Is It Time To Talk?

During a doubles match this week, we got into a conversation on WHEN and WHAT you are allowed to say during a tennis point. We talked; but didn’t agree…

According to one of the guys, a former referee, you can say “whatever you want when the ball is on your side of the court.”

I questioned this with the example of a tournament singles match I had and my opponent was running towards my drop shot and said clearly (to me?), “I can’t get it.” So I stopped being ready, as he got to the ball and hit it into the open court for a winner.

My feeling is that something said with the intention of being distracting is (or should not be) allowed. The former referee says NO; they can say whatever they want.

How about your opponent is getting ready to hit a groundstoke and says something directly to you that includes your name?

Or, your opponent is returning serve and he says something that makes you think he is calling your serve out (but he is not); so you stop playing?

Or you’re having a long groundstroke rally and one of your shots comes right near the side line; and he shouts a word that you take for ‘out’ and he says “No, I said ‘line.’”?

He agrees that they cannot talk when the ball is ON YOUR SIDE OF THE COURT… and has an interesting interpretation of that rule: he says, the ball is considered “on your side of the court” the instant it leaves your opponent’s racquet.

2 thoughts on “Is It Time To Talk?

  1. The rules are quite clear on this issue. Code rule #33 states: a player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponents side of the court. Ex. When a player hits a weak lob and yells at his partner to get back, the opponent may call a hindrance violation and wins the point!!!!

    Dick – but what does it say about talking while the ball is on YOUR side of the court??? geo

  2. Geo,
    IT only matters if the ball has left your racket or their racket. Once you hit the ball no further conversation is allowed. If you talk and hinder the opponent they can catch the ball and claim the point. NO double jeopardy you cannot hit the ball then claim the point no warning has to be given.

    Bill – but the question is still the same… can you say ANYTHING YOU WANT before you hit the ball??? geo

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