Author Topic: help me out with this line dispute...  (Read 4268 times)

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Offline suzy4hand

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help me out with this line dispute...
« on: May 08, 2006, 10:04:19 PM »
i was playing against a friend the other day, and i decided to end the point with a drop shot.  it had LOTS of spin on it, went over the net, but when it hit the ground, the spin made it spin BACKWARDS and back over the net and onto my side of the court.  

after a long laugh, i said it was my point, my friend said it should be replayed.  it didn't bother me at all to replay it, but i am really curious how that should be called.


anyone have a clue?

Offline Arcforce

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2006, 10:08:40 PM »
lol this is one o fthose things that you think "how funny would it be if THAT happened" and then it actulaly does and you're like holy crap what's the rule on that one? Someone actually sent a question like this into Tennis Magazine a couple months ago, I remember reading it. I cant be 100% sure what the verdict was on it but I THINK they said something along the lines of if your opponent doesnt get a racquet on it before it goes back over to your side of the net, they lose the point. Could be wrong tho...

Ironic that happened tho lol

Offline suzy4hand

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2006, 10:17:09 PM »
haha tell me about it! we both just sort of stood there for a sec staring at it and then started cracking up... i'll see if i can dig through my tennis mag archive and find it

Offline Chris1987

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2006, 12:30:26 AM »
Quote from: "Arcforce"
lol this is one o fthose things that you think "how funny would it be if THAT happened" and then it actulaly does and you're like holy crap what's the rule on that one? Someone actually sent a question like this into Tennis Magazine a couple months ago, I remember reading it. I cant be 100% sure what the verdict was on it but I THINK they said something along the lines of if your opponent doesnt get a racquet on it before it goes back over to your side of the net, they lose the point. Could be wrong tho...

Ironic that happened tho lol


Exactly right what you said Arc, if the ball bounces on your opponents side but spins back onto your side of the court, without the help from your opponent, it is your point.
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Offline suzy4hand

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2006, 12:42:11 AM »
Quote from: "ChrisTaylor1987"
Exactly right what you said Arc, if the ball bounces on your opponents side but spins back onto your side of the court, without the help from your opponent, it is your point.


thanks!  i really don't think i've EVER seen it happen.  i didn't even think you could put that much spin on it! haha

Offline Tennis4you

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2006, 05:06:44 AM »
This is the ONLY time in tennis you or your opponent are allowed to reach over the net to hit the ball.  If your opponent did not touch it before it came back over and bounced it is your point.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline wilsonboy

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help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2006, 06:04:45 AM »
Quote from: "suzy4hand"
Quote from: "ChrisTaylor1987"
Exactly right what you said Arc, if the ball bounces on your opponents side but spins back onto your side of the court, without the help from your opponent, it is your point.


thanks!  i really don't think i've EVER seen it happen.  i didn't even think you could put that much spin on it! haha


That's actually happened to me be4. I was volleying when it happened though. It's supposed to be your point b/c the rule book says that if the ball bounces within the lines, and ur opponent is unable to return it, it's a winner.
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Offline djinni9

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 06:11:25 PM »
Hi suzy, congratulations on your freak shot!
actually you're all wrong. the rules are explicit in this situation. the basic rule in tennis is that you have to RETURN the ball (before it bounces twice) no matter what in order to stay in the point. so suzy, you might be suprised that you DO NOT replay the point, for you have already LOST it!
To make it clearer: you hit this drop shot and without it bouncing twice and without your opponent being able to return it, it comes back over the net. You MUST return it before it bounces twice or you lose the point (unless it goes back to your side of the net but goes out before bouncing, i guess). This is clear in the rules, in fact, even if it never bounced in your opponent's court after crossing the net and came back due to strong wind, you still have to return it. crazy rule, but the rule never the less! As pointed out correctly, your opponent, after the bounce or no bounce, once it retreats over the net, can reach over the net - without touching it - and, say, smash the ball away; they win the point. Furthermore, you cannot stand in the way of your opponent's swing; you must allow them to swing away, even if they're 2 feet inside your court; if you do, it's called a hindrance and you lose the point. so, next time this happens, keep this in mind!!

