Stare down at the line, then a delayed call...

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Say Chi Sin Lo, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Deuce court, slice serve out wide. I admit it was very close. If it wasn't spot on the line, I probably missed it by half a tennis ball. Anyway, from my angle it looked good, so I started walking to pick up a ball and serve on the ad court.

    Half way through my leisure walk to retrieve the ball for the next point, he shouts "OUT!" At least 10 seconds have gone past since the ball in question touched the ground.

    Naturally, I stopped and went :confused:, didn't argue and walked back to the deuce court for a second serve. This is where I got mildly agitated: He offered me a first serve instead.

    Now, I'm fine if he called a line-clipper out on the spot, because he was there, and he had a better view of it. But I don't think it was right for him to:

    1) Have doubts about the call himself, evident by the long pause. Then make a 50/50 choice.
    2) No evidence of the spot, the court was not dusty and he didn't even walk to the spot in question. He just stood behind the baseline, thought about it, and shouted "OUT!"
    3) Ace or fault, you can't just erase it because you weren't sure. What's to stop you from having a "do over" on anything that's close to the line?

    He exhibited some other gamesmanship too, but that's for another discussion. I'll just list them here:
    1) Wasted a LOT of time between points
    2) Excessively long change-overs (in my opinion)
    3) Shadow/check swings/tosses on big points during his service games. That's gamesmanship in my book because he was trying to freeze me out on breakpoints.

    Curious to see who would have said something to the dude if they were in my shoes?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If it was a real match, slight gamesmanship, he's out of shape, and at least he gave you a let.
    Practice match, you find another partner.
    If he keeps calling balls out, then you can say it's pure gamesmanship.
    Some people just play slow, taking time to towell off, get a sip, walk in circles. If you want to play with this guy, you'll have to wait.
    During a match, when it counts, it's time for the ref.
     
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  3. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I can look past time consuming tactics. A case of "everyone does it, no point in fighting it". I also understand that some people takes a while to gather themselves, so I'll let it rest.

    But I don't think I'll allow another delayed call from him. Whatever it is, call it on the spot.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    UPON FURTHER REVIEW, is something we've all heard.
    Some players take time to think if their call was worth giving you the let.
    Some players are blind, and need recall to substantiate their initial call.
    Don't hit so close to lines. If you think you really can, just hit the next one at the same spot.
    You don't want to resort to LUCK to win, do you?
     
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  5. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Haha, I actually did, I used the same serve and cut it pretty close to the line again. Just to dare and see if he would pull the same crap again, and he didn't. :)

    So I was like: "Alright, this sort of confirms it, b****** just took away an ace."
     
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  6. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I have always taken the delayed call to mean ... "I am not sure but I am going to call it out anyway, so f--- you."

    Obviously in almost every match we play there are no line judges or officials so there is really nothing you can do about it on the spot. The only options are to get upset about it and let it affect your play going forward or let it go and avoid playing him again if it becomes habitual.

    I aspire for the latter, but sometimes it just bothers me.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, match play.
    You obviously quelled his antics, by placing another ball near the one called out. He didn't try to hook you after that, done deal.
    Most match play, we still gotta abide by our blind opponent's calls. Usually, if they hit big and go for winners, they will give decent calls.
    If they are pushers, counterpunchers, baseliners who hit soft, they will cheat you every chance they get.
     
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  8. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    It's hard for me to say he was a cheater based on his tactics and this one-time incident of delayed call. But he was as you described. Moonballs were his go-to shots.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "if the shoe fits".......
    30 years of tennis, 4 of which serious, have taught me something.
    Pushers need and covet every point they can win.
    Hitter's can give a point away almost every game, and make up for it.
    Counterpuncher's somewhere in between.
    In my twisted world, pusher's exist in 7.0 levels, as told to me by HaroldSolomon, as his bud, EddyDibbs was walking into the stringing booth.
     
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  10. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    If you want to enjoy tennis fully ignore stuff like that. Just keep playing.
     
    #10
  11. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Blown calls are part of rec tennis. You sure typed a lot of words for a circumstance that is relatively common and most people can just shrug off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
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  12. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Everybody makes bad calls...going both ways. It just happens. It blows my mind to see some of my shots that are called out. Crazy stuff. Then you have guys questioning balls that are clearly out and even feature a clear mark. Guys trying to call their own balls on the opposite baseline...AT NIGHT!

