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View Full Version : Bad line call and I lost my head :-(


harrpau7
01-30-2010, 01:49 AM
Yesterday I was playing a match against a player who I have only beaten once in 5 matches. He is better than me, but at the same time I can hang with him if that makes sense.

Anyway the first set was on serve, 5-6 and I was 15-love on my serve. I hit a forehand up the line to his forehand (both right handed) which landed plum on the line, basically I then had a open court to hit into. My opponent called it out, a terrible call. I then lost that game to 15, with it the set and the 2nd set 6-1.

So, was I being a little kid for losing my head so much?? Or should my opponent at the very least of offered to play a let?

The annoying thing was up till then I was playing really well, I am good mates with this guy (we have just started having lessons together too) and he told me little things I needed to work on in my game such as being more aggressive on my return and coming to the net more. I was doing all that and he kept mentioning at each change over that he was 'barely hanging on' to each service game.

So, as I asked, should I of just took the out call like a man and carried on?

mikeler
01-30-2010, 03:28 AM
Sounds like a good player to improve against. Next time say "Are you sure" or "I had a good look at it and it was in". Probably an innocent mistake on his part.

ALten1
01-30-2010, 04:02 AM
I know that feeling, where the call becomes personal. When I am playing against people I don't know all that well I let it go and try to convince myself that they in no way would cheat me. Now when I am playing against people I do know fairly well (like the guy you are playing against) and I see a call clearly in that is called out I will ask them about it. Whenever I "argue" their call, its always with a smile and it's never confrontational. For the most part if you don't question their every call they will concede the point if you feel certain a ball is out. Sounds like this guy and you get along and I am sure he would much rather give you the point than to have you mad at him.

I believe most people will go with an opponents call if 1. opponent has a better view 2. opponent gives them the same courtesy 3. the opponent is honest. For me, 1 is dependent on 2 and 3.

Steady Eddy
01-30-2010, 06:15 AM
View it as practice. Practice not having a meltdown after a bad call, the same way you practice strokes. Someday you might be in a big match with line judges and get a bad call anyway. Often the one who wins is the one who is mentally tougher and can focus after a bad call.

So make it a challenge. See it as part of the sport.

matchmaker
01-30-2010, 06:54 AM
I can understand your reaction perfectly well. Having a bad call against you at such a crucial moment can really throw you off.

But it happens and not always because of gamemanship, sometimes the opponent really "sees" the ball out, although it is more wishful thinking than reality.

But a match is more than one bad call, so you somehow have to find a way to get yourself together and fight, instead of starting to throw point.

It is a natural reaction and it happens to me too, but you have to fight it and keep on playing in the end.

JavierLW
01-30-2010, 07:14 AM
So, as I asked, should I of just took the out call like a man and carried on?

Yes.

Whether you think it was in or not, he's the one who made the call, you cant expect him to replay the point everytime you question his call. Bad judgement or not he probably thought he saw it in, an honest mistake.

ALten1
01-30-2010, 07:35 AM
View it as practice. Practice not having a meltdown after a bad call, the same way you practice strokes. Someday you might be in a big match with line judges and get a bad call anyway. Often the one who wins is the one who is mentally tougher and can focus after a bad call.

So make it a challenge. See it as part of the sport.

I like your advice. View it as practice.

Larrysümmers
01-30-2010, 08:05 AM
ask if he was 100% sure. Even if he says he is 99.9% sure then its your point. Its a nice trick that my coach told me and it ended up winning me a match once.

gameboy
01-30-2010, 11:24 AM
How are you so sure? Even you said it hit the line, but maybe you didn't see it correctly. Brains can trick you into seeing something that is not.

There is about an equal chance that your opponent called it correctly and you were mistaken.

Take the call and move on, it is not your call. More you dwell on it more it is going to effect your on the next play. Just get over it and get ready for the next shot.

Cindysphinx
01-30-2010, 11:24 AM
All you can do is ask if he is sure. If he is, it is his point. If he is not, then it is your point unless he corrected himself and put the ball back into play.

