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View Full Version : If you are a lot better than the opponent do you still play or start goofing around?


arche3
12-30-2009, 11:25 AM
I played a doubles match (sort of a league) a couple weeks ago where 3 of the guys playing were way over matched compared to the 4th guy. 2 current collegiate players and me (former Div1 player, in my 40's now) one of the kids was matched up with the fourth a guy maybe 3.5 at best. We were still blasting balls away because I feel I play my game regardless whoever i am playing so i was going for stuff except i would kick serve to the weaker player on the other team. after a few games the kid on the other side starts junking the ball and goofing off. basically acting bored. I just kept drilling the ball at him and smashing his weak junk shots as well my team mate did the same. after the match was over (quickly I might add) the 3.5 on the other side said to me "thanks for putting up with me" to the rest of us.

Now in my opinion the only person that needs to apologize is the kid who started goofing off. He should of tried his best instead of making his team mate feel bad about his game. what the hell is wrong with some people? Next time i play the kid I am going to drill him with the ball everytime he comes to net. lol. just bad manners.

Ripper014
12-30-2009, 11:41 AM
I agreed... just bad manners. There is not need to belittle someone at any time in life and I am sure his partner is well aware that he was over his head.

OrangePower
12-30-2009, 11:54 AM
Goofing off is just plain disrespectful. Having said that, when playing against a weaker player, I won't be as focused and aggressive as I would normally be, and instead I would just try playing solid consistent tennis. Meaning, I won't try blow them off the court, but would not be goofing off either.

35ft6
12-30-2009, 02:27 PM
Goofing off is just plain disrespectful. Having said that, when playing against a weaker player, I won't be as focused and aggressive as I would normally be, and instead I would just try playing solid consistent tennis. Meaning, I won't try blow them off the court, but would not be goofing off either.That's what I do. Not just when you're better, but I've seen people goof off when they're playing badly almost as if they hope people think they're playing bad on purpose or because they're not trying. It sort of diminishes the experience for everybody.

ALten1
12-30-2009, 03:07 PM
I've been the worst in a foursome and it ****es me off when someone is partnered with me that has played for 20 years rolls their eyes at a double fault, or shrugs their shoulders because I hit a ball out, or shakes their head when I make a mistake, and all of this happens as if I can't see them. Usually the opposition will offer up advice on how to get better before your own partner/teammate will because they are walking off mad.

ptb5021
12-30-2009, 03:40 PM
When I'm better than my opponent, I UNINTENTIONALLY start making stupid mistakes and let them back into the match

tribunal4555
12-30-2009, 05:50 PM
What REALLY annoyed me today was when I was playing a doubles match with some of the local college players. In the beginning, I missed some easy volleys, which I should have stuck, which made me a little angry at myself. My partner, on the other hand, had the impudence to whisper to one of his college friends who was taking serves on another court, "Can you swap in for this ****** guy?"

Some people are just plain rude. I just picked up my balls, walked off the court, and hit around with some other people. As they were leaving, the rude guy's friends apologized to me- a nice gesture, I guess, but it still diminished today's hit for me.

ALten1
12-30-2009, 06:58 PM
What REALLY annoyed me today was when I was playing a doubles match with some of the local college players. In the beginning, I missed some easy volleys, which I should have stuck, which made me a little angry at myself. My partner, on the other hand, had the impudence to whisper to one of his college friends who was taking serves on another court, "Can you swap in for this ****** guy?"

Some people are just plain rude. I just picked up my balls, walked off the court, and hit around with some other people. As they were leaving, the rude guy's friends apologized to me- a nice gesture, I guess, but it still diminished today's hit for me.

I would not have left until after my turn to serve and then proceeded to hit the guy right in his back with a flat serve. Afterwards get your things and agree with the guy that he's right, the other guy should take your spot.

Storm_Kyori
12-30-2009, 08:41 PM
for the most part, i keep playing the same. sometimes when i play a weaker opponent, I may not boom my serve in. i go for more winners and experiment a little with my game. i don't find it bad manners, it really depends on the kind of player they are. i've hit with some, that love the competition. like myself, we love the challenge. others, hate it when you blow them off the court and it just doesn't make it fun for everyone. that's what i think.

jonnyjack
12-31-2009, 12:47 AM
i ease up just a little bit so i'm more consistent. the people who are not as good as me will get better practice playing against me and i hope the better people i play with do the same so i can get better. usta says i'm a 3.5 so there's more people better than me than worse!

Gemini
12-31-2009, 05:42 AM
To answer the question about playing someone that's not as good as I am, I don't goof around. I still play my game but I never show my full hand/arsenal either. I only do enough to stay ahead, add pressure, pull away and win.

