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View Full Version : The "unsatisfying" win.


seleswannabe
05-29-2009, 02:43 PM
I play 3.0 women's USTA league tennis and typically play #1 singles. The match I played today was by far the strangest and most mentally distressing match I have played to date. Let me just paint the picture for you. My opponent is around 60 years old, maybe 100 pounds overweight, arthritis in her knees and massive support braces on them. During warm-up, the poor things is hobbling around picking up balls wincing in pain. After warm-up she tells me all about her arthritis and how the braces help some. She also informs me that she is playing #1 singles because nobody else wanted to.

Let me just say straight away that I NEVER underestimate anyone based on their looks, their strokes, warm-up etc. Truly in tennis you can never judge a book by it's cover.

So on to the match. I spin, win and serve first. My first serve is a nice deep serve into the corner and she frickin' smacks a massive forehand crosscourt winner. 2nd serve, same but to her backhand, we rally I win the point. On to the deuce court. Same serve serve as first and same flippin' blazing forehand crosscourt winner. She is painting the lines. I end up holding serve. As the match progresses, I realize this woman is playing with no reservations and is just completely going for all her shots. She is playing with such intensity - like her life depended on this match. Not only that, but she is tracking down short/wide balls in lighting speed. Seriously, I could not believe how fast she was. I win the 1st set 6-1 but I was completely on edge and not comfortable at all with where my game was at. I fully expected her to take the 2nd set with the way she was playing.
Not only was she playing great, but throughout the match, when I did win a point, I felt bad. She would look so dejected and would hobble (yes, hobble) back to receive or serve, shoulders all slumped. I just could not get into this match. I was miserable.
I talked to my coach afterward and she told me that it can be hard to play someone like that. Kind of like when you are playing someone and they get injured. It knocks the wind right out of your sails....
I ended up taking the 2nd set 6-1 but honestly, this was the most unsatisfying win of my pathetic 3.0 career. I give this lady all the credit in the world. She showed tons of heart, played aggressive and absolutely NEVER gave up until the last point was played. If I were sitting in the stands I would have been rooting for her all day. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you get over it during a match? This is a first time experience for me.

Cindysphinx
05-29-2009, 03:33 PM
Um . . .

I guess this makes me Not A Nice Person.

'Cause I would have been highly annoyed that I let her take two games off of me. :)

maverick66
05-29-2009, 03:45 PM
i guess i am mean as well. I never felt bad beating someone. The point of the game is to beat the other player. If they are injured then they shouldnt be out there. I never ever felt bad for beating an injured person. I would feel bad if they got hurt and couldnt continue but until the last point is played i really dont care about your problems.

Cruzer
05-29-2009, 03:46 PM
Read the thread in this same section "What to do When You Are Superior". Just play your game. When it's over you can ask your opponent if they want to hit a little more since the other matches are problably still going on or in this case suggest you go consume a couple of adult beverages and forget the match you just played.

seleswannabe
05-29-2009, 04:55 PM
For the record, I had three adult beverages after the match and felt MUCH better. :)
Something about her just pulled at my heartstrings and I couldn't shake it. Normally I wouldn't give a rat's rear, but today it just wouldn't go away.

Wilson6-1
05-29-2009, 05:36 PM
I watched a similar mixed doubles match a few years back, unfortunately for our team, with a different outcome. The player wasn't quite that old and didn't move well but was a wall and was outstanding at volleys. The frustrating part was that they took about 5 minutes between games (I am not exaggerating on the time) and there was at least 2 occasions where I thought we might want to call an ambulance since it was summer and hot. They brought umbrellas and would sit under them between games with ice on their heads.

I could see the frustration of my teammates and I really felt bad for them. They didn't feel like calling her out for taking the excessive breaks. Our team won the first set and lost the second and third sets in a real close match (don't remember the score, but it seemed to deteriorate in the third). Twice, they stopped mid-game because she thought she would pass out. She was very heavy. In the end, the "drama" affected our team and they went down hill and couldn't pull themselves out of it.

