Surely there must be a rule against this

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    My partner was serving to the deuce court. She has what I will cheerfully call an "anti-gravity" server. Let's just say there isn't much pace on her serve. Her serve landed in the ad service box, about six inches into the wrong service box. Clearly a fault.

    The returner's partner was standing near the T. She said, "Out" and returned the ball straight at me, hard. I ducked, so I didn't get hit.

    What the -- ?

    Not only did she return an obviously out serve, she wasn't even the returner (!). This is dangerous and annoying.

    Just on general principal, shouldn't there be a rule against this?
     
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  2. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    There's probably some kind of a hindrance rule...

    ...and I think there's probably something specific about not returning fault serves, but this really comes under the general heading of unsportsmanlike conduct re Nick Powell's "The Code"...which few players, these days, seem to have heard of. So, I dunno. You could stop play and explain why (since she obviously doesn't know...), why this is dangerous, but I doubt that would work, if she did it in the first place. So what are your other options? Well, there's always giving her a fuzz sandwich the next time you get a short overhead, but I suppose that's not very sportsmanlike, either.

    I'm really mystified why there seems to be so much just plain crappy behavior on the tennis courts these days. It's a great sport, or has been, but in many quarters, it's beginning to look like a knife fight in a phone booth...
     
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  3. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    I don't know about a rule but that's a rather obnoxious and unethical thing to do. Did she apologize or at least pretend it was an accident? I probably wouldn't have confronted her if I thought it was purposeful...
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure what she did afterward. She probably said sorry. I doubt she meant to hurt me. I just can't figure out what she meant to do.

    If she had hit me in the eye and I had to retire, would that be a loss for her or me?
     
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  5. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    What did you say to the person who hit the ball at you?

    I would have said something like "What the HELL??!!" and expect an apology, or else every ball near me will be zinging back towards his head, especially faults! :twisted:

     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Honestly, I don't know. The serve came, it was clearly well out and the returner wasn't going to play it. I was looking at the returner, so the returner's partner really surprised me. I think I just ducked and mumbled, "Whoa!" I was mostly glad I was all in once piece.

    There was a *lot* of Obvious Fault Returning going on in that match. I don't think these ladies knew that rule.

    What gets me is that the returner's partner has no business hitting a return. Had the serve been in and the returner's partner hits it, then clearly the point is ours. Had the serve hit the returner's partner on the fly, the point is ours.

    I can't think of a rule that says there is any penalty for having the receiver's partner do some headhunting and teeing off on each and every serve that bounces in the wrong service box.
     
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  7. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    That would be a loss for her.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    But she didn't intend to hurt me (I think). She could argue it is more like having her racket fly out of her hand and injure me, and in that case she wins.
     
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  9. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    You really need a rule to quote to be able to tell that their action is wrong? Seems like common sense.

    A simple "What was that for?" to them at the time would probably get you more answers than you will find here, or maybe an apology so that you could move on without the needless drama.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^I am actually asking a legit rules question. I do not know the answer.

    Since you are of no assistance, maybe Woodrow or Jlyon or one of the other officials around here knows the answer.
     
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  11. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    Your definition of legit is different than mine then.
     
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  12. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    She did it on a ball that was not in play when it was struck. Therefore, it would have been a loss for her.
     
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  13. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Because what she did was not part of the game, she would lose the match. By my reading if the returner had hit the ball to you even if the ball were significantly out then you would lose the match.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The Code:

    Boy, I had never given this rule much thought. I'm not sure I like it, though. It seems to be if you are doing something that is clearly prohibited by the rules (returning a ball when you are not the returner), you ought to suffer the consequences, even if the injury was an accident and not intentional.
     
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  15. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    See my post above...

    ...I think there is a rule against returning fault serves, so go look it up. You probably also have a case about the non-returner returning serves, so go look that one up, too. Per what some other posters have said, this would only have to happen one time with me, and I'd get right in the other players' face. I almost lost an eye due to a bunji cord accident that was somebody else's fault, so I don't cotton to anyone taking a swing that come anywhere near my eyes, or anywhere else on my person, either, and neither should you...
     