Sometimes, it leaves my opponent thinking they could or can stay with me on the court and that's fine. They'll realize that's probably not the case every time we play until he/she gets a lot better.

As for the kid, it's typical juvenile behavior. Some kids (and adults) just don't get it.

Praetorian
12-31-2009, 05:50 AM
I'll be honest in that sometimes I have a little harder time playing guys who are technically rated lower tham me, because their inconsistency hardly allows me to get into any rhythm. Depending on on their level, I use that time to work on other facets of my game.

arche3
12-31-2009, 06:20 AM
I'll be honest in that sometimes I have a little harder time playing guys who are technically rated lower tham me, because their inconsistency hardly allows me to get into any rhythm. Depending on on their level, I use that time to work on other facets of my game.

at my current stage of tennis... (play 2 times a week) I play all out against everyone I play. (only exception is mixed doubles. where I hit a flatter forehand and slice all my backhands for practice. plus only 2nd serves) I don't play enough to hold back in my tennis. If I play a technically inferior player I just blow them off the court. Because if I don't I might start regressing in my game. When I was in college and playing 5 hours a day I can afford to play down and rest during the tennis because I had very low unforced errors.

michael_1265
12-31-2009, 07:15 AM
I played a doubles match (sort of a league) a couple weeks ago where 3 of the guys playing were way over matched compared to the 4th guy. 2 current collegiate players and me (former Div1 player, in my 40's now) one of the kids was matched up with the fourth a guy maybe 3.5 at best. We were still blasting balls away because I feel I play my game regardless whoever i am playing so i was going for stuff except i would kick serve to the weaker player on the other team. after a few games the kid on the other side starts junking the ball and goofing off. basically acting bored. I just kept drilling the ball at him and smashing his weak junk shots as well my team mate did the same. after the match was over (quickly I might add) the 3.5 on the other side said to me "thanks for putting up with me" to the rest of us.

Now in my opinion the only person that needs to apologize is the kid who started goofing off. He should of tried his best instead of making his team mate feel bad about his game. what the hell is wrong with some people? Next time i play the kid I am going to drill him with the ball everytime he comes to net. lol. just bad manners.

I've been in that position before, and I am probably at about the level of the guy you played with. It would have really ****ed me off. If I'm overmatched, I try to find a way to get back into the game. It's insulting when someone is not trying.

Cindysphinx
12-31-2009, 08:12 AM
I had this happen in a 6.5 combo match.

We were playing one of the weakest teams in the league, so I put a line-up together that excluded my stronger players. At the last minute, a player needed to cancel, so I subbed in. On Court Three.

I show up and find that our opponents are a heavy-set 3.0 and an older 2.5. This means my partner and I are rated 1.0 higher, younger and more fit.

I serve first, and I began playing normally. These poor women were completely unable to put the ball in play. After four games of this, I figured maybe I'd start working on things like lobs and drop shots.

And then I thought better of it. They looked completely demoralized. Why should I start making them run, or firing returns at the net player, or doing anything else to embarrass them? We finished things out (I think we won 0 and 3).

I didn't feel obligated to take anything off of my serve or stop coming to net (which was the thing that seemed to rattle them the most). After all, they were the ones who were playing in a league far above their level. It didn't feel right to do anything more.

On the other hand, I have been in social situations where players clearly change their tactics to exploit the weakest player's weakness. Like, firing the return at the weak player when they are at net when they know the person can't volley. I think that is not cool in a social situation. I think the best thing to do is play every shot consistent with normal doubles strategy, which at least will make sure that the weak player's partner can get in the game.

Raid
12-31-2009, 09:03 AM
I play my game regardless of my opponent

Steady Eddy
12-31-2009, 09:27 AM
If you play less than your normal game in an attempt to be "nice", be aware that this might seem patronizing. Play your normal game, try not to do anything different, and above all be respectful. Don't yack it up at crossovers, (like you're not paying much attention to the match), don't play too slow or too fast. At the end, give a firm handshake and say "nice match". These situations are volatile. Don't do anything that might lead to someone holding a grudge for how you behaved during their 'salad days'.

tennisguy5
12-31-2009, 09:33 AM
You want to play GOOD SOLID TENNIS. Not killing the ball and trying to do anything special. Playing with solid mechanics is the best practice.

dlk
12-31-2009, 09:56 AM
If I'm the better player, I might try some shots I wouldn't normally try, but mostly maintain my gameplan, just riskier. If I 'm the one outmatched, I continue playing my best in order to provide as much practice to my opponent, that I can.

zettabyte
12-31-2009, 10:10 AM
We have a gentleman in my singles league who is quite elderly. He's been playing for 40 years but age is kicking his btut.

