Best way to handle following situation

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by rafafan20, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    This may seem to everyone to be a made up story, I guarantee it is not.

    I met up for a singles match in my league with a player I wasn't familiar with. We met, seemed nice, warmed up, etc. Once the match starts the person turns into a complete psycho. Everytime a ball he hits hits the tape he runs up and smashes his racket on it and cusses like you wouldn't believe. Everytime he hit a winner he would scream at me and everytime an unforced error there would be a melt down with cussing and throwing balls. I actually ended up winning the first set 6-0 he put his towel over his head and might have been crying. This break went on for over 5 minutes.

    My first question is, how would you all deal with that?

    At this point I'm pretty distracted and think the guy is nuts and ended up going down 4-0 in the second and losing the second 6-4, complete with the yelling, swearing and long breaks. Again at the set break he took another 10 minute break -- I actually started hitting with the pair playing on the court next to us.

    In the third set I am up 4-1 and serving on deuce. I hit an ace and he calls a let. I'm pissed off at that point but that has happened to me before. I hit another ace and we move on to ad court. In the middle of my toss he yells out that the last serve was out. I let it go and he says nevermind. I serve another good first serve about 2 feet in and he calls it out. Through all the yelling and cheating I just picked up the balls and left and told him to report the score however he felt was fair and I couldn't deal with it anymore.

    Of course the score was reported falsely.

    How should I have handled this and what should I do moving forward?
     
    #1
  2. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    That sucks, no one officiating I am assuming? You should have just played through it and zoned out all the noise and then crushed him!!
     
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  3. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Dude's nuts. Put in your books as a wash and move on. IMHO it isn't worth dealing with the guy again if you don't have to.

    -Fuji
     
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  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, there is gamesmanship behavior, and then there is psycho behavior.

    Gamesmanship is typically conscious action on the part of your opponent, doing things to try throw you off your game.

    Psycho is not conscious action to throw you off, it's just acting psycho because the opponent is psycho!

    I have never played a psycho like you describe, but in your situation, I would probably have walked off the court after the first few games (even though you won them). With a person like that you just don't know what they are going to do next, and you could possibly be in physically danger (or in danger of having your car keyed, etc). We play tennis for recreation and it's just not worth playing under those conditions. So I would walk off, and report what happened to the league / tournament organizers just in case there is an established pattern of behavior with this guy. Tell them you felt physically uncomfortable being on the court with the guy.
     
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  5. hobnob

    hobnob New User

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    Unfortunate for you

    Was this a USTA match? I think you should file a grievence about gamemanship against this guy. He sounds like he's clearly got something wrong with him in the head.

    You should have asked for a line judge - unless this was flex (not sure if you can get line judges) and finish the set. You should NOT say that you would allow him to report the score whatever.

    I think if i was in your situation, I'd have both captains witness his behavior and ask his captain to control his temper tantrums. I think I would have finished the set and then file a grievence on the guy in general to give him a warning that his behavior is UNACCEPTABLE, the witnesses would be important too.

    You're post reminds me of someone, wonder if you're in NorCal lol.
     
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  6. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    The next guy I played had played this individual as well and had as bad of an experience. I'm not really that invested in winning/losing so I guess its better to forget and avoid him in the future. I might be facing him in the playoffs though and although he wasn't really physically intimidating I do worry about playing with someone with that kind of temper.
     
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  7. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    Its not USTA unfortunately or else it would be an easy fix since I have a good friend who works for the local chapter. This is just a city league normally very laid back and not in norcal.
     
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  8. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    You handled it the same as I would...walk off and online vent. Let d bags be d bags and move on.
     
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  9. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Wow pretty wacky opponent. Maybe ask them too cool off and play with more control, like Borg or Fed, it will help his game.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    A vulcan neck pinch works out perfectly in this situation. By the time he comes to, the score will already be in the system.
     
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  11. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    What was the score reported as?
     
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  12. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    What a psycho. I would get whoever is running the tournament or setting up the match to come over and officiate.
     
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  13. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Um, ok.

    This is a situation where you just want to get out of there alive.

    This isnt "gamesmanship". This guy just sounds "nuts".

    I mean... ive been known to get "aggressive" but this "aggression" isnt directed to anyone but myself. Of course, im not ever spiking balls down or throwing/smashing rackets or yelling in the middle of points. The worst thing I ever did was yell the F-word as loud as I could into my wristband AFTER the match was done and we shook hands (very nicely, I might add).

    Intensity and focus are not synonymous with aggression and temper tantrums.

    TL;DR

    Finish the match without anymore "incident". Get out of there. Complain later.
     
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  14. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    You let it get to you, when it doesn't have to.

    Its not common, but from time to time, some extreme things do happen on the competitive scene. I've called out cheating opponents, had ongoing arguments with them during matches, referees have been called. One guy even hung around during my 2nd round match just to verbally abuse me through the back fence. I was at another tournament once and saw a commotion on the adjacent court, which ended in one being DQ'd for threatening to punch the other guy. If you play alot of competitive tennis, you see alot of people on the regional scene that you might have come across before and have a testy relationship with. It happens. I've been a bit aggressive with difficult opponents on occasions. You just have to realise that's its a mind game really. The more competitive you are, the more you look for anything that might give you an advantage or disturb your opponents rhythm, particularly if they're engaging in gamesmanship.

