I personally can’t stand playing tennis indoors, and what happened this past week is just one (of many) reason why.
My doubles partner was returning a wide ball, but ran into the netting that divides the courts. As she did so, her foot got caught in an existing hole (created by previous players doing the same thing) in the netting, causing her to nearly fall and drop her racket.
She wasn’t hurt, and managed to free her foot, regain her balance and grab her racket, but she didn’t make it to the ball in time. So of course, we assumed the point would be played over since the net divider is a few feet away from the sidelines. But our opponents argued that the netting was part of the court, and that they won the point.
WTF?! How could they say that?! Obviously, the net is NOT part of the court – it’s more than 2 feet away from the court!
Quick! Someone get out their USTA rules handbook!
Well… Our opponents were right. According to Rule 2, the court dividers are considered to be a “permanent fixture”.
Rule 2: Permanent Fixtures
The permanent fixtures of the court include the backstops and sidestops, the spectators, the stands and seats for spectators, all other fixtures around and above the court, the chair umpire, line umpires, net umpire and ball persons when in their recognized positions.
WOW! I had no idea!
As unfair as this rule seems, at least we were satisfied that our opponents had to deal with the same problem. And with serves out wide and sharply angled shots, we made sure they had to deal with that problem. A lot!
Has this ever happened to you? Do you think this rule is fair? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!