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Final Word: Switching Sides and Talking On Court

July 11, 2013 03:02 PM
Can you yell on court if you hit a bad shot?
Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved. 
USTA Director of Officials Richard Kaufman is here to answer your questions. He selects a few submissions at a time and supplies the definitive rulings through a Q&A. 
Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!
Topic: Switching Ends During a Tie-break
Question: The rules are clear on who has the first serve in the following set. The team that received the first point of the tiebreaker has the first serve in the following set. The rules also say to switch ends. But do you switch ends from where the tiebreaker started or from where the tiebreaker ended? I’ve had opponents argue vehemently both ways with maybe 60 percent saying from where the tiebreaker ended and 40 percent saying from where the tiebreaker started. Which is it?

KAUFMAN: No matter how many times you changed ends during a tie-break, you always switch ends at the conclusion of a tie-break.
Topic: Talking On Court

Question: I have a bad habit of saying stuff like "Fiddlesticks" when I hit a bad shot that is either going out or hit right to my opponent. I don’t yell it out, but I definitely do say it. One of my regular opponents -- and a friend -- says that is a hindrance. What would you say?
KAUFMAN: You should not be talking when your opponent is about to hit a shot. That can be deemed a hindrance if it is loud enough. If your shot is going out and the opponent does not play the ball, your comment should not hinder anyone.
Any communication you have with a doubles partner while the ball is in play should be done in such a way as to not hinder your opponent from playing a shot.


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