Lose Raquet, Lose Point?

The rule is pretty clear that you can play a let when your opponent loses their hat or a ball from their pocket during a point; but what if they lose their racquet during a point?

If they intentionally throw the racquet at the ball, they lose the point. But during a recent Davis Cup doubles match, TV announcer Justin Gimelstob commented that one of the Bryan brother’s almost lost control of their racquet during the point and if they did, that would mean they would lose the point.

During a doubles match I played in last week, our opponent lunged for a shot and, in getting it back over the net, lost his balance and his racquet. My partner got distracted and missed the ball at the net. So what is the rule, can you claim the point or at least a Let?

Not according to what I could find in the rules.

USTA Comment 24.8: What happens if a player stretches to hit a ball, the racquet falls to the ground and the ball then goes into the court for a winner? Answer: The player wins the point unless the racquet was not in the player’s hand at the instant the ball was struck.

4 thoughts on “Lose Raquet, Lose Point?

  1. NOTE: There appears to be a glitch on my site: even regular and registered “commenters” cant post; so the work-around till I can get it fixed would have to be… just send me an email and I will post.


  2. I am pretty sure you can accidentally drop your racquet, pick it back up and continue play, if you are fast enough of course. I would play it the same way if some one fell down on the other side. It is real easy to get distracted when an opponent falls down while making a shot, and forget to return the ball back for the winner. The key for a ruling would seem to be “accidentally”. Otherwise, you are causing an intentional distraction to your opponent. Hmmm… or maybe I need to read the rules again?

  3. If the racket was in the player’s hand while he was hitting or touching the ball it is his point even if he loses his racket afterwords. If he throws the racket and hit a “lucky shot” it is the opponents point.

    There is no need to quote Justin Gimmelstob, what qualifications does he have? He and Patrick are the most annoying commentators on TV. I am very glad that most tournaments are now shown on the Tennis Channel. To me it is unbelievable that he is invited to the “Legend’s Week”. Where is his fame to be called a “Legend”? With his presence at the “Legend’s Week” he degrades Fred, Emmo, Tony, Newk, Mel, Ken, Davo and all the other real Legends in tennis. Those Legends are the reason I have attended the “Tennis Week with the Legends” for many years.

    Rolf Jaeger

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