Before 3rd set 10-point tie break, guy took a 7 minute water break

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by directionals, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    ok, I played a USTA match. Our scores were close and the 2nd set went to a tie break which I won. Before we started our 3rd set 10-point tiebreak, he took a water break for like 6-7 minutes. The water fountain was in the other end of the club, but still it shouldn't have taken him this long. During his water break, I kept walking in the court to keep my legs warm. Well, long story short, I had small cramps in the tiebreak and lost the match.

    I guess you know what my question is by now - is a player allowed a long water break after a set?
     
  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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  3. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    Thanks for the link, SystemicAnomaly. I haven't played many USTA matches. I really hate these tricks. Does anyone know if this is something I can report to USTA? Both my team and his team were watching the whole thing unfold from the next court since our match was the last to finish. Our team lost 2-3.
     
  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure what can be done at this point. I've not played USTA league matches for quite some time. Hopefully some current USTA players (or woodrow1029) will chime in with some useful advice.

    .
     
  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ It could have very well made a difference. The OP had some momentum after winning the 2nd set tie-break and the extended delay by the opponent diffused that by cheating. The 6-7 min delay could very well have contributed to some cramping as the OP mentioned.

    At my age, the delay could have most certainly made a very significant difference. Because of arthritis in the knees, shoulder issues and tendinitis of the hip (flexor), it takes me quite a while to warm up my body. Once I've got it warmed up, I can keep going for hours. However, any extended breaks will result in joints stiffening up and muscle soreness. If the break is too long, I might as well just pack it up and go home. It is not unusual for me to develop a significant limp after 10 minutes or so after ceasing activity.
     
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No you cannot complain now. It's too late, and it sounds like you didn't even object.

    Next time:

    There's no such thing as a "water break."

    He could have taken an injury time-out (5 minutes for unofficiated matches under our local rules).

    He could have taken a reasonable break to deal with a clothing or equipment issue (but not a racket issue).

    He could have taken a 5-minute bathroom break (and our local rules advise that you accompany him to make sure it is in fact a bathroom break and not a coaching or stalling break). Other local rules for timed matches prohibit bathroom breaks toward the end of the match.

    If the opponent just up and left the court against your objection for some other reason, the thing to do would be to time him (using a cell phone, IMHO) and perhaps have a teammate do the same.

    If it was instead a break for an authorized reason, then still time him. If you don't actually time him, then you wouldn't be able to win any grievance if you defaulted him.

    If it is an excessively long break or an unauthorized one, then I would say at the time, "Hey, you're not allowed to take a break like this. If you go, I'm going to consider it your retirement."
     
  7. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    I would agree with this for rec level. In the "elder" leagues we have guys that have to take bathroom breaks in between sets all the time! :shock:
     
  8. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I think you are pretty much screwed with this match. I'd also like to thank the guy for the link. I actually did this myself a few years back. I honestly didn't know you couldn't take a break. I thought it was like a new set and you were allowed to take a break. I did exactly what you are describing. So while it's no excuse the guy may have actually thought he was within his rights to do this. I guess I need to go back and reverse my score line for 09. I think this is about when this happened. I ended up winning my 3rd set breaker as well. lol

     
  9. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    ****....yea...in most leagues I've seen and played in...I'd like to see that pulled off. I mean really what you say is very accurate and sounds reasonable but unless it's a sanctioned tourney or officials are standing there, you are going to catch hell getting anything done. I agree with someone else. You have to get mentally tougher. People do things all the time just to get under your skin...bend the rules or even break them....knowing there is little if anything you are really going to be able to do. I had a guy do something similiar in an indoor tourney during Christmas. He decided he needed a bathroom break right after the second set started(I won the first and he was leading the second 0-1). I'd just ran him off the court. The wrong thing at that point to do was get riled up over a 6 or 7 minute break. What I did was just took the time to go to the restroom myself. I could have gotten worked up about it but all would have happen is I lose concentration. I came right back out and continued to play and win. So this person needs to get mentally tougher. If he lets this bother him, he will also let bother him other things....like a guy this past Sunday during warmup trying to knock the raquet out of my hand everytime I'd feed him the ball instead of hitting a mid range groundstroke back to me. He was spraying balls to the point where my wife was ducking balls on the other side. He did stop once he saw I wasn't going to pull my hamstring chasing down balls in the alley. Had he not...I would have just gotten my wife and we would have warmed up on the other side and let him hit balls at his partner. So there is an answer for everything...you just have know how to handle the different situations.

