Bringing back a ball toss on serve should be a fault

#1
Okay, I've heard folks like Brad Gilbert discuss this - never gave it much thought until I was watching the NY Open final with Reilly Opelka serving on match point. He tossed the ball up and got a read on where his opponent was guessing. He hauled the serve back in. Next toss, ace in the opposite corner. With serves getting bigger and bigger, I'm coming around to the notion that this should be a fault. Thoughts?
 

FRV

Semi-Pro
#2
I think it's fine as is. If you think the opponent is using it to get a read, you can just guess to the opposite direction on the next toss. If everyone starts doing this, then maybe you have a point. Tennis would become very annoying to watch.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#5
Okay, I've heard folks like Brad Gilbert discuss this - never gave it much thought until I was watching the NY Open final with Reilly Opelka serving on match point. He tossed the ball up and got a read on where his opponent was guessing. He hauled the serve back in. Next toss, ace in the opposite corner. With serves getting bigger and bigger, I'm coming around to the notion that this should be a fault. Thoughts?
How do other sports compare which have a toss before the serve:

volleyball
badminton
squash
table tennis
racquetball
 
#6
Catching the toss should be a fault. It's a habitual thing for some players and it's annoying af.

I have someone from Czech Republic I play who has (big surprise) like a 50' ball toss. It's bad enough waiting for that thing to fall out of the sky but then he catches it ALL THE TIME...incredibly annoying.
 
#7
Yes.

The pre-serve routines of certain players are quite time consuming from a historical perspective, and annoying. The push now is to speed the game. Failure to complete the service motion once the ball is tossed should be treated as a fault. Akin to a balk in baseball.
 
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#8
Okay, I've heard folks like Brad Gilbert discuss this - never gave it much thought until I was watching the NY Open final with Reilly Opelka serving on match point. He tossed the ball up and got a read on where his opponent was guessing. He hauled the serve back in. Next toss, ace in the opposite corner. With serves getting bigger and bigger, I'm coming around to the notion that this should be a fault. Thoughts?
Short answer: no
Elaborated answer: no
 
#11
I am pretty sure catching your toss results in a fault in table tennis and badminton. I don't think it's to save time though. I just think it's only fair that the server should be held accountable for failing to execute part of his service motion since it counts as a shot in the game. We don't give people a free pass for failing other shots in the game!
 
#12
I actually agree that it should be a fault but it would be awful to introduce to the sport because it would cause too many disruptions. It's just one of those things that on paper should be introduced but in practise just wouldn't work, same with the let rule of it counting. Sounds good on paper but would be awful in practise.
 
#13
I am pretty sure catching your toss results in a fault in table tennis and badminton. I don't think it's to save time though. I just think it's only fair that the server should be held accountable for failing to execute part of his service motion since it counts as a shot in the game. We don't give people a free pass for failing other shots in the game!
This is true. But, it gets very annoying when people try to fake you out when they return your serve -- purposely doing things just to throw you off. So, when you have it in the rules that the server has to commit after the ball is tossed, it gives quite a bit of freedom to the returner to mess with you.
 
#14
Catching the toss should be a fault. It's a habitual thing for some players and it's annoying af.
...
I was at this match (both days). It scarred me (and Agassi, I think). 100% should be a fault if you don't finish a service motion that you started !

(It was a great match though with Agassi pulling out the moonball. Check out Gilbert's reaction at 1:22. :laughing:)

 
#15
I was at this match (both days). It scarred me (and Agassi, I think). 100% should be a fault if you don't finish a service motion that you started !

(It was a great match though with Agassi pulling out the moonball.)

I actually think of this match when I play the "tosser" I was talking about!

Really wish Andre would have won that match. I feel his pain.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
#17
I was at this match (both days). It scarred me (and Agassi, I think). 100% should be a fault if you don't finish a service motion that you started !

(It was a great match though with Agassi pulling out the moonball. Check out Gilbert's reaction at 1:22. :laughing:)

I watched this match live and I was a little put off with the ball tossing because it happened just about every serve. Agassi was hitting well but for some reason he was missing the important points and fell behind. The moonballing started and it broke the rythm of Kucera.

