Naples tennis friend Ron Bartlett writes:
“In an un-officiated match the server hit a possible ace on set point but the receiver yelled out foot fault and did not attempt to return the serve. The server argued the receiver must FIRST give a warning then he can subsequently call a flagrant foot fault. After a decent argument the server then served his first serve again and he did not attempt to take the point.
The server should have taken the point and set- correct?”
In a Tournament
When playing a match where there IS a roving official, the steps are pretty clear:
• Warn your opponent
• If he continues, call an official
But what do you do in an UN-officiated match?
According to the USTA:
24. Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has committed a flagrant foot fault. If no official is available, the player may call flagrant foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless, is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call.
It appears pretty clear that there must be a warning first, but that warning would normally come AFTER a point has been played. I have never heard of anyone stopping play to call a foot fault.
Could it be like a hat-falling-off hindrance, that you play a Let on the first occurrence? I do not know.
Does anyone know??
By the way, in singles matches, it usually does not have an impact on the game; since the server usually stays back and thus gains very little advantage. But in doubles, the foot faulting will help them get to the net faster and DOES give them an advantage.
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