     
  10. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I wouldn't have cared one way or the other. If a few minute delay ends my chance at a win, there is something more serious going on with me. I have a hard time defining this as cheating unless you specifically told him that you will cramp up after five minutes of idle time. :) Inconsiderate? Maybe. Cheating? Nope. Yeah, I get that there are rulebooks, but tennis is such an uptight sport to begin with. As Steve Winwood once sang, "Roll with it baby."
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  11. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    <The board stands, claps & cheers>


     
  12. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    After his obvious stall tactic you should have figured out a way to make him wait before starting the TB, to one-up him. He set the tone and mood of the TB by causing HIS delay. He was in control.
     
  13. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Was this league match? Or was it a tournament match? Age group?
     
  14. Zolar

    Zolar New User

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    Interesting topic and good to know info. What if he knew of your condition and really had to go to the bathroom. What should he do?
    I'd say get over it and figure out how to keep moving so it doesn't happen again.

    Practice serves or get a teammate to hit with you.
     
  15. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Are you sure he didn't use the restroom while he was taking the break? I just can't imagine getting worked up because someone took a bathroom break and I really can't see how this is any different.
     
  16. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Apparently you are quite suspect to a bathroom break or injury TO by your opponent. Best of luck.
     
  17. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    You can't get worked up about this sort of this thing. You just can't. Keep warm, stretch, hit some balls....etc etc
     
  18. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    The fact of the matter is there are some rules that, while clear, are really hard to enforce without officials present.

    In this case the guy told you he was taking a water break ... are you really going to tell him you are putting him on the clock for a water break after 2 long sets? It seems like you were having a nice match and putting your opponent on the clock for a water break would essentially end that.

    In my mind you have two choices ... toughen up mentally and not let your opponents water break be an excuse for a loss or resort to similar unenforceable illegal tactics to send him a message.
     
  19. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol at follow the guy to the bathroom. Is that really a rule? Cindy?
    Let the guy pee in peace if needed.
     
  20. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Just to be clear for my future reference, after the 2nd set ends and you are now going to start a match tiebreak, you ARE allowed a 3 minute (approximate) rest time, correct?

    Then once the match tiebreak starts, you are not supposed to take a rest on side changeovers, not even to stop for a quick drink by your gear, correct? (But if both players are in agreement to grab a quick drink and towel-off... that is ok in the spirit of the game, correct?)

    Also, a match tiebreak is like a new set in that for doubles either player can serve first and again in doubles you can now switch sides also, correct?
     
  21. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ The USTA link I cited in post #2 indicated a 2 minute break between sets and 3 minutes for a medical timeout.

    That is the rule for WTA matches (and probably ATP as well).

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  22. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Correct, mostly.

    No rule that you can't take a drink and towel off in a TB changeover. Just a normal between point time frame 25-30 seconds. Do what you will in that time frame.
     
  23. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    You are only allowed a 3 minute rest period in juniors matches. In adult divisions for tournaments, it is only a 2 minute set break.

    If this is a league thing, there may be different local rules that apply.
     
  24. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    and what if the guy really needed to take a dump? and there was a line ahead of him?
    you lost. get over it. get better. ... and stop blaming a break for your loss.
    what was the score in the tiebreak?
     
  25. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Of course, if it was a legitimate bathroom break, that is allowed, and a set break is the best time to take a bathroom break.
     
  26. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    No, I do not take any extended bathroom breaks if I am playing. As I said previously, any extended break would cause my joint to stiffen and could cause my muscles to feel sore.
     
  27. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Ok. I am looking at the 2013 Friend at Court which was just released. A new, clarified rule is:

    Leaving court.
    A player may leave the court to retrieve a ball. A player shall obtain permission from an official to leave the court. If a player is unable to contact an official, a player may leave the court:

    To contact an official
    For a toilet/change Of attire break
    To obtain water on a changeover or set break when none is available on the court
    To repair or replace broken clothing, shoes, or necessary equipment other than the racket.

    This was put in because there are some officials and players that are just too officious and don't have much common sense, so they just say " you can't leave" when good judgement should prevail as there are sometimes it makes sense for a player to temporarily leave.

    These are all subject to "reasonable time" limitations, which of course is very subjective. If the closest water is a few minutes walk, that could be considered reasonable.
     
