2 chances to win the point

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tennistim, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    Last night I played a tournament match against a guy who is a level 3 LTA coach.

    On one point I hit a first serve, my opponent made a blocked return which was going about 2-3 feet long and just as his return passes over the baseline, he calls my serve out. A good 3-4 seconds after my serve had landed.

    Later on in the match he does exactly the same thing. I asked, "Are you sure?". He said he was sure. I said, "It's just that you waited for your return to go out before you called my serve". He said, "Ok, take 2". I refused to take 2 - I'm not even sure why he offered that.

    Looking this up this morning in the code, principle 17 states:
    So the ball hadn't actually landed. It was just about to land. So he hadn't broken the code. However, he wasn't calling promptly.

    I guess the code should say, "All calls should be made within 2 seconds of the ball landing". I think that's reasonable since professional line judges probably call within 0.5 seconds.
     
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  2. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    First off, your sense of time is way off. The only type of shot that would take three or four seconds to hit the ground would be a sky-high lob.

    Secondly, with serves, it sometimes takes a while for your mind to process what it has seen. The serve comes in fast and you hit the return without thinking, but your mind also has to process the exact spot the ball landed on and then form the words to make the call (if out), which can sometimes require quite concious thought. So, your brain is processing unconcious and concious thoughts at the same time, which can make it difficult to get the words out, especially on a serve that looks like it's going in but ends up going a bit out (in which case your call goes against your initial impression).

    Now, if the opponent looks up to see where his return is going before making the call, then he's clearly just taking the p*ss.

    Just an example of a late call due to slow processing: in my last match I hit a return for a winner but called the serve out after it was clear that my return would be my opponents, because it took a while for my brain to register that the ball had actually landed a bit out (I initially thought it would go in) and then form the words to then make the call. The serve and return were both quite fast, so my call seemed very late.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  3. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    spaceman hit the nail on the head - did you think the serves were in anyway?
     
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  4. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    A blocked slice return hit takes 3 seconds to land from the time the serve lands.

    Watch this clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDRFX0iowDQ

    Federer is taking the ball really early and hitting a medium pace and still it is 2 seconds. If he was standing behind the base line and floating the ball it would be 3 seconds, maybe 4.
     
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  5. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    I couldn't tell but that doesn't matter - according to the code you can't question the call of your first serve.
     
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  6. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    If your day dreaming, yes. If you are alert, the call is made within 0.5 seconds.
     
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  7. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    Regardless of what is going on, 2-3 seconds before a call is made does seem a bit long. Time it yourself while you read this. In tennis, things happen fast, true, but that in itself proves just how long 2-3 seconds is when compared to the split-second decisions and reactions that are made while rallies are taking place.

    That's why you always hear about players complaining to the umpire that opponents are taking too long to challenge calls when, in reality, they have only taken about 3-4 seconds to look up into their box for the "signal' to challenge.
     
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  8. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Yes, but when a very fast serve is returned even with a blocked shot, .5 seconds can feel like a late call.

    Like I said, if the guy looks up to watch his return before making the call, then he's obviously taking the p*ss. But if not, a slow call could just mean that he thought the serve was going in and was caught off guard a bit when he saw that it actually went out. In those cases, it can take a little while for the brain to understand that what it saw was not what it expected.

    Like I mentioned before, I've hit quite hard returns that were on the other side of the net before I've managed to get the words out of my mouth to make the call. The fact that many of them were going for winners before the call shows I wasn't basing my call on my return; it just shows it took me a while to get the words out.

    In fact, a lot of the dubious calls I've seen have happened extremely quickly, almost at the same time the ball bounced. To me, that says the decision was made before the ball ever touched the ground, because there is no way to process the information and get the words out that quickly on a ball that has bounced so near (or on) the line.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  9. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Was your first serve in or out?


     
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  10. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    It could have been either way from my poor view point
     
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  11. tennistim

    tennistim New User

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    It's not like I have never called a ball late myself. I put this down to making my mind up too early. that's why I have him the benefit of the doubt the first time. But when he did it t twice, I just got the feeling he was taking the ####. he was also mucking the referee around saying he didn't like the court. He delayed the match 75 mins just 3 hours before the match. He showed up 10 mins late spent another 5 in the toilets and mid way through the warm up went to the toilet again.
    I am lenient to a point.
     
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  12. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    In that case, it sounds like he was more than a bit dodgy.
     
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  13. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Serve calls are one of my most dreaded calls to make especially when I am playing someone who hits with tons of pace and/or spin.

    I spend so much time focusing on keeping track of the ball and getting my return in I never feel like I make accurate calls on serves that are close.

    It can really be much tougher than you think as it all happens so fast.

    Regardless of if it took him a second or two to make the call I would not question his motives unless he was only calling serves out when his returns were not in. If my opponent was doing to the same exact delayed out call when he hit good returns as well then I would just assume its taking him a second or two to process that my serve was out.
     
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  14. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I can believe that OP's opponent was stretching the rules and making the out call when he saw his own shot was clearly out. I don't think there's much to be done about it, other than what OP did, speak up. It was right to reject the "play a let," but saying something should have some influence on an evil-doer. (But it might not.)
     
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  15. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I think if the return lands out before call, you have waited too long. To me, a harder problem is that the returner pretty much knows instantly when the return is a sitter/long, so how do you stop someone from the 2 chances at the point even with a fast call.

    Another hard problem is if the return is in the net because the point ends so fast.
     
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