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Blade0324
07-17-2009, 07:48 AM
Question for the masses? Here is some background.

So Played a tourney match last night with my doubles partner. We were the #1 seed in the field and played an unseeded team. One player was a very typical 4.0 player and a guy in about his 50's. His partner was easily 4.5 with possibly a 5.0 serve. I have played some very strong players at 4.0 but no one with this kind of skills. I'm no expert on serve speed by my estimation was that he was hitting 110 pretty consistant and served about 75% first serves for the match. His second was only slightly slower with just a bit more spin. Both serves kicked high enough that taking them at the baseline meant shoulder high and they were rising still. He could hit all the spots in the service box pretty much at will.
Now as if that isn't tough enough he had extremely good hands at net and his groundies were great as well. He didn't hit groundies that would blow you off the court by any means but could hold his shot on both sides to see what my partner and I were going to do to position ourselves and they change direction he was going and go where ever he wanted with it at the last minute.
He is a computer rated player and said that this is only his second year playing tennis. He's about 25 and in good shape.

Bottom line is that we got beat 0 and 1 with one of my service games being the only game we won and my partner and I both served and played pretty well, just couldn't get the points.
Anyway after the match I refused to shake the guys hand and told him that I felt he was not rated as he should be. Was I too out of line with this? Does it sound like he is rated incorrectly?

SlapShot
07-17-2009, 07:59 AM
Question for the masses? Here is some background.

So Played a tourney match last night with my doubles partner. We were the #1 seed in the field and played an unseeded team. One player was a very typical 4.0 player and a guy in about his 50's. His partner was easily 4.5 with possibly a 5.0 serve. I have played some very strong players at 4.0 but no one with this kind of skills. I'm no expert on serve speed by my estimation was that he was hitting 110 pretty consistant and served about 75% first serves for the match. His second was only slightly slower with just a bit more spin. Both serves kicked high enough that taking them at the baseline meant shoulder high and they were rising still. He could hit all the spots in the service box pretty much at will.
Now as if that isn't tough enough he had extremely good hands at net and his groundies were great as well. He didn't hit groundies that would blow you off the court by any means but could hold his shot on both sides to see what my partner and I were going to do to position ourselves and they change direction he was going and go where ever he wanted with it at the last minute.
He is a computer rated player and said that this is only his second year playing tennis. He's about 25 and in good shape.

Bottom line is that we got beat 0 and 1 with one of my service games being the only game we won and my partner and I both served and played pretty well, just couldn't get the points.
Anyway after the match I refused to shake the guys hand and told him that I felt he was not rated as he should be. Was I too out of line with this? Does it sound like he is rated incorrectly?

To answer your questions:

1. Yes, you were out of line. This is a sport, not life and death. I understand a passion for the game and a desire to win, but sometimes, you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

2. Without being there, it's tough to say whether the guy was out of rating. It sounds like he's a natural athelete (probably has played other sport/s at a high level), so he is going to probably play above his rated level if he's working hard. It's easy to improve more than one NTRP rating if you're new to the sport and have atheletic ability.

It's tough, but as I've said before, be a good sport. We aren't making a living playing tennis, and the overwhelming majority of us never will.

blakesq
07-17-2009, 08:16 AM
Talk about bad sportsmanship. You don't say, but I guess this was a 4.0 doubles tournament? So, its possible he was a 4.5 and his partner was a 3.5, perfectly fair. He was also computer rated? And you still refused to shake his hand, just because you lost 0 and 1? What a baby.


Question for the masses? Here is some background.

So Played a tourney match last night with my doubles partner. We were the #1 seed in the field and played an unseeded team. One player was a very typical 4.0 player and a guy in about his 50's. His partner was easily 4.5 with possibly a 5.0 serve. I have played some very strong players at 4.0 but no one with this kind of skills. I'm no expert on serve speed by my estimation was that he was hitting 110 pretty consistant and served about 75% first serves for the match. His second was only slightly slower with just a bit more spin. Both serves kicked high enough that taking them at the baseline meant shoulder high and they were rising still. He could hit all the spots in the service box pretty much at will.
Now as if that isn't tough enough he had extremely good hands at net and his groundies were great as well. He didn't hit groundies that would blow you off the court by any means but could hold his shot on both sides to see what my partner and I were going to do to position ourselves and they change direction he was going and go where ever he wanted with it at the last minute.
He is a computer rated player and said that this is only his second year playing tennis. He's about 25 and in good shape.

