Honestly, what do you think of this behavior?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Desperate Tennis Wife, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Tennis Truth

    Tennis Truth Rookie

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    My partner got hit 4 times in a match

    This thread reminded me of something that happened to me about three weeks ago.

    I was playing 4.0 league mens doubles. My partner and I are solid to high level 4.0 players, and our opponents were solid 4.0. One of the opponents didn't like a couple of service line calls my partner made. I could tell he was mad and talking with his partner about the calls. Over the course of the match, this guy hits my partner with the ball 4 times. All were from volleys and none were total smashes, but did have some pace.

    I would say it is rare that I or my partner EVER get hit with a ball. We both know how to play, and know that every once in a while you need to bail out.

    The reason my partner was hit so many times was that the one opponent intentionally tried to hit every volley he could get his racquet on at my partner. Most of the "hits" were on balls that most people would hit down the line, down the middle, or angle off. Part of the problem was that since hitting the ball at my partner was not the "expected" shot, my partner was not ready for it.

    I knew exactly what this guy was doing, but since we were winning I didn't really do anything about it. He never tried to hit at me. The guy appologized every time, and I don't think my partner really understood what was really going on. My partner didn't get mad since we were winning, and he was not sure whether it was intentional or not. He didn't cry in the bathroom, and he didn't move back to the baseline.

    So getting back to the OP, we can't really understand what went on because none of us saw it, but I can see that if the other team was trying to hit her, it could easily happen, and I would not necessarily fault her or her skills for getting hit. If a player is more concerned with trying to hit someone than with winning or with hitting the proper shot, there is a good chance there will be multiple "hits." I think most people here have not played someone whose main goal is to headhunt. In fact, one of the reasons I think we won so easily was that this player lost sight of winning in favor of trying to hit my partner.

    I believe that directing a shot at an opponent is sometimes the proper shot, and is acceptable. But I consider it bad sportsmanship to directly try to hit another player when the motive is something other than trying to win the point. In the OP's situation, it sounds like given the opponent's attitude, they may be been trying to hit her. Also, I'm wondering if she really got "hit" 5 times, since often people exaggerate. Maybe more like the ball touched her on two occasions, and came close a few other times.

    There are a lot of mental and "mind game" aspects to tennis, and some people handle this aspect better than others. Experience helps, and usually these things are easier to deal with in doubles, where you have a partner there to back you up. The main thing is to recognize what is going on, and that the opponent is trying to get you off your game. Once you recognize that, it is easier to figure out a way to deal with it.
     
    #51
  2. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    After the second time...surely they were the expected shot?

    Once you know the opponents are annoyed, and that they are idiots, and that they've hit you twice... well, you know....

    I mean, in reality it's no different to the process that should happen for legitimate shots - the learning process I mean. If you play someone that only ever drop-shots when they're pushed wide, they will definitely catch you out once, and quite likely twice... after that, you should look for the shot and know what to do in response.
     
    #52
  3. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Now this is the kind of information that keeps me tuning into the TW forums.
     
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  4. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    It's legal, but only if the player is okay with being perceived as a jerk, IMO,
     
    #54
  5. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    I'm a 4.5, and I've been hit numerous times in doubles over the years, and after every time I say, "Nice Shot".

    If I expect to play the net, and stand my ground (agst poaching, short lobs, etc...), I protect my vitals (my head, and...), getting hit anywhere else just stings a bit for a while.
     
    #55
  6. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    The simple facts are that if you're not being hit every few matches then you're not playing proper net attacking doubles.
     
    #56
  7. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    In a similar vein, I've been playing tennis parties recently at local indoor places. There are some good players, some okay, and some terrible. There is this one guy who is a 4.5 player who refuses to partner with anybody other than his girlfriend (it's probably coming form her), who is AT BEST a 2.5. The guy will blast overheads right at you..meanwhile his girlfriend stands right at the net and I could seriously put the ball down her throat on almost every stroke, but I don't because it's supposed to be friendly. So I'm playing with another 3.5-4.0 player, and we're talking between sets. "Okay, if we want to win, we just hit the ball at her everytime. But, that won't be fun, so we'll hit it at him evertime. "
     
    #57
  8. tzinc

    tzinc Semi-Pro

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    Hitting at a player more then a couple times is BS.
     
    #58
  9. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    While for me, the general rule is, if you're at the net, be ready for anything (and being hit is *MY* fault)... I do tend to handle some situations differently...

    In the above example, if I was the 4.5 player, I would have to warn my partner that if we expect to against players that are stronger than my partner, we have to expect all balls hit at my partner. As a prep for the match I might even drill balls at my partner (while they are at net and me at the baseline), just to give them an idea of what to expect. On all close/high balls, I'd urge my partner to relinquish the point by turning my back/getting out of the way.

    If I was playing agst the above team (*and* it was in a social setting - eg. non USTA match), I would definitely not care about winning (ie. hitting to *much* weaker partner is no fun), and just try to force the 4.5 to make a mistake... or lose trying :) I'd get much better practice that way.

    I've played in 8.0 matches, where it was obvious that I was going to be getting alot of short balls/short lobs, and the opposing net player stood their ground (after the first overhead/poach/etc...). I warn them that I will be hitting at the net person (when possible) since it will likely be the highest percentage play to win the point, and leave it at that (obviously warn my partner that the same may happen - and if it does, we'll adjust accordingly).
     
    #59
  10. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    I agree... if I was the player at the net getting hit I'd be pissed a) at myself for not getting out of the way b) at my partner for constantly hitting short balls, etc.. cuz it's definitely BS that my partner is setting me up to get hit.
     
    #60
  11. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    So here's a related question...

    I'm at the net when my partner floats a ball that's going to be killed. I retreat and turn around, essentially giving up on the point. The overhead ends up hitting my racquet (while my back is turned) and lands in for a winner.

    So, do I win the point? Do I lose it because I had conceded it? Should I apologize? Should I celebrate? This happened in a practice so the result didn't matter - and in that case I gleefully took the point.
     
    #61
  12. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Take the point and laugh at the opponent because he/she tried to spike you with your head turned.
     
    #62
  13. hotseat

    hotseat Rookie

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    aiming at the person closest to the net is a great strategy. doesn't make much sense (if any at all) to hit to the person who has more reaction time to do something with the ball (the person standing back floating returns). if you don't like playing in the "hotseat" *no pun intended, lol* then you best learn from the bryan brothers and stay back with your partner for those returns or sometimes even rallys!
     
    #63
  14. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    Without knowing her court position it is hard to give a good answer but for someone to get hit 5 times in one match (which I have never seen) she must be awfully close to the net to get hit that many times. I haven't seen any 3.5 who could hit someone five times in one match with pace. They wouldn't have the technique for it. If they could then they are probably not 3.5s.

    First rule of tennis is protect yourself. Then win the point. But that is part of the game and to expect anything less is naive at best. If I hit a lolly pop I expect to get hit or at least know it will be coming back hard and fast but you can be sure I am ready to at least try and get it back. If I hit someone (which is a very, very rare occurrence) I will hold up my hand or apologize and move on. Most of the time I if I am hitting it at someone it will be their shoes that take the brunt of it. I would only have a problem if the court was wide open and they still hit it at someone which doesn't sound like the case here.

    Hopefully she learned from the experience. That is the most important thing.

    Good tennis all.

    TM
     
    #64

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