Tennis Rules on Retiring During a Match Due to an Injury

Written by laura agadoni Google
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Tennis Rules on Retiring During a Match Due to an Injury
Tennis has strict rules about retiring because of an injury. (middleage man playing tennis image by Galina Barskaya from

Tennis is a sport with many rules and regulations. The more rules you know, the more pleasant your matches will be. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) puts out a handbook called "Friend at Court," which addresses just about every possible situation that can occur when you play tennis. The USTA has very specific rules about playing and retiring if you get injured.

Accidental Injury

According to the USTA, you will be disqualified if you retire after an opponent accidentally injures you during a match. If your opponent unintentionally hits you in the face with a ball, for example, and you are unable to resume play after the injury within the time allowed, your opponent will win the match by your retirement.

Deliberate Injury

If your opponent deliberately injures you during the match by throwing his racket at you or hits you to the point where you truly cannot resume play within the time limit, then you win the match by default. The USTA rules clearly state that throwing a racket or hitting a ball in anger is not allowed.


You may withdraw from the match in a tournament if you received an injury before the match. If this is an officiated match, you would immediately notify the referee that you received an injury and that you intend to withdraw. That way, the referee can notify your opponent. You will not receive back your entry fee unless you withdraw six days before the tournament begins.


If you start bleeding during the match, you have up to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding, clean up the court and dispose of any items contaminated with your blood. If you are bleeding, you may leave the court to contact an official. If the official is at your court, you must get her permission before leaving. If you can't stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, you must retire. If the bleeding is in your nose, for example, and after 15 minutes, you can stop it only by placing cotton in your nose, you must play with the cotton in your nose or retire.

Medical Conditions

If you have an old injury that you aggravate during the warm-up and you aggravate it again during the match, you can take a medical timeout of 15 minutes both during the warm-up and again during the match. You are entitled to only one medical timeout during the match to treat this injury or any type of cramping or heat-related conditions. If you can't successfully treat the injury or condition, you must retire.

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