Tennis is not a contact sport and therefore seems reasonably safe. Still, balls can come at you at high speeds, so the sport does involve some risk. But what happens if a ball hits you in tennis?
If a tennis player touches the ball with any body part, clothing, or shoes, the player in question loses the point. In tennis, only touching the ball with the tennis racket is allowed—any other contact results in a loss point.
As you have read, only touching the ball with the racket is allowed. In this article, I will tell you all the rules regarding this situation, and you will find out if it is allowed to hit the ball against your opponent.
When a match is in progress, and the point is live – meaning that the ball is in play and the two players are engaging in a rally – a ball may hit a player.
But what happens when the ball hits a tennis player?
When the ball hits a tennis player, that player will lose the point. The point will be lost if the player touches the ball with any body part, clothing, or shoes. It is only allowed to hit the ball with the racket.
If your teammate hits you with the ball in a doubles match, after which the ball still goes over the net, this point will also be lost.
So it doesn’t matter if you are hit by your teammate’s ball or the opponent’s ball; the point is always lost if you hit the ball with a body part, clothing, or shoes.
Hitting your opponent is inevitable in tennis, especially when playing close to the net. You may get nailed with a fast-paced groundstroke when you’re at the net or even a rogue overhead.
Usually, when it is accidental, players will apologize. However, there is a difference between accidentally getting hit with a ball and purposely hitting someone.
Some coaches tell their players to aim for other players, especially as double’s tactics.
Players will often be coached to aim for the net player’s feet because it is an incredibly awkward spot to return a shot and typically leads to an easy pop-up that can be put away. It’s seen as a tactic in this instance.
There are moments where players hit a player, or at least try, out of spite or revenge. It’s rare, thankfully, since tennis is known for its etiquette and good sportsmanship.
Here is a compilation of professional players hitting each other during their matches:
Most of the time, it’s accidental, and players will play it off comically, as seen in some clips in the above video. It’s a crowd-pleaser, to be honest.
I’m sure it doesn’t feel the best because little does feel good when a ball rockets at you and nails you in your back, side, face, or your most delicate parts.
To put that in perspective for you, professional players hit their groundstrokes on average between speeds of 71 to 83 miles (114 to 133 km) per hour.
Just imagine a ball coming at that speed hitting you. It wouldn’t feel good, but the professional players typically make the best of it.
Ultimately, it’s part of the game, and so it can happen in a match. It can happen by accident, but it can also be used as a tactic.
So, how often are players hit by the ball?
As you can see in the compilation video and the other hundreds of videos like it, it is common to get hit with the tennis ball. It’s part of the game, an occupational hazard, if you will.
Playing tennis means that you will be hit with a tennis ball, and you will most definitely hit others with tennis balls.
A moving object (ball) will hit another moving object (you) at some point during a match. If it’s not on purpose, make sure your opponent or doubles partner is okay and laugh it off.
But remember that tennis rules prohibit touching the ball with any body part, clothing, or shoes.