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What does "run down a ball" mean?

Here's a past tense example, in this comment heard after a tennis match:

I can't believe you ran down the last ball.

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To chase and capture

  • Also frequently used in baseball. – Kit Z. Fox May 26 '11 at 20:02
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    Correct. But the tennis version wouldn't be a chase and capture, but instead a chase and return (hit back). – John M. Landsberg Apr 16 '13 at 0:06

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