Etiquette When Winning

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Aurellian, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Is it considered impolitic when ahead and when victory is likely assured to try novel tactics in tournament play?

    For Example: a player is ahead 5-1 and attempts to return all of his opponents serves with a backhand drop shot.
     
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  2. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Don't know that I'd do that, but when I am way better than my opponent I only hit what would be second serves against a better play, which I need more practice on anyhow. I do try shots that I wouldn't normally try during a more competitive match, but I don't try to make it look like I'm toying with the guy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
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  3. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    Clearly this is obviously not acceptable behavior.
     
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  4. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    I would say yes....

    If you can put it away...Put it away right away. Why prolong the inevitable.
     
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  5. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    It helps one develop his or her overall game.

    It is rude, a violation of the code, or just improper?
     
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  6. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    It would certainly make you look like an asshat, but I'm guessing you're probably not really concerned about that.
     
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  7. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

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    i try drop shot returns all the time. way ppl hug the baseline and fear coming in..... but yes its okay. you are going to win and quite frankly by changing your game where you got to 5-1 you are giving the opponent a chance. If they start to break you maybe you don't get back into rythym. never know
     
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  8. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    Well put.

    OP, if you have to ask such a question, you're probably too big a d-bag to care about the answer. Also, any experienced player knows that victory is never "assured" until you've won the last point.
     
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  9. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    If you are a 3.0 serving 120+, every victory is assured. Just sayin'.

    I'd have to say it would be pretty douchy to do that against anyone. It's akin to the big guys who bring their Mikken bats and uniforms to mixed league softball even though they are playing a much lesser team. Those doorknobs make me smile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
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  10. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Depends if the "novel tactics" are meant to show up your opponent (or are likely to be perceived that way).

    In which case, it's a classless thing to do. And your example would seem to be along these lines.

    But on the other hand if you're using the opportunity to try a legitimate "plan B", then that's ok.

    An example of this would be S & V when this is not your usual style of play.
     
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  11. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I respect rules and codes--in the letter and in the spirit.

    I am not too concerned if someone doesn't like my shot selection.
     
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  12. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I refute your conclusion. By asking the question it proves I do care.

    Be more attentive when you read, please. I prefaced my statement by saying when victory is LIKELY assured.
     
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  13. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Explain the correlation please between a baseball bat and one's shot selection.


    A more at comparison would be throwing late in the 4th when up by multiple scores.
     
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  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I must have missed the memo, what is wrong with drop shots? :shock:
     
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  15. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Hitting a drop shot on EVERY service return is bush. I have no issue with changing up styles (S and V to baseline bashing, conservative baseline to aggressive), but turning a match into a practice session based on one shot becomes counterproductive for the opponent.
     
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  16. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Counterproductive for the opponent? :shock:
    So when we do a match it has to be productive for the opponent? :shock:

    Andy: Hey Novak, can you do me a favor and stop using drop shorts all the time it's kind of counterproductive for my game?
    Novak: Oh, I am sorry Andy, my faux pas.
    Novak: By the way Andy, my smashes are off today, can you please avoid high balls?
    Andy: Will do, will do Novak!

    :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Is the purpose of a match to be a productive session for one's opponent or to win for yourself?

    Ideally, it should be productive for players on both sides of the net.

    I was messing around one day and hit these wicked returns when playing a fast serving opponent. . A very hard karate chop with a twist; thus, when the ball is propelled into an opponent's court it has such a heavy backspin that it bounces back towards the service returner at a low sharp angle. The guy was literally stupefied by the trajectory and behavior of the ball and stated that he had never seen such a return before.

    not a drop shot return but more of a vicious power slice (???).

    I often practice this in a match when up because I feel it is an indefensible shot..hard to execute reliably.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
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  18. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    That was a horrible comparison. In fact, you probably couldn't do much worse. First, the talent gap between Novak and Andy is far more narrow than OP, with his 115 MPH serve, and the poor 3.0 schmuck standing across the net from him. OP can control the match in any manner he wants; Andy or Novak cannot accomplish the same. At 5-1, against a clearly inferior opponent, there is zero need to turn the match into a glorified practice session by hitting a shot that the opponent will almost never see consistently at that level. Andy and Novak hit shots in matches to gain a competitive advantage because they have to do so; OP isn't hitting a drop shot to gain a competitive advantage that he didn't already have by playing a normal style.

    Second, pros play for money and their livelihoods. Rec players play primarily for fun, though OP appears to be playing at times for GOAT status. The goals of the matches are therefore very different. Winning is certainly important for rec tennis players, but as all of the pusher threads on TT show, so is having fun during the process. A match played intentionally with monolithic strokes is very rarely fun, especially when the player on the receiving end is already getting his butt kicked.

    So yes, playing rec tennis should be productive for both players, and especially at the beginning 3.0 level. But, the next time you're in San Diego, let me know and I'll be happy to play you. I'll push every second serve in and I'll moonball every ground stroke straight down the pipe. If you come in, I'll hit lobs to the clouds. Sure, you'll win the match, but I bet when you walk off the court you'll wish you had spent the three hours it will take to play elsewhere in SD.

