match play etiquette

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TnTBigman, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. TnTBigman

    TnTBigman Professional

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    Hi all,
    Say your participating in a Round Robin event, (your first taste of competitive tennis in a foregin country) thats a qualifier to a bigger Tournament, and you have to play someone who is rated much lower than you. Would you tone down your game enough to still win so as to make it competitive for your opponent as well? Or would you play your normal game as if your were playing an equally or higher rated player as yourself (since in the past, your're prone to choking after droping your game level) ?
    I should mention that the porceeds from this Round Robin event goes to a charitable casue, and ALL skill level players are invited, so this event is both a competitive event, as well as a socializing event. Also, this is the first time you'll be playing at that Tennis Club.
    I'd like to hear your thoughts.
     
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  2. hlkimfung

    hlkimfung Semi-Pro

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    Donald Trump "Never under-estitimate your oppenent'
     
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  3. supremebeing

    supremebeing Rookie

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    Bad form

    If the event is primarily a social event and the player is way beneath you in skill, I think it is bad form to embaress them. I would give them a Karma game instead of a bagel. If they can get a game off you legit the Karma game is not necesary.
     
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  4. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    I would go full out, but not play my usual style. Maybe serve and volley, that way I have more fun too.
     
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  5. Barricade_steve

    Barricade_steve Rookie

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    I would respect my opponent and play the same. I think toying with your opponent is being disrespectfull. Although is he was much lower than my level i would be a little bit looser on my line calls. I wouldent play the tournament ball here
     
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  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    If it is just a "get-together" or "fun" event, then go with your gut as to how serious you should take it. But just because the money goes to charity does not mean the tournament is not a competitive event.

    Are your opponents taking the event seriously? If they are compete doing your best with everyone. As your opponent I would be offended if you did not compete at your best (if the event is competitive in nature) even if you blow me off the court. It would give me a reason to get better.
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    Most tournaments require you to play mulitple matches in one day. If you can get out with a 6-0, 6-0 win I would take it since you want to be fresh against your next opponent who will be much better. Give at most one game to your opponent if you really feel sorry for him. Be nice on line calls and compliment some part of his game. I don't think you will get a bad rep if you are clearly better than your opponent and you win by a big margin.
     
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  8. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    show no mercy. ace them at will. I love toying with weaker players. dropshot and lob them repeatedly. Make them run.
     
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  9. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    Lose 4 to 5 games in the begining, then try to win from behind is a favorite game. If you are very good, you should be able to win 6 straight games with the pressure.
     
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  10. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    I'd try to win 6-1, 6-1 using a style that's effective and efficient. Meaning, I'll have to play again - probably quickly - so I don't want to expend a lot of energy. If I can win fairly easily with a "grinder" type of game, that would be preferred over a "S&V" type of game that would require me to expend more energy. In the tournament situation you described, I'd let my opponent hold serve once each set, and try to win every other game.
     
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  11. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Yesterday I played a kid who I knew I could beat from just the warmups even though he plays on the team that won state last year and is a decent 3.5 and #4 or 5 singles on his team this year. So I worked on hitting aggressive second serves and took some double faults which cost me one service game and then also worked on my topspin forehand in rallies with him which probably cost me another game. Otherwise I played my normal game especially when game points were on the line and won 6-3, 6-1. But it was fun to work on some of my weaknesses (that I hope to turn into strengths someday) under match conditions even if I did still fall back to my normal game at times.
     
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  12. TnTBigman

    TnTBigman Professional

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    thank you all for suggestions.
    I like the jackal's suggestion of going all out with a different style. Being its my first taste of a USTA event, I'm sure there're gonna be butterflies. So out of respect for the event, the competitors, and the game, I'm gonna play my best.
     
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  13. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    WAY ... back in HS, we were the regional "powerhouse" team. When we pulled into the parking lot of the school with the worst team, our Coach made the driver stop the bus to talk to us about "How to Win Like Gentlemen Against Much Lesser Opponents." His lesson stuck with me all this time....

    1 - Play your normal game. When you are UP 4-0 40-Love is when you start being a gentleman. (If you cannot get up 4-0 40-Love, you may not be playing such a "lesser" opponent after all.)

    2 - At the above point you DO NOT intentionally miss ... or even play less vigorously. (That would be insulting to your opponent.)

    3 - What you DO is ... start hitting closer to the lines than normal. (If your margin of error is that you hit for within two feet of the Sideline, now you hit for within ONE foot of the Sideline ... or six inches.) You get the idea.

    4 - You should miss enough to allow you opponent to manage one (or two, but no more) games. If he gets more than that, you adjusted incorrectly. Open up your margin of error again and finish the match.

    5 - Second set ... go back to your normal margin until you are back in the lead 4-0, 40-Love.

    6 - If you STILL keep winning too many points, reduce your margin so you are actually hitting AT the lines. But keep playing your normal strokes and game.

    7 - If you are STILL winning, you can honestly shake hands after bageling the guy and say, "I simply couldn't seem to miss today. Sorry."

    The point is, you don't want to throw off your own game by playing a "style" which is foreign to you. (You may mess yourself up so much you cannot regain your original rhythym.)

