During my singles match against Big David Nash at Naples Bath, I called a baseline shot OUT and then looked at the mark and reversed my call to IN. Without really thinking much about it, I then gave the point to my opponent (who really didn’t need it, the way he was beating me). But I was wrong.
I actually had returned to shot that I called Out; so we should have replayed the point. On the same day, I received this email from Mike Griner on the very same subject…
In my tournament doubles play last week the same situation occurred twice with two different opponents but each opponent gave a different rule interpretation (or so I thought) so I looked up the rule in “The Code”.
In the first case I hit a serve which was called out but returned in play. I asked them to look at the mark and they agreed the serve was in. My opponents then said we should play a let and I agreed.
In the second case our opponents served to my partner who called the ball out but returned the ball in play. Our opponents asked us to look at the mark which we did and agreed the ball was in. Our opponents then said they deserved the point since the return was a “sitter”. I asked if that was the correct ruling and they insisted it was. I looked around for an official but none was in sight so I agreed to give them the point.
Here is the rule according to the code.
12. Out calls corrected. If a player mistakenly calls a ball “out” and then realizes it was good, the point shall be replayed if the player returned the ball within the proper court. Nonetheless, if the player’s return of the ball results in a “weak sitter,” the player should give the opponent the point. If the player failed to make the return, the opponent wins the point. If the mistake was made on the second serve, the server is entitled to two serves.
Based on this it appears the right decision was made in both cases assuming there is such a thing as a true “sitter” in doubles. I have hit many sitters which came back in play.