Strategy or delusion?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by smarulanda, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. smarulanda

    smarulanda New User

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    So I was playing a flex league singles match last night; it was a bit chilly and I'm usually slow to warm up so I go down 0-3 in the first set. I finally start to get my groove going and proceed to play some really great tennis and take the first set 6-3.

    The second set begins and I'm still playing well, very well, in fact I'm hitting some very deep and consistent shots, however my opponent now begins to refuse to chase my winners and any shot I hit that lands within a couple of inches of the line he calls out. I try and not let this phase me and work hard to hit great shots that land within an obvious margin. Unfortunately with so many points unceremoniously called against me I end up losing the second set tiebreak 9-7.

    I quickly shake the set off and get up to 3-1 in the third set. It's in the middle of my service game and I hit a clean ace down the T. This was clearly 6 inches in; the guy calls it out. I walk up a bit and say "come on, man let's play fair". He replies "are you gonna serve?" I am taken aback for a second, I didn't exactly understand what he was implying. So I say "my serve was definitely in, let's be gentlemen"; he replies menacingly "serve or I'm going to claim the point, I haven't said anything about all your calls".

    This completely threw me off. He was accusing me of making bad calls! I was dumbfounded, as I had been playing clean and fair tennis the entire match, despite his less than sportsmanlike conduct. He was a big guy so I wasn't about to get into any type of argument, I just shook my head and took my second serve. I couldn't shake the nerve this guy had though... I ended up losing in the tiebreak 10-8.

    It was definitely a winnable match for me, but I had trouble playing safe enough tennis that he wouldn't be able to cheat me out of points. I also couldn't get this guys terrible attitude out of my head... turning the cheater table on me like that.

    Who's done this/had it done to them? Had he at all questioned any of my previous calls, I would have gladly shown him the ball marks; but I think he knew I was playing fair and used this as a mental tactic because it definitely did shake me a bit. Or perhaps he was deluded and actually thought I was making many bad calls against him.

    /rant
     
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  2. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    None of us have had this experience. It is just too weird.
     
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  3. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Most people believe that their calls are always correct and that any close ball their opponent calls "out" was an intentional hook.
     
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  4. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    The way you describe it, he sounds like a cheater. So, what might you learn from this experience? A couple of suggestions are: 1) the realization, and acceptance, that there are people like this on every level of tennis, 2) use this experience as motivation to get good enough that you don't have to worry about false line calls from *****s.

    Personally, I've never had an experience like this. But at my current competitive level nobody is good enough that line calls are going to make any difference. :) What is your competitive level?
     
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  5. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    The guy's a cheater, a bully, delusional and beats his wife if she's still living. He's the kind of guy you hire to drown kittens. I don't know a thing about flex league but assume it's matches made up through a computer--tennis and computers don't mix!


    What do you get if you win flex league? Unless it's a trip to Hawaii why bother? You'd be better off hanging out at a public tennis center if you don't want to join a club--or hit against a wall or a basket of serves. That "Let's be gentlemen", line was pretty funny though. If you want competition sign up for a tournament where at least you have tournament officials to deal with cheaters. You have my condolences. This was not tennis.
     
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  6. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    "He's the kind of guy you hire to drown kittens." :) Maybe he was abused as a child, or just a natural born sociopath or psychopath. Anyway, not the sort of person I signed up to my flex league to meet ... no matter how good a tennis player he might be.

    Regarding flex leagues, I disagree with you somewhat. My experience as a member of Tennis Fort Lauderdale (an affiliate of the Tennis League Network) has been totally enjoyable. It's a flex league. Computers have nothing to do with setting up and scheduling matches, which is totally the responsibility of and in control of the participating players.
     
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  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I don't know nothin' about flex leagues, and maybe once in a while you encounter a whack job like this creep just like you do anywhere else in life like on the hi-ways or waiting in line at strip clubs. Report him to whoever has authority over the league and maybe with enough compliants in his file he can be banned.

    I did have a great time at the Lauderdale TC for a week while traveling through FL. They had a match making service and a lot of serious players. If I were there I would join that club and get all the tennis I needed.
     
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  8. Darkhors

    Darkhors Rookie

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    I'm not condoning cheating to win, but this is a great way to stop the cheating altogether. When he "obviously" calls an in ball out and there's no changing his mind, on the next point as soon as his ball hits the court, you call it out, grab the ball and move to the other side of the court to serve. He'll undoubtedly say something to you and then you can say, "if you're going to call my in balls out, then I'm going to do the same so we're playing on even ground". That should shut him up for the remainder of the match.

    Some people are just so delusional that it doesn't matter what you do they're going to cheat just because. At that point, just pick up and leave as it's not worth your time.

    DH
     
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  9. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    You should try to get a lead if you can and then call every shot he hits out.
     
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  10. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    sounds like an idiot. one question, you said you would have shown him the ball marks. did you ask him for ball marks on his decisions or did you accept his obviously wrong calls?
     
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  11. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    There are two sides to every argument and we have only heard your side. Doesn't matter, YOU have to learn to control your temperament on the court and you let what you may have thought were bad calls control it.
     
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  12. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I live in Atlanta and during a League Tennis match ran into a guy like this. He developed a reputation in our division for blatant cheating and others said he was far worse than in our match. He was an older guy and had trouble keeping his cool and energy up.

    I easily winning the first set and he started calling anything close to a line out. He would take a long pause, walk slowly to where the ball bounced, and say, "I guess I'll have to call that out" as if he were reluctantly calling the ball out and really, really wanted to give me the point.

