Have you ever had a disagreement with an opponent over a call on the court? Or, maybe you’re simply curious about how some scenarios are resolved – no matter how common or ridiculous they may seem.
Here is one such instance (on the ridiculous end):
During a rally, I was deep behind the baseline when my opponent hit a drop shot. I started running towards it, even though I knew I wouldn’t get to it in time. Out of shear desperation, I threw my racquet at the ball. Miraculously, the racquet face connected with the ball and barely knocked it back over the net for a winner. Of course, I started celebrating in my head, but my opponent said that it was an illegal hit and that I lost the point. I thought she was arguing because she was losing, but I gave her the point anyway. Was she correct?
Wow! If points were given for style, that player definitely would have won for that shot! Unfortunately, however, the opponent was correct. If you are not holding the racquet when the ball connects with it, you lose the point.
In the video below (it’s old as far as video footage is concerned, maybe from 1996..?) Jimmy Connors had the most spectacular racquet throw for a winner, and even he didn’t win the point 🙂
The rule regarding this scenario can be found in the “Friend at Court” handbook under the ITF Rules of Tennis:
#24: Player Loses Point
j. The ball in play touches the racket when the player is not holding it.
Sometimes, things happen on the court that seem like they should be allowed but aren’t. And if there are any questions, refer to the “Friend at Court” handbook to be absolutely sure.
You can check out the “Friend at Court” handbook and download it here.