What’s The Call?

Clive Kileff
Clive Kileff
Veteran tournament player Clive Kileff was in a struggle against unseeded Daniel Garrick this week. He lost the first set and was in an extended second set tie breaker, serving at 8 points to 9, when a strange call took place.

During the rally, he ran toward the ad court sideline to get an angled wide shot; when he stopped, because there was a ball from the next court sitting just off the wide doubles line, and asked to play a Let.

The referee happened to be standing there and told him he could NOT – and that he lost the point (and the match).

The reason?

The ball from the next court had been sitting there when Clive went to the line to serve; so he should have moved it at that point and could not later call a let.

Afterwards, the referee also explained to me that even if that ball had blown ONTO the court during the rally, he still could not have called a let, if it had started within their playing area (but could have, if blown or rolled from the other court’s playing area).

Ten-Point Tie Breaker Change

Thanks to all your good input, Larry Turville and the tournament committee changed the procedure for the doubles this week. All doubles FINALS will play out a full third set to decide a winner.

This Week’s Play

A very QUICK summary of my matches…

• First round singles: bye
• Second round: played totally focused and won love and love
• Third Round vs. #5 seeded Joe McAleer: lost the first set and he then defaulted due to injury (knee)
• Fourth Round: vs. a “sleeper” from Canada, John Tibbits. He beat #3 Bill Simonton the day before and is either #1 or 2 in Canada. Good 2.5 hour match that he won in three sets (he has perhaps the best slice backhand in the whole tournament!)
• First Round Doubles: Tom and I played two guys we should have beaten 1 and 1. And we did.
• Second Round Doubles: we played a much tougher team in Gary Engelhard and Steve Hull (Dayton, OH); and survived 7-6, 6-2.
• Today: Fred Drilling and Clive in the semi’s.

For a link to all the scores, please click HERE

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3 thoughts on “What’s The Call?

  1. It sounds to me like the referee, although he may have “technically” been correct with the rule, was being overly hyper technical. I doubt that there is a player anywhere with a sense of fairness who would not have given Clive a let under the circumstances that you describe in a non-officiated match. That’s the way I would have played it, and that’s the way I will continue to play it notwithstanding this referee’s “enlightenment” about the precise rule. It just seems unsporting to require a player to predict — at the beginning of a point — that a ball (or other obstacle) that did not seem like its position would be a problem when the point began could become one as the point develops. It also seems dangerous to require a player to risk injury to play the point with the ball/ obstacle remaining in position or else give up the point and the match. Indeed, giving Clive the benefit of doubt, I think it can be fairly assumed that he probably failed to clear the ball when he started the point because it may have been out of his line of sight and he simply did not notice it when he stepped up to serve. So the unanswered question in my mind is why didn’t the referee himself order that the ball be cleared before Clive started the point, as it was an officiated match? Isn’t that what referees are supposed to do?? And if the referee didn’t order the ball cleared because he didn’t think it had the potential to become an obstacle himself before the point began (or he didn’t see it either), then it seems even more unfair to make the call that he did to end the match.

    Marty – good thoughts and good questions. first point (from the other side of the net), this was going to be the opponent’s biggest win of his senior tennis career. Tough to be Mr. Nice Guy in that situation. Second, there are players (rare, i agree) who would see that ball there at the start and “save” the Let call, just in case they may need it later. tks, george

  2. tough match with Tibbits, George. I have played him in singles here in Chicago and he has been my doubles partner also in a couple tournaments – he is a gritty player and gets around the court well, and yes, when we play doubles, he is on the ad court for sure. He comes down from Canada a lot to play in the States, and now that he’s in the 70’s we’ll all be seeing a lot more of him.

    Lenny – he would be great returning from the ad court! george

  3. This post was fantastic as my 40+ women had a similar circumstance during regular league play and thankfully a player on the other court remarked “that ball has been sitting there for the last 3 points!” The player trying to call the let had all sorts of issues and distractions during the match, which we later discussed with our coach and how to handle in the future.

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