What I remember most is that last forehand winner down the line to end the 3rd set tiebreak before the rain started to fall. (Enormous forehand shot, never seen anyone hit it that flat and stayed in) AA had the momentum on his side and would have won without that rain delay. Brad and Brooke had some strange looks when the moonballing was happening....I guess they were shocked he hit this way but he was losing, he needed to do something cause his A game wasn't working.
 
#20
How often, other than that Kucera match, does it really come into play? When I play, I never catch my toss, even when I probably should...but only pride is at stake. And maybe, false pride at that

Perhaps, there's a middle ground. One free unserved toss per game, and any more counts as a fault? Not sure.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#22
In theory in seems like a good idea to penalize players for a bad toss, but don’t think this would work an actuality. I think more often then not, a server re-tosses a ball because the toss was bad, not because they’re trying to deceive the returner. The serve clock was instituted to cut down on long service routines.
 
#26
The serve clock was instituted to cut down on long service routines.
Yes it was, but once a player catches his toss the clock isn't restarted, so he can prolonge his service routine without penalty. I once counted Andy Murray doing this 14 times in a two set match.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#27
Yes it was, but once a player catches his toss the clock isn't restarted, so he can prolonge his service routine without penalty. I once counted Andy Murray doing this 14 times in a two set match.

Was that match you saw with Murray before or after they instituted the serve clock? It's good that the serve clock isn't restarted, if they make a bad toss it takes time away from their serve.
 
#28
How often, other than that Kucera match, does it really come into play? When I play, I never catch my toss, even when I probably should...but only pride is at stake. And maybe, false pride at that

Perhaps, there's a middle ground. One free unserved toss per game, and any more counts as a fault? Not sure.
Some people do it all the time...I play one of them. Opelka was doing it a ton at the NYO...indoors! He had no excuse to be doing it on an indoor court.
 
#29
Some people do it all the time...I play one of them. Opelka was doing it a ton at the NYO...indoors! He had no excuse to be doing it on an indoor court.
Good point about indoor courts!
What would you advocate as a solution to deter this?
An immediate fault, a time clock without a reset or something else?
 
#30
Was that match you saw with Murray before or after they instituted the serve clock? It's good that the serve clock isn't restarted, if they make a bad toss it takes time away from their serve.
It was before the shot clock was introduced. Why is it good if the clock isn't restarted? Maybe I didn't explain clearly. The clock doesn't continue from when the service started, it is just turned off, so the server gains time.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#31
It was before the shot clock was introduced. Why is it good if the clock isn't restarted? Maybe I didn't explain clearly. The clock doesn't continue from when the service started, it is just turned off, so the server gains time.

From my understanding the chair umpire starts and stops the serve clock. I don’t think the restart it for a bad toss. I’ve seen the chair umpires start the serve clock as soon as the players are handed balls.
 
#33
From my understanding the chair umpire starts and stops the serve clock. I don’t think the restart it for a bad toss. I’ve seen the chair umpires start the serve clock as soon as the players are handed balls.

No he doesn't restart it for a bad toss, nor does he keep it running. He just turns the clock off following a bad toss and so the server has more time in which to serve. I was watching a match at the AO when a player did this several times, Frew McMillan was commentating the match for Eurosport and he explained the procedure for the use of the clock in the case of a player catching his toss. He said that it didn't seem right that the clock is not used after a player catches his toss, but that is what happens. So the lesson is, if time is running out for you then just make a bad toss and the clock will not be used for that serve.
 
#34
The rule is the rule, it isn't a fault until you attempt a swing. Besides, the opponent is usually anticipating based on the toss. The toss could be different serve to serve, so it doesn't matter which way an opponent moved the first time. Ridiculous.
 
#35
It's just one of those things that on paper should be introduced but in practise just wouldn't work, same with the let rule of it counting. Sounds good on paper but would be awful in practise.
Getting rid of the let rule works perfectly on paper and in practice. They have been doing it in college with no issues. Just try playing a match without the let rule. Within a few times of it happening, you are already used to it.
 
#36
This is true. But, it gets very annoying when people try to fake you out when they return your serve -- purposely doing things just to throw you off. So, when you have it in the rules that the server has to commit after the ball is tossed, it gives quite a bit of freedom to the returner to mess with you.
The rules specifically state that the returner cannot intentionally distract the server during his serving motion.
 