    I left the court and gave him the match when on game point he called a soft drop shot out because he couldn't get to it. When I very calmly explained that he coould have the match and to have a great season he grew agitated and claimed the ball left a mark and it was clearly out, yadda, yadda, yadda. It was on my home court, it was perfectly dry, it was sunny, and the shot couldn't be any softer. It left no mark and I was next to the point of bounce and he was as far cross court as one could be which is why he couldn't get to the ball.

    Others in the division said his cheating got worse the more he was losing. I simply didn't go that far with him.

    In the future I'll handle blatant cheaters differently. As another TT member advised the best apporach is to simply start calling every shot of the cheater out. When he protests explain that it's "my call" and if he's going cheat I can call good shots out too and that a better alternative is for him to stop cheating and just play the match.

    It needs to be blatant too. It's very easy to make mistakes and tough to see from the far side of the court.

    During a recent ITF juniors tournament here in Atlanta the male players frequently missed calls, especially on serve. And they frequently accused one another of cheating. But even officials can be very wrong. I watched the boys (high school aged) semi-finals and one of the chair umpires was terrible. He called out the wrong score three times and was corrected by the players. He also missed obvious calls which upset the players and drew looks of shock from the spectators. On more than one occassion a player looked embarrassed as his opponent argued an obviously bad call by the chair but he wouldn't budge. Finally a spectator called in an ITF official to monitor the situation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
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  13. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    friend of mine did that once. he felt cheated with a call and told his opponent: "whereever your next ball lands, i´ll call it out"
    opponents next serve landed in the middle of the service box and he called it out. nearly ended in a fistfight, we had to break it up
     
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  14. smarulanda

    smarulanda New User

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    This is exactly what kept me from doing that, it was a night match at his courts with no one around, he already seemed like the hot-headed type, so I wasn't about to go and **** him off like that.

    I do appreciate you guys entertaining my plight, though.
     
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  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    we´ve all had similar experiences, though yours may have been more extreme than most. did you ask him to show you the ball marks?:)
     
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  16. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    No problem, you're plight was very entertaining. Next time cheat 'em back, I've found that works real well--their inferiority complex tells them you are better at that then they are too and they stop cheating--works every time!
     
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  17. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I've said it before and ill say it again:

    The best response to cheating is not to cheat back. I think the whole concept of "im going to call his next ball out no matter what" is just childish and disingenuous.

    You can get back at them in a lot of ways without blatantly cheating.

    It's easy to beat a "powder keg". All you have to do is light the fuse and step back. Keep your cool. They'll explode on their own.

    Very few players actually get better when they get angry. Very few.

    Most of the time people lose to cheaters because they dont know how to respond. They either cheat back causing a mutual explosion or curl up into a ball and lay in the corner of the court. Their excuse: "The other guy cheated."
     
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  18. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I actually fully agree with you. Good post!

    -Fuji
     
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  19. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    They can't call it out if the ball hits them! :twisted:
     
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  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Great description of your advice on what not to do. What do you do?
     
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  21. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    I don't know why you bothered to deal with it when it became obvious he was cheating you and you confronted him about it. From that point on, you should've just screwed around. Throw in short, underhanded serves, then when he moves up, try to nail him in the face and say "damn, wish I could just get the damn ball in the lines today". Give up the service game and have some fun. When it goes back on serve 2-3, he's going to choke and double fault every point anyway. Might as well go check your email while you're waiting for him to finish up his serves. Hell, he'll start off strong, go up 40-love, but then he'll just seem to keep missing the next 10 serves.

    Back to your serve at 4-2, we know you aren't going to hold serve for ****. Time to throw in some more funky stuff. Tweener serves, blast the ball straight up and pray it goes in, and whatever you feel like doing to the ball. Hell, blast one straight down, who cares.

    Sigh, you managed to double fault a whole game away. What a shame. Guess it's time for your opponent to be nice and return the favor. Whoops! Up 5-3.

    Why even bother holding serve at this point? 4-5.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand he chokes and double faults the entire game when serving to stay in the match. Man, what an ugly game of tennis, errors all over, but hey, you got through it.

    Against blatant cheaters, there's only so much you can do. Yes, it is childish to cheat them back, but the fact is, if you want to play a fair game of tennis, you have to have both players play on equal footing. If you want to play handicapped tennis, then don't complain. When someone cheated Jim Courier in his junior days, he just caught the ball, called it out, and said "we can do this all day".

    I know right? Let's just narrow our options and screw ourselves without putting additional options on the board.


    Also, at TimothyO, if it's not an immediate call, he has to call it in. That is the rules. If he shows signs of hesitation, take that point. Ask for the call. If he takes more than a second to tell you "in" or "out", the point is yours. Any slight doubt is given to the opponent. I saw a serve that I was 99% sure landed abound an inch wide of the line. I would instantly use an electronic challenge if I had the opportunity. But I wasn't completely focused at the moment and gave him the point, even when he knew (and said) it was out. The fact is, I have to give him the point. But to a certain extent, I think he was being pretty generous with a lot of his baseline calls as well.

    At least if they're cheating, make them do it as obviously as possible. Don't even let them try that "maybe" **** because if it's a "maybe", that means it was 100% in. Also, if you have ball marks, just check them everytime. Though I don't think there's anything in the rules about cleaning off marks after you made a call even if it's obvious you're doing it to prevent your bad call from being caught. (I think Connors did that once in a professional match...)
     
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