How Many Let Serves Are Allowed in Tennis?

In tennis, if the ball hits the net but still lands in the service box, the serve is taken again. This is to prevent cheap points from the ball hitting the net and dropping just on the other side of the net making it impossible for the opponent to return the ball.

But how many lets are allowed? There are no limits to how many lets are allowed in tennis. Technically, it is perfectly legal for a player to hit let after let into infinity! It isn’t too uncommon to see 3 lets in a row, and in professional matches there are only a couple of times where a player has hit 4 in a row.

What the Most Lets in a Professional Tennis Match?

As a recreational player, the most I’ve ever experienced in a match is 3 lets in a row which seems to be the maximum that most people have seen. However, Serena Williams hit 4 lets in a row in 2013 as you can see in the video below. There have been a few other times where a player has hit 4 lets in a row in a professional tournament, but as far as I can tell, no one has ever hit 5 in a row.

No-Let Rules

In some tournament’s, a no-let rule is played. This is where if the ball hits the net but lands in the service box, you simply play the point as normal.

This rule is often applied at junior tournaments and college tennis matches. These types of tournament are usually very competitive but may not have an umpire and line judges. This means the players make calls themselves. The no-let rule prevents a player from being aced and then trying to claim it was a let when it was really are perfectly fine serve.

The no-let rule has also been trialed at a few Challenger tournaments (one level below the ATP world tour). The reason for the rule here is an attempt to improve the flow of the match and speed up games.

Fun Ideas for Lets in Social Tennis

A fun addition to social tennis matches is to make up your own rules for hitting multiple lets. For example, if someone hits three lets in a row, they have to buy the drinks after the match. Or you can say if someone hits three in a row they get the point. (Although at this point you probably want to see if they can hit a fourth!). These rules certainly add some excitement when someone’s just hit their second let in a row!

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