What happens if you swing and MISS your serve? That is one of several interesting Rule interpretations that have come up during matches and discussion over the last week. Here they are with some answers.
Gordon Hammes reported that at the Senior World’s in Turkey, a player tossed and MISSED hitting the ball; then served a fault. His opponents claimed “double fault.” They called the referee, who agreed.
Dick Valentine researched and found: Rule No. 19B on Service Faults states: The service is a fault if the server misses the ball when trying to hit it.
Hitting Your Partner:
Dick also found another rule… The serve is a fault (not a let) if your serve ticks your partner at the net and lands in the service box. Rule #19d: The service is a fault if the ball touches the server or server’s partner.
Hit The Hat:
How about this one… your opponent’s hat comes off during the point, you do not call LET, and then your ball hits his hat on the court?
Another interesting rule: USTA comment No. 24.2 states that if a ball hits a player’s hat on the court, the ball is still in play. The hat becomes part of the court.
Playing an Out Serve:
And this last one did happen to me … you are playing doubles, with your team serving into the deuce court. Your partner serves wide and “clearly” misses the line wide; but your opponent doesn’t see it and plays the ball for a winner past you (because you are just standing there pointing wide). What happens?
I believe it is the returner’s point; because it is their call and they played the ball. Others on the court felt that “everyone on the court has a right/obligation to make the correct line call” and the serve should have been OUT.
I do not know the correct answer.