doubles rules question

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by cptobvious_619, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. cptobvious_619

    cptobvious_619 Rookie

    Sep 3, 2006
    today, i played doubles with an odd pair - it was like a reverse australian doubles, except only for the net person. while i was serving, he would stand near the center service line or even in it sometimes, preventing me from serving down the line. well, i could serve down the line, but i would hit him.

    two questions:
    -is his court positioning legal?

    if it is, if i hit him with a serve, is it my point?

    thanks in advanced. :D
  2. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Jul 19, 2007
    "Yes" to both questions. The receiving team has to alternate returning serve, but it doesn't state where they stand. The guy standing on the center line can't return the serve when it's not his turn. If he's in his partner's way, that's not your problem.
  3. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

    Jan 22, 2008
    West Virginia
    Your opponent was obviously doing this to get into your head. Did you notice if he was moving out of the box when you started to serve? Tactics like this are employed so you start thinking about something else other than your game. Even if you can shake it off, you still have to recognize what is happening and this can be enough to break your concentration. If you played this pair again and they do the same thing I would throw all of my serves down the line hoping to hit him or at least to let him know i'm not afraid to. He will either move or get hurt and lose the point.
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    If he's out of the service court, you have to hit him on a fly, or they will call your serve "out". One reason to practice the 120mph serve.
    If he's in the service court, as said above, and you hit him, it's YOUR point.
    Yeah, they're just trying to distract you.
    But once the point starts, consider.... the netman must move back into his position, so you can return a shot up the center unhindered by his poaching.
    Also, if he stays there, you have the whole alley to hit into for a winner.
    They're applying gamesmanship. Nobody who plays good tennis uses that strategy except for gamesmanship.
  5. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Dec 11, 2006
    You said "preventing me from serving down the line". Now you know that if you do hit him it is your point, so next time you see this, do NOT let it prevent you from serving down the line!

  6. cptobvious_619

    cptobvious_619 Rookie

    Sep 3, 2006
    thanks a lot for the help.

    i've played this doubles pair before and they try to create "unique" doubles formations but we beat them because of our level of play.

    the game score was a lot closer than it usually is, but it didn't prevent us from winning (thankfully). i didn't want to hit him because i didn't wanna seem like a bad sport since it is after all, a "gentlemen's" game.

    however, the definition of the term has changed over the last couple of years and i guess it is time for me to show them the modern meaning. :D

    btw - just in case there is a rules fight or something, is there some place where i can point them to, so that they cannot simply say that i made it up?

    -thanks again. :D
  7. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Rule 26, case 5 of USTA Friend at Court:

    Case 5:
    In doubles, where are the server’s partner and receiver’s partner
    allowed to stand?

    The server’s partner and the receiver’s partner may take any position
    on their own side of the net, inside or outside the court. However, if a player
    is creating a hindrance to the opponent(s), the hindrance rule should be used.

    As for hitting the opponent, Rule 24, I of the FAC says you lose the point if:

    The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is
    wearing or carrying, except the racket; or

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2009

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