When will you give your opponent two serves?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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:


    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.
     
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  2. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Since the ball came from a neighboring court, I'd say that warrants two serves, even though the delay was minimal.
     
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  3. cak

    cak Professional

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    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.
     
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  4. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  5. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    I'd give two serves for that.
     
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  6. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  7. Duane

    Duane New User

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    $ 500,000.00 in prize money, No let.

    anything else, Give the let!

    :)
     
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  8. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    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.
     
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  9. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  10. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  11. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    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.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  13. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    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.
     
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  14. Lame_Backhand

    Lame_Backhand New User

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    giv'em two

    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:
     
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  15. kelkat

    kelkat Rookie

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    I would give two serves. Personally, for me, it's not a matter of a delay but more a disruption/break in concentration.
     
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  16. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  17. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I'll repeat the code again:
    This is the rule and it is written specifically for this case.
     
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  18. cak

    cak Professional

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    The partner had to move. I'd call that prolonged enough to be considered an interruption and give her two serves.
     
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  19. dragon2o00

    dragon2o00 New User

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    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.
     
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  20. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    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?
     
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  21. dlk

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    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.
     
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  22. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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?
     
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  23. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    No, the server should not have gotten 2 serves.
     
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  24. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    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?
     
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  25. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

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    She missed the first, why does she get two?
     
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  26. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    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:).
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  28. NadalFan1990

    NadalFan1990 Guest

    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
     
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  29. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    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..
     
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  30. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    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.
     
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  31. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

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    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."
     
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  32. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  33. 10sguy

    10sguy Rookie

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    Why Do People Want to Bend the Rules??

    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.
     
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  34. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    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).
     
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  35. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    If you could slaughter them, you wouldn't care about giving them two serves.
     
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  36. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    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.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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?
     
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  39. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    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.
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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!).
     
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  41. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    i agree. also i do think the server was trying to get a second chance to use her weapon.
     
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  42. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    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.
     
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  43. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    #43
  44. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Take another - but that rarely happens
     
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  45. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    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.
     
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  46. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
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  47. OrangePower

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    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.
     
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  48. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
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  49. OrangePower

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    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.

    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 :)
     
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  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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