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2008, 06:44:34 PM »
Hi suzy, congratulations on your freak shot!
actually you're all wrong. the rules are explicit in this situation. the basic rule in tennis is that you have to RETURN the ball (before it bounces twice) no matter what in order to stay in the point. so suzy, you might be suprised that you DO NOT replay the point, for you have already LOST it!
To make it clearer: you hit this drop shot and without it bouncing twice and without your opponent being able to return it, it comes back over the net. You MUST return it before it bounces twice or you lose the point (unless it goes back to your side of the net but goes out before bouncing, i guess). This is clear in the rules, in fact, even if it never bounced in your opponent's court after crossing the net and came back due to strong wind, you still have to return it. crazy rule, but the rule never the less! As pointed out correctly, your opponent, after the bounce or no bounce, once it retreats over the net, can reach over the net - without touching it - and, say, smash the ball away; they win the point. Furthermore, you cannot stand in the way of your opponent's swing; you must allow them to swing away, even if they're 2 feet inside your court; if you do, it's called a hindrance and you lose the point. so, next time this happens, keep this in mind!!

Hard to follow all of what you are saying.  But the rules remain as originally stated above.  If you hit a drop shot and it lands on your opponent's side of the court and then bounces back over the net onto your side of the court and your opponent never touched the ball, you win the point.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the only situation in tennis that you are allowed to reach over the net to hit a ball (as the opponent who did not hit the drop shot of course).

He/she who hits the drop shot wins the point in the situation above.  The opponent MUST hit the ball to stay in the point.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline djinni9

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2008, 07:50:59 PM »
Hard to follow all of what you are saying.  But the rules remain as originally stated above.  If you hit a drop shot and it lands on your opponent's side of the court and then bounces back over the net onto your side of the court and your opponent never touched the ball, you win the point.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the only situation in tennis that you are allowed to reach over the net to hit a ball (as the opponent who did not hit the drop shot of course).

He/she who hits the drop shot wins the point in the situation above.  The opponent MUST hit the ball to stay in the point.

I don't want to be rude, especially since i'm no 'tennis god', but there is nothing hard to follow in what i wrote. i take great care in writing and speaking clearly.
if the ball bounces twice, end of story. if it comes back to your court before it bounces twice and was not returned by the opponent, you still HAVE to hit it back. If you leave it to bounce twice on your court, you lose the point. i'm sorry, you have misinterpreted the rule. lastly, that final part in your parenthesis seems a bit wrong to me. as the person who hit the drop shot initially, you CAN be allowed to reach over the net also, in a very particular circumstance: you hit the dropshot, it bounces once and comes back over the net by itself; then due to a freak change in wind direction, the ball, regardless of whether it bounced once or not, goes back over the net to your opponent's side. only now are you allowed to reach over the net and hit the ball, because you have that one 'right' to hit the ball back. You said "The opponent MUST hit the ball to stay in the point". True, BEFORE IT BOUNCES TWICE! The same goes for you too, i think you're forgetting that. i suspect this will be even more difficult to follow. don't worry, it happens to me too sometimes, when i'm reading, say, philosophy. i realize i have to actually think rather than merely read  ;-()

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2008, 07:59:31 PM »
I am sorry, but this is not the case.  I just want to be clear so no one who visits this site would think otherwise.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2008, 08:04:01 PM »
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline djinni9

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 08:35:41 PM »
5th paragraph down on this USTA site link clarifies this ruling: 

http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Improve_Your_Game/Archive/Player_to_Player/Rules/Reaching_over_the_net.aspx


well, the page mostly centers on the reaching over the net part, which we agree on anyway. it does mention the dropshot-backspin scenario. it is not clearly wrong, but neither is their statement of the rule correct, for it is incomplete and misleading. as long as the ball bounces ONCE and only once the dropshotter stays in the point, if it bounce twice on his side, he loses it, because he fails to return. their restatement of the rule is insufficient, it doesn't take into account all of the things i mentioned. i did not make up my 'take' on them, arbitrarily or by common sense. i read it somewhere too. that source, my understanding of them and my explanation of them in my posts are clearly more detailed and more specific than those on the USTA page. i may be going out on a limb, but the inner logic of my arguments are superior to USTA's statement of the rule and more compatible with the basic idea that in tennis you have to return the ball before it bounces twice. in this repect the above ruling is either self-contradictory or ambiguous, or both  :)

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 09:05:29 PM »
So in you theory, you could play tennis by yourself and just keep hitting so much backspin on your shots that the ball comes back to your side and you hit it before hit bounces twice? 