    You just have to roll with it. It's part of tennis. Especially on hard courts. The mistake is thinking you never make mistakes calling the lines.

    At least he recognized the delayed call and gave you a first serve. And balls leave faint skid marks on hard courts that can only be seen from certain angles. Dust or no dust.
     
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  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    The guys messing with your head, the ball's in or out, if he's not sure you get the benefit of the doubt, calls must be immediate. Giving two is amateurish. It's 20 seconds between points now at tournaments changed recently from 25 seconds, 90 seconds on changeovers except the first one and two minutes between sets. Follow your watch until you get a natural feel for it, it won't take long until you naturally feel when the time is up. If this was a rec match don't play with him anymore. If it's a tournament, find an official to monitor the match.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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  14. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Obviously I typed so much that you missed the point entirely. I said I was fine with the call either way, in or out. What I had a problem with was, the delay, and then erasing it off the match entirely.
     
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  15. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Any time I have to hesitate on a line call I will pretty much always give it to them..
     
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  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Then I'm going to need to see some kind of proof, like walking up to the spot in question and say "this is the spot." Or something of that nature. Next time, I will ask for evidence for sure.

    Don't just stand behind the baseline, extrapolate something out of thin air, and make a 50/50 decision.
     
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  17. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I agree, I almost never argue about a point unless I'm standing on top of the shot in question. But you just can't erase things off the board just because you're not sure.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    This is bothering you, we can all see.
    Also, you're bordering on obsessive compulsive behavior over a detail that you will encounter many times in the course of your future tennis career, and with no resolution!
     
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  19. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I certainly hope to never encounter such bs again. But hearing from you guys and especially LeeD, I should expect it anytime I play a pusher/counterpuncher...
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There is a reason I skipped playing in the B's when I won a big entry C tournament.
    B, or 4.5, is loaded with guys who maxed out their tennis skills, so they push and cheat, gamesmanship and cheat, to win every conceivable point they can. Remember, their physical skills are already maxed out.
    In those days, A/Open were filled with players trying to emulate pro level tennis of the times. You didn't fight, cheat, lie, and resort to mind games to win points, you only hit winners to win, losers to lose. Few pushers were around playing A/Open, and those who did, often had problems getting practice partners and matches.
    Most top players watched a few points of the lower level players, and seemed to base their ideas of who to hit with, and who to avoid, on the line calls made in the practice matches.
    I got calls from several A level players, because I played for artform, and not to tenaciously try to grab and hang on to every single darn point.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There is a reason I skipped playing in the B's when I won a big entry C tournament.
    B, or 4.5, is loaded with guys who maxed out their tennis skills, so they push and cheat, gamesmanship and cheat, to win every conceivable point they can. Remember, their physical skills are already maxed out.
    In those days, A/Open were filled with players trying to emulate pro level tennis of the times. You didn't fight, cheat, lie, and resort to mind games to win points, you only hit winners to win, losers to lose. Few pushers were around playing A/Open, and those who did, often had problems getting practice partners and matches.
    Most top players watched a few points of the lower level players, and seemed to base their ideas of who to hit with, and who to avoid, on the line calls made in the practice matches.
    I got calls from several A level players, because I played for artform, and not to tenaciously try to grab and hang on to every single darn point.
    Long story shortenned, forget that guy, forget that point. I WILL happen over and over as you play more tennis.
     
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  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Well, he challenged me once again and I will play him again. I could use more practice against pusher type.

    I supposed I could use more practice against gamesmanship too.
     
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  23. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Or perhaps it went along these lines:

    1. Opponent sees it clearly out and signals out with his finger in a timely fashion, but you don't notice because you aren't looking at him or because you've already started your walk to pick up a ball.

    2. After a few seconds opponent realizes that you didn't notice the out signal, so he makes a verbal out call.

    3. Opponent reads from your body language that you're not a happy camper, and feels bad that he did not signal in a way that catches your attention or call it verbally to start with, especially now that there is a delay between 1st and 2nd serves. So he tries to be nice about it and offers a 1st serve even though he does not have to.

