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National

What's the Call: "Let" me have a first serve

November 18, 2020

Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.


Question: 
I was serving and I hit my first serve into the net. I was getting ready for my second serve when a ball came onto our court from another court. “Let” was called and I retrieved the ball and hit the ball back over to our neighboring court. Am I allowed two serves to start that point over, or is it still only a second serve?  

 

Answer: Oh, how a crowded row of courts can lead to fending off erratic balls hit by neighboring players! Luckily, this ball rolled onto your court before a serve and not an epic 20-shot rally. If the ball rolled on the court during your service motion and a let was called, then the server is entitled to a first serve. However, the delay caused by clearing a ball between the first and second serve is not enough to warrant two serves (unless this time is prolonged). (USTA Code 30) 

 

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For the "Friend at Court" handbook and more information on the rules of tennis, visit the rules and regulations homepage.

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