Irreconcilable Differences

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone ever have a doubles partnership implode and decide to seek a divorce?

    I had to get a divorce this winter. It was really quite a shame. I captain a 6.5 combo team. Last year, we went to the state championships, and I had two partners I played with. Both moved up this year to 3.5, so I needed to find new 3.0 partners.

    I looked at the roster, and the top 3.0s already had established partnerships, so I couldn't steal one of them. I decided this one lady would be the best match. She works on her game, hits the ball hard, plays mixed. We practiced a few times, and then it was time to make our debut against one of the top teams.

    We are playing a night match on clay, and it is tight. Opponents are break point down in the second set. The point starts, and they hit a ball to me at the baseline. I see it is going to be a deep one. I am hoping it will go long, but I set up to hit just in case. Darn. It lands in, I'd say an inch in front of the baseline. I play my groundstroke, which lands in. Just as I am hitting, I hear "OUT!!!" My partner is near the net, and she has emphatically called the ball out.

    It wasn't out. It was in. I mean, I was right there. She says to me, "That was out." "No it wasn't," I say, "it was in front of the baseline." "Cindy, it was totally out." "I'm closer, so it's my call to make." "It was *way* out!!" Meanwhile, our opponents are standing there wondering what all the wild gesturing might mean.

    Then my partner says, "Check the mark." Mark? What mark? These courts look like gophers live underneath them, and they probably haven't been swept all day. She comes over and points to an area that is about 4 inches behind the baseline. I say, "Well, I saw it in, so we can't agree."

    I leave her fuming and go talk to the opponents. I tell them that my partner and I disagree on the call so we will have to play a let. They say, "No, if you disagree on a call, then it is our point." I explain the rule that if players correct their own out call, you play a let if the return landed in the proper court, which it did. One of the opponents said that was not fair because she stopped playing when my partner called the ball out. Rather than try to wrap my mind around that argument, I told them that I had the Code with me and we could look it up but that I was sure I was correct. They decided to believe me, and we played a let.

    Meanwhile, my partner is shooting daggers at me. We went on to lose the match in a third set tiebreak. She had to be annoyed because that one point might have been the break that would have turned it around. I was irritated that she is turned around making baseline calls when she should be watching the opposing net player.

    Well, OK, fine. We partner up again for the next important match. Again, we start having all manner of problems. She again told me I had called a ball in that was way out. She didn't like when I said "YOU!" during points because it distracts her, nor did she appreciate "Bounce." I, on the other hand, was really hoping to hear things like "Switch" and "Bounce!" and wasn't. Balls were going unplayed down the middle with both of us laying off. Our positioning was miserable. Again, we lost and the match wasn't even competitive. Again, I had that drained feeling one has when they have just had a major fight with their spouse.

    Rather than try to work through all of these differences, I decided to give her a different partner and start using a different lady for my partner. My old partner now wins all of her matches convincingly -- no surprise, because she is certainly not a bad player -- and I haven't lost with my new partner either.

    Sometimes divorce really is best for everyone involved.
     
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  2. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for your misfortunes. Tennis should really be fun, and it isn't when you have to endure situations like you did. Glad you're doing well with your new partner. Sometimes, two people just aren't compatible.
     
    #2
  3. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    There's so much drama in women's tennis. =)
     
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  4. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That happens all the time with me and other players.

    "working thru all of the differences" doesnt really work to well with us adults anyway. It's just usually within people's nature to act a certain way and most people wont change so it's not worth getting on their case.

    I dont like when people yell out "YOURS!!!!" either, but that's just me.

    Sometimes people like more communication and they need to find a partner that fits that, and sometimes people dont want every single "seemingly" routine situation spelled out for them because it's distracting.

    I would mostly be annoyed with her because she's apparently too concerned about things that really have nothing to do with just focusing on playing good tennis. That's the biggest reason people cant manage themselves thru winning a match in these leagues (it's not ability).

    I have a partner like that who I play with in a Indoor league that I am in. If I correct his line calls, he gets all sorts of upset at me. (which usually leads to him sending a few returns into the net)

    It gets annoying because it's almost gives us the sense that we cant win. If we were super confident that we could win the match (and we still have a winning record together), then there is no need to even be concerned about what happens on any given point.

