Best way to question a call...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TigerTennis, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. TigerTennis

    TigerTennis New User

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    I was just wandering what the best way to question an opponents line call was. It really annoys me when people ask..."are you sure?" or say..."you know the lines are in." What do they think I'm going to say, "no, im really not sure, you go ahead and have that point" or "OH, the lines are IN, okay, nevermind, your point!" This being said, what is the best way to let an opponent know that you disagree with their line call?
     
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  2. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Many ways you can get the point across

    1.) Say "Are you sure?"
    2.) Say "Lines are in you know!"
    3.) Stand there and stare for a few seconds
    4.) Say "That looked pretty close!"
    5.) Say "just for that I'm going to begel you now"
     
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  3. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Tell them you had a better vantage point and that because you were closer to the line, you could see what they couldn't. You also have to give them the same respect on your shots that look like they hit the line because if it's 1 inch out, it'll look good to you, but they can and will call it out.
     
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  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Vantage point or no, the rule is you call your side of the net and your opponent calls his side. If an opponent asks me if a ball was good or not, the implication is that he couldn't see the ball. My reply is one of three things 1) it looked good to me, 2) it was out, 3) I couldn't tell.

    There is no best way to question a call, it is bad form in any event. If your opponent continually makes what you perceive bad calls, you have two options, 1) hit the ball further inside the lines, or 2) get a 3rd party to call lines. Either of these options are supported by the rules.

    The best thing to do is play the calls.
     
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  5. FedererUberAlles

    FedererUberAlles Professional

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    Keep a spare pair of glasses in your bag. When your opponent calls BS, get out the glasses and ask if they need them.
     
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  6. darkhorse

    darkhorse Rookie

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    I just stare them down for about 10-15 seconds with a pissed-off look on my face, and the next time they come up to the net, BAM! right in the face.

    Although I pretty much try to hit my opponent whenever he comes the net anyway, so maybe my message isn't getting across like it should.
     
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  7. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I have actually gotten points back because I simply said "Are you sure?" I also like to take a couple steps toward the net and stare at my opponent and the line. I love sarcasm and semi-rudeness: "you know that was in, right?" "could you please stop hooking me?" "watch those lines carefully, these balls are coming pretty fast." (usually for serving.)
     
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  8. Achillesg

    Achillesg New User

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    "The Code" says this:

    "When a player genuinely doubts an opponent's call, the player may ask: "Are you sure of your call?" If the opponent reaffirms that the ball was out, the call shall be accepted. If the opponent acknowledges uncertainty, the opponent loses the point. There shall be no further delay or discussion."
     
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  9. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Thanks, Achillesg. Finally.
     
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  10. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    Code, blah, some calls are just too extreme to accept. One time I actually walked up to the net and told my opponent that I simply would not accept out as a call.
     
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  11. Achillesg

    Achillesg New User

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    If that's the case, then didn't Marat Safin answer your question in the 2004 French Open? (Turn back to opponent, drop trou, bend over)
     
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  12. tennissavy

    tennissavy Hall of Fame

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    The best thing for those of us who do not have chair umps and linespeople is really to not question calls. Some people cheat and if you really believe they do, don't play with them again.
    Just last week I played a new guy. Three of his shots were out and I called them out. He questioned every one and insisted, really insisted, the 3rd one was good. He even made that comment which others here have posted, "the line is in you know". He made himself look so desperate and stupid because the ball is on my side of the court and I clearly could see his shot land outside of the line. I really was insulted because I don't need to cheat myself to win a point that way. He then proceeded to play and called some of my shots out which appeared good to me(I believe that was retaliation for what he thought was my cheating). I didn't question any of those calls as I figured he was trying to rattle me. He did win that set. I won the second 6-1 and he said "It's too hot. I just don't have anything left to challenge you" He retired from the match. You know, the heat affects both players and I played better in the 2nd set. He pulled a Serena. No credit to me.
    I just won't play with him again. Let it be a lesson to all- those who constanty question calls are not very sure of themselves. They are the first ones to cheat so they think everyone else is out to cheat them. Don't get upset with them, just don't play them again.
     
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  13. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I'm talking about things that happen in tournaments or high school matches, in which case I don't get to choose who I play.

    One time, I was returning serve and was unsure of a call, but my partner called it out (long). I figured he had a better angle, so I accepted it, still unsure, but our opponents didn't like it. They promptly started calling questionable balls out. Then my partner did the same thing on a serve, but I corrected him, stating that the serve was, in fact, in and thus relinquished the point. Immediately thereafter, they stopped making what seemed bad calls. Coincidence? I think not.