No playing lets as a compromise. It's either in or out.

beernutz
01-30-2010, 01:55 PM
People see what they want to see sometimes and in this case it applies to both you, the OP, and your opponent. You wanted to see the ball as on the line because of your previous record against the other player and he/she wanted to see it out because his record of dominating you was in jeopardy.

Since it was just practice, I would let it go and just use it as fire for the next time you played. Read Agassi's book Open and how he writes of getting hooked as an 8 year old by a guy named Tarrango. He NEVER forgets this and takes great pride in later kicking Tarrango's *** as a pro. Just use this experience to add fuel to your fire and to practice remaining calm in the face of adversity. </imo>

TheRebelofPrince
01-30-2010, 03:08 PM
by the way jeff tarango can be seen on tennischannel in the one minute clinic, the 2nd serve then hit drill one,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/1170577.stm

thats his wimbledon temple tantrum and crazy wife

jefferson
01-30-2010, 03:13 PM
That sucks, but that is tennis. It happens everyday, everywhere. Unfortunately it will happen to you again. Hopefully you can handle it in a different manner.

First of all, you have to let him know that you do not agree with his call. You can be nice about, are you sure? How far out did you see it? ... or you could be more confrontational, "wow... really?" or That was terrible. Its the biggest point of the match and you hook me. But depending on who you are playing, dictates how you should react. Questioning a call sometimes leads to a complete meltdown on their part, or sometimes other close calls will now go your way.

We all have had a meltdown over calls. I had one this summer! A guy called a ball out and then circled the "mark." I could see from the net where he circled and asked him to show me. There was no mark in the circle!! But he refused to concede... it was either fight him over it or give it to him. He offered a let, but that is not how it works, in or out! But it tarnished the rest of our match. I wish that I handled it better. However, I still can not stand the guy!!

mikeler
01-30-2010, 04:29 PM
Hmm, if my choice is a let or get screwed over I take the let!

Ripper014
01-30-2010, 04:39 PM
Yesterday I was playing a match against a player who I have only beaten once in 5 matches. He is better than me, but at the same time I can hang with him if that makes sense.

Anyway the first set was on serve, 5-6 and I was 15-love on my serve. I hit a forehand up the line to his forehand (both right handed) which landed plum on the line, basically I then had a open court to hit into. My opponent called it out, a terrible call. I then lost that game to 15, with it the set and the 2nd set 6-1.

So, was I being a little kid for losing my head so much?? Or should my opponent at the very least of offered to play a let?

The annoying thing was up till then I was playing really well, I am good mates with this guy (we have just started having lessons together too) and he told me little things I needed to work on in my game such as being more aggressive on my return and coming to the net more. I was doing all that and he kept mentioning at each change over that he was 'barely hanging on' to each service game.

So, as I asked, should I of just took the out call like a man and carried on?

Carry on as a tennis player... don't question his call. If he called it out... then assume it was out. It only makes you a better player to play through difficult situations... beside if you don't put it behind you it is all you think about the rest of the match.

Focus on the task at hand... it is 15-15 and how you are going to win the next 3 points. You may have missed that easy shot into the open court anyway... I am pretty sure we have all done that a few times.

To question your opponent is to tell him that you think he was wrong... and no one likes the implication that they made a mistake... or is cheating. Just understand that we all occasionally make a bad call and move on.

If however this becomes a regular event and it bothers you... then find someone else to play with.

Oh and I don't play lets... unless something interferes with play. If it is a line call... them just make the call, if you cannot call it out you should be calling it in. And if you are not willing to do that, take the point.

Sakkijarvi
01-30-2010, 06:19 PM
With the guys I play matches with regularly, if the other guy got a better look we just go with it, their point. It just is never an issue.

In club leagues it is a different story, those guys have too much on the line to be sporting.

MrCLEAN
01-30-2010, 07:44 PM
How are you so sure? Even you said it hit the line, but maybe you didn't see it correctly. Brains can trick you into seeing something that is not.

There is about an equal chance that your opponent called it correctly and you were mistaken.

Take the call and move on, it is not your call. More you dwell on it more it is going to effect your on the next play. Just get over it and get ready for the next shot.