  28. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, this sounds like the guy just went to the bathroom. If you cannot handle that, USTA league may not be for you.
     
  29. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I might object to someone taking a break before a 3rd set TB since the match is almost over. After sets, I could care less if someone wants to take a 5-10 minute break. If I run out of water, I'll usually just ask a teammate to fill up my bottle. However, if there are not any teammates around (which never happens) I would think it reasonable to get some water. I would just be really quick about it. In my years playing USTA, the rules are not followed very closely. Nobody is timing breaks.
     
  30. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I thought the same...that's crazy!
     
  31. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    Geeze,

    Do you stand there and watch him pee?
    What if he gets "pee-shy"?

    What if he goes into a stall, do you check him for tennis balls to make sure he is not dropping some busser balls into the toilet to splash and fool you that he is not actually using the bathroom?

    C;mon guys, let's have some fun with this!
     
  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ This is what happens in pro tennis -- I've seen it with WTA matches. If a player requests a bathroom break, she is required to be accompanied by a tournament official.

    It seem that a lot of posters here don't seem to think that the extended bathroom break was out of line and/or it should not have had any significant effect on the OP. However, we have seen quite a different reaction to Vika's extended break in her SF match against Sloane Stephens at the AO. Commentators and much of the public at large were highly suspicious and critical of Vika's actions. She was asked several times about this in post match interviews. Quite a few fans have accused her of cheating.

    It appeared that the extended break had a very positive effect for Vika's play and a dulling effect on Sloane, who was making quite a comeback prior to the break. Sloane's momentum was destroyed and she played quite a bit flatter after the break -- missing some easy shots.
     
  33. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^ Bit of a difference between taking a longer break in between sets vs taking a longer break in the middle of a set right before your opponent is about to serve to stay in the set.
     
  34. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    I was just going to bring up the Azarenka's dirty trick and you beat me to it :) I watched the SF and I couldn't believe Azarenka did it! Sick to my stomach.

    OrangePower, the rule is 2 minutes between sets and my opponent broke the rule. The temperature on the court was in the 40's F. I had just own the 2nd set tiebreak. The dynamics were changed after the extended break. The 3rd set was a 10-point super tiebreak, not a full set.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  35. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Could well be that your opponent used gamesmanship against you - I'm not arguing that.

    Just saying that you can't really compare your situation of taking an extended break between sets to Azarenka taking an extended break right before her opponent is serving to stay in the set. Let's say Azarenka had not taken the timeout, waited until the end of the second set (and lost the second set), and then taken med timeout between 2nd and 3rd sets, there would not have been nearly the same negative reaction against that.
     
  36. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Just curious if you read my post from 1/19/13?
     
  37. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    That. I don't care what the opponent(s) do during the allotted time, except for blatant coaching.

    But once the time is over, your ass better be back on the court or I'll make sure they (opponent(s) and team members) will hear it from me.
     
  38. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    More similarity than difference. The intent and effect can be very much the same.
     
  39. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    Well, I don't really care what my opponent does as long as he comes back within 2 minutes. If he wants to go to the bathroom, go ahead. Wanna get a drink from McDonald's? Sure. But you'd better be back in 2 minutes.
     
  40. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Bathroom breaks are not limited to 2 minutes. Neither is going to get water if there is no water on court.

    Bit since "you don't care", apparently you're not interested in learning the way it actually works.
     
  41. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Let's just hope he washed his hands for the post match handshake. Give him 2:15 for that.
     
  42. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Maybe the water fountain far off was broken and he had to filter his own urine to quench his thirst, that takes time. I hear drinking one's own urine can be done and may even have therapeutic effects, but haven't experimented myself, just seen about it on those survivor man shows. I don't know if it would be against USTA or ITF rules, like blood doping or prohibited drugs, but I guess they could do a urine test for it. Now that would be ironic or wouldn't it. Maybe this belongs in it's own thread? I'll check with the mods.

    BTW, where can I get some of those Babolat Roddick USO, red white and blue shoes with the stars in 11.5 or 12's? They are out everywhere and I'd like to have some for President's Day or Fourth of July.
     
  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, it's crazy but true.

    The rule used to say that taking a bathroom break during the last 15 minutes of a timed match was an automatic default.

    This was deemed too harsh (and honestly, it is IMHO because many people have issues that mean they simply must use the bathroom when they must use it). So now the rule says the break can be taken and it "encourages" the opponent to accompany the player.