Still not the case, I am sorry and of course I am sorry that your initial experience here has to be in a disagreement.  If you come across the ruling as you are interrupting it please feel free to post it or link to it here.  As far as the USTA is concerned the rules state that the opponent loses the point once the ball bounces back onto the "drop-shotter's" side of the court.  Once that happens it is impossible for the drop-shotter to lose the point as it has already been awarded to them.
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Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 09:10:59 PM »
Another instance on the USTA website:

Quote
Q. I returned an opponent’s ball with a slice and the ball went over the net (barely), landed on her side of the court and bounced back on my side. My opponent was of course unable to return. I say it was my point. She argues. What say you?

A. It is your point. It is a rare, and great, shot. Enjoy it, because this happens so infrequently.

On another note, this would be the only instance when your opponent would be permitted to lean over the net and make contact with the ball on your side of the court, without physically touching the net of course.


Pulled from this page, 2/3 of the way down on the page:  http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Improve_Your_Game/Archive/Tennis_Tips/Rules_and_Line_Calls/Misc_Rules.aspx
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Offline djinni9

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 10:08:55 PM »
So in you theory, you could play tennis by yourself and just keep hitting so much backspin on your shots that the ball comes back to your side and you hit it before hit bounces twice? 

Still not the case, I am sorry and of course I am sorry that your initial experience here has to be in a disagreement.  If you come across the ruling as you are interrupting it please feel free to post it or link to it here.  As far as the USTA is concerned the rules state that the opponent loses the point once the ball bounces back onto the "drop-shotter's" side of the court.  Once that happens it is impossible for the drop-shotter to lose the point as it has already been awarded to them.

Okay, thanks for keeping it civilized up to this point.

i've been searching for the rules for a couple of minutes and all that i have come across do not address the issue or are ambiguous. i'll come to these a bit later.
first of all, what i have mentioned is not a 'theory'. they are the rules as i have read and understood them. my sources could have been wrong, or i could have misinterpreted them. BUT, they are less ambiguous and much more detailed and make much more sense compared to the alternatives, even those that are official; therefore, i ended up satisfied with them and took them for granted, even though initially, i too thought that the aforementioned scenario would result in a point for the dropshotter.
in theory, yes, you could play all by yourself all day. it might be funny, entertaining for a while, but eventually you'd have to win the point somehow.
for example, according to the USTA's or any of the other ruling sources i've found, due to their insufficiency and ambiguity, there is no implicit or explicit answer or solution to this - literally - out-of-this-world scenario: you hit a very vertical smash, the ball bounces in your opponent's court and ascends so high that it escapes Earth's gravity; leaves the atmosphere and enters the orbit of the moon. according to these sources, well....they are clueless. they implicitly state that you would win the point (as the smasher). my understanding, as i have propounded in my post, would at least implicitly call for a let. neither would have been able to make a return; the ball would never have bounced TWICE in either of their courts (or once inside and once outside, however far away), so neither could claim the point. at least my 'theory' addresses this farfetched scenario. if I am in disagreement with the USTA or whomever over this case, it is their problem, not mine; for, my understanding of the rule provides a solution to this case; their's does not.
now for the rules i've come across:

20. Player Loses Point
A player loses the point if:
a. He fails, before the ball in play has hit the ground twice consecutively, to return it directly over the net (except as provided in Rule 24(a) or (c)); or 

-ah, but the ball in our discussion never bounced twice on his court. he does not fail, then.
-what if the ball somehow makes its way back on its own to opponent's court. well, reapply the rule. the other player fails if it bounces twice consecutively and he's unable to return it. not as explicit or eloquently put as myself  :) but does suffice if you think about it. simply, dropshotter, if he allows the ball to bounce twice, loses the point.

in case you protest, rule 24(a) or (c) are ancilliary and only concern the net posts, cords and them being struck etc. take my word for it.