    Once I (or you) say it's in, by rule it's an in ball, then we follow the rules and move on, no need to argue about it....
     
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  5. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I dont know some men are not much better. Haven't you ever seen a grown man cry about some line call before as if you just stole his lunch money? Ive seen it plenty and it's not pretty.

    I know a guy that I end up playing in the league here and there where I just cringe anytime he hits a ball anywhere near a line, because I know if I have to call it out he's going to make a big fuss over it. (which is really rude)
     
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  6. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Sure. And there doesn't have to be a guilty party involved - sometimes it's just about playing styles - two people who are each decent players may find that they just don't make for a good team. If you're not having the expected success as a team and don't really see potential for improvement, it's just time to try something (someone) else.
     
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  7. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    cindy,imho you are a masochist who loves a soap opera drama filled life. you are smarter than your skills in tennis (but working to have your skills catch up) and are frustrated by players who dont have your skills or knowledge. some leopards dont change their spots.. work on your game accept what you get for a partner ( in this case you had bad chemistry so you needed to find another partner ) dont you think calling this a divorce after 3-4 dates is alittle melodramatic? good luck with your tennis. just my humble opinion
     
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  8. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure that there is something fundamentally different when it comes to womens doubles vs. mens doubles. My neighbor plays on a a womens doubles team and has gone through the entire team roster looking for a partner she can "live" with. She remains totally dissatisfied to this day. I know of several women who refuse to play with certain other women on the team, for a variety of reasons, some even having to do with their tennis skills. I know of several other women who quit playing doubles altogether because of the associated social baggage. I know pro's who coach womens doubles teams who constantly struggle to maintain a semblance of peace among the players.

    Over the past several years, I've played doubles with at least 20 different partners (men, NTRP levels ranging from 3.5 to 5.0), all with completely different styles, strengths, weaknesses, ages, lefties, righties, etc. Not once have I had an issue that wasn't easily settled by a simple discussion with my partner. I agree that it's challenging to adapt ones game and play as a coherent unit. Sure, there are some player's whose style is more complementary of my style, but the fact is I actually enjoy the challenge of having to adapt my game. For the record, my win-loss ratio over the last couple of years is nearly 2 to 1.

    I honestly don't get it.
     
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  9. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    mena are from mars women are from venus
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You know, many captains ask players to tell them at the beginning of the season who they wish to partner with and who they wish to avoid. I tend not to do this for several reasons, and instead I approach individuals about these preferences when I think there is a good reason. Usually the reason is either that they are a franchise player I need to keep happy, or they are a picky player, or they are new and I don't yet know what to do with them.

    The answers I get are interesting. People have all sorts of reasons why they won't partner with someone. I have heard:

    1. "She groans when I make a mistake."

    2. "I set up points and she hits the ball into the net or out."

    3. "She is slow."

    4. "Opponents hit every ball to her; what am I supposed to do?"

    5. "She sees in balls as out. It's embarrassing. I'm going to get a reputation for cheating."

    6. "She's mentally weak."

    7. "She coaches me the whole match."

    8. "Every time we lose a point, she dissects it and concludes that I did something wrong."

    I can't imagine what kind of earful I'd get if I actually asked all 18 women to tell me who they don't want to play with!

    As for me, I counted up the number of doubles partners I have had since the day in 2005 that I played my first USTA match. This would include Ladies 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0, plus mixed 7.0 and combo 5.5, 6.5 and 7.5. Are you ready?

    I have had *53* different male and female partners.

    Good lord. No wonder I can't win!

    Cindy -- who has only expressly refused to partner with one person during her entire time with USTA
     
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  11. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^ Cindy, I have a theory: Men focus on finding a solution. Women prefer to discuss the situation ad nauseum.

    Which strategy do you think is more effective (i.e. in doubles)?
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, as we all know, men are far superior to women in every way, so perhaps you are onto something there, Jrod.
     
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  13. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Cindy - By no means was I insinuating this. Sorry if I offended you. My point was, the style adopted by men may be better adapted to the game of doubles. However, the communicative style adopted by women is far superior to that of men in many other domains.

    You're tendancy to jump to this conclusion is highly revealing however....
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    :shrug:

    I dunno. I don't really have any experience with how men pick their doubles partners and whether they secretly write to their captains and express preferences along the lines I suggested.
     
