Accused of Hooking, was I wrong?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by johndagolfer, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    So here I am again. I knew it had to happen sometime, but in my 10 to 12 years playing I finally got accused of cheating.

    Here is the scenario:

    After a rain delay of 5 days me and a pretty nice guy return to finish our match with me 1 set down and up 4 - 3 on serve. It gets to 5 - 5 and on game point he hits a cross court backhand that was clearly out...3 or so inches. I had mentioned to him because he sounded like he was griping if he saw it in. I told him I saw it at least 6 inches out (though the mark on the court looked more like 2 or 3). Regardless the ball was out.

    So I am up 6 to 5 and at 15 - 40 he serve a pretty nice flat serve at my right hip...I see it in and return it for a clean winner (just to let you know all my calls that night were either a split second out or a quick finger up). He made some quick remark; that I later found out ( didn't hear it at the time), was "so that other one was 6 inches out and that was in?" I didn't clearly hear his remark then, but I did hear during the change over that if that's how I was going to play it then that was fine...or something like that.

    Anyways after going down 0-30 in the 3rd set my serve I come back and win the next 4 points. He looks like he's getting irritated and after letting a ball go through, after being down 0 - 40 on hit serve, that he clearly would have gotten, I asked him "what was wrong". He brings up that he "hates playing with cheaters" and again brings up that one serve. Now that I am aware that that is the reason he's so upset I tell him I would gladly have given him a let if he had asked for one. He said that his *****ing should have been a sign and if I wasn't going to give him a let then I wasn't going to give him one at all.

    So basically after being 4 - 0 down he quits saying he doesnt play with cheaters, that he's going to let everyone know around town that I am a cheater, that I am going to get my ass kicked in the finals by some one he dominated, hence he was the better player.

    I really don't know what to think, it's really eating at me that someone is calling me a cheater. I really don't know how to take this. I hate people being mad at me and even though it's been 2 hours I am still troubled over what happened.

    So the main question is how do you hand those fast 1st serves that you think are in but your opponent feels are out and secondly how would you have handled what happened?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
    #1
  2. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If he was griping about ONE call, and quits over it a set later, he is a sore loser and a scumbag, say good riddance. He probably has a reputation as a crybaby around town, so if he does try to badmouth you, everyone who knows him will realize he is just a crybaby.

     
    #2
  3. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,173
    IF he goes around town calling you a cheater, HE will look like the idiot. $10 he has whined before....
    You did the right thing, sounds like you handled it calm and cool. Doesn't sound like you call poorly at all, and people you play against (those who are sane) will recognize this.
    If you think it is in, play it. The opponent is silly for not playing the point until he hears an out call. I LOVE it when my opponent calls my out serves in! Only helps me out.
     
    #3
  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,058
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    You have to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt, so if you think it's in, or even are not sure it's out, you play the point assuming that it's in. Your opponent should continue playing until you make an out call.

    Having said that, if right as soon as I hit the return my opponent indicates that he thinks the serve was out, I will accept that. In this case he should serve a second serve. BUT: only if he makes no play on my return... if first he tries to continue the point but isn't able to and only then says that the serve was out, too bad!

    In your case it sounds like you did everything right, and your opponent was just being a sore loser. Just let it go and don't think about it any more.
     
    #4
  5. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The rules of tennis say that the server CANNOT call his own first serves out. The server needs to play his serves as being IN unless the receiver calls out it OUT. Period.


     
    #5
  6. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    I understand this rule, but this being a friendly tournament I would have gladly given him a let or second serve he he asked for one at that point. Having understood that he thought I was hooking him too late we couldn't have replayed that point.
     
    #6
  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,058
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I'm aware of that.

    However, I also believe that there should be a spirit of good sportmanship and a genuine desire by all players to get the calls right.

    Often I suspect a serve might be out, but I'm not 100% sure. So I have to give my opponent the benefit of the doubt and make the return assuming it was in.

    But if my opponent thinks the serve was out, confirming my original suspicion that it was out, then I would rather have my opponent serve a second serve, than claim the point on a technicality.