Bottom line is that we got beat 0 and 1 with one of my service games being the only game we won and my partner and I both served and played pretty well, just couldn't get the points.
Anyway after the match I refused to shake the guys hand and told him that I felt he was not rated as he should be. Was I too out of line with this? Does it sound like he is rated incorrectly?

Perry the Platypus
07-17-2009, 08:21 AM
In my opinion choosing to not shake his hand was definitely out of line. Sportsmanship is one of the pillars of the game. Even if in this case you think your opponent was not showing good sportsmanship by playing out of his level (maybe he was - maybe he had the match of his life) it is still incumbent upon you to rise above that and show good sportsmanship.

goober
07-17-2009, 08:23 AM
Anyway after the match I refused to shake the guys hand and told him that I felt he was not rated as he should be. Was I too out of line with this? Does it sound like he is rated incorrectly?

Refusing to shake hands in this situation is way out of line. It is poor sportsmanship no matter how you look at it.

I have played a few people that have self rated too low and were obviously playing out of level. I would never refuse to shake their hand based on too low of a self rate. You have no idea at how he arrived at that self rate. Maybe the 50 year old guy asked him to pair with him as a doubles partner and he is a former college player with no idea of NTRP levels. In any case he should get the benefit of doubt. Eventually his rating will correct to the right level.

edit : I reread your post. You said he was a computer rated player. You definitely have no legs to stand on.

Your desire to win should never supersede your graciousness and sportsmanship.

Blade0324
07-17-2009, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that the guy will be playing again tonight for his next round match. I'm gonna make the 1 hour drive there to catch him before his match to apologize, whether he'll accept or not, I'm going to make the effort. Thanks for slapping me around here to realize what an ***** I was.

wngan9447
07-17-2009, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that the guy will be playing again tonight for his next round match. I'm gonna make the 1 hour drive there to catch him before his match to apologize, whether he'll accept or not, I'm going to make the effort. Thanks for slapping me around here to realize what an ***** I was.

I'm sure we've all been in your situation. In the heat of the moment, you can plea temporary insanity.

The previous posters know what they're talking about. Sportsmanship is always important.

I'm playing in a tournament tomorrow and already know of one sandbagger. Can't do much about it. Just have to play my heart out and force errors.

SuperJimmy
07-17-2009, 08:56 AM
Yeah, definately not a classy move to refuse to shake hands. What was his computer rating? Why didnt you hit more to his partner? You said he was computer rated and only played for 2 years...you have to abuse his inexperience. It looks like you threw in the towel as soon as you saw him serve.

Did you learn anything from the match? IMO if you can take positive learnings away from it, the match should have been worth it.

blakesq
07-17-2009, 09:02 AM
Sorry for coming down on you so hard. It takes a real man to realize when he was wrong and own up to it, I admire you!

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that the guy will be playing again tonight for his next round match. I'm gonna make the 1 hour drive there to catch him before his match to apologize, whether he'll accept or not, I'm going to make the effort. Thanks for slapping me around here to realize what an ***** I was.

Blade0324
07-17-2009, 09:08 AM
Sorry for coming down on you so hard. It takes a real man to realize when he was wrong and own up to it, I admire you!

No worries I needed the reality check. I feel I need to at least attempt to make an apology. I realize that he may be ****ed and not accept but I can at least do my part.

Blade0324
07-17-2009, 09:11 AM
Yeah, definately not a classy move to refuse to shake hands. What was his computer rating? Why didnt you hit more to his partner? You said he was computer rated and only played for 2 years...you have to abuse his inexperience. It looks like you threw in the towel as soon as you saw him serve.

Did you learn anything from the match? IMO if you can take positive learnings away from it, the match should have been worth it.


