What Is A Let In Tennis? – (Updated Rules & Records)

For beginners, tennis has several laws and regulations they don’t immediately understand. Referees can use this rule to request a player return the ball after serving it to their court.

Although it is meant to ensure safety and fairness, the let rule can be frustrating to both broadcasters and players. The rule states that the current point must be stopped if one of the listed events occurs.

There are several reasons for a let to be given, most commonly when a player serves the ball, but it still lands in the correct box.

There can be extreme instances in which this can happen three or four times in a row, making it seem as though the point will never begin.

As another example, the point may be stopped by the umpire or by the players if there is no umpire because something has occurred which could make the players unsafe. To ensure no players step on the ball, the point will be stopped if a ball rolls from an adjacent court.

What Is A Let In Tennis?

A let occurs when a ball hits the net cord but remains on the service court. A server that fails to provide this service is not considered a mistake and can attempt it again.


The ball’s landing outside of the service box after hitting the net cord is still a fault.

A let is a point that was replayed without players complaining. A player or a referee can request a let in certain situations.

The let technique refers to restarting a point from the beginning. Serves that brush the net are called lets, though they still land in the target area.

A let will be played if an external intervention, such as a ball arriving from another court, hinders a point. First, let’s talk about the service let.

Service Let

A service let is used in a variety of situations:

  1. After the ball touches the net, it lands in the correct service area.
  2. When the ball touches the ground, it touches the receivers or their clothing.
  3. When the server strikes the ball, the opponent cannot pay attention to him.
  4. After striking the ball, the trajectory of the ball changes after it crosses over the net chord. This is the most common and easiest example to spot. Cracking the net will sometimes cause the ball to make a cracking sound.

To prevent conflicts and disagreements, a service must occur promptly at the local or regional level.

Your opponent demands a let as the ball travels past him after you return a deflected ball for a winner.

Consider also when your opponent aces you and you cannot reach the ball, which is obviously outside the play area.

Players must call for help after being disturbed in these game situations. In unsure situations, it is best not to call for help. Tennis umpires have access to electronic systems on the court to evaluate the service let.


If a service let occurs on the first serve, the entire point needs to be played again. If the server receives an additional service on the second serve.

It only receives one additional service. Moreover, the server can receive as many calls as it wants at any given time.

Tennis points are not lost when the ball fails to land in the correct service box. This is a fault.

Another less common situation might be if the serve strikes the singles racket while playing doubles or the net post while playing singles, resulting in the ball landing in the wrong service box.

You can consider a service a let if


As soon as the ball hits the net, band, or service receiver, it hits something they wear or carry before hitting the ground.

It also lands in the service box and is somehow in play. The service is performed while the receiver is still unprepared.

Once again, the server must provide the service if a service let is granted, but it does not cancel a previous error.

Service Let in Other Situations

  1. There are many instances in which a term let is used, but we know that it is a replay of a point.
  2. When distractions interfere with an activity, it is most common to give a let.
  3. An incoming ball can disrupt a point when it crosses the court during the middle of it. A let is best called if an odd event occurs.

The player’s first or second serve between the let request in this scenario. The receiver must decide whether the delay in getting the ball or dealing with the disruption justifies setting the server to start over.

Umpires in tennis regularly rule when spectators, especially players who can see them, move during a point. During a match, viewers are expected to remain seated during a changeover.

How Many Lets Are Allowed Per Game?

A player can hit as many consecutive lets as they want. Serves are repeated until the server either makes their serve or hit a fault.

The Highest Number Of Consecutive Lets

Ayumi Morita was beaten by Williams four times in a row in 2013. In the case of consecutive draws, there is no limit.

During a Challenger contest in 2017, Chinese player Di Wu reached the same number as was filmed at the Anning Challenger in 2017. Tennis Players, on average, win four times each during their careers, although there are exceptions to this rule.

Let Response Accuracy

It is always necessary to acknowledge a game of let-in tennis, even if the ball barely touches the net. Two sensors are attached to the net on each side, detecting even very slight vibrations. Trinity is an approved system that is accurate and precise compared to other systems.

As with most innovations, it does have some shortcomings. The US Open in 2016 saw Jerzy Janowicz ruled let by Novak Djokovic on a serve.

However, Trinity’s sensors determined that the ball struck the lines, although the ball flew several centimeters from the net. Due to its low occurrence of inaccuracies, the device remains popular despite its many advantages.

The “No Let” Rule


When the ‘Not Let’ rule is used, play can be expedited. A no-let law requires players to treat let passes as inbounds and perform the point.

In the 2018 Next-Gen ATP Finals, the let serve rule was introduced.

In 2019, the policy was eliminated despite the study’s addition of a random element to serve.

Appendix 5 is often referred to a high-level tournament, even though it is rarely used.


Does Calling A Let To Have Any Consequences?

A let should be repeated after it has been called. If it occurs on your very first serve, you are awarded two additional serves.

A single extra service will be awarded on your second serve. An interruption, such as a tennis ball that bounces, is likely to cause a point to be replayed if there is a disruption.

What Does Let Mean?

Some scholars believe that the word ‘let’ comes from the Middle English word ‘lettian,’ which means ‘to disrupt.

It may also have been shortened to ‘let’ from the French word ‘filet,’ derived from ‘net’ since tennis was invented in England. It is most likely that the word originated as ‘let,’ which refers to letting the striker repeat the point.


You can prevent confusion by becoming familiar with the rules so you and your opponent can have an enjoyable match.

In theory, the let rule is intended to ensure safety and fair play, but in practice, it can lead to disputes between players and is unpopular with spectators. The top players are currently resisting it, but it will likely be revised one day.

This resource has hopefully clarified how to let work or, at the very least, give you a better understanding of how they work.i

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