    All the above, of course, only if my opponent made no attempted play on the return.

    You obviously disagree, and the rule is indeed on your side, so that's fine.

    But let me ask you this: Let's say you are serving, and you serve a 1st serve that you clearly see as wide by a foot. No doubt in your mind. Your opponent didn't see it clearly, tried to but couldn't get a racquet on it, and acknowledges it as an ace.

    Do you take the point, which you are completely entitled to based on the rule, or do you call it out and take a second serve?
     
    #7
  8. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yes, i take the point. I often take points off my first serve, that look out to me, but the receiver thinks its in. I am a 4.0 player, with a relatively hard flat first serve, so, it is pretty common for me and many other players who can serve fast. I believe playing by the rules is displaying EXCELLENT sportsmanship.

     
    #8
  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,058
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Fair enough, and you're well within the rules to do so.

    I actually think the higher the level, the more common it is for the returner to play the ball when from the server's perspective the serve was clearly out. I'm a 4.5 and play with mostly 4.5 and higher players, and with really fast serves the returner really has very little time to make the call on a ball near the service line, and often will just have to play it. Whereas often the server can clearly tell that the serve was out. In the group I play with, the server will call it out in the event that it resulted in a service winner. No-one in my group wants to take a point that was not truly earned.
     
    #9
  10. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    If there was no intention of anywrongdoing, then you are not wrong. That said, being accused of cheating sucks- no one wants to be bad-mouthed but alas we can't control what others think or say....like you said, it was bound to happen.

    In all, sounds like he was a poor sport either way. to quit like that and blatlantly call you a cheater---of course when he was losing. So many players seem like nice folk when they are winning, and can't take it when they are losing.

    Granted, there are many cheaters out there so he probably has many bad experiences from the past which caused his outbust...still we are adults and should exhibit some self control.
     
    #10
  11. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    Nope. You were not wrong. It was his fault all along. Maybe he was trying to disrupt your game or get into your head?

    Similar thing happened to me for the first time after 20 yrs in a 'friendly' match :). And it was not even a close match or a critical point etc. I think he was trying to disrupt me by playing mind games. Needless to say, I have not played with him again. Yes, the incident did bother me for 2-3 days.
     
    #11
  12. Overheadsmash

    Overheadsmash Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    773
    I never cheat, never ever. I just love to play, win or lose. I make it clear to anyone I am playing that if I return your serve, even though you may think it was out, it's in play. If I call it out there will be no return just an out call. That's keeps it pretty simple and I have never had a problem. The guy in your case was clearly being a sore loser and looking for an excuse. I'd never play him again.
     
    #12
  13. Winky

    Winky Guest

    One reason I don't like playing with strangers. I was interested in leagues but I don't think I'll bother since you have to call your own lines. That's like a batter calling his own balls and strikes. Ridiculous. There's got to be a better way.
     
    #13
  14. Jim Hendricks

    Jim Hendricks Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    159
    I've always thought the server has a better look at the line if the ball is long or not. That being said, I play the call the way the receiver calls it. Then I'll ask if he was sure of the call, if not, play a let. There are angles where he has a better perspective on the call than I do. The back line on the serve is one and a sideline call at an angle is another. It is just hard to tell from my vantage point.
     
    #14
  15. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    unfortunately, you need to play with strangers to get better---more variety of play, unfamiliar opponent to figure out, keep things interesting (change from regular partners)....unfortunately, bad apples out there ruin the experience sometimes.
     
    #15
  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    To OP, there is one thing I think you should change:

    Never offer or agree to play a let because of a disputed line call.

    Either you are 100% sure the ball was 100% out, or you are not sure and you give the point to your opponent.

    When people offer to play lets, I think they are probably not being fair with their line calls.

    The other thing to consider is that you should be honest about how far out a ball was, if you are going to opine on this at all. If it is 2 inches out and you say it was 6 inches out, you undermine your own credibility. It starts to look like a bit of a fish tale to your opponent, you know?