    You need to find what works for you. Different people deal with this in different ways, but if I were you I would just concentrate on playing the game. If he's having a meltdown, so what? It's all good for you because he's going to pieces. I have never seen a player who can consistently play well for any reasonable period of time whilst constantly in psycho mode. He does it just as much to see whether it changes the dynamics of the match and swing momentum.

    At 4-1 up in the 3rd, just play the game. Even if he breaks and holds, you still have a 2 game buffer to win the match.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    City league? With no way to file grievances or address psychotic behavior?

    Walk off the court and don't look back.
     
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  16. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Play the guy again and hide a secret camera and film the match. Post it here, or on youtube, this would be hilarious to watch. Bring a strait jacket with you in your bag and pull it out and ask him if he would like to try it on for size. You could sell tix to this, I would buy one.
     
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  17. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Errr, no walking -- RUN!
     
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    No matter what league you're playing in there must be some way you can file a report. I would go a step farther and call the other he has or will play and see how they were or let them know how they will be treated.

    had I been playing the guy after the first set I would have told him to player quit. If he didn't play in a reasonable time I would have left and reported the score as as forfeit from that point on then reported him.
     
    #18
  19. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Psycho - well, he has his own issues, just ignore it as best you can and beat him.
    Cheating - completely different issue, try to get him reported or banned or whatever you can.
     
    #19
  20. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Play him again, and give him the Joe Biden treatment. Laugh at his pathetic antics....his bark is worse than his bite. If I am wrong, just call the police.
     
    #20
  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with Torres on his last 2 sentences. I'd hook him back the next game. People like this are used to getting their way on the court. When you mentally fight back they usually fall apart. I've only used the hook back one time in my life. It caused a big confrontation but solved the problem.
     
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  22. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    Hooking back isn't something I would do to handle it, I'd like to have some respect for the game even though this guy is a nut. My friend has already convinced me to bring a camera next time which I definitely will if we play again. Honestly looking back I should have just finished him off but I was pretty heated in that moment.
     
    #22
  23. baoshuxiong

    baoshuxiong New User

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    Hahaha...Joe Biden, he might go postal on you and cops usually takes a few mins to arrive. So make sure you go over some basic Jujitsu moves from latest UFC matches´╝ü:twisted:

    Seriously, I would only deal with psychopaths like him if I get paid on my job. Otherwise, avoid people like that so he won't ruin tennis for you.
     
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  24. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I understand and respect your decision to take the high road. I do think you should have stuck around just because he was trying to make you quit and you did.
     
    #24
  25. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I agree. If he's done this before (which I think you mentioned), then he has probably found that it works... and when he is losing a match, and you end up quitting... it goes down as a win for him... exactly what he wanted.

    You might've beaten him with tennis, but he beat you with his mind/antics.

    It's pathetic, and to me, no different than cheating... but at the end of the day, he's got scoreboard- and there is no mention of his antics on the results sheet.
     
    #25
  26. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    It's a tough call. I played a similar match years ago. The guy started off being a decent guy and then descended into complete madness. Cussing, bad calls, hooking..you name it, he was doing it. After I'd won the last point and started walking to the net to shake hands, he instead went straight to his bag, grabbed his stuff and stormed off the court. I had just finished packing my things, picked up my bag and walked towards the gate when he came back and confronted me. He started yelling all kinds of obscenities including some racial stuff that I won't repeat. It was on the edge of getting physical when luckily some folks that saw the last couple of minutes of our match (two couples out with their families) stepped in and pulled the guy out of my face.

    Looking back I should have walked away long before it got to that level. I did report the guy. I was his 2nd match into the season and he had similar behavior with his next two opponents which ended in his suspension from the league because they reported him as well. I don't know how "over the edge" the OP's opponent was but I should have seen it coming in my case.
     
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  27. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Only mistake was you told him to report the score instead of doing it yourself. What city is this if you don't mind saying? We have a local ladder in Austin. I've never come across behavior like this.

    I did have one fellow I hit w/ last week (met through drills) who seemed to lose it when he missed shots but was very fair and never abusive towards me. He apologized afterwards to a family next to us... seemed like a nice guy overall. I think he's from New York.
     
    #27
  28. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Agreed. And he succeeded on this occasion.

    Consciously or subsciousness, overtly, or passively agressively, this opponent is trying to get a psychological advantage over the OP. If the OP loses his focus, lets it rattle him, gets flustered, or he mentally collapses as a result, then that opponent has won that (mind) game. When your mind isn't focused, your tennis won't be focused.

    It happens at pro level as well. Do you really think when Nadal 'bumped' Rosol, it was because he didn't know how to walk around him? It's an attempt to try and assert a psychological dominance and to see how his opponent reacts in response to that. It didn't work on that occasion because Rosol was perfectly zoned and perfectly relaxed. But if Rosol had got flustered by it and took a 'How dare yoooo!' attitude, you may well have seen a momentum swing in that match because his focus has switched to something other than tennis, and his concentration broken.

    No different to when Nadal had a meltdown at the FO because of the drizzle. Is he annoyed? Sure. If he uncomfortable? Sure. Is he angry? Sure. But another part of it is that it knows that there's a chance that that sort of episode has a chance of disrupting his opponent, particularly if they're going to continue playing in those conditions. Problem is that Djokovic isn't the sort of player who get's flustered.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  29. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    It's funny you mention Nadal in this thread, because I've often thought that if I was a pro and playing Nadal, just for fun to see how he'd react, I would purposely try to "shank" a shot and hit the drink bottles he sets up so carefully by his chair. I think that would really **** him off to see his bottles go flying all "out of position" if he knew I did it on purpose.
     
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