South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official

The 'eyes' have it
by Anonymous

Q: Can I call a let while the ball is in play if a foreign object (leaf, bug, piece of lint) flies into my eye?

A: No let. The foreign object must interfere with play (be a potential distraction to both players). An occasional bug, leaf, or piece of lint, etc. are natural hazards of playing tennis outdoors. You can't call a let if the sun gets in your eye either. A ball from another court, a squirrel running across the playing surface, a tree limb falling on the court, etc. would be considered a distraction to both players. Either player may call a let, if it is done immediately (before the ball is hit). If the object is spotted, but no let is called right away, the object becomes "part of the court", and play continues (i.e., a let cannot be called).

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Jim Flood Jim Flood has been a USTA Professional Tennis Official for many years and has officiated at many of the biggest and most prestigious USTA professional tournaments, including the U.S. Open. He is also a computer instructor and multimedia specialist and also fills his spare time as a commercial actor and voiceover artist. Jim's motto is: "Play by the rules."

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