    Regarding the first serve your opponent thought was out, I think returners should offer a second serve *only* if the returner is is in the habit of returning obvious faults. When a player does not return out serves, the server can understand that if the returner is playing it then it was probably good. What bugs me is people who tee off on every out serve and then try to claim the point when you don't react to the one they were calling as good.
     
    #16
  17. Gimmick

    Gimmick Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    428
    I can't stand it when players claim the ball was 6 inches out when it was 2 inches out. Once they demonstrate a quick willingness to lie about how far out the ball was their calls on close balls become suspect too.

    If I'm lucky, I then make the mental reminder that I enjoy playing tennis regardless of the opponents' quirks.

    If I'm not lucky I let myself wonder how many "white lies" they're telling and if I will loose because they're cheating; which means of course that my game deteriorates and I forget why I'm out there (see last sentence).
     
    #17
  18. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    I can totaly see your point here. But let me clarify this. I didn't say that the ball was six inches out...i said that's what I saw it as. My opponent obviously thought the ball was in so we went over to check the mark(brand new blue courts) and the mark was closer to 2 - 3 inches out. I apologized but he still grumbled and I let it go. In the future I will try to say it was clearly out.

    So from yoir response are you saying that he was justified in his actions?

    thanks for your input and point fo view
     
    #18
  19. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    Either you are 100% sure the ball was 100% out, or you are not sure and you give the point to your opponent.

    I don't quite agree with this. Though the ball might have been out it was too close to call out thus I had to play it as if it were in. You are saying since I wasn't 100 percent I should have given him the point? I only mentioned to him four games later that if he were so sure his serve was out and asked that we rwplay I would have given him the let.

    As for the six inches that was only 2 or 3 I have clarified that in a post above. But seeing how that can cause I'll felings I'll try to say clearly out instead of a specific distance

    thanks
    When people offer to play lets, I think they are probably not being fair with their line calls.

    The other thing to consider is that you should be honest about how far out a ball was, if you are going to opine on this at all. If it is 2 inches out and you say it was 6 inches out, you undermine your own credibility. It starts to look like a bit of a fish tale to your opponent, you know?

    Regarding the first serve your opponent thought was out, I think returners should offer a second serve *only* if the returner is is in the habit of returning obvious faults. When a player does not return out serves, the server can understand that if the returner is playing it then it was probably good. What bugs me is people who tee off on every out serve and then try to claim the point when you don't react to the one they were calling as good.[/QUOTE]
     
    #19
  20. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,804
    Location:
    Indy
    I Like what everyone has said. It was supposedly a friendly right? P-ss on him, he needs to get a life.
     
    #20
  21. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    USA
    There is an expression about hitting in baseball, that a pitch is too close to take. The same rule applies in tennis.

    In any given match, there are bound to be a few close calls. A player is the Supreme Court on his side of the net. You do the best you can and hopefully you are not making lousy calls repeatedly. Some people are good at calling lines; others suck at it. I don't expect to get every close call. In fact, I usually try not to go for lines on serves because so many players have an anything close to the line is out mentality. For that matter, I have hit serves in the middle of the box only to hear "out." I give them my best icy stare and say something like "can you please watch the lines more carefully because that one wasn't even close." And I love the guys in dubs who try to call a fast, deep serve by looking over their shoulder because they are too stupid to turn in order to get a good view of the back of the service line. Or, the guys who aren't used to heavy spin that assume a ball is flying out before the spin brings the ball abruptly down to earth inside the line.

    Long story short, bad calls are a part of the game. Now, if I feel someone is either intentionally, or as a product of an inability to call lines well, hooking me, I will return the favor in kind on the close calls on my side to even things out. If the other side is cool with calls, so am I. If the other side makes a blatant error in my favor, I will try to overrule them and give them the point. I try to be fair as possible while realizing it is impossible to be perfectly fair.

    In the OP's case, the other guy is a loser. The OP should not worry about it at all. Two close calls don't make one a cheater especially if one is making honest calls. If a shot is very close and there is a reasonable disagreement over a close call, playing two is the best compromise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
    #21
  22. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,736

    Where have you played with linesmen? I've played a lot of tournaments and had the luxury of a chair-umpire once and never any linesmen.
     
