A reader question: “During a USTA singles match, my opponent wanted me to hold the third ball while she was serving. I refused, saying the balls should be on her side of the court while she was serving. She said she didn’t want the third ball on her side so put it on the “caddy” during her service game. She said there is no rule that says the balls have to be on the server’s side. What are your thoughts?”
For the reverse, there is a rule: you cannot (like some “controlling players” like to do) keep the third ball in your pocket if the server DOES WANT the third ball on her side. You have to give them all three when they ask.
But I do not believe there is a rule that says the server HAS to have all the balls on her side while she is serving. They provide balls in cans of three to speed up play; so that you are not always chasing down a ball, if there were only two – which is what you would have to do, if you put the third ball on the net caddy like she asked.
anyone know a rule?
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