I guess this is crystal clear to a more knowledgeable tennis fan or player, who knows whether that ref (or is it a “line judge”?) is lax in not taking more notice of what happened. And when “second serve” is an appropriate call.


  1. The call would normally be made only by the chair umpire, line judges do not communicate directly with the players. Confirming the service number usually occurs only when there might be doubt, such as after a “let” call, or when unusual external interference has occurred (like the ball hitting a bird, or whatever). In the case shown here the player might have been hoping for a merciful “let”-type ruling, but be he’s out of luck. Players are solely responsible for the condition of their equipment: if a string breaks, or a shoe sole detaches, or the racquet implodes, that’s the player’s fault, and a lost point (or service fault) remains as it originally happened.

  2. It’s difficult to say if the pictured was on the serving or receiving end, but I’m guessing the latter. It’s not uncommon for pro players to reach 120 MPH on their serve (the record is 163.4 MPH, by Australian Sam Groth, which would just make me hover in fear of getting hit). I’m thinking that the player in this comic tried to return such a serve and this is the result.

  3. Are we seeing the server or the receiver? “Second serve” means that the first try missed the mark and server gets to try again. If this guy is the receiver, the first serve clearly did not miss. If he’s the server, he must’ve had his Wheaties this morning.

  4. Boise Ed – It means the first serve missed the service area. It obviously did not miss the racket.

    I take this guy to be the receiver. He is now realizing the power his opponent brings to the game. 2nd serve might be slower, but at some point he is either going to get killed because his opponent is erratic and can’t control the shots and one might hit him, or he is going to be hopelessly outmatched. Not to mention he is likely to run out of rackets.

  5. Where is the ball? I’m thinking it disintegrated upon impact, which is why they’re calling for second serve. A sort of divide by zero occurrence.

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