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Court of Appeals: Tell Me When

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

I hit a swinging volley and my opponent claimed the point, arguing that I had reached over the net. I said that I didn’t touch the net so the point should be mine. Who was right?—Jonathan Nguyen, Katy, TX

Don’t you hate it when someone answers, “it depends”? Well, it depends. You didn’t say exactly when your racquet crossed over the net (without touching it). Rule 24.h says that you lose the point if you hit the ball “before it has passed the net.” So if you made contact on his side of the net, it’s his point. If the contact was on your side of the net, there’s nothing against your follow-through carrying your racquet over (but not touching) the net. In any case, this is a call that, under The Code, Item 19, you make against yourself—it wasn’t up to your opponent.

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

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