Court of Appeals: Swat Team

by: Rebel Good | May 09, 2013

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While playing doubles, I hit a crosscourt shot that was in and bounced wide into the adjacent court. The player on that court was getting ready to return serve, and when she saw the incoming ball she swatted it out of her way. My opponent asked for a let on the basis of a hindrance. We gave it to him, but I am still wondering if he was entitled to it.—Janet Johnson, Rockford, IL

Wonder no more, it should have been your point. A player on an adjacent court would be a “permanent fixture” under Rule 2, and under Rule 13 the point ended when it hit her (or she hit it). Rule 26, which covers hindrances, specifically excludes calling a let because of a permanent fixture. However, had your opponent been interfered with in the space between the two courts he could claim a hindrance and a let would be played.

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

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