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  15. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    We are? :confused: I didn't know that. Man, have I wasted a lot of time. :shock:
     
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  16. cak

    cak Professional

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    I believe I have used #5 up there. I hate having the choice of constantly overruling my partner on line calls or having the other team think I'm a cheater. There is a lady in our club I'm not fond of playing social tennis with, but I won't step on a USTA court with because of her line calls.

    The one other type of partner I won't play USTA with is one I can't protect. This seems to only come up in combo. Occasionally one of the older ladies who knows they don't have the reaction time to play adult, or even senior 3.0 level anymore will sign up for 7.5 combo thinking their stronger partner will carry them. I'm a fairly decent 3.5, but still a 3.5, and occasionally even I will make a shot that my partner needs to duck and cover for, and these women can't duck and cover. Nothing is sadder than a 65+ year old lady with a bloody nose and soon to be black eye lying on your court. I've seen it, it is not pretty.

    In retrospect, Cindy's breakup worked out for the whole team. Now she has two happy, winning doubles teams. Can't beat that outcome. And yeah, sometimes two good players just don't make a good doubles team together.
     
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  17. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I do. It's interesting really. At the beginning of a season or when there is not a lot of history to help guide pairing decisions, I've seen captains use randomized pairings, at least in the practices. Often, what falls out of this is a few strong pairs which helps establish a core. The remainder of folks usually evolve into preferred pairings, but generally what happens is they mix it up because not everyone is always available. So there is always some additional shuffling inherent to the process.

    The successful pairings are often composed of players with complementary playing styles. Occasionally the coaches will suggest some things, but experimentation is generally required. I have never really seen any obvious dissent or refusal on the part of the players to team up, although I'd be surprised if there were not some back room negotiating. It just doesn't seem nearly as melodramatic as it does with womens dubs.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, wait. I forgot one I've heard:

    9. "She's constantly asking me to do things I can't do, like hit a drop shot because opponent is heavy or hit my return to someone's backhand out wide. I'm not a short order cook."
     
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  19. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Now that would make for an interesting thread - how many partners have you had in recent years. My money is on Cindy! 53 is *a lot*.

    I'm in my third year of USTA and have so far played with just 4 different partners. (Adult and Combo - I don't play mixed.)
     
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  20. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    One doesn't call a shot out unless one is certain, right? If one is uncertain, you play it. So that means if one member on the team says "out" it's out. (BTW, this is not The Code, it's just my view). I've had partners call shots "out" that I thought might be in. I don't contradict them, I feel that they must have been certain or why wouldn't have said it.

    Besides, it causes a big mess to disagree with your partner. One time I saw a lob go deep, called out, then my partner, picked up the ball, and as he returns it, says, "Guys, the ball was good." So what do I look like? It looks like he knows it's good, and is speaking up because his conscience cannot allow him to accept calls from a cheating partner. I had the better view, being at the service line, while he was behind the baseline. I could see space between where the ball landed and the line, this is harder to see from where he is. Have you ever had someone humiliate you like this? If there's someone you really don't like, do it to them when they're your partner. After an out call, come to the net shaking your head, "no, no, no, can't accept that, the ball was good, your point". Now you're Ms. Honesty and they're a cheater. If it's ever happened to you, then you'd understand why your partner got upset. It's not about winning, it's about your reputation being maligned. Unless there are some very unusual circumstances, I'd never contradict my partner like that. Holy insensitivity Batman!
     
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  21. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    woman's tennis the worst. my mom has played in usta teams for a long time and some of the stories are just unreal. i can also remember an old coach of mine telling me that husbands used to ask him to make sure they win because there weeks are ruined when there spouses lose. womens usta is a brutal animal.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, there are two reasons why a player calls a shot out. She is certain, or she is wrong.

    I understand what you're saying, SteadyEddy.

    But if a ball bounces at my feet that I know to be in and my partner calls it out from many feet away, it would be cheating to take the point we didn't earn.

    Fortunately, all we have to do is follow the Code. Which says I handled things properly. She didn't see that ball out. She wished it out because it was a big point.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, just 4 partners? I think I had 4 partners my first month of playing USTA.