    That's it.

    - KK
     
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  14. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    I disagree KK with your overly complex newbie vs vet game plan.

    One should just play there normal A game.

    If your opponent is destroyed and decides to quit tennis for life, that's not your problem.
     
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  15. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Good idea Karl, to hit more aggressively (or basically going with less margin for error) when way up. That is basically what I was doing with my second serve since the kid I was playing could handle pace.

    I remember playing a younger kid in a tournament where I was up 6-0, 5-0 and then I basically was aiming for the lines and made some unforced to give him a game. He was excited when he won, but most of these kids would keep on playing even if they got double bageled. They love the game too. I don't plan to quit any time soon and lost 6-1, 6-0, 6-0 a couple weeks ago to a college kid. I just need to step up and figure out a better game plan and enjoy playing against a moving backboard to help me improve my overall game.
     
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  16. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    It's all too complicated. Just go all out and win. That does the most justice to your opponent in the long run.
     
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  17. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Okay. Do it your way. (You're right. My method is probably too complicated for you, anyway.)

    The OP asked ... and now has many options.

    - KK
     
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  18. TnTBigman

    TnTBigman Professional

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    Good point KK. The last thing I'd want is to do is lose my rhythm. Casue if I do lose it, it's gonna add more pressure on me into the next match. Naturally, ANYONE who plays...plays to win.
    I like the over all stretegy of you HS Coach. It allows a player to stay with in game, and if all is smooth (up 4-0, 40-0), go for a little more risk on the lines. Being that the event is a Round Robin, it would definetly build some confidence in my shot making abilities to use against my next oponent.
    Thanks.
     
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  19. i would go put 100% into it, because it can be considered practice for the next match or round of the tournament. its only better for you.
     
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  20. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Good stuff KK,

    I have always believed in playing more aggressively if you are up. Hence my reason to execute the Australian in doubles when you are up. This of course depends on whether your team has PRACTICED the Australian.

    I usually introduce the Australian when two things are present:

    1. To stop a strong crosscourt returner (no poach).

    2. When you are way up, warm it up, because the Australian does require the team to time it well and get it going.
     
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  21. joe28601

    joe28601 New User

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    well, normally if the guy gets me mad ill just try to rip up some hard serves and forehands, but if the guy is crying like a fat baby normally i hit my second serves out lol.... I just hate seeing someone enter a tournament with high hopes and lose.
     
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  22. Happyneige

    Happyneige New User

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    When I play a player who is much better than I am, I want him to play his regular game. I find it insulting and condescending to have 'mercy points' bestowed by my opponent. I learn so much more from losing to a stronger player than winning a player at my level.

    On the flip side, when I play a much weaker opponent, I take it as an opportunity to try something new. Try to approach the net if you are usually a baseliner. Try topspin backhand lob down the line, drop shot with crazy underspin, squash shot and etc.
     
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  23. Fishman '81

    Fishman '81 Guest

    My approach to a one-sided match is to simply hit with maximum pace from anywhere in the court,but right at my opponent's favored shot.There will be a number of times when I'll attempt shots that I'd never attempt if I was in a competitive(close) match,but I tend to learn something playing this way just the same.I'll only do this when the drag is in the bag.I tend to agree with those who say no one wants to be patronized.(I know I don't.)
     
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  24. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    I'm not getting on your case Happy, but you do realize that what you want from others is the opposite of what you do to others? When you're playing against a better player you want them to play their regular game. However when you're better than your opponent you DON'T play YOUR regular game - you try something new.
     
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  25. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    I'd be insulted if a better player decided to take it easy on me.

    An old mate of mine used to invite a sattelite player for a doubles match.

    He didn't take it easy on me. I couldn't barely handle his serves and i wouldn't expect him too ease off.

    If there's such a difference in ability levels either the players should not be playing each other or a handicap system should be used to even the match.
     
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  26. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    A handicap system? Isn't that the same thing as the advanced player taking it easy on their opponent? Only this way, the lesser player KNOWS the other guy thinks less of him? Whereas, if the better player just starts aiming closer to the lines (as KK suggests) then he can still get good practice, and the lesser player gets to save a little face.
     
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  27. ironchef21

    ironchef21 Rookie

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    I don't think you should give away any games. But if the match is definitely in hand I would use it as an opportunity to work on other parts of my game. Personally I can always work on my S&V and my backhand so that's what I'd work on.
     
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  28. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Idealy the lesser player should get hell off the court.
     
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  29. Happyneige

    Happyneige New User

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    You got me there. :mrgreen: Let me try to explain. When playing a weaker opponent, I would still go all out with the same intensity I have for players at higher level. When I'm ahead, I will try the different shots but without the intentions to frivolously give the points away. I also wouldn't mind if a better player do these things to me, as long as he doesn't carelessly execute the shot or hit it half-hearted out of mercy.

    If it still doesn't sound right to you, I'll just admit that, yeah, what I want from others is the opposite of what I do to them. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
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  30. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    This is your opportunity to practice shots and techniques in match play.

    For example, you have been working on your crosscourts, or volleys, etc. Do those shots consistently and a few of those shots will be returned!

    Good practice is all I can say.
     
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