#38
The rules specifically state that the returner cannot intentionally distract the server during his serving motion.
That already does happen -- it's completely open to interpretation, and often times isn't called out. Kyrgios does this all the time.

This rule would become a lot more important if there was only one ball toss -- and how it's implemented is pretty ambiguous.
 
#40
I agree - I just think that you're going to get pushback because its a "new" rule from the chronic catchers.

The toss is one of the most important parts of the serve so i think one should not be allowed a redo. Even that aside, its part of the stroke. How ridiculous would "oh... i didn't have enough of a shoulder drop, I need to redo my swing" .
"Oh.. I forgot to set my feet for the volley.. let me try again".

No. Toss is under your control. So sick of this in club tennis. I try to walk the taslk... if I have a bad toss, I'm gonna have a bad serve but I'm gonna go with it anyway. May lose the point but won't be a hypocrite.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
#41
Players already get a redo, it's called a second serve. Lets should be faults too. Anything to reduce server dominance.

I think Sam Groth was the first to really abuse the ball toss, but he would always say "Sorry mate."
 
#42
I played a guy at the states two years ago in a doubles match (thank God) who caught his toss at least every other toss. It pissed me off. I also noticed that his tosses were pretty much in the same place. there should be a rule against that...period. Maybe you get a certain amount of catches a game or something. I doin't think he was using it to see what I was going to do, maybe he just wanted it to be perfect or something, either way, out of hand.
 
#43
I played a guy at the states two years ago in a doubles match (thank God) who caught his toss at least every other toss. It pissed me off. I also noticed that his tosses were pretty much in the same place. there should be a rule against that...period. Maybe you get a certain amount of catches a game or something. I doin't think he was using it to see what I was going to do, maybe he just wanted it to be perfect or something, either way, out of hand.
Yet it is not against the rules, so it is your problem, not his.
 
#44
That already does happen -- it's completely open to interpretation, and often times isn't called out. Kyrgios does this all the time.
Obviously the rule about not intentionally distracting the server is going to be subjective. But I don't see it as a frequent problem as you seem to. I think intentionally distracting the server happens only very rarely and we probably have a different opinion of what constitutes intentionally distracting the server. If the server is easily distracted by the returner making strategic movements during the serve, there is nothing wrong with that and it is the server's problem if that distracts him.
 

oldmanfan

Hall of Fame
#46
I'm surprised how many thinks that it is ok to redo bad ball tosses.

Do you get a redo if you shank?
Do you get a redo if you frame?
Do you get a redo if you get a net cord loser?
Do you get a redo if you mishit/misjudge a ball?
Do you get a redo if a lob is out of reach?
Do you get a redo if your swing motion isn't 'just right' before hitting a shot?

Yet you should get a redo on a bad toss, a motion 'completely' under your control to begin with?
 
#47
I'm surprised how many thinks that it is ok to redo bad ball tosses.

Do you get a redo if you shank?
Do you get a redo if you frame?
Do you get a redo if you get a net cord loser?
Do you get a redo if you mishit/misjudge a ball?
Do you get a redo if a lob is out of reach?
Do you get a redo if your swing motion isn't 'just right' before hitting a shot?

Yet you should get a redo on a bad toss, a motion 'completely' under your control to begin with?
I'm still staking out my opinion,so I don't agree or disagree, but in all these examples, the point is clearly underway. The toss is a grey area.
 
#48
Players already get a redo, it's called a second serve. Lets should be faults too. Anything to reduce server dominance.

I think Sam Groth was the first to really abuse the ball toss, but he would always say "Sorry mate."
Maybe, he got it from Patrick Rafter. He would famously say it, but I never thought he did it strategically.
 

oldmanfan

Hall of Fame
#49
I'm still staking out my opinion,so I don't agree or disagree, but in all these examples, the point is clearly underway. The toss is a grey area.
It's only a grey area bc the authorities are messing with the rules by being too loose with them. Many other sports like ping pong and badminton enforces this strictly, iirc.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
#50
How about for 2.0 tennis? Is it alright to catch a toss then? What about at the 4.5 level? College? Satellites? Futures? Windy conditions? High sun? People causing a distraction?

Tennis is a bigger game than just what's seen on tv.
 
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