    You don't have to go and watch them tinkle, but you can if you want. I suppose the real reason for the suggestion is to discourage anyone from doing anything else besides taking a bathroom break.
     
  44. Delano

    Delano Rookie

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    Hey Woodrow, hoping you can answer another question...

    Is there any limit to the number of bathroom breaks allowed (kind of like injury time-outs), or would this also fall under the official's call as to what is "reasonable"?

    EDIT: I asked woodrow, but of course anyone who knows feel free to chime in here.
     
  45. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    USTA rules don't set a maximum number of bathroom breaks; however, the book says something like an official can deny a bathroom break if he feels that the request is due to gamesmanship. Very hard to enforce.
     
  46. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    It's been my experience that even at state playoffs the rules aren't always enforced. Usually someone will complain about something and then something might happen, but in the end it's nothing more than the loser complaining about losing due to something that shouldn't have happened. Nice guys finish last. Next time, make a big deal out of it when they come back and get them annoyed so they mess up in the tiebreak.

    Honestly, if you've split sets and instead of a 3rd set it's a 10 point tiebreak, that should be played without any delay. Whatever momentum the second set winner had will wash away if there's an excessive break there. The 2nd set winner usually knows this and that's why they do it.

    Had a guy once during Flex Mixed pull this bathroom break move, except that the clouds were rolling in and we knew we'd have maybe 5 minutes to finish that 10 point tiebreak before the rains came. Guess what. Dude took so long the rains started after playing 1 point. We had to walk away and postpone the match to finish another day because of it. Luckily, turns out just down the street at another set of courts we sometimes use it was dry, so we called his partner up and told them to show back up and we'd finish that day. Needless to say, we won the tiebreak since the guy was all frazzled it went down like that. He didn't argue, but he wasn't happy either. Somehow, I know deep down he knew he was just as wrong to pull the bathroom break thing when he knew we were expecting rain any moment. To this day I haven't seen this guy pull that kind of move anymore. I guess he learned his lesson.
     
  47. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Who cares, 7 mins isn't long. I've taken breaks like that and I had no intent on stalling, it just takes time to walk over to a fountain and it takes additional time to drink and walk back. The fact you timed him is more weird than him "cheating."
     
  48. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    It's one thing to take your sweet time for an informal match with your buddies but quite another during official competition. Did you miss the harsh criticism/backlash Vika received for her extended break during a match against Sloane Stephens at the recent AO? There are rules & guidelines that should be followed during USTA league matches just as there are during pro matches.

    Did you read the OP? It sounded like that "7 minutes" was a guess-timation rather than a stopwatch reading? Remind me never to play a match with you on a cold night. My old bones couldn't handle the 7 minute water breaks. Perhaps you could drop hints that you could use a water bottle for your next birthday.
     
  49. Delano

    Delano Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply, that's what I figured.

    I took a look at "friend of the court", which confirms what you said for USTA. Interesting bit on college ball, though...

    Bathroom breaks. A player must ask an official for a designated “bathroom break.” The official may refuse this request if he determines that the player is resorting to gamesmanship. Division I women are allowed reasonable time for bathroom breaks and should take them on a 90-second changeover or set break. If a player is able to take a bathroom break during the 90-second changeover, this is permitted in addition to the bathroom breaks described above.

    No bathroom breaks in Men’s Division I Tennis. No bathroom breaks shall be permitted in Men’s Division I Tennis. Men will have 90 seconds during the changeover to use the bathroom. After 90 seconds, the player will be subject to time violation penalties (Warning, Point, Point, etc.) If no bathroom is available within a reasonable distance from the courts, it is the responsibility of the coaches and the Referee to determine prior to the start of the match, how much time may be allowed. If a bathroom break is necessary for
    medical problems, the break is to be treated as a medical timeout.

    Wow, 90 seconds. You better run.

    So that pretty much confirms what you said about USTA play, and I agree, it sounds difficult to enforce this rule. I think the rules make a stronger assumption of good sportsmanship in a purely recreational league.

    As for the original question... a one time 7 minute bathroom or water break doesn't sound especially outrageous. I wasn't there, of course, but while I've seen some pretty egregious gamesmanship around the bathroom rule, this particular episode doesn't sound like it. If this was a one-time deal, my guess would be that the guy was trying to minimize the disruption by taking it after the completion of the set.
     
  50. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    So basically, you need to take a medical time out if you need a S^!t!!! haha
     

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