Rules for a Suspended Tennis Match

Tennis matchs can be suspended because of extreme temperatures.

Tennis matchs can be suspended because of extreme temperatures.

When playing hit-and-giggle Nestie tennis, making the decision to suspend your match can be obvious -- if it’s raining cats and dogs, then it’s time to stop. But, this isn’t the only situation that might warrant suspension. In official events, the decision to halt play is made by an umpire or referee in accordance with the rules. The rules also allow you to request a temporarily suspension, but, if your request doesn’t fall within the rules, you’re out of luck and have to keep on playing.

Why Suspend a Match?

The chair umpire can suspend your match due to unavoidable circumstances that may cause the courts to be unplayable or when conditions threaten the safety of the players and spectators. Two of the more common reasons are extreme weather conditions and darkness. Whenever possible, especially when the suspension is due to darkness, the umpire should wait until the end of a set or after you’ve played an even number of games in the set.

Starting the Match

At the beginning of a match players usually toss a coin to determine who serves first and which side of the court to start on. Players then take a short warm-up, but sometimes a match gets suspended before you even get a chance to warm up. If this were to happen and you're the player who first won the toss, you can choose again before you start your match.

Resuming Play

Once the officials determine the court is playable and the conditions are favorable to play your match, you hop back on the court and start where you left off. The score stays the same, and you take the same side of the court you were on before the suspension. You can take another warm-up but only if your match was suspended for more than 15 minutes. During this warm-up, used balls should be used whenever possible. You'll then play with the match balls when you resume your match.

Changing Courts

In most cases, the court you start your match on, you finish on. But there is an exception to this. If you are playing in a singles tournament and your match gets suspended due to weather, it can be moved to another court or indoors to allow you to finish. The change in courts must take place at the end of a set or after an even number of games have been played in the set.

Medical Conditions

An official can suspend your match due to a medical condition such as an illness, injury, a heat-related issue or any condition needing a diagnosis and treatment. If you injury yourself enough so that a lot of bleeding occurs, your match can be suspended up to15 minutes so the bleeding can be brought under control and the court can be cleaned up, if necessary. No coaching is allowed when a match is suspended due to a medical or bleeding suspension.

Equipment

Sometimes a malfunction can affect your clothing, shoes or some other piece of equipment, so that it’s impossible for you to continue to play. You can ask for a temporary suspension and an official can suspend the match long enough for you to leave the court to adjust and correct the problem. Matches can also be suspended to allow you to replace a lost contact lens. This doesn't apply to your racket. If it breaks, your match will not be suspended to allow you to leave the court to obtain another -- a good reason to carry a spare.

 

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