hitting serves into the back fence would fall under the same category and be ok by the rules (as long as it doesn't pose a danger to anyone on court).
Whatz the verdict?

I've done that. Don't know if it's legal, but I've practiced serves against the fence, just before serving. However, I've only done it when my opponent is taking his time, drinking water, drying himself with his towel or whatever... Never when my opponent is waiting for me to serve.

tennis-n-sc
05-19-2006, 10:56 AM
You'd never get away with it in an officiated match. Once the match begins, warm-up is over. Practice is before you take the court for the warm-up.

kevhen
05-19-2006, 12:31 PM
Not sure if it's legal and not sure if it would help him any. I was in a mixed doubles match a few weeks back where the woman rated 4.5 and a decent player served 8 faults in a row. That was the only time she got upset in the match after doublefaulting an entire game away. I don't think I have even seen any 3.0 players do that!

Ripper
05-19-2006, 12:41 PM
Not sure if it's legal and not sure if it would help him any. I was in a mixed doubles match a few weeks back where the woman rated 4.5 and a decent player served 8 faults in a row. That was the only time she got upset in the match after doublefaulting an entire game away. I don't think I have even seen any 3.0 players do that!

Well, I've found it helpful for loosening up the swing motion more than anything and, as I said, I've just done it when my opponent is really taking his time in getting ready to recieve my serve... well and when I'm feeling kind of tight regarding my serving motion. The funny thing is that, as soon as an opponent sees you doing this, he hurries up like hell. It's like nooo, can't let him loosen up :)

kevhen
05-19-2006, 12:45 PM
Couldn't you just practice the swing motion without hitting a ball? Otherwise your opponent could claim those shots into the fence were your actual serve. I don't think you are allowed to practice with the ball once the match is in progress.

Ripper
05-19-2006, 12:49 PM
Couldn't you just practice the swing motion without hitting a ball? Otherwise your opponent could claim those shots into the fence were your actual serve. I don't think you are allowed to practice with the ball once the match is in progress.

Maybe, but it feels better when you actually do it with the ball. Yeah, I probably shouldn't be doing that.

bhaskart
05-19-2006, 01:30 PM
Couldn't you just practice the swing motion without hitting a ball? Otherwise your opponent could claim those shots into the fence were your actual serve. I don't think you are allowed to practice with the ball once the match is in progress.

This is exactly why I'm asking the question. It's not uncommong for people to take a ball after the point is clearly over and just whack it into the net/fence frustration. I would yell "fault" in that situation (nor would a referee I think).
However, my question is, if I did the same thing except with a serve motion (just a few quick swings), while people can object, am I violating a rule? I want to be prepared and know if I'm protected by the rules.

papa
05-19-2006, 01:54 PM
As long as you did it within the time constraints imposed by the rules between serves and didn't serve to the other side, I don't think anyone could/would complain. However, it is a rather strange question and I don't think it would be of much benifit to the server. I mean, what would you accomplish by serving a few balls into the back fence other than officially notifying the world that you have completely lost confidence in your serve?

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 06:39 PM
You'd never get away with it in an officiated match. Once the match begins, warm-up is over. Practice is before you take the court for the warm-up.

We agree! How about that. :rolleyes:

tennis-n-sc
05-20-2006, 03:53 PM
We agree! How about that. :rolleyes:

What is the world coming to?:D Actually, I agree with a most things you post and always read your tips and advice on the methods of tennis. Very enlightening!:)

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 10:24 AM
Very enlightening!:)

And sometimes frightening! :p

bhaskart
05-22-2006, 09:42 AM
As long as you did it within the time constraints imposed by the rules between serves and didn't serve to the other side, I don't think anyone could/would complain. However, it is a rather strange question and I don't think it would be of much benifit to the server. I mean, what would you accomplish by serving a few balls into the back fence other than officially notifying the world that you have completely lost confidence in your serve?

Yes - it was a strange question (which is why I asked here).
2 double faults in a row pretty much notifies everyone that you don't have confidence in your serve...so hitting a couple into the back fence isn't going to change things too much. However, I feel like it could help loosen up your arm (and brain) a bit. Worst case, you'd hit another double fault (which you might do anyways)...so I was just exploring ways to snap out of it.
There are plenty of other ways to recover from 2 doubles in a row - I was just trying to see if this would be another option.

Thanks for the responses everyone - it seems like there is no clear answer. If officials are present it seems like this is not a good idea but it might be worth a shot otherwise.

simi
05-22-2006, 10:03 AM
Well, I've found it helpful for loosening up the swing motion more than anything and, as I said, I've just done it when my opponent is really taking his time in getting ready to recieve my serve... well and when I'm feeling kind of tight regarding my serving motion. The funny thing is that, as soon as an opponent sees you doing this, he hurries up like hell. It's like nooo, can't let him loosen up :)

That's a good one! I'll remember it next time my opponents are taking too much time on changeovers.

