Play a Let?

What happens when you stop play because you think the other team called a Let, but they didn’t? Fred Drilling writes …

Hi George,

We were playing a doubles match and the following happened. Tell me your thoughts.

I’m serving in the ad court. First serve and it’s in the backhand corner. I hear what I think is “two” and assume they’re calling a let. I catch the return and start walking back to serve again and the receiver said “the serve was good”.

I say I thought I heard someone say “two” and thought you were calling a let. They said neither of them said anything. It probably was someone on the next court to ours but I’ll never know. We had a little discussion and they never offered to play a let and obviously wanted the point (I thought we should replay the point). What should have happened?


Well Fred, in my opinion there are two answers:

“Legally,” it is a little fuzzy … a noise from off the court by a spectator is not the basis for replaying the point. But the rules also state, “A player should avoid grunting and making other loud noises. Grunting and other loud noises may bother not only opponents but also players on adjacent courts. In an extreme case, an opponent or a player on and adjacent court may seek the assistance of the Referee, who may treat grunting and the making of loud noises as hindrances. Depending on the circumstances, this could result in a let or loss of point.”

“Practically,” in a practice match… no question: Play a Let.


After a week of none, the next Florida Super Senior Grand Prix tournament is in Payne Park, Sarasota. I have entered “just singles” and (since none of the Big Boys have entered) have a #3 seed, with my first match on Wednesday.

For the link to the tournament site, click HERE.

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2 thoughts on “Play a Let?

  1. As an umpire for many of the last 15 years (and player for more than I can believe), trained by some of the best umpires on the OTHER coast to the west (Pacific), here are some inputs. A player must be sure there is a let being called by the opponent(s) before stopping play. Even if a spectator or someone on another court yells “Let” or “Replay the point” there is no basis to play a let on your court. As was mentioned, a player can seek out an umpire or a Referee if the grunting is too loud on an adjacent court, however, a player cannot call a let on his or her court due to grunting on another court. The other court must be dealt with by the officials. In this case, loss of point. However, in a practice match any rules can be preempted, and allow the server to replay the point (maybe just once?). For a good (long) read, buy a “Friend at Court” rule book and read its 313 pages to brush up on this further! Every certified tennis official goes through a minimum of one day’s training every year to do just that.

    Paige – thanks for “the ruling”. In fact, my quote came from “Friend at Court”. george

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