    #22
  23. decades

    decades Guest

    if you are certain the ball was out then you shouldn't have offered a let. that tells him that you have doubts. you need to be strong about your calls with no waver. if you saw it out you should have told him the ball was out and that's it. he's a sore loser. but your lesson is to stick to your guns.
     
    #23
  24. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,736
    I agree with Fearsome Forehand. When I'm POSITIVE they are cheating, depending on how egregious it was, I may cheat them back to let them know that game works both ways. I'll do it on a side line so they have full view of it and look them in the eye as I do it. They don't argue because they know what it's all about. Funny they stop cheating after that.

    Psychologically, perhaps the cheater feels inadequate and the only way he feels he can win is by cheating. Perhaps, due to their feelings of inadequacy, when you demonstrate to them you will cheat them back, they feel you will beat them at the cheating game too.

    When I get screwed on calls because of lazy vision, incompetence or plain stupidity, I'll even it out by not being as generous with the "benefit of the doubt" as I normally am.

    This is quite rare behavior for me--at this point it's no longer tennis that's being played but some other game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
    #24
  25. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    I did not offer him a let. I just told him if he felt the serve was out, that I played as in for a clean winner and he asked me politely I would gladly play a let. This isn't serious tennis it's friendly tennis.

    In a friendly game I would always give a let if that were the case. Of course he didn't ask, but if he did I would have gave him one.

    If I was sure a ball was out I would never give a let.
     
    #25
  26. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    USA
    Not so much cheating them back as returning the favor in kind.

    Dead on with the bolded sentence. Otherwise, you are an willing victim/idiot.

    There are people who will hook you to upset you and take you off your game. I imagine that is common practice in competitive junior tournaments. One would hope most adults have grown out of that behavior but that is probably only a hope.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
    #26
  27. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    6,018
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yeah I mean that will happen to me sometimes. I'll think a serve I hit is out but my opponents don't call it. You have to be ready to play that point, even if you know or think your serve was out.

    I've played points in doubles where the serve was clearly out but nobody said anything until after the point was over.

    If he allowed a couple of calls to affect the way he plays then he's a basket case and you shouldn't worry.

    I had a similar thing happen. I was playing doubles and this was a one set match with no ads. The very first game we get to deuce and my partner is serving. They hit a shot down the line and I'm watching it while they're all celebrating like it's a winner. Well I saw some space between the line and the ball so I called it out. It was a big call because it gave us the first game of the set. Then later I called one of their first serves out though, and that's when they really started giving me dirty looks the rest of the match.
     
    #27
  28. Tennisborg

    Tennisborg New User

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    1. The ball fell in your court (the receiver), you make the call. Unless the ball is obviously way out such as 3 -10 feet long, then the server may challenge the call.
    2. If I were in your position, I stand with my call, he can whine whatever he wants. He can do the same If I were the server, and he can make either bad or good call too.

    There is clear rule in USTA tournament guide line (without umpire presence), it can be downloaded in USTA website (assuming you are in the US).
    There always be cheaters in many tournaments, even in the Pro level.

    Based on your story, he is just a loser. Next time prove yourself that you are the better player, and next time when you play him (if possible) give him bagels, no mercy.
    Practice more, be a better player, and be a kick ass player.
    I play even better when I get annoyed, consider as mental challenge. I love challenges in match.:)
     
    #28
  29. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Arizona
    It says in The Code that's it's rude to return out serves. Apparently this was written in invisible ink in many copies of The Code.

    I've been tempted to do that, but I'm sure that the one time I try it someone will be watching, and not know the situation, and I'll get labeled as a cheater.
     
    #29
  30. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    That one is easy... The exception to the rule that the server is not allowed to call their own first serves "out" is when the returner does not return the ball in play. Since the code also instructs people that clearly see their ball land out to volunteer the "out" call on themselves (subject to the first serve rule), the correct action in this example is to call your first serve out and play a second serve. Anything else would be a violation of the code.

