Pre-Mature Erasure?

A similar mark
A similar mark
In one of the matches today, a player served a near-ace on the deuce court sideline. His opponent called it out; and when the server went up to the mark, he could see that it was most likely touching the line. But………….

The receiver looked at the mark, said again that it was out, “circled” the mark by running his racquet ALONG THE LINE and over the disputed area. And then erased the mark with his foot.

Someone commented after the match that erasing the mark would have been a point penalty. But I cannot find it online.

(Besides being poor sportsmanship) Anyone know the rule?

Me vs. former US #1 Joe Bachmann

Joe B.
Joe B.
I knew it would be a losing effort to try to just hit baseline groundstrokes with this veteran lefty; so my game plan was to: stand inside the baseline to protect against his killer drop shots, avoid his stronger forehand, and aggressively hit out (6.88) on my forehand.

First set… he went up an early break and I was serving at 0-3. I was able to win three of the next four games and served a critical game at 3-4. In a game that had at least five deuces (and both ad-in and ad-outs), Joe was able to break and then serve out the set at 6-3.

I started serving the second set and held; but Joe contended it was 1-1. After reviewing the sequence, he relented (but then ended up reporting the first set score as 6-2 anyway!).

I went up an early break; but immediately gave it back. Then I went up another break (my aggressive forehand being the difference); but gave that back. I served another critical and long game at 5-5. Joe made some incredible gets on my corner-to-corner drives + my good drop shots; and he was able to break.

He then served out the set and the match for a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

After the match, as I always do, I ask the higher seeded player for any suggestions. Joe said, “None! It is obvious that your practice is paying off and both your slice backhand and forehand were great today. You should have won that second set.”

Tomorrow, Tom McCune and I play doubles.

For the link to the tournament site, the full results, and draws, please click HERE

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10 thoughts on “Pre-Mature Erasure?

  1. Thanks to Michael Fenster for the link to this info (see the third bullet down):

    Matches played on Clay Courts
    For matches played on clay courts, there are some additional procedures that all players should follow:
    • A ball mark can only be checked on a point ending shot, or when play is stopped (a return is permitted, but then the player must immediately stop).
    • Players are prohibited from checking the mark of the ball on their opponent’s side of the court, unless invited by their opponent to do so.
    • If a player erases the mark, he/she is conceding the call.
    • If there is a disagreement over a ball mark, the Referee (or assistant) can be called to make a final decision.
    • If a player calls a ball out, he/she should, in normal circumstances, be able to show the mark.
    • If a player incorrectly calls a ball out and then realises that the ball was good, the player who called out loses the point.

  2. The opposing player isn’t allowed to check the mark even if invited to do so. This happened in a match I played a couple of years ago. My opponent didn’t like my call. I invited him to see the mark, which he did, and was satisfied. I spoke to an umpire after the match and he said that under no circumstances is the other player allowed to cross the net. If he doesn’t like the call, ask for an umpire.

    Andy – according to my understanding + the piece i posted as a comment, he can come “if invited.” I have found that not all ref’s know all the rules. george

  3. Thanks for the interesting and varied stories you’ve captured this past few weeks and even past few months, George. Really enjoying the wonderful threads you’ve been weaving in for us all. From professional to amateur reflections, you’ve become quite a reporter! Thanks from Parker, Colorado, where we aren’t playing nearly as often, and certainly not outdoors on clay, as you lucky ones are in Florida. All the best, Paige Hiatt

    Paige – tks. hearing positive feedback reinforces the effort for me those times at night that “i dont feel like writing.” Stay warm and play well. george

  4. It seems so far you have many different opinions but not yet an official rule. I hope we
    will hear from a Larry or Fred on this subject.
    Another opinion is that most of us competitive players will not make a bad call on
    purpose but we are all human and capable of an error. The person making the call
    on clay should be able to immediately circle the mark and do it.
    If he can not do that decisively my opinion is he missed it and give up the point.
    If a player thinks he was hooked he should be able to ask if they are sure of the call.
    Once the call is confirmed that should be the end of it.
    The important thing here is good sportsmanship.

    Thanks for all your thought provoking subjects!

  5. George,

    I realize the tournament is now putting up a tent because of the incoming threat of rain. This is an unexpected expense to the tournament. Do you think it is possible/appropriate to see if the players would like to donate their prize money back to the event to help offset this? I know this is going to cost them quite a bit.

    Fred Robinson

    Fred – That is a good thought (and since i am unlikely to be collecting any, it is fine with me!). I will post to see if it gains any momentum. tks, george

  6. George, Joe is staying w/me and saw your comment on the scores, and wanted you to know he reported the scores 6-3,7-5. They posted the scores wrong and he asked them to correct it today. Also stated to me that you played really well…..

    Paul – Tks on both! george

  7. George, although you posted the text of the link from Michael Fenster containing a list of rules on “Matches played on Clay Courts,” could you also post (or send me privately) the actual link for these bullet points? These issues tend to come up repeatedly in clay court matches, and it would be useful to be able to pull a definitive/ authoritative list of rules out of my tennis bag — straight from the source — to resolve such disputes in the future. [Not that you are not a “definitive/ authoritative” source yourself, but somehow it seems an errant opponent would be more likely to be convinced he/she is wrong if the citation were to “The Code,” for example, “instead of Senior Tennis and Fitness” :-)]. For example, I note the post from Andy Bloom where he mentions that an umpire told him a player could not cross the net to check the mark even if invited, but one of the bullet points says exactly the opposite. If even umpires are not fully aware of the rules — and it has been my experience the state of knowledge of the rules among tennis officials is frequently uneven — it would really help to have these items in writing. Thanks, Marty

    Marty – not sure if it makes a difference, but it turns out the rules are from Australian tennis…


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