I did indeed have some good take aways from the match. Made me see some weaknesses in mine and my partners games that we can improve on. I can say I never threw in the towell as the one game we got was my last service game of the match so I was fighting till the end to get something positive.
As for playing on his lack of experience I have to say that there really was no lack of experience in his play. He played as if a well seasoned veteran which is why I'm doubting his only playing for 2 years to be at that level. None the less I need to suck it up and take my medicine on this one.

burosky
07-17-2009, 09:12 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that the guy will be playing again tonight for his next round match. I'm gonna make the 1 hour drive there to catch him before his match to apologize, whether he'll accept or not, I'm going to make the effort. Thanks for slapping me around here to realize what an ***** I was.

Kudos to you for making your realization and owning up to it. If you do go through making the 1 hour drive he better accept your apologies. If not, have him join the forum here and we will slap him around to make him realize what an ***** he is.

GeoffB
07-17-2009, 09:32 AM
I can't say it's *always* bad to refuse to shake hands, but it's pretty extreme. If someone were out of level, but showed good sportsmanship otherwise, I'd definitely shake hands.

The guy will likely accept your apology, because it doesn't sound like things got all that ugly. While I would agree with other posters that your reaction was too strong and a bit out of line, it's hardly beyond the pale.

By the way, an "out of level" game can be very difficult to diagnose, especially where it comes to the serve. Some 3.5's have a 50% winning rate because they're consistent, mentally solid, and rarely win above or lose below their rating. Others have a 50% winning rate because they're learning a big game that only sometimes clicks. One day they might show up with a big serve and start painting the lines, the next they can't put it in the box to save their lives. These folks will take out a top 4.0 player one weeks and lose to a lowly 3.5 pusher the next - and people often think they're tanking. Another issue with these folks is sometimes they improve their consistency mid-season, and that good, big game shows up 90% of the time instead of 50%. At that point, they are indeed "out of level", and will be moved up by the system, but it's not quite the same thing as sandbagging.

Anyway, maybe there's a chance you played this sort of guy? I kind of doubt it, he sounds a little too good and consistent to fit this profile, but eh, still a possibility.

conditionZero
07-17-2009, 09:57 AM
Blade,

Good man for seeing the error of your ways. At least you didn't abandon the thread once you realized that no one agreed with you like the guy who started the "OMG!!! I wanted to yell out at this guy!!! thread.

I know the topics of sandbagging, NTRP ratings, when/if someone should be bumped up or down, etc., etc., etc., have been discussed ad nauseam, but I'm going to risk going down that road one more time.

It's very conceivable that someone is rated accurately at the top of his level (let's say 4.0) and improves considerably before the next ratings come out. That person could, within a year, be playing like a top 4.5 but is under no obligation to start playing 4.5 until the "computer" tells him to.

If this guy has really only been playing for two years then let's say he must have been at least a 4.0 after 1-1/2 years (about when ratings came out). That's pretty impressive, so to believe he moved up another level in skill by now isn't that far fetched.

As SlapShot pointed out, he sounds like a skilled athlete who has probably competed at high levels in other sports. In my experience people that fit this description aren't looking for easy wins to stroke their egos, but rather good competition.

Of course we're assuming a lot of things. For all I know he's been taking private lessons his whole life, self-rated at 4.0 for his first year of competition, and intentionally dropped sets to get a 4.0 computer rating so he could whip up on guys like us and impress his girl friend. :)

Blade0324
07-17-2009, 10:36 AM
As I said, thanks for the feedback all. I'm definately heading up the the tournament site today after work to catch up with the guy. Sometimes emotions are running pretty high after getting spanked like that.
Oh well hopefully it will make me mentally tougher next time.

Keifers
07-17-2009, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that the guy will be playing again tonight for his next round match. I'm gonna make the 1 hour drive there to catch him before his match to apologize, whether he'll accept or not, I'm going to make the effort. Thanks for slapping me around here to realize what an ***** I was.

As I said, thanks for the feedback all. I'm definately heading up the the tournament site today after work to catch up with the guy. Sometimes emotions are running pretty high after getting spanked like that.
Oh well hopefully it will make me mentally tougher next time.
I admire your sense of honor and wanting to do the right thing. Driving an hour to apologize would be more than I'd be willing to do, however, in the situation you described.