When we play I hit my serves at 50%, but I still move it around in the box.

I do my best to hit my FHs and BHs *to* him, wherever he is on the court. He doesn't move that well, so there's no point in hitting it where he's not. Basically, I play as a counter-puncher who never really counter-punches.

My wife always asks how badly I beat up on "that poor old man". But I figure he's out there to play tennis and hit the ball, so I do my best to accommodate him. He gets a lot of balls to hit and I work on my placement.

OrangePower
12-31-2009, 10:31 AM
We have a gentleman in my singles league who is quite elderly. He's been playing for 40 years but age is kicking his btut.

When we play I hit my serves at 50%, but I still move it around in the box.

I do my best to hit my FHs and BHs *to* him, wherever he is on the court. He doesn't move that well, so there's no point in hitting it where he's not. Basically, I play as a counter-puncher who never really counter-punches.

My wife always asks how badly I beat up on "that poor old man". But I figure he's out there to play tennis and hit the ball, so I do my best to accommodate him. He gets a lot of balls to hit and I work on my placement.

I know someone similar to that. He is over 70 and still has very good strokes - was a top DI player in his day. But he can't really cover the court. I actually enjoy hitting with him... we do baseline drills (down the line, cross court), and he hits a nice ball consistently, makes very few errors, and places it well. It actually puts pressure on me to match him in consistency and placement (for reference, I'm a 4.5).

Once we tried to play a set - bad idea. I felt very awkward. It was immediately obvious that I could easily beat him, probably without losing a game. He just can't get to the ball, and also is not able to get much pace on his serve. So we gave up on that idea, and went back to drills, where he actually has the upper hand on me.

ALten1
12-31-2009, 10:57 AM
I have a lot of respect for the seniors that still get out and hit. I only hope when I'm that old someone will take time out of their schedule and hit with me.
With that said, in league play I sometimes go up against guys where one or sometimes both their knees are gone (50 year old range). In doubles my partner will say just drop shot them. I can't bring myself to do it so I try to trade shots with them and if they beat me, then they just beat me. I hate to see people out there in pain trying to run down shots at the net when they can't. This is mainly in doubles so I don't have to worry about their side to side movement.

how do others play against people like this? should I not be concerned?

OrangePower
12-31-2009, 11:56 AM
I have a lot of respect for the seniors that still get out and hit. I only hope when I'm that old someone will take time out of their schedule and hit with me.
With that said, in league play I sometimes go up against guys where one or sometimes both their knees are gone (50 year old range). In doubles my partner will say just drop shot them. I can't bring myself to do it so I try to trade shots with them and if they beat me, then they just beat me. I hate to see people out there in pain trying to run down shots at the net when they can't. This is mainly in doubles so I don't have to worry about their side to side movement.

how do others play against people like this? should I not be concerned?

It depends on the setting. In a meaningful match (league or tournament), the objective is to win. So you should play however best leads to a win. If that means drop-shotting an opponent with mobility issues, so be it. I'm sure if you were to ask your opponents in that scenario, they would expect no less - if they are playing in a competitive setting, then they know that any weakness they have will likely be exploited.

On the other hand, if you are in a more social setting, then the objective is not quite the same - everyone still wants to play well and win (otherwise why bother keeping score), but you don't need to win at all costs and also you want to make sure everyone enjoys the game. So in this situation, play the exactly the way you described.

ALten1
12-31-2009, 02:32 PM
Orangepower you have a point and it is league play. Maybe I should toughen up.

86golf
01-03-2010, 10:19 AM
When I've been in this situation (low man) the only change from my opponents are hitting second serves (to me) and maybe a few more dtl returns when I'm serving. I've actually had some competitive matches playing with D1 players and I'm a middle of the road 4.0.

matchmaker
01-03-2010, 10:41 AM
I just try to get a good training when my opponent(s) are of a lesser quality. If they are young and can stand it I will play a little softer and move them around the court.
If they are really weak, I might just play into their strength to make it somewhat interesting.

I find it difficult though to start giving away games, by making UE's. I can softball them, but they will still have to make the point.

USERNAME
01-03-2010, 12:40 PM
Well I wont ever goof off unless Im playing someone cocky or rude. I will, however, take off my shots and not go as close to the lines as usual to help sustain a good fun match with 3.0-4.5 players (thats mainly in singles btw). In dubs, which I dont often play with people below 5.0, Ill do the same. Just control the ball and stroke hitting nice mid-paced shots, I will poach less but still go 100% when I go, and overheads will be well in the open court (no scaring people).