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Good Question July/August 2019

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The Tiebreak
Does the length of a tiebreak game determine who serves at the start of the next set? If someone wins a tiebreak, 7-5, versus a 15-13 tiebreak, does it change? Do we change sides after the tiebreak or stay where we finished?

Sandy Depa, First Vice President
Serving Order: No matter the length of the tiebreak game, you just need to remember who served to start the tiebreak. The tiebreak counts as that person’s (the first server of the tiebreak) service game. So, the other team (the non-serving first serve of the tiebreak) will be the serving team of the first game of the next set.

Which side to start the following set: The easiest way to remember is that you finished the tiebreak 7-6 (or 6-7), which equals 13 games. After odd number games, you switch sides, so you ALWAYS switch sides from where you ended after a tiebreak is completed to start the new set. (Friend at Court [ITF Rule 5])

 

Dropping the Racquet
During a rally, my partner dropped her racquet and I continued playing the point. After a long rally, I finally hit a winner down the alley. Our opponents refused to give us the point because they said that as soon as my partner dropped her racquet, a let should’ve been called, and we should’ve replayed the point. Is that true?

Barbara Ingram, Senior Leagues Vice President
A player’s racquet coming out of the hand (or if his or her shoe comes off), is not the basis for either player/teams claiming a let. A let is never authorized for something within the player’s control. (Friend at Court [Code 36])

 

Can’t Touch This
During a league match, our opponents hit a great shot, and all my partner could do was pop it up. Our opponent saw the short lob and got really close to the net to put the ball away with an overhead. Since she was so close to the net, her follow through ended up finishing on our side of the court. Is that legal, or does she lose the point since the racket crossed over the net?

Lamar Scott, Men’s League Vice President
The ball must first cross over the net to your side of the court. Your racquet can cross the net with your follow through as long as it never touches it. You cannot reach across the net to hit balls before they come across to your side. You must make contact with the ball on your own side of the net and never touch the net, even on the follow through. (Friend At Court [ITF Rule 24])

 

Entering the Tiebreak Score
With the heat during the summer and many players’ own time constraints, playing a third-set, 10-point tiebreak is a great option, as long as all four players are in agreement. But how do I enter this on the scorecard?

Kirsten Sykes, Mixed Doubles League Vice President
The score is entered as 1-0, and the winner of the tiebreak gets credit for winning the third set. Players can decide to play the tiebreak at any time during the match.