    4. You assume the worst (that he is cheating) when in fact there is another very plausible explanation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
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  24. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Or perhaps it actually went along these lines:

    1) Opponent baffled by a close call, followed by indecision. Somewhat stunned by the fact that he had to make a call right there and then. If he left it as is, it's an ace and I'm on my way to game point. If he called it out, it's a second serve and a better chance to get to a break point.

    2) After standing still for few seconds realizes he hasn't made a call, and as it stands it's an ace. So he instinctively made an out call.

    3) Opponent sees that I was annoyed by the blatant late call and perhaps because of his own uncertainty and inability/unwillingness to produce evidence, offers to wipe that point clean and start over.

    4) I assessed the events thus far and come to the conclusion that it was gamesmanship. He could do nothing and win the re-started point which he had previously lost. Whereas I had to at the very least, swing once to win the point.

    5) Leave the speculation to the participating individuals who were actually there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
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  25. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    HOPE springs eternal, we can hardly wait for the synopsis of your next match with the pusher man. Please keep us informed, this could become an ongoing thread entitled: "AS THE BALL TURNS".

    G'luck!
     
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  26. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    This thread is hilarious. Your emotional investment in making sure we know your opponent was a bad person is fascinating.

    Does 5) mean you're soon going to produce a statement from the other individual who was actually there?
     
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  27. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    And I am assessing the situation and have come to the conclusion that you are whining over one call in the match. In a situation that could have been easily remedied if you simply said "If you aren't sure then the point is mine" to make him clarify what he meant.

    You need to lighten up.
     
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  28. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is how you do it. I do the same. It eliminates 90% of my problems.

    Now if I was in OP's situation (been there), I would tell the guy - "hey man anything close let's call it in".
     
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  29. North

    North Professional

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    Yeah, the situation described is very common and I always just do the same thing - "If you aren't sure, then the ball is in", claim the point, and politely stick to my guns. The first time it happens in a match, the opponent is usually miffed, but I don't make an ego challenge out of it - just quietly note the Code and move on. The calls often get better after that.
     
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  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I wouldn't discount "speculation" from individuals who weren't there if I was you, since you posted the OP in a Forum Of Individuals Who Weren't There on purpose.

    Here's a bit more speculation: You are correct that an extremely common issue in beginner tennis is an internal mental battle between what your eyes tell you (it's Out) and your desire to win the point, or at least to not lose it.

    However, that is hardly the only common issue.

    Poor eyesight, especially on a high pace serve, is common. Bad angle of view, also common.

    Any of a number of things would explain the "delayed" call, though OrangePower's is also possible.

    The issue of the "Let" call is more straightforward since it is against the rules. Ignorance and gamesmanship are the only two explanations. You had an opportunity to eliminate ignorance by explaining the ruling. You can't fix the desire to perform gamesmanship, alas.
     
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  31. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I am not crazy about the delayed call but I can accept it. However, the second the opponent offers to let me play a let I would immediately take that as evidence he wasn't 100% sure about the call and would take the point, or at least argue that I won the point. Changing a call in USTA since the beginning of 2011 results in the loss of the point--there are no 'play a let' replays.
     
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  32. sportlerin

    sportlerin New User

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    Interesting scenario, and quite common too. Lots of shades of grey on the tennis court.

    Off on a bit of a tangent here: If "players who make bad out calls" are the worst thing in the world, then "players who constantly question opponents' out calls" are the second-worst thing. The questioning doesn't have to be verbal, as you mentioned it can be body language or looks as well.

    I played a doubles match last week against an aggressive pair of call-challengers, who in the last game of the set started calling their shots themselves and instantly moving over to serve. My partner and I were strangely flummoxed by these two, and on two occasions simply let them have clearly out balls in. Just to avoid the confrontation. Really bizarre!
     
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  33. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    At worse we have ONE delayed call in a match? At best, we have an inaudible/unseen call and a gracious let??

    Clearly gamemanship. Let's forever brand the guy a pusher and a cheat and move on to the guy who doesn't call out on net serves.
     
    #33
  34. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    So I'm criticized for caring about the integrity of competition, and good old fashion honesty. Got it.

    Maybe I should incorporate this tactic of "lost a big point, let's redo it!" as part of my game, and spread the words too.

    I will definitely voice my opinion if it happens again.
     
    #34
  35. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    At least one person understand where I'm coming from.
     
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  36. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Your point would be valid if the opponent was actually changing the call.

