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Rules of Tennis: Ball in Play


Unless a fault or a let is called, the ball is in play from the moment the server hits the ball, and remains in play until the point is decided.

USTA Comment 11.1: Is a point decided when a good shot has clearly passed a player, or when an apparently bad shot passes over the baseline or sideline? No. A ball is in play until it bounces twice or lands outside the court, hits a permanent fixture, or hits a player. A ball that becomes imbedded in the net is out of play.

USTA Comment 11.2: Must an out call on a player's shot to the opponent's court be made before the opponent's return has either gone out of play or been hit by the first player? Yes.




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