Yes to all, except maybe the part about the opponent having an equal chance of making the call. The player looking down whatever line is being called always has a much better vantage point than someone looking across a line.

gameboy
01-30-2010, 09:03 PM
I am probably sounding like a broken record, but here it goes.

The fact of the matter is nobody is perfect. Bad calls happen. You can see just from watching the Aussie Open these past couple of weeks, during a typical match, line judges and players blow calls all the time. And we are talking about highly trained people who do nothing but watch a single line and pros who do this for a living.

If these people blow calls several times during a match, what makes you so sure that you are not blowing your share of calls during your match? The fact is everyone, and I mean everyone on this board blows a line call regularly, probably several times during a match.

But many of you seem to blow up if the opponent isn't "perfect (in your point of view)" on every single call.

To me, that is just madness.

Bad calls happen. It is part of tennis. You need to learn to deal with it, and hopefully that does not involve escalating tensions which doesn't help anybody.

atatu
01-30-2010, 10:08 PM
A lot of people (not saying you did this) will use a bad call as a reason t bail out of a match. If they know it's going to be really tough, maybe against someone they haven't beaten...they take the bad call as an excuse to "lose it" and then they don't have to try anymore. Just something to think about.

Cindysphinx
01-31-2010, 05:58 AM
Yeah, Ripper. I think playing a let is not cool. If you request a let after opponent's bad line call, you are signaling that line calls don't matter because we can always play a let. If my opponent knowingly makes a bad line call, I want them to have that icky feeling one gets if they do the wrong thing. They will know they are being watched, and hopefully that will lead to more honestly.

Plus, the Tennis Gods won't smite them if we play a let. :)

Big_Dangerous
01-31-2010, 07:53 PM
Hmm, if my choice is a let or get screwed over I take the let!

Well I mean the ball is either in or it's out, just because it's close doesn't mean you can play a let every time you and your opponent disagree. Just walk over and see if you can spot the ball mark and if it's on the line point it out and say hey look the ball mark is clearly on the line, if not then you move on to the next point and you calm down and continue playing.

J_R_B
02-01-2010, 02:30 AM
All you can do is ask if he is sure. If he is, it is his point. If he is not, then it is your point unless he corrected himself and put the ball back into play.

No playing lets as a compromise. It's either in or out.

I definitely disagree. If I call a ball out, I can guarantee you 100% that I saw the ball out. What I can't guarantee is that my eyesight is infallible. If someone questions my call, I will ask them if they are 100% sure of what they saw, and if they are, then there is a situation where two people are 100% certain that they saw the same play different ways. I'll play a let as a gesture of good faith to keep the game fun in that situation. If someone ever tried to take advantage of that and questioned call after call, I'd put an end to it pretty quickly, but I've never run into that situation, I think mostly because we're all friends in the leagues I play in.

mikeler
02-01-2010, 05:06 AM
Well I mean the ball is either in or it's out, just because it's close doesn't mean you can play a let every time you and your opponent disagree. Just walk over and see if you can spot the ball mark and if it's on the line point it out and say hey look the ball mark is clearly on the line, if not then you move on to the next point and you calm down and continue playing.


I don't play many tournaments anymore, so most of my matches are friendly. There are situations where let's say my opponent slices his serve out wide and I hit a weak reply to his forehand that he blasts down the line. At this point I may be 20 to 30 feet from the ball. I think it is OK to say to my opponent that I saw it out but you had a better look. If my opponent saw it in, I'll give them the point. You are right though, you can't play lets for every close call.

kylebarendrick
02-01-2010, 05:58 AM
I definitely disagree. If I call a ball out, I can guarantee you 100% that I saw the ball out. What I can't guarantee is that my eyesight is infallible. If someone questions my call, I will ask them if they are 100% sure of what they saw, and if they are, then there is a situation where two people are 100% certain that they saw the same play different ways. I'll play a let as a gesture of good faith to keep the game fun in that situation. If someone ever tried to take advantage of that and questioned call after call, I'd put an end to it pretty quickly, but I've never run into that situation, I think mostly because we're all friends in the leagues I play in.

