You have the momentum and are getting ready to serve the next point; but your opponent raises his hand and slowly strolls across the court to pick up the third ball, while you say “I have two.” What should happen next?
But he disregards your comment and continues to pick up and toss the third ball to you. Is he being polite in giving you the third ball or illegally stalling?
This just happened in a practice singles match I was playing and my friend admitted that he was doing it to slow down the pace of the game and plan his strategy. If the server has two balls and is ready to go, is that legal?
The flip side of the rule is clear: the server can ask to have all three balls on his side before he serves (so he can pick the ones he wants).
And it is also clear that the rules state you should “play at the server’s reasonable pace.”
So, can the receiver ignore the server and pick up the third ball?
I think not.
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