2011 Rule Change: USTA Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee has determined that any call on a serve or in a rally corrected from out to good is loss of point to the player or team that corrected the call, even if the ball is put back into play. An out call on any ball (on a serve or in a rally) that is corrected to good is considered to have created a hindrance to play and it is loss of point due to this hindrance.
NOTE: The only exception is on the first or second serve that is a service let (i.e. the ball hits the net before it lands in the service box). Let serves that occur on first or second serve and called out and are then corrected to good result in the replay of the entire point, thus a first serve to the server.
24. PLAYER LOSES POINT IF
- The player serves two consecutive faults; or
- The player does not return the ball in play before it bounces twice consecutively; or
- The player returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground, or before it bounces, an object, outside the correct court; or
- The player returns the ball in play so that, before it bounces, it hits a permanent fixture; or
- The receiver returns the service before it bounces; or
- The player deliberately carries or catches the ball in play on the racket or deliberately touches it with the racket more than once; or
- The player or the racket, whether in the player’s hand or not, or anything which the player is wearing or carrying touches the net, net posts/singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band, or the opponent’s court at any time while the ball is in play; or
- The player hits the ball before it has passed the net; or
- The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing or carrying, except the racket; or
- The ball in play touches the racket when the player is not holding it; or
- The player deliberately and materially changes the shape of the racket when the ball is in play; or
- In doubles, both players touch the ball when returning it.
Case 1: After the server has served a first service, the racket falls out of the server’s hand and touches the net before the ball has bounced. Is this a service fault, or does the server lose the point?
Decision: The server loses the point because the racket touches the net while the ball is in play.
Case 2: After the server has served a first service, the racket falls out of the server’s hand and touches the net after the ball has bounced outside the correct service court. Is this a service fault, or does the server lose the point?
Decision: This is a service fault because when the racket touched the net the ball was no longer in play.
Case 3: In a doubles match, the receiver’s partner touches the net before the ball that has been served touches the ground outside the correct service court. What is the correct decision?
Decision: The receiving team loses the point because the receiver’s partner touched the net while the ball was in play.
Case 4: Does a player lose the point if an imaginary line in the extension of the net is crossed before or after hitting the ball?
Decision: The player does not lose the point in either case provided the player does not touch the opponent’s court.
Case 5: Is a player allowed to jump over the net into the opponent’s court while the ball is in play?
Decision: No. The player loses the point.
Case 6: A player throws the racket at the ball in play. Both the racket and the ball land in the court on the opponent’s side of the net and the opponent(s) is unable to reach the ball. Which player wins the point?
Decision: The player who threw the racket at the ball loses the point.
Case 7: A ball that has just been served hits the receiver or in doubles the receiver’s partner before it touches the ground. Which player wins the point?
Decision: The server wins the point, unless it is a service let.
Case 8: A player standing outside the court hits the ball or catches it before it bounces and claims the point because the ball was definitely going out of the correct court.
Decision: The player loses the point, unless it is a good return, in which case the point continues.