What is a Let, Fault, and Ace in Tennis Match?

There are several different types of tennis terminology and tennis rules to know. This article will go over what is a let, fault and ace in tennis. 

What is a Let in Tennis?

A let in tennis occurs when the serving player touches the net on the first serve with the ball but the ball lands in the service box, touches the receiver, or when the serving player hits the ball with the racquet and the opponent was not ready.

A let in tennis is not a fault and the server is given a second serve. Tennis jargon also refers to this as the second service attempt. However, if the tennis ball hits the net and falls outside the service area, it becomes a fault.

There is no limitation to the number of consecutive tennis lets that are allowed to a tennis player, meaning the server can repeat from the serve box until they serve successfully or a fault occurs.

A let service can cause disputes in the field. To avoid this, the presence or absence of a tennis let is called by an umpire. Professional games have electronic sensors installed, and they record each and every service let. In case a dispute arises, a let in tennis can always be reviewed. 

Let, fault, and ace are buzz words used in a tennis game and are explained as follows:

What is a Fault in Tennis?

A fault in tennis is a serving that is annulled. There are three main reasons why a fault in tennis can be declared. They can be either a serving fault, foot fault, or failed serve. The three faults are described below:

1. The first and most common fault in tennis is when the ball is served from the service court side and lands outside the service box. 

2. The second tennis fault is referred to as a foot fault which is declared if the server makes significant service motion when serving the ball or a foot fault can be called when the foot touches the baseline or center mark during the serving motion. After the serve, the player can move freely. And remember, the service line is not the same as the baseline. To find out more about the service line click here

Significant service motion can include running while or right before serving the ball that would gain an advantage in the serve. Foot faults are enforced in tournaments but not as common to enforce in friendly matches with friends and tennis partners. Unless your friendly competition is trying to gain an advantage by running before the serve, that would be breaking the tennis rules. 

3. The third fault in tennis happens when the server fails to hit the ball. Finally is when the ball, after being tossed by the server, comes into contact with anything on the server’s side. This rule however does not apply in a case the server catches the ball after throwing it in the air.

After the first tennis fault, the server is given a second serve. If he gets another fault, a double fault is declared and the opponent earns a point. A double fault is an easy point for the opponent. 

In a professional tennis match, it's not always easy to notice the exact ball placement that would cause tennis fault. To prevent disputes, the organizers install an electronic eye in the court and have line judges. The electronic lasers are able to detect the ball’s movement at extremely high speeds. However, most tournaments that are not part of the ATP use a line judge and not sensors. 

The same rules apply when playing with a partner

What is an Ace in Tennis?

An ace in a tennis game is achieved when the tennis player on the receiving end fails to hit the ball with his or her racquet.

An ace in tennis is mostly achieved on the first serve, when the speed of the ball is the highest.

In simpler terms, a tennis ace happens when the tennis player serving the ball directs it either in the middle of the court or outside, such that the opponent will not even touch the ball.

To achieve an ace in tennis match, the tennis player has to hit the ball hard such that it moves with high speed. This means that the opponent will not have the time to predict where it will fall. If you use an arm friendly tennis racquet that is designed for more absorption and less power, then it will be harder to serve an ace. 

Tall players have a higher chance of hitting an ace, because they can easily reach over the net. If you are returning and facing the sun, it will be harder to prevent aces or returning the ball in play. Consider sunglasses if you play in the sun a lot. 

Short tennis players can also achieve a service ace, though they have to put in more effort.

Not sure how to keep score in tennis, then read this article

ace in tennis

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