    However, if the receiver merely made a late call, then offering a first serve would be the right thing to do.

    I don't know about anyone else, but if my opponent made a late call and then gave me a 2nd serve I would be much more ticked off than if he gave me a first serve, acknowledging the delay he caused.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/Rules-and-Line-Calls/Serve_Rulings/

    A. Rule 30 in the Tennis Rules Handbook states:

    Delays during service. When the server’s second service motion is interrupted by a ball coming onto the court, the server is entitled to two serves. When there is a delay between the first and second serves:

    * The server gets one serve if the server was the cause of the delay

    * The server gets two serves if the delay was caused by the receiver or if there was outside interference.

    The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an interruption. The receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently prolonged to justify giving the server two serves.
     
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  37. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    With the rule above, then can't the receiver ask for an infinite number of first serves by repeatedly delaying the server after close calls?

    Essentially my scenario over and over again?
     
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  38. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    There is likely a hindrance/delay of game rule that applies, but regardless, if he repeatedly asked for 1st serves, it would not be to his advantage.

    Scenario 1:

    If he tried to hook you, ie) calling a good serve out, he would benefit more simply by standing by the call and returning your second serve, since it is his call.

    Scenario 2:

    If the call (although delayed) was correct, then you faulted. He would again benefit more simply by making you hit a second serve rather than giving you another chance to crank your first serve.
     
    #38
  39. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    If they actually call each of these close calls out but do so in a way that causes a delay, yes, they can offer you a first serve. But isn't this better than them just calling it out and you having a second serve?

    So this process going on forever is predicated on them calling each of these balls out. At some point, if you legitimately think the balls are not out and they are doing this because they aren't sure, you should point out the rule that if they are unsure of a call, the ball is in.
     
    #39
  40. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    What I was trying to point out in my example is that often there are multiple possible explanations for things in life (or tennis). However it's often easiest / most satisfying to immediately conclude that the world (or opponent) is out to cheat you.

    It's like if someone gives you incorrect change, some people will assume that the cashier is trying to cheat them, other people will give benefit of the doubt and assume an honest error.

    Not saying that cheating and such doesn't happen. But just don't be so quick to jump to that assumption when there are other reasonable explanations.

    By the way you seem very defensive about all of this.
     
    #40
  41. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Yes, me too. I look at my opponent and let him/her know I was not sure. If they insist on me making the call, I give it to them. If they think it was out or in, they can make the call. Sometimes we just play first serve over.
     
    #41
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    A pusher always takes the point.
    A counterpuncher might, or he might not.
    A hitter calls it as he sees it.
     
    #42
  43. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    If you're not positive it's out, it's in. As a spectator, my wife says I give away too many close calls. I keep trying to teach her that is why tennis is a gentleman's game - benefit of the doubt.

    I can't tell you how many of my aces up the T have been called 'out' on late calls. Especially from the ad side. It is annoying. But you just shake it off and hit a second. Preferably another ace :twisted:
     
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  44. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Calling balls out right there and then is fine. Like I said, the opponent on the other is likely to have a better view. And I believe in honesty.

    Calling it 10-20 seconds later is barely acceptable. Restarting the point out of uncertainty is a not acceptable.
     
    #44
  45. Squidward

    Squidward Rookie

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    Played a doubles match this summer where every close call was deliberated (a conferance between the opposing players) and each time came back as "We think that was out"

    My partner and I ask them to make a more immediate call and Not confer the point....to NO Avail.....

    After the match we let them know that their tactics were BS and have never played them again...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    #45
  46. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    You don't get to demand proof. It's your opponents call. He just has to convince himself, which seems difficult. ;-)

    If dudes not totally sure, it's your point. No doubt about that. But sometimes studying a mark helps. Happens on tv all the time....not so much on hard courts. But you do get marks on a hard court sometimes.

    I've found some people like to think they never make a bad call, and love to think someone is always trying to cheat them. It's just human nature I guess. I try not to be "that guy". Recreational tennis isn't life or death, it's pure fun. It's the people who's self esteem is caught up in winning and losing who obsess over bad calls.
     
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  47. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Yeah I'm not big on playing lets.
     
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  48. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Agreed 100%. Restarting the point due to interrupting your serve with a certain but late call is a different issue.
     
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