    Anyway, I don't agree with that point about people who question calls as being unsure of themselves, cheaters, whatever. Sometimes, I question a lot of calls, but I never look to cheat anyone (see above story). Then, I will talk to someone who was watching to find out that some of them I rightly questioned and some were actually out. So you can't really make such broad generalizations. As many have said before, that is just the nature of tennis, and it goes both ways. Everyone makes bad calls and everyone has bad calls against them. You just have to hope they all pretty much cancel out.
     
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  14. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    TennsDog I know what you mean at Doubles, my partner always calls the close ones out when the opponent serves, even when I'm returning....but I got really pissed off with him so when he called it out on a training session I just overruled him.............he was pretty pissed off with me in the end cause it lost us the match.........lol
     
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  15. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    At the tournament you are supposed to accept the call, whatever it is, unless
    you suspect that your opponents is cheating you on purpose.
    If that is the case, you are not supposed to discuss it with your opponent.
    Go and request a line judge and go on with your match.

    Regards, Predrag
     
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  16. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    Good to know, but I think my tournament days are over for a few years, now.
     
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  17. TheGreatBernie

    TheGreatBernie Rookie

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    It's tough when the ball is so close to line. Is it in? Is it out? It's a judgement call. Unfortunately we have to leave our fates to our opponent. If you suspect your opponent is cheating, try to practice proper tennis etiquette and remain calm. Things would work out. If all else fails, kill him.
     
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  18. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, to some, anything even close to line is out. Some also want to make the call before the ball has even landed.

    Because I play mostly on clay, its actually quite easy to question a call by simply asking them to 'check the ball mark" -- gives them a chance to reverse themselves.
    I don't know if its a matter of cheating, bad eyesight or simply "wanting" the ball to be out - whatever it is, its a pain.
     
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  19. darkhorse

    darkhorse Rookie

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    Very rarely have I ever had a ball that was clearly in called out. In fact, the only time it ever happened was when I was playing doubles for my high school team, and both of my opponents were up at the net, so I did a little lob-volley over them. The ball lands-and I'm not exaggerating here-at least a foot in, and he calls it out. I stand there, mouth open, in total disbelief. Now, I'm a pretty intense player (probably because I play hockey, too), so I'm about ready to jump over the net and beat this kid up. All I say is "You gotta be kidding me" and look at this kid with pure rage. Luckily, his partner spoke up and the ball was called in.

    It's pretty rare that you're gonna get calls like that, but it does happen. If it's close, you pretty much have to deal with it.
     
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  20. MegacedU

    MegacedU Professional

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    Scream: LINE
    Or nicely say, That looked kind of close, are you sure you had a good angle?
     
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  21. Kathy

    Kathy Rookie

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    As a coach, I've thought a lot about this problem. First, a call you're just unsure of isn't a bad call. Even one you think is wrong isn't necessarilly a bad call. By "bad call" I mean a stinker: You are SURE the ball was well in and know that he's either lying or playing "When in doubt call it out."

    When you get a bad call, my advice is to walk up to the net and say, "That ball was in." Period.

    Calmly, not angrilly, but firmly. That's a statement, not a question. And you walk closer to him to confront him with it by approaching the net as you say this. That ups the ante of making a bad call, doesn't it? He thinks, "Ooh, this guy won't lay down and just take a bad call." He may respond by changing his call or suggesting that you play a let. If so, fine. If not, just go back to play the next point.

    Avoid an argument. Don't LET yourself get drawn into an argument. Arguing is pointless -- a dribble to nowhere. It's HIS call, not yours. And you do not sit in judgement of him for it, so giving him the Third Degree on how "sure" he is as inappropriate as futile. To cut off discussion, if necessary, just unhear whatever he says and go back to play the next point.

    If he made an honest error, he will be more careful from now on. If he was cheating, he may do it again. If you get more bad calls and become convinced that he is cheating, just say, "That ball was in" and go to the proper officials, telling them the problem.

    By handling the situation this way, you have the best chance of fixing it so that you nip the problem in the bud. You also avoid arguments that delay the game and distract you. And you behave in a way nobody can either criticize or take advantage of.
     
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  22. subtleskeptics

    subtleskeptics Rookie

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    "No. No. No. No WAY. That was in."


    Why ask "are you sure?" when you know they're gonna say "Yes." You're just wasting your breath. I think the best way is to show authority right off the bat.
     