It wasn't fun for them, I don't think winning would have helped, it was very awkward for all concerned.

blakesq
05-29-2009, 05:40 PM
6-1, 6-1? She played great? She played with great intensity? You thought she was going to win the second set?


What a load of __________.


I play 3.0 women's USTA league tennis and typically play #1 singles. The match I played today was by far the strangest and most mentally distressing match I have played to date. Let me just paint the picture for you. My opponent is around 60 years old, maybe 100 pounds overweight, arthritis in her knees and massive support braces on them. During warm-up, the poor things is hobbling around picking up balls wincing in pain. After warm-up she tells me all about her arthritis and how the braces help some. She also informs me that she is playing #1 singles because nobody else wanted to.

Let me just say straight away that I NEVER underestimate anyone based on their looks, their strokes, warm-up etc. Truly in tennis you can never judge a book by it's cover.

So on to the match. I spin, win and serve first. My first serve is a nice deep serve into the corner and she frickin' smacks a massive forehand crosscourt winner. 2nd serve, same but to her backhand, we rally I win the point. On to the deuce court. Same serve serve as first and same flippin' blazing forehand crosscourt winner. She is painting the lines. I end up holding serve. As the match progresses, I realize this woman is playing with no reservations and is just completely going for all her shots. She is playing with such intensity - like her life depended on this match. Not only that, but she is tracking down short/wide balls in lighting speed. Seriously, I could not believe how fast she was. I win the 1st set 6-1 but I was completely on edge and not comfortable at all with where my game was at. I fully expected her to take the 2nd set with the way she was playing.
Not only was she playing great, but throughout the match, when I did win a point, I felt bad. She would look so dejected and would hobble (yes, hobble) back to receive or serve, shoulders all slumped. I just could not get into this match. I was miserable.
I talked to my coach afterward and she told me that it can be hard to play someone like that. Kind of like when you are playing someone and they get injured. It knocks the wind right out of your sails....
I ended up taking the 2nd set 6-1 but honestly, this was the most unsatisfying win of my pathetic 3.0 career. I give this lady all the credit in the world. She showed tons of heart, played aggressive and absolutely NEVER gave up until the last point was played. If I were sitting in the stands I would have been rooting for her all day. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you get over it during a match? This is a first time experience for me.

maverick66
05-29-2009, 05:59 PM
For the record, I had three adult beverages after the match and felt MUCH better. :)
Something about her just pulled at my heartstrings and I couldn't shake it. Normally I wouldn't give a rat's rear, but today it just wouldn't go away.

because its like the little engine that could only this one fails.

120mphBodyServe
05-29-2009, 06:07 PM
What the hell? This woman didn't have to play... Clearly.. based on her physical condition... This woman tried to make you pity her...
And she comes out with all guns blazing, and you don't feel satisfied about the win? Sounds like her tactic of trying to make you pity her worked...
If I was playing some guy like that, I'd be thinking...
"Yeah right, then why the f*ck are you here?? You're just trying to make me underestimate you!!!!"
I hate people like this.

seleswannabe
05-30-2009, 08:22 AM
6-1, 6-1? She played great? She played with great intensity? You thought she was going to win the second set?


What a load of __________.

No need to be a tool. I was explaining to everyone how I felt at the time. In retrospect I can see it was not as close as it felt. Do you really think I'm tooting my own horn because I beat some lady at the 3.0 level? Get real. It was a first time experience for me. I felt bad and was wondering if anyone else had had the same experience. End of story.

nickynu
05-30-2009, 11:47 AM
IF somebody turns up to play a match thats their choice. They have to take the consequences if they decide not to stay at home. Never feel bad!