    This season, I have put myself in the line-up for the first three matches. I will have three different partners (and yet another new partner -- let's call her Number 54) for those three matches. On account of availability issues.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And in mixed
     
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  25. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Of course I don't like it when I make an out call and my partner overrules it in. Makes me feel self-concious about having made the out call, even thought I call it out only if I'm sure it was out.

    But we all make mistakes, even with the best of intentions. Heck, even professional line-people make mistakes, and they are trained, positioned perfectly, and are not moving while making the call.

    So if my partner sees it in, I'd rather be overruled and give my opponents the benefit of the doubt, even if I'm sure the ball was out.

    Helps to have a long-time partner so that you can just be honest with each other and call it as you see it without having to worry about hurting egos, etc.
     
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  26. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Since you had the better view, she should have remained quiet. I'll be 95% certain a shot is out, but if I'm 30 feet away, and my partner has a clear view, I won't say anything. I'm not saying it's in, it's just that I'm not certain enough to call it out. (Which is why that guy bothered me, I don't call out when that's what I think, only when it's what I know). When I play a set, I've heard from spectators that I give lots of shots to my opponents. That's ok, better to lose than to have a set feel weird.

    True, you were following The Code. But still, this is one case where you do so at your own risk. For a league or tournament match, it's more important that the calls be accurate. For a friendly match, I wouldn't over-rule my partner.
     
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  27. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    If my partner has the better angle on the ball, I'll generally go with their call. If I had the better angle and I am positive it landed in, then I will overrule their call.

    Yes, I have had partners overrule my calls. I don't take it as an insult. I'd like to think that because I take the overrule graciously and concede the point to my opponents, it actually makes me look good.

    I spent some time speaking to an official at a tournament. He was convinced that 90% of bad calls are made by people who honestly believe they are making the correct call. With that in mind, just because you believe your call was correct doesn't mean it was.
     
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  28. gocard02

    gocard02 New User

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    I always thought, if one person on my team sees the ball out, it's out. If I think it's clearly in, I'll talk to him, and if he concedes it in, then we'll correct ourselves. Otherwise, we stand with the ball being out.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. I mean, I was *right there.*

    Just the other night, my partner was in the deuce court rallying crosscourt from the baseline on a clay court. A ball went wide. I glanced over and thought it might be in, but I was standing in the center of the service box. She was closer, standing right on the line. I couldn't possibly know whether there was a sliver between the ball and the line, so I kept my yap shut, as I had no opinion on whether the ball was in or out.

    Our opponents had an opinion, though. They expressed some serious disgust with my partner. Me, I just stood there. Didn't see it, couldn't help her, tried to be invisible.

    It is funny how people can be insanely wrong about a call. I was playing with a different lady in a social, this one who does not have a reputation for making bad line calls. I'm receiving serve, she's standing on the service line to call that line. The serve comes. It is well in. Like 4-5 inches in. Not even close. She calls it out. The other three of us just stopped dead. What had she said -- "Ouch"? Surely she didn't say "Out." Yep, she did. She ultimately believed us when we all said it was in, but she was obviously embarrassed and confused.
     
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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, technically, that's backward. If one sees it out *and the other sees it in*, then it is in. If the second person isn't sure, didn't see it, etc., then she can go by her partner's call by saying she didn't see it clearly.

    If my partner questions my "out" call in the least, I back down. 'Cause we disagree, which means the ball has to be called good. There is no sense fighting a battle with my partner that I will absolutely lose.
     
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  31. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    These are all good reasons for not playing with someone. Unfortunately at some levels and on some teams it might be impossible to avoid any of this stuff unless have the ability to create your own team and be REALLY pick about who you put on it.

    I dont think it has anything to do with them being women, it just has to do with the people you happen to play with. When I was running a 3.0 Men's team full of random people that the league created it was pretty much the same thing. (both that it was hard to find the "perfect" partner and that a lot of people complained)
     
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  32. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    You're generalizing what Men do and what Women do, that's the problem with your post.
     
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  33. jrod

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    Exactly, although I see no problem as long as we all agree it's a generalization. What exactly did you think I was intending here?
     
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  34. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    You're using your own limited experiences to demonstrate that somehow men always "solve the problem", and women always "discuss it ad nauseum".

