Whats The Right Thing To Do???

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by larry10s, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2008
    yesterday im recieving
    first serve out
    second serve let.
    server looks at me needs a ball
    i motion there is a (the third ball) ball right behind him at the fence. he sorta gives me a look and goes to get the ball
    my partner says take 2 serves (sociable match)
    was i wrong to not go to the fence and get a ball for him from my side???
    in a match what is proper protocol???
  2. Kyle7286

    Kyle7286 Rookie

    Jan 12, 2010
    Atl, Ga
    ?? This shouldn't be an issue.. whoever is closer to the ball should pick it up.
    Common Sense.. there's no ettiquete here.
  3. tennytive

    tennytive Professional

    Aug 28, 2009
    Usually it's good to have all balls on the server's side, two for him and let his partner hold the third. That way you don't have to chase any until the point ends.

    On a let I would presume you could have hit the ball back or caught it and then returned it to him. If not, and the ball behind him was closer than the one behind you, then he really shouldn't have complained. Plus you gave him first serve which more than made up for it.

    Some people I play with go and chase the ball on the next court between my first and second serve. 10 or 15 seconds go by and then it's "second serve".

  4. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

    May 8, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    This is an issue that usually only "doubles only" players have. Some of them get sooo sensitive about having to reset themselves prior to hitting a second serve. In singles, there should be no expectation of this luxury. Buck up, I say. I make a habit of staying out of a rigid regimen just for that reason. It's an achilles heel that can be used by an opponent to "game" you on a big point.
  5. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Jun 15, 2007
    In a real match, a sanctioned tournament, the server should have all three balls because the balls change characteristics after about four games. Keep one ball in the left pocket (righties) and keep the third behind you at the fence. Don't keep two balls in the same pocket because one will fall out. Don't keep a ball in each pocket because that looks really un-cool and defeats the entire purpose of playing the game.

    In rec/club play anything goes, suspend all rules of logic and do what ever it takes to get the match over with and get to the bar, or you'll be very frustrated by the vast clueless.

    The dufus who gave you "the look" is the same guy who doesn't bring balls, leaves the gate open after themselves, expects everyone to keep track of the score for them, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, had servants pick up the balls for them in their youth, and never offers to buy drinks. Just yell loudly so everyone can hear, "There's a ball right behind you, the ball boys must have the day off today".
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  6. dafox

    dafox Rookie

    May 2, 2009
    ^^^^^ Lol Lol
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    I'd go get the ball behind me and send it to the server. I would do this in a normal, deliberate way and then hold up my hand until I am ready to receive. I wouldn't stall, and I wouldn't rush.

    In a league match, I wouldn't give two serves because it was server's decision to leave the extra ball by the fence. In a social match, who cares?
  8. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

    Jun 10, 2009
    Hit a winner return off his next serve then stare at your partner like you're pissed and don't know wtf he was thinking. At least that is what i would do
  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    NorCal Bay Area
    If I have it right, in your case the server started with all three balls on his side of the court - two in hand/pocket, and one by the fence. So in this case, you have no obligation to retrieve the ball following the let. The server should know where the 3rd ball is - his decision whether to have his partner hold it, or leave it along the fence, but either way he is responsible should he need to use it.

    Having said all that, when there is a let, I will try trap/capture the ball (usually following a let you can do this), and I will offer to give it back to the server.
    If for some reason the let serve ball goes by me and the server isn't making a move to get the third ball that is on his side, I will go get the let ball and send it over. No big deal.

    BUT: I don't offer the server to take 2 serves in this situation, since it is really his responsibility to have had the third ball close at hand to begin with.

    EDIT: I should add that I think people ask for / give 2 serves way more often than necessary. I mean come on, we should be able to step up to the line and hit a second serve - and if not, well that's something that's easy to practice. I think 2 serves should be given only if there is a *major* delay between serves and if that delay is not the fault of the server (or could have been prevented by the server).
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  10. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Jun 12, 2009
    The people I play with NEVER offer me a first serve. Plenty of times I'll hit a first serve, be getting ready to hit my second and then I'll hear "HOLD IT!" a ball will have rolled behind the reciever's foot. They then move the ball and it is assumed that it's my second serve!

    It makes me angry every times something like that happens, but I feel weird demanding a first serve. Oh well, good to learn to get the serve in under pressure I guess.
  11. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Hall of Fame

    Jun 14, 2006
    St. Paul, MN
    The server should know where the third ball is...as well I'd probably go get the other one while he is getting the third to keep from wasting time...just personal pref, I don't think you should have been expected to get it.

    Unless it's a competitive match I don't take the first serve if given...helps me work on mental strength to mkae sure I can hit those when I really need to.
  12. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2008
    thanks for all the replies
    my gist is the server who had 3 balls on his side should have gotten his own 3rd ball with no attitude,
    and did not deserve a 1st serve
  13. AELTC

    AELTC New User

    Feb 24, 2010
    The code states:
    23. Server’s request for third ball. When a Server requests three balls, the Receiver shall comply when the third ball is readily available. Distant balls shall be retrieved at the end of a game.

    Since the ball that the OP is talking about is behind him, in my opinion, it is readily available and the OP should comply with the Server's request.

    From the Rules of Tennis:
    USTA Comment 20.1: Before returning the second serve, may the receiver clear a ball from a first service fault that has rebounded onto the playing area? Yes.

    So a receiver does have a right to clear a ball from a 1st service fault, and according to a USTA comment, and the server should not feel entitled to a let:

    USTA Comment 23.3: What happens when a ball from an adjacent court rolls on the court between the first and second serves? The time it takes to clear an intruding ball between the first and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an interruption. The receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently prolonged to justify giving the server two serves.

    I rarely give a let between a first and second serve.
  14. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Jul 19, 2007
    Well, they're losers for being like that. The point it you should want to face the opponents first serve and not be hoping to collect on a double fault. ("Oh yay! He double faulted, that's a point for me!").

    As to the OP's original question...is there a rule for everything? Can't anything be left to common sense? Somebody needs to stroll over and pick up a ball. Is that a big deal? I'm hoping there isn't an established "right thing to do".

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