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The Final Word: Dropping Racquets

October 22, 2013 01:59 PM
Have you ever had the racquet fly out of your hand on a serve? Find the ruling.

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. He selects a few submissions at a time and supplies the definitive rulings through a Q&A.

Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!

Topic: Dropping racquets

My doubles opponent recently hit a volley very close to the net and her racquet flew out of her hand, hit on her side of the court and then bounced over the net onto my side. Was it my point since her racquet came onto my side of the court, or should we have played a let?

Question: I was serving to the deuce court in a doubles match (I’m right handed) and my racquet flew out of my hand after I struck the ball. It skidded off the court to the right, outside of the net post. It ended up even with my opponents' side of the court, but not on it. It did not hit the net post, the net or any opponent. The serve was good and the receiver pushed the ball long. My point, right?

KAUFMAN (on both questions): Two good questions about dropped racquets. First, the act of dropping a racquet or having the racquet fly out of a player’s hand during play, if not intentional, is not considered a hindrance to the opponent. It is a part of the game. It happens. However, if the escaped racquet touches the net or lands on the opponent’s side of the court (within the lines) while the ball is still in play, then it is loss of point to the player who lost the racquet.




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