Can You Talk During A Tennis Match?

Tennis players must maintain a strong focus for several hours during a tennis match. To stay focused, many players try to stay quiet, but other players cannot help but talk during a tennis match. So, are tennis players allowed to talk during a tennis match?

Tennis players may not speak or make unnecessary noises while a point is played in a tennis match. Players can be penalized for producing sounds considered a hindrance by the umpire. Players may talk to themselves in between points as long as they do not curse or hinder their opponent.

Players cannot help but get frustrated during a tennis match that is not going their way. It is not uncommon for players to vent their frustration by talking or shouting, but they must be mindful of the rules regarding talking during a match.

Can Players Talk During A Tennis Match?

Tennis players at the professional level can talk during a tennis match, but only at certain moments. In a professional singles match, while a point is being played, players are not allowed to speak or make any unwarranted noises until the point ends.

Suppose the chair umpire finds that a player is talking or making noises that cause hindrance; it is in their right to give the player a warning. If this behavior continues, players will be handed a code violation. Penalties associated with code violations can escalate to the point where players forfeit points and games automatically or even get disqualified from the match if their behavior is unacceptable.  

The reason for maintaining silence is simple; it allows players to keep their concentration throughout a point. 

You will often see tennis players speak to themselves between points, especially when frustrated. This is one way for players to vent; however, they need to remain cautious when they do so. If players keep blabbering too much or the chair umpire catches them cursing, the player will likely be given a code violation. 

Does Shouting While Hitting A Tennis Ball Count As Talking?

If talking loudly or shouting during a tennis point is not allowed, then why do players not get penalized for shouting/grunting when hitting the tennis ball? 

A player is only penalized when the sound is considered a hindrance, but grunting while hitting the ball has been widely accepted in tennis. Many players state that they have no control over their grunts, so they cannot stop them. 

Many players would be glad to see tennis grunts established as a hindrance; however, there is no predicted rule change. 

Can Tennis Players Speak During A Doubles Match?

However, the rules change for doubles matches, as teammates need to communicate during points to establish who should go for the ball. Double players are allowed to speak out loud during a point only when the ball is traveling towards them. You often hear doubles players shout “mine” or “yours” when the ball is in their court, which they are allowed to do.

Doubles players need to be careful, though. Yes, they are allowed to talk while the ball is on their side of the court, but they must remain quiet when the ball is traveling towards their opponents’ side of the court. If a player speaks or makes a noise while their opponent is playing the ball, the chair umpire may classify it as a hindrance.

Can The Audience Talk During A Tennis Match?

Though tennis spectators are not required to follow a specific set of rules like players are, it is excepted that audience members follow the tennis etiquette for spectators.

Tennis spectators are expected to stay quiet for the duration of a point to promote fairness for the players. Players can be distracted easily, so spectators are encouraged to make no noise whatsoever. Of course, sometimes audience members cannot help it. They will gasp and scream when players produce beautiful shots and rallies.

Nowadays, tennis venues at major tournaments can hold thousands of spectators. Thousands of people talking or even whispering amongst one another can produce quite a loud noise that distracts players. So, even though individual audience members may think that they are not being too loud for the players to hear, the collective crowd can produce a distracting noise.  

When a sport is played in front of a big crowd, it is natural for the crowd to get rowdy. Competitive tennis matches can cause crowds to go wild, but the chair umpire must try to keep the crowd quiet during a point. In between points, umpires often remind the crowd to remain quiet during points out of respect for the players.

Tennis spectators always break this etiquette, especially when they cheer for a local player. The crowd naturally wants to get involved and give the player they are rooting for support. Other major sports, like soccer, basketball, and football, do not require crowds to remain quiet during players, so tennis is the exception. 

Tennis Spectators Who Taunt Players Can Get Thrown Out

Unlike in some other sports, taunting players in tennis is highly frowned upon. Spectators who are caught taunting players can expect to be removed from the venue.

Generally, tennis crowds will not tolerate people who taunt players. Audience members will happily point to the culprit and cheer as they are removed from the stadium. 

Can Players Talk To Their Coaches During A Tennis Match?

The rules vary regarding players talking to their coaches during a professional tennis match. Tournaments have their own rules, which players and coaches can sometimes forget. Yet, it is up to coaches and players to be up to date with what is allowed and what is not.

On the ATP tour (male players), players are prohibited from receiving any form of coaching from their coach during a match. So, players cannot communicate with their coach visually or audibly. 

During a match, coaches will often sit in a specific area of the stadium that is fairly close to the tennis court, close enough to establish communication with their players. If the umpire catches a player and their coach communicating, it can be deemed as “coaching,” which can result in a code violation.

On the WTA tour (female players), players can call for on-court coaching once during a set. Coaches are permitted to come on the court and give their players some advice for a short period (sixty to ninety seconds). Players will usually ask for their coaches when they are struggling and need advice. This rule also applies to doubles matches.

Coaching Is Not Allowed At Grand Slam Tournaments

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the organizer of Grand Slam tournaments, has a strict no-coaching policy during tennis matches, whether a single or doubles match or a men’s or women’s match. 


Players must remain quiet during a point, except for grunting when hitting the tennis ball. Players can talk to themselves in between points as long as this behavior is not a hindrance. Tennis spectators are also excepted to stay quiet during points. 


Similar Posts