Court of Appeals: Tale of the Tape

by: Rebel Good July 24, 2013

Wesley Bedrosian

My opponent’s second serve went underneath the tape and through a small hole in the net, bouncing in the service box. I didn’t attempt a return because the ball didn’t clear the net. My opponent admitted the ball went under the tape and through the net, but she wanted the point anyway. I gave her the point in order avoid an argument. Was my opponent justified?—Mary McMillan, Baton Rouge, LA

Justifiably not. Not only is a ball that passes under the net strap a fault (Rule 17, “the serve shall pass over the net”), but as the receiver it’s your call and yours alone under The Code, Item 20: “A player makes the ruling on a ball that the player’s opponent hits through the net.”


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

Got a question? Email it to: courtofappeals@tennis.com

More Stories

Age is but a number for 69-year-old Gail Falkenberg

Falkenberg, who will turn 70 in January, plans to keep playing at the professional level. 

Welcome to the new TENNIS.com!

Enhanced scores. New tournament view. And much more.

All 102 courts at USTA National Campus to be outfitted with PlaySight technology

Live-streaming technology, analytics and multi-angle video analysis will be available across the breakthrough facility.