“I’ve fallen and can’t get up”

fallingSomething happens to your opponent during a point (they fall down, drop their racquet, etc)… can you call a Let or a Hindrance or nothing?


Naples tennis player Howie Cohen writes. “George,
In a recent match when the opposing team was serving the net man fell down suddenly before the return was struck.
Can the receiving team call a let?”

My Answer:

I would think if the receiver did NOT attempt to return the serve, they could; but if they returned the serve and missed, they could not.

Loose Racquet

A similar question revolves around your opponent’s sweaty hand losing the grip on their racquet and it goes flying during the point. If you are distracted and miss the next shot, can you call a Hindrance or Let?

I don’t know. But here is what the USTA says,

A player who is hindered by an opponent’s unintentional act or by something else outside the player’s control is entitled to a let only if the player could have made the shot had the player not been hindered.”

So it would seem in both cases, a LET could be called (but not a point-awarding Hindrance).

Your thoughts?

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5 thoughts on ““I’ve fallen and can’t get up”

  1. From Howie’s description, the net man may have just had a heart attack or stroke. I would stop the point immediately, regardless of the progress of the point. If all was okay, I’d then request a let. Imagine how you’d feel if you continued to play the point and the guy had had a heart attack.

    Keith, now, there’s the Human View! thanks (and Howie is a heart specialist!!). george

  2. I agree with Keith, completely. No tennis match is more important than the potential health problem of another player on the court.

  3. Seems like calling a let every time something unusual happens could lead to a lot of Let Abuse. It would be simpler to just finish the point.

    Terry, yes, unless it REALLY impacted your play. PS i am in favor of not calling Lets on serves that touch the net. thanks, george

  4. George I agree about not calling lets for serves that touch the net. And while we are changing the rules – a ball should be “in play” once it leaves the server’s hand. No do overs for bad tosses – they should be in play.

    Ted, i kinda agree on your ball toss rule. thanks, george

  5. Some of you folks are heartless! A well placed overhead could serve as a precordial thump. And, should that prove insufficient, there’s plenty of time to get some CPR and automated defibrillation going. Priorities. . .

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