More Commonly Asked Tennis Questions

There are so many rules in tennis that it can be tough to accurately determine who is at fault when certain situations come up. The more that you know about the sport, the better the chance you have at being able to avoid any controversy should one of the less-common situations in tennis come up.

Q: When can I call a foot foul on my opponent?
A: In a match that is not being judged by a referee, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you should call out a foot foul. Since tennis rules stipulate that the opponent should be given the benefit of the doubt in any controversial calls, foot fouls should only be called when every effort of informing the opponent about the practice has failed and the foot fouling continues to a flagrant degree.

Q: What mistakes result in a service fault?
A: Service faults can be caused by a number of factors. When a player makes a foot foul, doesn’t serve from the proper area, or doesn’t follow the proper form for preparing the serve, they are said to have a service fault. In addition, players that miss the ball whilst trying to serve are also said to have committed a service fault. If, after serving, the ball hits a permanent fixture of the court, such as the singles stick or the posts of the net before bouncing, a service fault is committed. Finally, when the ball touches the server or the server’s partner, or any part of their clothing, before or after a serve, a service fault is said to have occurred. After the first service fault occurs, the server is expected to take their second serve without delay as to ensure that they are not simply buying time to rest.
Service should be performed by the serving party within 20 seconds, or they will incur a time violation.

Q: What determines a let?
A: A let occurs most often when, during service, the ball touches the net and lands on the opponent’s side of the court. There are a few other situations that merit a let, including the unlikely situation in which the ball hits one of the receivers or an article of their clothing before bouncing. Also, if the ball is served before the receiver is ready, a let occurs. The service is considered to have never occurred, and it does not change the results of any prior faults on the part of the server.