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  23. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Tennis is the only sport where your opponent calls your shots. That's just the way it is till you turn pro. The reason you say, "Are you sure?" is because that is what the Code tells you to say. Screaming, yelling, and arguing will not change the call if your opponent saw it out. Revenge calls doesn't do much for your integrity. I seldom have a problem with any of this and usually assume the opponent had a better veiw than I did. I do find it distrubing as a former official that I know for a fact that coaches on both the junior and college levels encourage their pupils to cheat blatantly. This is not what tennis is about. I go by the rules and the Code and hope everyone else does. Most adults do because they respect the game.
     
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  24. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I kinda like Kathy's approach - be firm but don't argue.
     
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  25. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    I agree with tennis-n-sc and achillesg. Just go by The Code ("Are you sure?").

    Chip
     
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  26. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    The club I play at has a group of 8 guys that have played together for years. They play doubles on two courts and rotate partners. I filled in a couple of times - these guys are solid players - but anything close to the lines is out...Club Rules - it is a standard joke for them...The first time I played with them, it was kinda a shocker...Hit a good serve, out...They all keep a straight face, rip a forehand that paints the line - out...Nobody questions a call -
     
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  27. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I agree with subtleskeptics, there really is no point in asking "Are you sure?" because that puts no pressure on them to be sure. I have never gotten points from that, but I have from "informing" them that the ball was in. "Are you sure?" is just useless. If they are sure enough to call it out, are sure enough to tell you again. Calmly saying "That was in" and turning away does just fine.
     
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  28. Achillesg

    Achillesg New User

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    "Are you sure?" Should be entirely appropriate for the first incident and probably the second. If the opponent is cheating you, then it doesn't really matter how you question the call. Some other corrective measures would be called for, but I don't see how you could form that opinion (that you're being cheated) until the second or more likely, the third bad call. Plus you would have to know for a fact that the calls were bad and not just close calls that you were hoping would go your way.
     
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  29. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

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    just sit down, rest, and call for a line judge.
     
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  30. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    TennsDog, here in the old, genteel south, us gentlemen wouldn't call a ball out unless we were dang sure it was out. If an opponent on the other side of the court told me "that was in", I might think he was calling a southern gentleman a liar. Now, that's immature and not nice. I think the reason opponents call the lines on their side is because it is assumed they have the better view. A simple "Are you sure?" merely confirms what everyone already knows, it was close. It also gives the opponent a way to change his call if he isn't sure and save face. And the whole affair is settled without anyone being inferred to be a liar or a cheat. Be a gentleman on the court and you'll feel better after the match. I suspect you earn the same salary from tennis that I do. When you start making more than I do from tennis, take your argument up with the linesman or chair ump. If you have to depend on questioned calls to get points, you may be in the wrong game.
     
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  31. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    great post, tennis-n-sc
     
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  32. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    .....no no no no no WAY was that a good answer.
    These things should be more I dont know.... 'SUBTLE'!!!
     
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  33. MegacedU

    MegacedU Professional

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    *off-topic* If offended avert your eyes

    Hey, nice avatar, I'm a roddick fan too - but hey, if anyone asks, the original idea for the avatars of your nature, were mine. K. People will yell now, and i'm goign to create a new avatar.
     
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  34. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    Tennis-n-sc, I think you misunderstand what I am saying. People here do often intentionally cheat and others do know it. And if they don't cheat, they don't worry too much about just how sure they are before they call out. The points I won back are the ones where I can guarantee (as in put the whole match "on the line" for it) that the ball was, in fact, in. Besides, if telling them the ball was in and they are willing to give me the point, they clearly were not sure enough to have made the out call in the first place. I have done my fair share of asking "Are you sure?", pretty much always the first time it happens, but sometimes it doesn't matter how sure they are if I am sure, especially on the lines perpendicular to the net, which often times the one who hit the ball can see better. I don't see anything wrong with depending on getting points on my shots that hit the line, and I don't think you do either.
     
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  35. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    TennsDog, there is no place in tennis for cheaters. Get away from those jerks and play with the good people. Come to S.C. We never argue line calls and we have a ball. Win a lot, too. After the match, we gather on the veranda and have a mint julip. Good luck to you.
     
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  36. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I don't play with people who I can "get away from." The only matches I play are actual competition. When I play with friends or whatnot, we just hit or might play a set. In which case, we don't really care about bad calls and often give the point to the other person.
     
