Court of Appeals: Clean Your Court!

by: Rebel Good December 28, 2012

My opponent’s first serve hit the net and stayed in his service box during his second serve. After the point, I asked him in the future to please remove stray balls from the court. He told me he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to. I said he had to remove them if I requested. Who’s right?—Mario Patron, Helotes, TX

You are. The Code, Item 42, states that “whenever a ball is not in play, a player must honor an opponent’s request to remove a ball from the court or from an area outside the court that is reasonably close to the lines.” This is reiterated by USTA Comment 25.2.

Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.

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