24 b. If the ball, served or returned, hits the ground within the proper Court and rebounds or is blown back over the net, and the player whose turn it is to strike reaches over the net and plays the ball, provided that he does not contravene Rule 20(e); or

-this mentions our issue but is only concerned with the reaching over the net part, on which we and the USTA agree

so, we are left with a few choices in our discussion.
- the rules as i have quoted them implicitly provide for the examples i have given, though not clearly elaborating on them. i am right although the rules are somewhat clumsily formulated and presented
- the rules do not in anyway mention or take into account the examples i have given, and i don't mean the most farfetched ones. they are crude, clumsy and totally unsatisfactory. my understanding, whatever its ultimate source, does take into account all these things and provides fair solutions to them. again i am right
- the rules, whether clear-cut or not, are riddled with contradictions. mine aren't. again, i am right  :)

vis-a-vis judical fiat, i'll concede that i might be wrong. the official rules might not agree with me. but i've managed to drive holes through them. but this is the plight of theoreticians. nobody takes them seriously at first. nobody can really follow and match their analytical depth; but eventually the traditional rules, systems and frameworks are exposed for what they are: fallacious, self-contradictory, ambiguous or at best, insufficient.

damn i should have been a lawyer  :)~

Offline jeffrx

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2008, 11:35:06 PM »
Nice shot!  I've never been able to pull that off in a match.  I'm jeolous....
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Offline Tennis4you

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2008, 06:56:09 AM »
Okay, thanks for keeping it civilized up to this point.

i've been searching for the rules for a couple of minutes and all that i have come across do not address the issue or are ambiguous. i'll come to these a bit later.
first of all, what i have mentioned is not a 'theory'. they are the rules as i have read and understood them. my sources could have been wrong, or i could have misinterpreted them. BUT, they are less ambiguous and much more detailed and make much more sense compared to the alternatives, even those that are official; therefore, i ended up satisfied with them and took them for granted, even though initially, i too thought that the aforementioned scenario would result in a point for the dropshotter.
in theory, yes, you could play all by yourself all day. it might be funny, entertaining for a while, but eventually you'd have to win the point somehow.
for example, according to the USTA's or any of the other ruling sources i've found, due to their insufficiency and ambiguity, there is no implicit or explicit answer or solution to this - literally - out-of-this-world scenario: you hit a very vertical smash, the ball bounces in your opponent's court and ascends so high that it escapes Earth's gravity; leaves the atmosphere and enters the orbit of the moon. according to these sources, well....they are clueless. they implicitly state that you would win the point (as the smasher). my understanding, as i have propounded in my post, would at least implicitly call for a let. neither would have been able to make a return; the ball would never have bounced TWICE in either of their courts (or once inside and once outside, however far away), so neither could claim the point. at least my 'theory' addresses this farfetched scenario. if I am in disagreement with the USTA or whomever over this case, it is their problem, not mine; for, my understanding of the rule provides a solution to this case; their's does not.
now for the rules i've come across:

20. Player Loses Point
A player loses the point if:
a. He fails, before the ball in play has hit the ground twice consecutively, to return it directly over the net (except as provided in Rule 24(a) or (c)); or 

-ah, but the ball in our discussion never bounced twice on his court. he does not fail, then.
-what if the ball somehow makes its way back on its own to opponent's court. well, reapply the rule. the other player fails if it bounces twice consecutively and he's unable to return it. not as explicit or eloquently put as myself  :) but does suffice if you think about it. simply, dropshotter, if he allows the ball to bounce twice, loses the point.

in case you protest, rule 24(a) or (c) are ancilliary and only concern the net posts, cords and them being struck etc. take my word for it.

24 b. If the ball, served or returned, hits the ground within the proper Court and rebounds or is blown back over the net, and the player whose turn it is to strike reaches over the net and plays the ball, provided that he does not contravene Rule 20(e); or

-this mentions our issue but is only concerned with the reaching over the net part, on which we and the USTA agree

so, we are left with a few choices in our discussion.
- the rules as i have quoted them implicitly provide for the examples i have given, though not clearly elaborating on them. i am right although the rules are somewhat clumsily formulated and presented
- the rules do not in anyway mention or take into account the examples i have given, and i don't mean the most farfetched ones. they are crude, clumsy and totally unsatisfactory. my understanding, whatever its ultimate source, does take into account all these things and provides fair solutions to them. again i am right
- the rules, whether clear-cut or not, are riddled with contradictions. mine aren't. again, i am right  :)

vis-a-vis judical fiat, i'll concede that i might be wrong. the official rules might not agree with me. but i've managed to drive holes through them. but this is the plight of theoreticians. nobody takes them seriously at first. nobody can really follow and match their analytical depth; but eventually the traditional rules, systems and frameworks are exposed for what they are: fallacious, self-contradictory, ambiguous or at best, insufficient.

