Court of Appeals: Missing Ball
In a league match, we lost a ball over the fence and played with two balls until the end of the first set. Our opponents both went to get the ball and were gone for about 15 minutes. What, if anything, should we have done? —Robin Rowan, Pensacola, FL
At that point your options were minimal. In a league match there probably wasn’t anyone around to enforce Rule 30, which provides for only a two minute set break. What you should have done after the time stretched out was find your opponents and tell them that if they hadn’t already recovered the ball that you’d replace it with a ball of like wear (USTA Reg. III.I.3).
Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.
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