    The purpose of a match changes greatly when you're up 5-1 against a clearly inferior opponent. At that point, winning is inescapable absent injury. You "practicing" one type of shot means that the opponent only gets to "practice" one type of shot as well, which amounts to about as much fun as playing a guy who double faults >50% of the time.

    Trust me, this was my entire first season at 3.0. I knew and he knew by the end of warmups that he wasn't winning the match. When you're a vastly superior player at 3.0, you can do anything you want and still win the match. Why not try to make the beatdown as tolerable as it can be for the other player?

    Save the GOAT performances for when you're actually making money in this game or you might find yourself on the outside of many hitting sessions wondering why the players on the court skipped over the jackass "practicing" his drop shot during a match. Instead, use your actual lessons or hitting sessions to practice specific shots.
     
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  19. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, but it's even worse than that...

    If you start going mostly for low percentage non-standard shots, then you are effectively stating to the opponent that he/she sucks so much that you can still beat them even by playing ridiculously bad tennis.

    And that's pretty disrespectful.
     
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  20. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    good post. i agree.
     
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  21. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Okay, if you prefer a football analogy, your original suggestion would be akin to running trick plays late in the fourth quarter with a four touchdown lead. It's legal---and it's bush league and unsportsmanlike. If you really want to work on your drop shot, try it in the middle of a set when it's 3-3. If you can't do it when it matters, you don't have the shot anyway. But you knew that before you asked the original question.
     
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  22. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    iffy...depends on how good the dude is--or how he appears--when executing his shots.

    when my team was up in the 4th quarter I would put in my 2nd team and run the offense with no restrictions.
     
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  23. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    That's not what the issue is, and everyone who read the original post recognizes it. If you are beating an opponent 5-1 already, it is very likely any one of a whole array of shots will work against him. You are practicing nothing and proving nothing when you try something like a drop shot with a 5-1 lead. If you are ahead 34-0 with 2:00 to go in the fourth quarter of a football game, would you think it was okay to go for a 2-point play following s touchdown under the guise of "working on" the play? There is a time and a place for everything, and if a player can't see why this is a lousy choice of poor sportsmanship, he has bigger issues than a mediocre drop shot.
     
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  24. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Tell you what---just do whatever you want to do any and every time you take the court. Throw in your 140 mph serves till the cows come home and hit drop shots when you are burying your opponent---whatever floats your boat. You asked the question, and you got overwhelmingly consistent answers. If you don't like the responses, do whatever makes you feel superior on the court and keeps your ego inflated.
     
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  25. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Good post, well said.

    If you're up big and want to get some hitting in just back off and get into some rallies, hit the ball in the middle of the court and get into it. Or be done with the match as a good sport as quickly as possible and then ask the opponent if they would like to hit a bit just for fun and practice.

    Multiple drop shots returning serve up 5-1.....I would view as kinda weak.
     
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  26. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I just find your logic faulty and comparison without merit. I can understand the general sentiment....who serves 140mph?

    of course one can do what one wants regardless of what is posted on the internet. Why would you assume otherwise? What function does the reminder serve, bud?

    i get beat by 3.0s so I have nothing sufficient about my tennis game.
     
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  27. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Hitting legal but hard to get shots is impolitic. You should only hit shots your opponent likes.

     
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  28. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    If I am on the outside of hitting sessions because I hit a drop shot. Then good riddance to crybaby players who only want shots that THEY like.


     
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  29. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    like playing with dynamite.

    First, at the rec level, you never know when you are going to "go off the boil".

    Second, social issues. You are sure to be labeled as "that guy" if you are even slightly too obvious about it

    Third depends on what you are "working on". Run around your forehand a bit to hit more backhands in match situations? Well, OK, if not ridiculous. Hit short to draw opponent in to hone your passing or topspin lob, I guess. Hit all second serves with different spins, even on first serve? OK Hit flat bombs on second serve?, OK.

    I understand the temptation. Here's why

    Level one - I can execute the shot from a fed ball
    Level two - I can execute the shot during a drills session
    Level three - I can execute the shot in a practice set
    Level four - I can execute the shot in a league match where we have already cinched winning or losing overall.
    Level five - I can execute the shot in a tournament match or league match where the overall outcome is in doubt.
    Level six - I can execute the shot when match point down.

    There is a tremendous problem getting a shot from level 3 or 4 to the upper levels. You cannot effectively simulate the stress or pressure. A match where you are reasonably assured of victory is such an opportunity. A tempting situation the opportunity for which does not come up often.

    I'm not saying it excuses it, I'm just saying I understand the temptation.
     
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  30. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    You should do whatever you want as long as it's within the rules. I don't get the argument that the match has to be for development and learning - there is only so much you can learn from playing someone who is MUCH better than you. If I thought for a second that my opponent was taking pity on me I would want to be off court asap, and if the roles are reversed I would not ease up or make it easier for them.

