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Deceptive serves - Legal or not?

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by ThomasJE, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. ThomasJE

    ThomasJE Regular Member

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    I was playing in a junior doubles competition a couple of weeks ago, and one of my opponents was preparing for an underarm forehand serve, aiming for the back of the court; he pulled his racket back, and the stopped, turned his body for a short flick serve and the gently flicked it forward for a flick serve; which sent me scrambling towards the net to return it. My thoughts turned immediately to the legality of the serve, and my teacher thought it was perfectly legal.

    So, is it or not? I think the main possible rule breach would be rules 9.1.1 and 9.2:
    So, what are your opinions?
     
  2. amleto

    amleto Regular Member

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  3. lordrogue

    lordrogue Regular Member

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    As long as he isn't pulling back the racket again ie double motion i think it's legal. Preparing for a flickserve and then slowing down to do a short is perfectly fine. But if say he stops mid motion for a while and causes the opponent to lose balance, I believe the service should be redone, but perhaps out of courtesy. Im not an umpire though and it was a bit unclear from your explanation
     
  4. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    In singles, I do sneak a few points by pretending to do a high serve but slowing down at the last moment to make a short serve as is described by lordrogue.

    I do agree the OP's description is a bit unclear -a flick serve is a shot that is looks like a short serve to the front of the court but suddenly made to go higher and then over the opponent to the back of the court. A "short flick serve" is a flick serve that is not going to the back of the court. Thus the opponent has a very good opportunity to smash it back into one's own face.
     
  5. ThomasJE

    ThomasJE Regular Member

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    He moved his feet; so it is a fault. Thanks for the link as well.

    Yeah; my explanation probably wasn't the clearest.

    By 'underarm forehand serve', I mean a high serve and by 'short flick serve' I mean a low serve. Hope that cleared things up.
     
  6. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Your opponent can learn from Cheung. :)

    It is possible to pretend to do that serve (forehand high) and then suddenly change to tap it gently low over the net, without being illegal.
     
  7. Agile_Monkey

    Agile_Monkey Regular Member

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  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    service judge is supposed to watch the server, while the umpire is supposed to watch the receiver.

    that's why the umpire called fault on the receiver and not the service judge.
     
  9. CantSmashThis

    CantSmashThis Regular Member

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    As kwun stated above.

    I think that was a bad call though. Yes, Andre moved his foot, but within legal means. He only 'tip toed', therefore some part of both feet is still remaining in contact with the ground making it legal.
     
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    I've noticed at the recent Australian Open that the umpires have made a few of these receiver calls that were in bad judgment. Really, how can the umpire be absolutely sure he can see/hear the server serve first in order to judge whether the receiver had moved too soon? Next to some of the subjective service faults above the waist, this one also sorely needs updating... perhaps with player challenge via instant replay.
     
  11. ChubbyCheshire

    ChubbyCheshire Regular Member

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    If the server changed from forehand to backhand or vice versa, then that movement would mean the serve had commenced, so if it was not in a single movement - which is unlikely as that is quite difficult to do - it would be a foul.
     

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