Broke a string stopping an "out" serve - do I get to change racquets?
Edit - maybe I should have made the title "Broke a string stopping an "out" serve - do I get to change racquets and restart the point?"
This happened to me today. The server's first serve was long, I called it out and put put a racquet on it to stop it, and broke a string. (odd bounce from a grass court - ball hit near the top of the frame)
I was surprised by the noise, looked and saw my string broken. Before I'd thought about it I'd said, "do you mind if I get a new racquet?" Changed it, returned the first ball and offered the guy a first serve.
Then as I was about to receive I thought, "am I allowed to do that, or do I have to play the point out with the broken string as it it happened within a point?"
I asked my opponent who looked at me as if I was a bit deranged and said "of course you can."
I figured there was no need to hold up proceedings further and went with it, but I looked it up tonight and could not find an answer; I found a reference to the Server breaking a string, but not the receiver.
USTA Comment 23.2: What happens when there is a delay between
the first and second serves? If the delay is caused by the receiver
(such as a broken string or contact lens problem), an official,
or outside interference, the whole point is replayed. If the server
caused the delay, such as when the server breaks a string, the server
gets one serve. Note that a spectator’s call (“out,” “fault,” or other), a
spectator’s ringing cell phone, or grunting on an adjacent court is not
basis for replaying the point. Action should be taken to prevent further
So this seems to indicate that if the server breaks a string he can change racquets before continuing, but I'm not sure about the receiver...
Last edited by tennisee : 11-10-2012 at 12:59 PM.