If she had been a super fit ultra marathon runner, would you have felt better, could i politely suggest that this is possibly unsatisfying as it didnt stroke your ego,

bad attitude-change it

alice301
05-30-2009, 12:28 PM
good for you for not letting your emotions get to you, and for staying focused to win the match. last summer, i played a woman who was about 25 years older than me. she had obviously worked very hard to be fit, but she made some comments about her age (having diffculty seeing the ball bc of her failing eyesight, stiff joints, etc.) to let me know that she was feeling the difference in our ages. i beat her, and of course i felt bad--that's going to be me in 25 years!

i do think that it's a challenge to leave your compassion at the door to put on your "game face." hope your next match is more enjoyable!

seleswannabe
05-30-2009, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the suggestion nickynu. I will politely say back that I don't play tennis to stroke my ego. This is a forum and obviously you don't know me personally so I don't take offense, but IF you did know me personally, I doubt you'd say I have a bad attitude.

nickynu
05-30-2009, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestion nickynu. I will politely say back that I don't play tennis to stroke my ego. This is a forum and obviously you don't know me personally so I don't take offense, but IF you did know me personally, I doubt you'd say I have a bad attitude.

Ok thats reasonable, but I think that when I get into the same physical state as your opponent (wont be long - lol ) I would find the attitude of you agonising over beating me a little patronising.

I look at it this way if somebody beats me - they beat only what I bring to the court on a given day, - they dont beat any ailments I have,- they dont beat any lack of technique/coaching, they dont beat the fact that I was worrying about my job because I had a bad day.

Nor should you.


PS congrats on your win :)

seleswannabe
05-30-2009, 01:56 PM
Fair enough. :) Thanks for the nice post back, definitely something to think about.

nickynu
05-30-2009, 05:38 PM
Fair enough. :) Thanks for the nice post back, definitely something to think about.
:)Thanks to you too, Have a good weekend:)

equinox
05-31-2009, 12:42 AM
This weekend I watched a gen-y? take on pre-baby boomers team. 14 year olds vs 60's+. The old timers smashed the youngsters. And the old cron even took away the developing manhood of a young brat, smash him square in the nuts at close range, took him out for 3 minutes to recover. Very funny! no mercy for the old or new.

Cindysphinx
05-31-2009, 05:26 PM
Just how heartless am I when my opponent is in distress?

Really, really heartless.

Tonight's opponent in 4.0 ladies was a 3.5 friend of mine. She has been suffering with some sort of chronic medical condition for a while now. She has also had a foot injury. She was on my day league team and barely played at all. Tonight was her return to tennis, and it is going to be a long road back. I love her to death.

And I tried as hard as I could to exploit every opening I could find. I even hit service return lobs and told my partner to do the same knowing full well she had no chance to run them down. We won.

I feel no remorse.

I hope she feels better soon . . . .

DjoNaderer
05-31-2009, 06:20 PM
I can empathize with you about this kind of competitor.
I once played a ladder match (3.5 level last year) and was waiting for my opponent. He finally showed up... a hunched over senior (looked to be late 60's and later claimed to be 73!) lumbering down the hill in knee braces. I had already seen his win/loss record and knew he was competitive at our bracket level.
I was instantly apprehensive about the match. I definitely knew I'd be naive to think he would be a pushover and figured I'd be faced with the following:
1) He'd be wielding a stiff, oversize raquet for serious power and quick chop shots.
2) On service returns, he'd go for broke and try to win the point immediately.
3) Manic Drop-shotster and slicer
4) I would succomb to feelings of guilt if I started drop-shotting him, or agressively moving him laterally.

...and I realize there are here on the board that laugh at the thought of feeling bad for your opponent. I envy you, as I'm not there yet. All of my predictions became reality, although I suppose most are obvious things to anticipate, given the competitor's age.
I fought myself as much as my opponent, and I did win 3 & 2, but he was pretty good. He made me earn the match and I definitely had more pressure on my 2nd serves. It wasn't fun but that's part of what makes tennis so challenging and satisfying.