    Which is not true, some men cry and will go on and on about things ad nauseum (or post it on TW's talk site), and some women are actually quite rational, it depends on the individual not what their gender happens to be.

    You're basically painting a stereotype which is offensive to some because not all women are like that. Whether you intended that or not, it's not something worth saying.
     
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  35. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Exactly what part of "generalization" don't you get?
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    About men solving problems: I had posted previously about a guy who verbally abused his partner for slow movement, after being told that he was on diabetic medication and feeling some side effects. The abuse continued after the match, leading to a fist fight, and then the guy was asked not to return to the club any more. Now only his son plays here on the family membership.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Could there be any way to debunk the idea that men solve problems and women discuss ad nauseum than to read the discussion a couple of posts above? :) :)
     
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  38. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Touche!!!!
     
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  39. benasp

    benasp Semi-Pro

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    I don't know what the code is but if i was you i'd give the opponent the point, this is not their fault if you girls can't get to a consensus, if the rule say to replay the point then the rule is dumb.
     
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  40. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Says you. They didnt do anything to warrant winning the point (it got returned anyway), so there is no reason that they should win the point.

    Tennis is an honorable sport and sometimes people make an honest mistake, that's why you dont penalized for that.
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The rule isn't dumb. The rule is outstanding. The only thing wrong with the rule is that too many people don't know it!

    It is asking a lot of players to make close line calls while they are also caught up in playing the match. Yet we want to encourage people to own their mistakes. So we allow them to correct themselves *promptly* and play a let if they returned the ball. It's not a rule I would change if it were up to me.
     
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  42. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

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    Cindy,

    A rules clarification. If your partner calls the ball was out and you play it, but your opponents stop play because of the out call, you lose the point. Your opponents were correct in claiming the point.
     
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  43. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That's not true. Why do we have to go thru this everytime this is brought up?

    If you're going to make a "rules clarification" then post some rules, they are on www.usta.com. Ive done this like 2 or 3 times on here on this same subject.

    Please read some old posts so we dont have to go thru the whole argument about this again.
     
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  44. Crusher10s

    Crusher10s Rookie

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    As I so recently and humbly found out:

    Both Cindy and Javier are correct:

    USTA wants people to be as honest as possible and if you or your partner make a bad call but return the ball in the proper court, a let is played. Happens in both the serve as well as in the middle of a point.

    Believe me, I was taught the "old school" way of automatically conceding the point but I did some research and found out I was wrong.
     
    #44
  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Code 12: "Out calls corrected. If a player mistakenly calls a ball “out” and then realizes it was good, the point shall be replayed if the player returned the ball within the proper court. Nonetheless, if the player’s return of the ball results in a “weak sitter,” the player should give the opponent the point. If the player failed to make the return, the opponent wins the point. If the mistake was
    made on the second serve, the server is entitled to two serves."
     
    #45
  46. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

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    You learn something new every day. I always thought that if partners disagreed on a call, the other team was awarded the point if they did not play out the point due to the erroneous call.
     
    #46
  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Here's the bit you're probably thinking of. Note the cross-reference to Rule 12:

    Don't feel badly. After this little episode with my partner, I wrote a note to the team explaining what happened and quoting the applicable Code provisions. Every person who replied erroneously believed the point should have gone to the opponent.
     
    #47
  48. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Code 12, by the way, only applies to an unofficiated match.

    Anytime there is a chair umpire, even if the players are making their own calls, the player loses the point if he calls out then corrects the call.

    Also, in case there are any college players reading this, so you are not confused, in college tennis you lose the point if you call out and then correct your call regardless whether it is officiated or unofficiated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2009
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmm. I've never played a match with a chair umpire.

    When there are roving officials, is this considered unofficiated such that the Code applies?

    I thought the way it works was that if the player calls the ball out and the official corrects and calls it good, the player loses the point. (I know this for a fact because a lady hooked me on match point of a tournament, and the roving official awarded me the point and therefore the match). But if the player corrects herself promptly, then it's a let.

    But like I said, I don't play tournaments so I don't know. . . .
     
    #49
  50. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    If a roving official corrects the call, then the player loses the point.

    If there is a roving official and the player corrects their own call, then it is considered an unofficiated match and the point would be replayed if the ball goes back into the proper court.
     
    #50

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