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Good Question: Mar/Apr 2022

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Who serves next?
During a match, the score was tied 6-6, prompting a tiebreaker to be played. Team A served first in the tiebreaker and Team B was last to serve when the tiebreaker was over. When they started the next set, Team A said it was their turn to serve because they were next in the rotation serve. Team B argued it was their turn to serve because team A was first to serve in the tiebreak. Who is correct?

Tammi Copelli, Junior League Vice President
Team B would serve first. Referring to Rule 5b in USTA “Official Rules of Tennis,” the player whose turn it was to serve first in the tiebreaker shall be the receiver in the first game of the following set. Therefore, Team B would be the first to serve in the next set.

Can I hit outside the net posts?
My partner had to go wide outside the double’s lane for a return. In addition, she had to extend her racquet out to make the play. It was a great get and landed just inside the back corner of the opponent’s court. However, since the return was outside the net posts, who wins the point?

Susan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
Even though the return was outside the net posts, the point is good. Rule 25 in USTA “Rules of Tennis” states that it is a good return if the ball is returned outside the net posts, if it hits the ground in the correct court.

Does the server require 3 balls?
My opponents always demanded the third ball before they started the next point. Shouldn’t they be able to start the point when they have two balls?

Karen Sullivan, Thursday Women’s League Vice President
It is perfectly ok for the server to wait and request all three balls. USTA Rules Part 3, 22. Server’s request for third ball. When a server requests three balls, the receiver shall comply when the third ball is readily available. Distant balls shall be retrieved at the end of a game.

Can players receive coaching during suspension?
During a match, play is suspended due to light rain. During the suspension, one team’s captain calls his team’s players over and starts coaching them regarding shot selection and strategy. One of the opponents hears the captain coaching his players. Play resumed after a short delay, but the opponent says the team that was coached should default the match, as coaching is not allowed. Is this correct?

Mitch Falkin, Men’s League Vice President
General Rules Adult Leagues IV Dual Meets H: Coaching is illegal during match play. Because that rule does not address the issue of coaching during a suspended match, USTA rules govern play. Found in “Friend at Court,” Part 1 – ITF Rules of Tennis, Section 30 Coaching: Players are allowed to receive coaching if play is suspended.

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