    To the OP: I think many of us play serves that we think may be out but aren't sure, only to see the server look at us funny - clearly expressing an opinion that they thought their serve was long. If I really do think the serve was out in that case, I'll ask them if that is what they saw and offer them a second serve. That said, I can't imagine why you would offer someone a let in that case. By rule you've already won the point and you are being generous by giving them another shot (with a second serve). Why should they get a second try at a first serve?
     
    #30
  31. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    I understand it would be a second serve. But if he felt that it was such an issue that any delay would arise I wouldn't hesistate to give him a let if it would prevent the feeling of bad blood. To me it was a "friendly" match even though it was for a tournament. I enjoy good tennis, which is why it unsettled me so much that someone would react that way when it could have been easily resolved with a simple question right after the occurence.
     
    #31
  32. Kyle7286

    Kyle7286 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    Atl, Ga
    Oh don't worry about it...

    I had this one guy get all upset with me because I owned him 6-0 in the first set.. he started saying that I was underrated and shouldn't be in 3.0 level.... i've been in that league for 4 years and have worked my way to being a better player and some dude gets angry b/c im playing well and destroy him.. also he was new to the league, first season for him.

    People are dumb and take it too seriously. I just laugh in my head and proceed to win the game and leave.
     
    #32
  33. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,058
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I completely agree - with both parts of your post. You're making the same argument I was trying to make, only better :)

    But apparently there are others who disagree with this and will stick to the rule 'only returner can call 1st serve out' no matter what.
     
    #33
  34. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    Bad boys hit the wall

    If you think the ball is in, then you have to play it. If you believe the ball was out, you have to call it out. This guy was just p'o'd because he was losing. Maybe he was just having a lousy day - but if he always behaves like this, eventually the only tennis he'll play is against a wall. Nobody wants to play with a bad sport.
     
    #34
  35. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW


    I don't think that is what she meant. I think what she meant was: play the ball (just as you did), thereby "giving" them the serve as "in" even though you are 99% sure it was "out". However, in a friendly match, if the server stops play and says they thought the ball was so far out that they didn't play it, in the scenario that you 99% agree with them, then they are probably right and you shouldn't, IMO take a return winner off of a probable "out" serve.
     
    #35
  36. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    That I can agree with.

    I play everything that I am unsure about as in. Serve are probably the toughest for me to call, and probably most people on the service line. If a question arises immediately after I would have no problem issuing a let (depending on how much time passes) or a second serve. That being said calling someone a cheater instead of politely asking for a let is not the best way to achieve that.
     
    #36
  37. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    978
    This. I agree.
     
    #37
  38. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,276
    I usually tell them at the beginning of the match, if either of us really have a dispute about a call, lets just "take two" and play the point over.
    My eyes aren't great, and there's always a couple of really close calls.

    The thing that irks me is when someone says "I think that was out..." that's when I say, hmm, how about we take two?

    That seems to work pretty well for me in most of my "friendly" matches and even tournaments.
     
    #38
  39. decades

    decades Guest

    I have never had somebody come over and check a mark in a friendly game. some people take their tennis way too seriously.
     
    #39
  40. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    I think it's a nice idea to agree at the beginning that you're willing to replay a point if there's a strong disagreement. Wish more people did that. In my book, if you "think" the ball was out, then it was IN. I particularly hate it when my opponents have a discussion about whether the ball was in or out. Just call it in, in the interest of good sportsmanship. Those hesitant line calls are the causes of the most angst on court.
     
    #40
  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    I understand that you mean well and all, but I would politely decline your offer. I think it is better for players to give benefit of the doubt (call the lines "loosely") and then stand by their calls.
     
    #41
  42. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Agree with Cindy.

    If it is a friendly match, if they have any argument at all, I give them the call. A point during a friendly match is not worth it to have anyone (either me or the opponent) stress over it. If I was really friendly with the guy, I might needle him a bit but all in good fun.

    If it is a league match, I don't argue their calls and I stand by what I call.
     
    #42

Share This Page