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How to Challenge a Call

When you feel that your opponent made an incorrect call, it's important to know the rules regarding how to correctly challenge that call. The Code is pretty clear on this:

"Player makes calls on his side of the net. A player calls all shots landing on, or aimed at, his side of the net.

Opponent’s calls questioned. A player may ask his opponent about his call by the query: “Are you sure of your call?” There shall be no further delay or discussion. If the opponent reaffirms that the ball was out, his call shall be accepted. If the opponent acknowledges that he is uncertain, he loses the point."

Furthermore, the challenger is NOT to cross the net to her opponent's side of the court unless invited, nor to call their coach/pro to arbitrate.

Knowing the protocol of challenging a call is important to avoid arguments and maintain an atmosphere of courtesy on the court.

Please read the article below from tennis.com's Court of Appeals column.



Court of Appeals: Missing the Mark
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2012 /BY REBEL GOOD
TAGS:Court of AppealsPrint

Our doubles opponent called a shot near the baseline out, winning the game. He circled the mark in the clay. We then changed ends and my partner and I saw the mark he circled and it was half on the line. When questioned, he said the mark didn’t matter because he saw it out and it was his call. Did the mark he circled matter?—Gordon Paulus, Gulf Breeze, FL

The problem here is timing. First, with no officials present, players make all calls on balls landing on their side of the net (The Code, Item 5). That’s what your opponent did. Second, you can’t immediately prove him wrong because, according to Standards of Conduct, Item 9, “A player shall not pass the net to inspect a ball mark.” You checked the mark during the changeover, which is legal, but by that time you had accepted that the game was over. Yes, your opponent violated The Code, Item 21, in reading the mark: “If any part of a ball mark touches a line on a clay court, the ball shall be called good.” But after he stiff-armed you on your protest, it was too late to do anything, other than remembering it when you marked your ballot for the “Sportsmanship Award.”


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