Yes, you should have shaken hands (a fairly weak, non-descript one would have sufficed, imo) and yes, an apology is in order. But perhaps you can save yourself the drive and save it for the next time you see him.

I don't agree that you deserve some of the unreserved slapping around you've received in this thread. Again, shaking hands is important, but I think you deserve some allowance for emotions "running pretty high after getting spanked like that".

I like your hope that "it will make me mentally tougher next time." Perhaps it will be useful, also, to think about other ways to register your objection to someone sandbagging like that in future.

Cheers to you for objecting. Sandbagging should be called out -- or at least questioned -- imo.

LuckyR
07-17-2009, 11:30 AM
As I said, thanks for the feedback all. I'm definately heading up the the tournament site today after work to catch up with the guy. Sometimes emotions are running pretty high after getting spanked like that.
Oh well hopefully it will make me mentally tougher next time.


Kudios for turning this misstep into an opportunity.

Trickster
07-18-2009, 05:54 PM
Surely you had a good game of tennis right!?? I mean it might not be so good for your team, but if he's computer rated there is nothing you can do.

This is one of the marvelous things about the British tennis leagues. In some leagues you can play a 5.5 one week then next week end up playing a 4.5...

darrinbaker00
07-18-2009, 09:57 PM
Anyway after the match I refused to shake the guys hand and told him that I felt he was not rated as he should be. Was I too out of line with this? Does it sound like he is rated incorrectly?
Unless your opponents were regularly hooking you on line calls, you were wrong not to shake hands after the match. I just played a 4.0 singles match against a guy who could give a 5.0 a run for his money, and I shook his hand after he gave me a 6-2, 6-0 beatdown. Sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the fire hydrant.

bad_call
07-19-2009, 06:44 AM
Unless your opponents were regularly hooking you on line calls, you were wrong not to shake hands after the match. I just played a 4.0 singles match against a guy who could give a 5.0 a run for his money, and I shook his hand after he gave me a 6-2, 6-0 beatdown. Sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the fire hydrant.

absolutely. apologies for the beatdown...just had to get it out of my system. :)

Kostas
07-20-2009, 11:32 AM
Kudos Blade...I was surprised when I read your first response to the posters opinions here. It takes alot to suck it up and major kudos to driving back there...

How'd it go by the way?

Blade0324
07-20-2009, 11:57 AM
I went up there Saturday afternoon before their match and when they say me you could see their blood pressure rise. I walked up and told them I just wanted to give them an apology if they would be so kind as to hear me out. They agreed and I apologized for my behavior and told them I was out of line and let my emotions get the best of me. They were surprised that I would do this but said they appreciated my effort to apologize. We certainly are not going to be the best of friends by any means but at least the air has been cleared. The tennis community tends to be a somewhat small world in my area and I'm sure I'll see them again down the road so at least the tension has been lifted.

Thanks again everyone for giving me a dose of reality so that I know better next time to just let things go.

goober
07-20-2009, 12:17 PM
Wow good job. I think you are the first person I have heard of to drive back another day to apologize for poor behavior or bad sportsmanship. Kudos to you. I am sure it wasn't an easy thing for you to do, but it was the right thing and ultimately you are a better person for having done it!

conditionZero
07-20-2009, 12:24 PM
Impressive. I would guess that that makes you a bigger man than most of the people who were criticizing you on this thread.
Recognizing a mistake is one thing, correcting it is a whole other ball game.

Fedace
07-20-2009, 12:27 PM
There is NO way he was hitting 110 mph and still get 75% of the 1st serves in. NOT even JP Mcenroe couldn't do that. and even Division 1 college player would have difficult time with that with some exceptions.

Blade0324
07-20-2009, 12:33 PM
There is NO way he was hitting 110 mph and still get 75% of the 1st serves in. NOT even JP Mcenroe couldn't do that. and even Division 1 college player would have difficult time with that with some exceptions.

