A long-time Newk camp friend writes, “What are the rules and what should you do if you play a guy who tosses and tosses up the ball for serve and catches it over and over?”
“It is really annoying as you can imagine. What are the rules? I like to take a split step as the toss goes up and prepare for the return. But when a server gives you false start after false start. You are thrown off when it finally comes in. You get no rhythm on a return with that distraction.
I have a buddy that does this when we play for fun so I am a lot more tolerant. But I encountered this at a district match and it really affected my returns. On one serve he tossed it up over 7 times. Then the hard flat serve came in and almost aced me.
After the match I felt like I should have called the USTA referee over to clarify the situation. Your comments?” Mike
The Rule (change?)
Sorry Mike, there is no rule that prevents repeated ball tosses (or in Djokovic case, ball bounces); so he can toss and toss. If Brad Gilbert had his way, he would change the rule to make the serve BEGIN with the toss of the ball; and therefore, it would be a Fault, if the server then caught the toss.
But, I am like you and try to time my move in on the server’s toss; so I also get thrown off by repeated tosses. Not sure that anything can be done to stop it.
Personal Update: It is now seven weeks since my hip replacement and we are up in New Hampshire for the summer. I have used the ball machine, in Florida and here, five times so far and will hit with an actual person (Bob Wilkie) for the first time on Friday!
Rehab and recovery seem to be going well; but it is truly amazing how out of condition I got limping around for two months before the surgery, having the surgery, and seven weeks of rehab! I am TRYING to be patient.
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