FWIW according to the code, as soon as the player that made the call offers to play a let, the point goes to the other player. Offering to play a let implies some level of uncertainty, the benefit of which is supposed to go to your opponent.

I do agree with your statement that your (and I presume everyone's) eyesight isn't infallible. I wish more players would be aware of the fact that they can simply be wrong about their line calls. Pro line judges are wrong all the time!

Cindysphinx
02-01-2010, 06:07 AM
JRB, all the Code requires is that you be 100% sure the ball was out. If you can in good faith say that, then it was out.

If you feel that eyesight is infallible enough that you might have been wrong, then you should call the ball good. Doesn't matter whether your opponent questions your call or is herself 100% certain.

J_R_B
02-01-2010, 07:13 AM
FWIW according to the code, as soon as the player that made the call offers to play a let, the point goes to the other player. Offering to play a let implies some level of uncertainty, the benefit of which is supposed to go to your opponent.

I do agree with your statement that your (and I presume everyone's) eyesight isn't infallible. I wish more players would be aware of the fact that they can simply be wrong about their line calls. Pro line judges are wrong all the time!

JRB, all the Code requires is that you be 100% sure the ball was out. If you can in good faith say that, then it was out.

If you feel that eyesight is infallible enough that you might have been wrong, then you should call the ball good. Doesn't matter whether your opponent questions your call or is herself 100% certain.

I understand the code, and I don't call it out unless I 100% see it out. I'm just saying, sometimes sportsmanship overrides the code to keep things friendly. In our league, everyone (even on the opposing teams) knows each other and has been playing with or against each other for years. I am 100% positive that no one (including myself) is out there intentionally trying to screw over our friends. As I said, if someone tried to start abusing my goodwill or claiming points based on my "uncertainty" according to the strict application of the code, then that person would no longer get any benefit of the doubt and out would be out, period. And, again, I've never had to go there in many years of playing in this league.

athiker
02-01-2010, 07:46 AM
http://www.vicbraden.com/tip6.html

Link is to a Vic Braden article entitled: "How to Handle Cheaters on the Tennis Court". I thought it might be interesting for this thread.

Here is an excerpt with some info about a study they did. The article goes on to list several suggestions for dealing with apparent cheating.

While doing a survey of junior tennis players, the number one concern the majority expressed was how to handle cheaters. It also remains a serious issue with adults at several clubs across the country. Here are my thoughts on this complex issue.

One, before accusing someone of being a cheater, you'll want to be sure that you are correct in making that charge. One year, we tested over 100 subjects making line calls for the USTA and we were all amazed at the vast number of errors made by spectators, linespersons and tournament players calling the service line. To guarantee our accuracy, we filmed a large number of serves at 1000 frames per second. At that speed, we were able to see the exact contact point of the ball against the court for approximately three frames. We would ask several individuals to go out onto the court and place a stick at the point where they thought the ball landed. We were all surprised, not only at the number of errors, but the size of the errors being made by nearly everyone. To be fair, the linesperson sitting in a chair and looking down the line was the most accurate, even though there were some errors. But the servers, or hitters, on the opposite side of the landing point were often miserable with their calls. The spectators were basically miserable calling lines.

Two, there are players who simply have lousy eyesight and shouldn't be calling shots at all. This group doesn't intend to cheat and they often call shots that penalize themselves. Three, we also know that players landing hard on a surface tend to lose visual acuity because their eye moves irregularly and vision is often distorted. You can easily test that theory by running a lap around the tennis court and have someone hand you a newspaper article to read on your second lap. You'll get the picture fast.

r2473
02-01-2010, 07:53 AM
Bad line call and I lost my head

Let me get this straight......you were playing a USTA tournament / USTA league / pick-up match and you believe you got hooked on a line call on an important point?

Have you called the local paper? This is indeed a rare occurrence.

kylebarendrick
02-01-2010, 09:42 AM
I understand the code, and I don't call it out unless I 100% see it out. I'm just saying, sometimes sportsmanship overrides the code to keep things friendly.
Which is why I will simply give the point to my opponent rather than offer a let. It's just for fun, right?