On serving into the back fence, I would think that one would exceed the time limit, just because it takes time to retreive the balls once you "serve" into the fence.

papa
05-22-2006, 05:45 PM
Yes - it was a strange question (which is why I asked here).
2 double faults in a row pretty much notifies everyone that you don't have confidence in your serve...so hitting a couple into the back fence isn't going to change things too much. However, I feel like it could help loosen up your arm (and brain) a bit. Worst case, you'd hit another double fault (which you might do anyways)...so I was just exploring ways to snap out of it.
There are plenty of other ways to recover from 2 doubles in a row - I was just trying to see if this would be another option.

Thanks for the responses everyone - it seems like there is no clear answer. If officials are present it seems like this is not a good idea but it might be worth a shot otherwise.

I think the best way to "recover" is to just serve two "second" serves untill you get back on track.

matchpoint
05-23-2006, 11:07 AM
Hi all

I have a rules question...
I was playing doubles yesterday and my partner was having trouble with his serves. He hit 2 doubles in a row and I could see he was a little tight. I was going to suggest that he loosen up a little by hitting a couple of serves into the back fence (our side) before he steps up to serve the next point but then I wasn't sure if that would be ok by the rules. I wasn't intending that he spend several minutes doing this but within the time bounds of a normal pause between points. I know several of us smack balls into the net or the fence when we get frustrated - I'd think that hitting serves into the back fence would fall under the same category and be ok by the rules (as long as it doesn't pose a danger to anyone on court).
Whatz the verdict?

1. It is called delaying the game even if it is within the time limit, practice time is up.

2. It just looks realllly cheap.

3. Your opponent might suggest would you like a tennis clinic with that?

kevhen
05-23-2006, 11:36 AM
What if your serve is so bad that you hit it over the fence and then do use up to much time retrieving it? Practice without hit the ball and then hit your second serve until it starts going in.

matchpoint
05-23-2006, 11:41 AM
What if your serve is so bad that you hit it over the fence and then do use up to much time retrieving it? Practice without hit the ball and then hit your second serve until it starts going in.

I am not going to argue with that, you are comparing a very rational situation to another. I maintain practice time is up, I'd rather be inconsistent than look cheap.

papa
05-23-2006, 02:36 PM
1. It is called delaying the game even if it is within the time limit, practice time is up.

2. It just looks realllly cheap.

3. Your opponent might suggest would you like a tennis clinic with that?

Well, I don't think it would be delaying the game if it was within the time limits. As far as I know there is nothing that specifically states what one can or can not do during this time period. However, I agree with your premise regarding this particular discussion.

Just consider what some of the pros are doing (realizing it isn't practice serving into the back fence) these days so why would wacking a couple of balls into the back fence be a problem. Yes, I know what the rules say but if we're to "overlook" serious grunting problems along with toweling off, excessive injury time outs, etc., whats the big deal with this situation?

matchpoint
05-23-2006, 03:28 PM
Well, I don't think it would be delaying the game if it was within the time limits. As far as I know there is nothing that specifically states what one can or can not do during this time period. However, I agree with your premise regarding this particular discussion.

Just consider what some of the pros are doing (realizing it isn't practice serving into the back fence) these days so why would wacking a couple of balls into the back fence be a problem. Yes, I know what the rules say but if we're to "overlook" serious grunting problems along with toweling off, excessive injury time outs, etc., whats the big deal with this situation?

Hmmn, now thinking about this situation again I realized that it is a violation. The violation is not delaying the game, it is a fault or a double fault because technically you executed a serve, you tossed the ball, you swung on the ball, you hit it but it did not land in the service line. The rule book does not specify that you can have practice serves between games. I'll call it a FAULT!!!

Geez, If I am the returner I'll just yell "OK PARDNER, I'LL GIVE YOU 15 MORE MINUTES TO PRACTICE YOUR SERVE, WAKE ME UP WHEN YOU'RE READY!!!"

papa
05-24-2006, 05:09 AM
Hmmn, now thinking about this situation again I realized that it is a violation. The violation is not delaying the game, it is a fault or a double fault because technically you executed a serve, you tossed the ball, you swung on the ball, you hit it but it did not land in the service line. The rule book does not specify that you can have practice serves between games. I'll call it a FAULT!!!

Geez, If I am the returner I'll just yell "OK PARDNER, I'LL GIVE YOU 15 MORE MINUTES TO PRACTICE YOUR SERVE, WAKE ME UP WHEN YOU'RE READY!!!"

Interesting - you brought up some things that would make me think a little more about this. I surpose it technically could be considered a serve if the opponent is set/ready. Ball doesn't have to cross the net to be considered a serve - just hit. I like your approach to this because I was thinking more along the line of "delaying" rather than this line of thinking.