    At the end of the day, it is not your job to make someone else's life easier or more enjoyable on the tennis court. It is their job to manage their own situation appropriately.
     
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  31. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    My reference was people "bringing it" for no reason against an inferior opponent. If you are already kicking the crap out of someone, why add insult to injury by playing the game that way. Is it cool to use a super powered $400 Mikken bat to drill the ball at a female mixed league infielder? Is it cool to toy with someone on a tennis court when it is entirely un-necessary? My opinion is no and I will leave it at that. You really like to stir the pot around here so I will quit reading your threads. :)
     
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  32. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    enjoy hitting off the wall then...

    ...I remember this happening to me. I was serving down 5-1 and the guy I was playing was hitting dropshot returns. I just let 'em go. Then after the match, the jag-off says "you weren't moving too well today" so I said "oh, right there at the end? yeah. that's because I remembered that if I blow my knee going for one of your cheesy dropshot returns i'm going to have to get someone else to take care of my kid for the next 2 months or so (i'm a stay at home dad and at the time I was spending about 16 hours a day caring for my kid; if you do the math, that's 2 eight hour shifts to pay for on top of the medical bills over some jag-off who wants to get a 90 second head start on traffic). Not only have I not hit with him since, I also haven't participated in that group since.

    some of us it sounds like understand that tennis is just a game and have more important things in our lives and some of us apparently don't.
     
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  33. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    Would you be ok with (when) someone does this to you? If you are, you are fine.
     
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  34. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    No kidding.

    I suppose there ought to be some new code in tennis matches: "Thou shalt not hit cheesy drop shots three times in a row" :rolleyes:
     
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  35. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    I agree. It's a TOURNAMENT. If you're ahead and want to extend play by engaging in long rallys or playing out balls, you can. If you're ahead and want to get off the court by hitting 4 unreturnable drop shots, you can.
    If you get upset when your opponent does not give you the ball you want or make it fun for you, then wow. It's not a clinic. Your development and learning is your responsibility (unless we're good friends), but most certainly is not mine while we're in a tournament. If we're playing in the park for fun, I'd like everyone to go home happy, but if we're in a tournament happy usually comes with winning and almost never with giving the opponent what he wants. One thing I have noticed is that many league players are not familiar with playing tournaments and sometimes go into them with different expectations. Trying playing in some of those Sectional Championship tournaments and see how "nice" they are to you during the match. Play on people, play on!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
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  36. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Exactly!

    Indeed!
     
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  37. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    Ditto, and double ditto.
     
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  38. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    There is a difference between continuing to hit good un-returnable shots against an opponent you are already beating, versus starting to hit cheesy shots designed just to make your opponent look bad.
     
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  39. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    So when we play a match we have to make sure the opponent looks good?

    What planet are you folks from? :confused:

    And drop shots are cheesy? :shock:
     
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  40. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    This isn't one of those cases we debate a lot where someone asks if it is bush league to hit underhanded serves, drop shots, lobs etc. I'm the first one in those cases to say you should hit whatever legal shot you need to win.

    This case is specifically about how you behave when your opponent is clearly over matched. If you choose to hit shots that any reasonable person would consider "rubbing it in" while winning big, then you are "that guy". If you were serving to me at 6-0,5-1 and threw in an underhanded serve (the only one you had hit all day), I'd likely walk off the court. I wouldn't forget it either.
     
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  41. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Didn't say you should make your opponent look good. But that doesn't mean you have to deliberately make them look bad either, just to humiliate them.

    If you can't tell the difference between the two, then I can't help you...

    And not all drop shots are cheesy, but some are... just quoting what you said...

     
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  42. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Oh I see, looks like you are great on etiquette.
     
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  43. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    Tournaments are not the place to develop his or her game.

    It would be like Shaq all of a sudden deciding to try hitting 3 pointers in a playoff game in the 4th quarter with under 2 minutes left and up by like 20+ points.
     
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  44. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    maybe tennis isn't the sport for you. you probably ought to take up knitting. When someone hits a winner drop shot against me, more power to him.


     
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  45. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    For an old, fat doubles player with limited mobility, you sure do take your tennis seriously. And for a patent attorney, you don't read very well or you are being intentionally obtuse. Nobody has an issue with hitting A winner drop shot.

    The issue is whether, up 5-1 against a clearly inferior player, a player should hit ALL of his service returns as drop shots. By doing so, it's a rather lame attempt to show up an opponent by telling him he's not much more than a low level practice partner.

    Repeatedly picking on an opponent's weakness has a place in tennis. Up 5-1 against an overmatched player isn't that place.
     
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  46. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Seriously? Why would anyone want to perform the same shot repeatedly?
     
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  47. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I think that is up to the player not up to the "Definitive etiquette tea party committee".

    What are you saying? :confused:

    He should perhaps play easy balls?

    If you can't stand the humiliation of losing don't compete!

    "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same"
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
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  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Muscle memory?
     
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  49. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    But if you're playing a significantly weaker opponent, it doesn't do very much for you.
     
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  50. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Are you by any chance related to this guy?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SApg3eRHXY
     
    #50

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