Well no radar gun obviously at a lowly 4.0 tourney but have returned a lot of serves from guys that hit big and have been on radar on the low 100 area and this was certainly faster than most of those. I also don't have stats but if he didn't hit 75% is was still about 65% or so. I'm estimating as best I can with those. Anyway I know he was playing lights out that night as after I talked with them to apologize they played and I watched for a bit and he missed many more serves than when we played him. He just had one of those nights we all wish we could have more often when everything just clicks.

Keifers
07-20-2009, 12:53 PM
I went up there Saturday afternoon before their match and when they say me you could see their blood pressure rise. I walked up and told them I just wanted to give them an apology if they would be so kind as to hear me out. They agreed and I apologized for my behavior and told them I was out of line and let my emotions get the best of me. They were surprised that I would do this but said they appreciated my effort to apologize. We certainly are not going to be the best of friends by any means but at least the air has been cleared. The tennis community tends to be a somewhat small world in my area and I'm sure I'll see them again down the road so at least the tension has been lifted.

Thanks again everyone for giving me a dose of reality so that I know better next time to just let things go.
Congrats, Blade. I salute you for your sense of honor and personal integrity.

Cheers.

brad1730
07-26-2009, 05:48 AM
I was played my first 3.5 tournament this weekend, after only picking up the game 11 months ago. Normally, my forehand is very strong, but I was nervous and I kept sending back junk. I was very nervous, but I was also luckier than I've ever been. Every ball hit the line. Little by little, the guy completely lost control. He was so mad that I was sending junk, and so frustrated that I was hitting the lines, that he imploded... finally breaking his racquet and refused to shake my hand. If he had been more of a sportsman, I would have apologized and told him about my nerves and lack of experience. I thought about this thread though, and wondered if he would have the courage to come back later and apologize or at least just shake my hand. Nope. You did the right thing.

goober
07-26-2009, 06:26 AM
I was played my first 3.5 tournament this weekend, after only picking up the game 11 months ago. Normally, my forehand is very strong, but I was nervous and I kept sending back junk. I was very nervous, but I was also luckier than I've ever been. Every ball hit the line. Little by little, the guy completely lost control. He was so mad that I was sending junk, and so frustrated that I was hitting the lines, that he imploded... finally breaking his racquet and refused to shake my hand. If he had been more of a sportsman, I would have apologized and told him about my nerves and lack of experience. I thought about this thread though, and wondered if he would have the courage to come back later and apologize or at least just shake my hand. Nope. You did the right thing.

Wow someone refused to shake your hand because you beat him with junk? At 3.5 there is a lot junk so he would be best off not playing tennis if that is the case. :)

brad1730
07-26-2009, 06:38 AM
He did that with his 18 year old daughter watching. In a way, I felt sorry for him, but then he took it too far. I don't think I've seen someone that upset in 20 years.

blakesq
07-26-2009, 08:58 AM
Nothing for you to apologize for Brad. If you win by hitting junk, good for you. YOu hit the shots that your opponent cannot deal with, thats the name of the game. What a punk your opponent was. Next time you see him, you should ask him if he is still playing men's tennis, or is he now playing little girl's tennis?


I was played my first 3.5 tournament this weekend, after only picking up the game 11 months ago. Normally, my forehand is very strong, but I was nervous and I kept sending back junk. I was very nervous, but I was also luckier than I've ever been. Every ball hit the line. Little by little, the guy completely lost control. He was so mad that I was sending junk, and so frustrated that I was hitting the lines, that he imploded... finally breaking his racquet and refused to shake my hand. If he had been more of a sportsman, I would have apologized and told him about my nerves and lack of experience. I thought about this thread though, and wondered if he would have the courage to come back later and apologize or at least just shake my hand. Nope. You did the right thing.

brad1730
07-26-2009, 11:16 AM
Thanks Blake. I really enjoyed the tournament, and I think I'll handle the nerves a little bit better the next time. As an aside, a 60 year old man won the 3.5 singles - hitting no topspin forehands. He placed each ball perfectly.

mika888
07-26-2009, 04:27 PM
I dont mind being beaten up 0-1 or 0-0. In fact I sometimes prefer playing better players. It makes themost out of me.

Enjoying the game is the main objective. And that matters most to me. :)