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  16. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    Let me stir the pot a little bit. Let's just say that instead of hitting it directly at you, the returner's partner hit a clearly out serve to the side fence but it ricocheted directly to you (yes, it is remotely possible but that's why it is an accident), hit your eye which forced you to retire. Should your opponent take the loss? Just trying to remove whatever intent the returner's partner might have had in the equation.
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps her intention was just to get you the ball to hold in preparation for the next point? Possibly she thinks she has more control than she actually has, and so it was a failure in execution rather than any bad intent.
     
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  18. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    When a tennis ball hits your eye like a big pizza pie?

    That's Amore

    15-Amore
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe.

    Or perhaps she had a grand mal seizure.

    Boy. I have played a lot of matches, and I have never, ever seen a returner's partner strike the serve.
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You're asking me?
     
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  21. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Are you like a 3.0 or below? Because if you're a strong enough player, you should be able to just block those back. Maybe her partner didn't like you or was trying to intimidate you, but it is what it is. If it wasn't a social match, people will do stuff like this to intimidate you. Crying about there being a rule against it won't fix anything. You need to deal with that person in the same way or take it up with them verbally when it happens. They're trying to bully you around if it was intentional and if you waste your time with moaning about it or there being a rule against it, they'll basically own you each and every time.

    Next sitting overhead you had should have been put directly at their bodies. Either that or your partner (if you had one with a good enough serve) should have your back and make sure the next ace-paced serve was directly at this person, hitting them, and then claiming the point, which is a legit rule.

    Of course, this all depends on how big of a jerk this other person is on court and if the initial move wasn't a mistake for which they appologized for genuinely.
     
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  22. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Wow, reading comprehension is clearly lacking among some posters in this thread.
     
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  23. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Picking nits?

    I say, much ado about nothing. Just duck.

    This person probably wasn't hitting at you, to hurt or rattle you. Many times the returning team just smacks the out-serve back across the court as a reflex, or to return the ball. Apparently this person has bad aim. If they did it more than once, I would ask them to try to exercise better ball control. Three or four times, I'd start to take it personally - but that wasn't the case here.

    Brings up the subject of how to deal with the out serve. Do you roll it out of play, pop it back to the server, or pocket it? I think this is nit-picking. No more rules are needed here.
     
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  24. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't really matter...

    ...YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO RETURN FAULT SERVES. End of discussion. Doesn't matter if you're the returner, the returner's partner, or some random cretin in the crowd. You never return fault serves. I can see it once a match, where "I thought it was a good serve, so I returned it, but it wasn't." is the excuse. But that's not the case in this instance, apparently. Go look at the original post. This apparently happened over and over again in the match, and culminated in the head shot return as described.

    This would never happen in an age group or Open tournament. Never. I am appalled, once again, at the kind of crap that apparently goes on in NTRP league play. There's a million different ways of handling the situation but mine is pretty simple: Many fault serves returned, I'm getting annoyed, but I don't say anything. Then the server's partner fires a fault serve back at my head. My response? Very simple. I pick up the nearest ball, fire it back at the Server's Partner's Head, and say "Now we're even. Want to try for another round?" I don't see any point in quoting rules and regulations to an idiot like this. He or she is not going to get the joke unless you put him or her on the receiving end of this kind of behavior...
     
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  25. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    If it's out I just signal it out and let it go by me. We'll pick up the balls once the point is done.

    I've only had one opponent have an issue with it but I have not played them since.

    -Fuji
     
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  26. RadicalMPfan

    RadicalMPfan Rookie

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    I hit the ball back all the time second serve double fault to speed up the game. Hard to believe a 4.0 woman crushed a ball at you almost "injuring" you. If you aren't exaggerating, you should of said something.
     
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  27. AELTC

    AELTC New User

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    USTA Regulations IV.D.

    If a player was injured by an illegal, unsportsmanlike, deliberate action of the opponent, I would assess a code violation against the opponent, proceeding directly to default.

    Table 14, the Point Penalty System, in USTA Regulations IV.D. lists code violations for misconduct for the following (among other things):
    • Abuse of racket, balls, equipment
    • Verbal or physical abuse of a player or official
    Table 17, Guidelines for Assessing Penalties, states that deliberately hitting, throwing or kicking a ball that is not in play that hits a person should always be penalized. Deliberately hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball that is not in play that comes close to hitting a person should generally be penalized.

