The Final Word: Doubles



Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.

USTA Director of Officials, Richard Kaufman, is here to answer your questions. Each week, he will select a few submissions and supply the definitive rulings through a Q&A.

Have a question of your own?  Click here to submit your question to The Final Word.

* Please note, due to the volume of emails Rich receives, he is not able to answer every email.

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Subject: Doubles Service Calls
We are playing a doubles match and Player A serves ball which Player B makes a good return. Player B's partner calls serve out, however Player B indicates serve was good. Does server win point, or is it replayed first serve?
Thanks. Mike

KAUFMAN: If the receiver returned the serve in play, and the call is corrected from out to good, then the entire point is replayed. (First serve). If the serve was an ace, or if the receiver could not put the ball back in play, or if the return of serve was a weak return for an easy put away by the serving team, then the serving team wins the point.

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Subject: Double Hits
In my recent doubles match on one of my returns, I miss hit the ball, and it popped over the net. My opponent ran from the back and hit the ball into the net. I claimed the point was mine, but she said I double hit it, so the point was hers. I did double hit the ball, but it was very quick and in one swing. The ball hit the strings first and then popped down and hit the wood and went over the net. It never touched my skin in any way and was a very quick return. Also, just by the fact that she ran from the back to return it but hit it into the net, would that make it my point, no matter the scenario?
Thank you for your answer.
Barbara

KAUFMAN: Many years ago the rule was that no double hits were permitted under any circumstances. The rule was then changed. If there was not an intentional second swing at the ball and if the stroke was one motion (even though the racket hit the ball twice), it is a legal shot and is NOT considered a double hit.

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Subject: Partners hit each other's rackets
Is the point lost if players on a doubles team touch rackets?
Philip

KAUFMAN: As long as only one player hit the ball, rackets may collide, and the point does continue.

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Subject: Doubles Service Calls
We were playing a doubles match, and the opponent hit a first-serve fault, which my partner hit into the adjacent court. The people on the other court threw the ball back to the server, who then looked at us thinking he should get a first serve. I said his service motion was not interrupted, so I said second serve. He got really mad and hit the second serve out. Should I have given him a first serve?
Ed

KAUFMAN: If the server had not started his motion for the second serve, and there is not a long delay, then the server is only entitled to a second serve.
If the server has started his motion and any hindrance occurs, then he is entitled to a first serve.



 
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