I would say, chalk up your experience as another memory to be used as needed when/if faced with another, similar situation.

Good luck out there...

cak
06-01-2009, 06:24 AM
Just how heartless am I when my opponent is in distress?

Really, really heartless.

I was hit by a car while out bicycling earlier this year. Broke my leg. After 6 weeks I begged my doctor to allow me back onto the courts, for mental health reasons. He said okay, as long as you remember the magic phrase: "Nice shot!" He didn't want me chasing down stuff, it could set me way back.

So, I expressed this to my weekly social match partners and they all begged me to come out anyway. Well, all but on of them did. She claimed to be happy to see me, but would not take a turn partnering with me. Then she proceeded to hit more drop shots than I've ever seen her even try before. For a month of twice a week games. So I had to modify the magic phrase, "Nice shot, but in a month you will be eating that." And she has been eating that shot, for quite a few months now.

I gotta say, after years of playing around her injuries, when I saw how she couldn't play around mine, it really opened my eyes. Yes, heartless describes her to a tee.

That said, come league matches, I don't step on the court unless I'm prepared to play. Then again, I take myself off availability when playing teams of close friends.

Cindysphinx
06-01-2009, 08:35 AM
Nah, I'd never pull such a stunt in social tennis with a known injury.

One of my pals hurt her foot and was out for a solid year. When she returned, I *didn't* hit lobs or even short serves.

'Cause that would be inappropriate in a social match, big time.

Richard Pur
06-01-2009, 08:57 AM
I play 3.0 women's USTA league tennis and typically play #1 singles. The match I played today was by far the strangest and most mentally distressing match I have played to date. Let me just paint the picture for you. My opponent is around 60 years old, maybe 100 pounds overweight, arthritis in her knees and massive support braces on them. During warm-up, the poor things is hobbling around picking up balls wincing in pain. After warm-up she tells me all about her arthritis and how the braces help some. She also informs me that she is playing #1 singles because nobody else wanted to.

Let me just say straight away that I NEVER underestimate anyone based on their looks, their strokes, warm-up etc. Truly in tennis you can never judge a book by it's cover.

So on to the match. I spin, win and serve first. My first serve is a nice deep serve into the corner and she frickin' smacks a massive forehand crosscourt winner. 2nd serve, same but to her backhand, we rally I win the point. On to the deuce court. Same serve serve as first and same flippin' blazing forehand crosscourt winner. She is painting the lines. I end up holding serve. As the match progresses, I realize this woman is playing with no reservations and is just completely going for all her shots. She is playing with such intensity - like her life depended on this match. Not only that, but she is tracking down short/wide balls in lighting speed. Seriously, I could not believe how fast she was. I win the 1st set 6-1 but I was completely on edge and not comfortable at all with where my game was at. I fully expected her to take the 2nd set with the way she was playing.
Not only was she playing great, but throughout the match, when I did win a point, I felt bad. She would look so dejected and would hobble (yes, hobble) back to receive or serve, shoulders all slumped. I just could not get into this match. I was miserable.
I talked to my coach afterward and she told me that it can be hard to play someone like that. Kind of like when you are playing someone and they get injured. It knocks the wind right out of your sails....
I ended up taking the 2nd set 6-1 but honestly, this was the most unsatisfying win of my pathetic 3.0 career. I give this lady all the credit in the world. She showed tons of heart, played aggressive and absolutely NEVER gave up until the last point was played. If I were sitting in the stands I would have been rooting for her all day. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you get over it during a match? This is a first time experience for me.

How bad would you have felt if you lost? You seem like a compassionate person, but many league participants will take advantage of that good trait in a person. Next thing you know, you're shaking hands and putting one in the loss column. I'm not saying this opponent was like that, but she was running everything down......

The crafty veterans not only can beat you with lack of speed on shots, lack of foot speed, but also with psychological games.

Anyway, good win and use the experience to grow.

Rich