damn i should have been a lawyer  :)~


I guess you will need to take it up with the USTA and tell them to be more specific.  :)
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline Pacer

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2008, 12:20:20 PM »
I am sorry, but this is not the case.  I just want to be clear so no one who visits this site would think otherwise.

Good idea Scott. You're definitely right about the rule, but you already knew that. ;-()
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Offline djinni9

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Re: help me out with this line dispute...
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2008, 02:43:26 PM »
Another instance on the USTA website:

Pulled from this page, 2/3 of the way down on the page:  http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Improve_Your_Game/Archive/Tennis_Tips/Rules_and_Line_Calls/Misc_Rules.aspx


I read this and I am not convinced:
"Q. I returned an opponent’s ball with a slice and the ball went over the net (barely), landed on her side of the court and bounced back on my side. My opponent was of course unable to return. I say it was my point. She argues. What say you?

A. It is your point. It is a rare, and great, shot. Enjoy it, because this happens so infrequently.


On another note, this would be the only instance when your opponent would be permitted to lean over the net and make contact with the ball on your side of the court, without physically touching the net of course."

This is hardly 'official'. The person answering this 'casually' has not truly understood the official rule; he/she is contradicting the rule. Notice that he/she never explains why it is their point. Methinks this does not refute my argument; sorry, Scott, but this is the only thing you have been able to come up with and you keep bringing it up again. I see you have no argument or explanation of your own, you're just relying on this flimsy tidbit.

Ok, finally, the OFFICIAL ATP 2008 RULEBOOK page 186 says:

24. PLAYeR Loses PoiNT
The point is lost if:
a. The player serves two consecutive faults; or
b. The player does not return the ball in play before it bounces twice consecutively; or
c. The player returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground, or before it bounces, an
object, outside the correct court; or
d. The player returns the ball in play so that, before it bounces, it hits a permanent fixture;
or
e. The receiver returns the service before it bounces; or
f. The player deliberately carries or catches the ball in play on the racket or deliberately
touches it with the racket more than once; or
g. The player or the racket, whether in the player’s hand or not, or anything which the
player is wearing or carrying touches the net, net posts/singles sticks, cord or metal
cable, strap or band, or the opponent’s court at any time while the ball is in play; or
h. The player hits the ball before it has passed the net; or
i. The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing or carrying,
except the racket; or
j. The ball in play touches the racket when the player is not holding it; or
k. The player deliberately and materially changes the shape of the racket when the
ball is in play; or
l. In doubles, both players touch the ball when returning it.

AND

25. A GooD ReTURN
It is a good return if:
a. The ball touches the net, net posts/singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band,
provided that it passes over any of them and hits the ground within the correct
court; except as provided in Rule 2 and 24 (d); or
b. After the ball in play has hit the ground within the correct court and has spun or
been blown back over the net, the player reaches over the net and plays the ball
into the correct court, provided that the player does not break Rule 24
;

I see nothing here that proves me wrong; these are compatible with what I've been saying.

24 b clearly states a return must be made before two consecutive bounces. why else would they use the words 'twice' and 'consecutively'?

in our scenario the dropshotter's opponent never returned it; but the ball never bounced twice consecutively on his court. therefore, he has not lost the point.
the dropshotter, on the other hand, by leaving the backspinning ball to bounce twice on his court, HAS FAILED TO MAKE A RETURN. What part of this do you not understand?

As for 25 b, it merely says that in such a case the opponent can reach over the net to make a return. It DOES NOT say he MUST make a return this way.
Clear as day.

These are the only two rules that refer to this situation and they clearly prove what I've been saying all along.
Please indulge me with your own arguments and interpretation by sticking only to these official rules I have posted, not some short and casual Q & A session on USTA's page.

And Pacer, patting your buddy on the back telling him he's right...yeah, what great argumentation skills on your part. Well, Scott must be right then, if you say so!