Court of Appeals: Target Practice

by: Rebel Good | May 21, 2016

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I am having an issue with the partner of the receiver when I serve to the deuce court. The receiver is in a normal position near the baseline, but his partner is standing so close to the center line that his right arm and racket are actually in the service court that I am serving into. Is this allowed?

— Jerry Hicks, Austin, TX

So long as the receiver’s partner isn’t doing anything other than standing there, it’s legit. Rule 26, Case 5, says that he “receiver’s partner may take any position” on his side of the net. However, if that player is doing something intended solely to distract, such as waving his arms, a hindrance could be claimed under the terms of the same rule. Then again, how good is your aim? If your serve hits the receiver’s partner on the fly, it’s your point under Rule 24, Case 7.

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

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