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.

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) 




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

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