Woman Preparing to Serve in Tennis

Serve Disagreement

Mei serves a first serve to the receiver, and the receiver's partner calls a clearly “in” ball “out.” The receiver returns the ball, and Mei tries to return it but hits it into the net. Mei says that her team gets the point since her opponents disagreed on whether the serve was in or out.

Is this right?

No. Since Mei attempted to return the ball, the ball was considered in play and her opponents get the point.

From The Code Item 17:

A player shall make all calls promptly. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before an opponent has had an opportunity to play the return shot.

If Mei had not tried to return the ball, then she could have stopped the point and claimed it because when partners disagree on calls, they should always give their opponents the call that most benefits them (From the Code, Item 14). However, since she tried to return the ball, she forfeited the right to call a let or to claim the point.

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