Tennis Industry magazine



Thoughts on the Foot Fault

The “Our Serve” in the November/December issue (“It’s Time to Give the Foot Fault Its Due”) is absolutely right on. I’m a real fuddy-duddy about some things … the rules are usually there for very good reasons.

As a longtime professional sports photographer who shoots at the US Open, I was 40 feet or less from Serena — photographing from the small area behind the umpire’s chair — and knew almost immediately after the tirade began that the lineswoman needed to go up to the umpire. I feel banishment from at least a single major should be meted out by the International Tennis Federation. I think that would have almost all players thinking very hard about ever intimidating anyone in the future.

I must admit that I’m hot about Serena’s behavior in that match, and I was really buoyed by your piece, and your castigation of John McEnroe. While I was shooting the match, I was listening to the commentary on a small radio, and I was surprised to hear his put-down of the lineswoman’s call.

Ed Goldman, New York

I congratulate you on a terrific “Our Serve” in November’s RSI. I agree that the lineswoman did her job in an exemplary manner. The line judges are trained to be blind to the score in making their calls, and had she let the foot fault slide, she’d have been remiss in her duties.

Officials must meet very stringent standards of experience and performance to earn their work at a Grand Slam event. That lineswoman is part of an elite team. She should certainly not be banned from working the 2010 Open.

Jill Fonte

I wanted to congratulate you on your excellent editorial on the Serena Williams incident. The integrity of the sport and the rules that govern it are what tennis is all about. If left to the likes of McEnroe and Jenkins, the integrity of the sport would be in mortal danger. Congratulations to both you and Mary Carillo for having the courage to publicly defend the integrity of tennis.

Hilton Gluck, Bolle Tenniswear

Your column said it all! I wish everyone in tennis could have a chance to read it. McEnroe and Jenkins are running outside the baseline (again), and they probably think that people are buying their wacky opinions. Maybe they would support Favre’s going a couple of inches past the line of scrimmage late in the game before throwing a TD pass, or an all-out ban on called strikes against A-Rod.

Bob Hammerlee, USPTA, Lewisburg, Pa.

We welcome your letters and comments. Please limit letters to 300 words maximum. Email them to or fax them to 760-536-1171.



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