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  37. jimiforpres

    jimiforpres Rookie

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    racquets and fists
     
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  38. Achillesg

    Achillesg New User

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    TennsDog,

    Too bad you have to play cheaters. Cheating is part of the culture in baseball and car racing, and those are fun sports and being caught cheating in those sports is kind of overlooked. Remember a few years ago in the World Series when the first baseman for the Twins pushed an Atlanta Brave baserunner off of first base and then "tagged him out". That first baseman was celebrated for making a good play. Same with spitballs, rosin in the glove, corked bats, etc. Tennis and golf on the other hand do not tolerate cheaters. Cheating in tennis and golf is like committing a crime. Too bad you have to play some loser who feels he has to cheat to get an edge. That's bush-league and that guy will never rise above bush.
     
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  39. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Achillesg, I agree 100%.

    TennsDog, you never mentioned having a mint julip on the veranda. Try it. It always puts everything in perspective. A doobie will do the same thing.
     
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  40. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea what a mint julip, veranda, or doobie are...
     
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  41. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    LOL. Well, well. A mint julip is a nice flavorful mixed drink associated with the slow life in the deep south.
    A vernada is a large wrap around coverd porch that offers shade and a place to sit and drink mint julips in the summer heat and talk about meaningless topics in the deep south.
    A doobie is a whacky type of plant that is dried and smoked all over the world, and especially in Lansing, MI, that produces a laid back feeling where you can discuss meaningless topics. It is highly unlikely to produce concern regarding line calls. For more information about doobies, talk with your parents.
     
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  42. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I have only ever heard of them as "doobs", not "doobies", and only in Mason, MI, not Lansing. Anyway, I'm 17, so I can't exactly partake in mixed drinks
     
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  43. Ruckus

    Ruckus Guest

    My way of calling shots I perceive to be in is to say, "That was in." or "I'm pretty sure that was in." If the caller had a doubt at all, the firmness of your statement will usually have them change their minds.

    If they don't I give them the good old stare down... and I have a lazy eye, so it looks like I'm gonna kill them, or I am a serial killer.


    Cheers!
     
    #43
  44. ambro

    ambro Professional

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    I yell out "Are you kidding me?" or just "You're kidding me!" Then I can tell by their reaction or tone of voice in their response on whether they're hookin me or if they genuinely think it's out.
     
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  45. Ruckus

    Ruckus Guest


    In my area, we're moore inclined to buds, or weed... not that good for the tennis game though. Makes you gain some unwanted munchie weight.

    On the contrary, after I have hypothetically ( ;) ) self-medicated myself, I have made myself work out more to counter-act the weight gain. I have actually lost weight and increased my power. As also my insight towards the whole world... :mrgreen:


    Cheers!
     
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  46. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    That about covers it.

    Jet
     
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  47. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    I don't have a line judge with me either but if you see your shot clearly go in and they call it out I usually go with their call the first time but I will ask "really?" If this keeps on happening then I'll have to call out one of my coaches and tell him that I think my opponent is making bad calls. My coach will come and watch the game for a while to make sure that everyone is playing fair. I don't think anyone at my camp is a cheater or anything but maybe they could use a trip to lenscrafters.

    If your opponent countinues to make bad calls and you can't get a coach out, go with their calls. The rules say that they call the balls on their side but also remember that you call the balls on your side. In the long run cheaters don't prosper, if you see a 3.0 cheater beating 3.5's and 4.0's then when they keep on winning and move up to where they have line judges, then they will be exposed. Matches win or lose don't matter that much to me at lower levels (I mean I try my hardest to win but in the end there isn't a million dollars in the winner's circle)

    As for getting pissed off, you shouldn't.... your opponent doesn't agree with your call but you have the say on whether its in or not. I bet your opponent would get pissed off more than you would because he may think that you are making bad calls (not judging your calling abilities but the other side may think its in) If someone asks me if my call was correct I'll just tell them that it was or wasn't. Sometimes what happens is the ball is in the air and I'm sure it will go out so I call it out before it bounces but then it bounces in so I correct my call. Making good calls is important but being a good sport and accepting calls is just as important.
     
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  48. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    You accept there call. It is there call to make good or bad.

    If you're playing a tournament request an umpire to watch the match.

    Otherwise hit within the lines, atleast a half metre.
     
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  49. MTChong

    MTChong Professional

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    Well, if the guy is really making me mad, I've done this before: I hit a ball two, three feet out, and if he calls it out, I ask if he's sure about that call. However, that's only after a succession of bad calls by my opponent.
     
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  50. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    Most of the time winning doesn't matter that much. If a guy is a bonifide cheater then he won't get far in tennis because there comes a point where an umpire is available. Just don't worry if he makes bad calls and don't worry if your opponent questions your calls.
     
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