A friend of mine, Patty was telling me about an incident that happened last week and I just had to share it with y’all.
During a league match, she and her doubles partner had just won a point and were getting ready for the changeover when she noticed that the vibration dampener had fallen off of her racket. She found it on what was the opponent’s side of the court and put it back on, thinking nothing of it. However, when the opponents realized what happened, they argued that a USTA rule states that if the dampener fell off on their side of the court that they win the point.
Vaguely remembering the rule, Patty and her partner relinquished the point and had to play one more in order to close out the game, and they were wrong for doing so. Here’s why:
The applicable rule of the ITF Rules Of Tennis states that the point is lost if
24(g) PLAYER LOSES POINT
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.
Had the opponents actually seen it come off, they could have claimed the point. Not only that but had my friend or her partner seen it come off, they would have been obligated to make the call against themselves as well. But no one was aware of what happened until the point was over, so Patty should have kept her point.
On the bright side, Patty and her partner whupped some tennis butt and won the match!