    If an official saw the offense then your opponents could be penalized by the official under the USTAs regulations, but there's nothing I can find that allows a player to assess code violations against their opponent.
     
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  28. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    This is probably done so the opponent will continue the match if at all possible instead of claiming an injury and a victory at the slightest incident.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The "returning team" doesn't hit the ball. The returner hits the ball. That is why it was so reckless and uncalled for for the returner's partner at net to hit the serve back over the net. IME, the returner's partner just side-steps any wayward serves that come near her. At most she will catch them off the bounce and pocket them.

    Regarding what to do with an obviously out serve . . . Please, I beg of you, *read the Code.* The Code is clear that you are not to return obviously out serves. Your choices are to let it go by you, catch and pocket it, knock it gently into the net.

    Please, do not ever "pop it back to the server." No matter how good your aim is, the server will have to interrupt her flow to catch or clear that ball. You also run the risk of injuring the net player or your partner, who may have let her guard down once she sees the serve was well out.

    Around here, you can tell the newbies. They routinely return obvious faults, annoying people and slowing down the game The experienced players handle it like pros -- they control the ball and pocket it.
     
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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, OK. Thank you. And you're right, I couldn't find anything that addresses this for non-officiated matches. I guess the only remedy would be a grievance -- something I wouldn't have done against this lady because I don't think there was any malice or gamesmanship.
     
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  31. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I agree with your assessment. There's not much you can do at this point. I have seen a lot of crazy things in tennis, but this one takes the cake. I've never seen a returners partner hit a fault serve back at the other net player. No one expects that, so I could see how you could easily be hit. Anyone with a lick of common sense would never do what your opponent did.

    I have to comment that many women tennis players never played other sports and took up tennis as adults. Quite often they have no clue about basic sports rules and sportsmanship. I think those of us who played team sports in middle school and high school have a completely different approach to tennis, and how we interact with our opponents and teammates. I doubt a former softball, basketball, or soccer player would do something like your opponent did ........unless it was intentional. They just wouldn't be that brain dead.
     
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  32. decades

    decades Guest

    there has got to be a reality series in here somewhere. anybody have a contact at Bravo? these gals are entertaining.
     
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  33. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    Maybe you should have returned it back just as hard? Idk, it depends on your style, but I will absolutely smash most people who return with power and spin as I can use that right back at them with more, but I tend to lose to any dinkers because I tend to over hit as there is no pace or power. If someone did that to me, and it has happened, I played a doubles league type setting this year, and it happened a couple times. I just step back and get it back. This may not be the best way, but it sends a message.
     
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  34. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    I know what you mean, I love reading Cindy's stories. Keep them coming!!
     
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  35. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Any other read - that is if the receiver's partner was deliberately teeing off on a dead ball to peg you verges on outright assault. Tennis rules no longer apply.

    I think it's very common for a receiver to bunt a fault back (keep game moving and ball on one's own court - no fence rebounding issues) and really isn't all that unusual for a receiver's partner to do likewise (say playing two back and a shanked second serve.)
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I will assume it is a typo as your writing skills are too good to confuse principle with principal.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Since so many people have mentioned that they would respond with some form of violence, I guess we should talk about that.

    I'm not like that. I do not punch people. I do not get up in their faces, flip people off, toss around the F bomb. I have never been in a fight. When someone is aggressive with me, my first reaction is to laugh. I have never hit another human being other than the rare occasion when I swatted my child on the bottom and then abandoned the tactic because it didn't even work.

    Maybe this means I am a victim waiting to happen. So be it. I work things out or ignore them.

    It did not occur to me to retaliate in any form. The most I would do if this lady had continued doing this is that I would approach the net and calmly explain why I would prefer that she refrain.

    Maybe it is a chick thing, but that's how I roll.
     
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  38. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    I'd bet on this. Much like the folks who help with your warmup volleys by hitting passing shots as hard as they can. It's for your own convenience.
     
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    : narrows eyes :

    Do not bunt a first-serve obvious fault back. Catch it and put it in your pocket, or let it go behind you. Then raise your racket while you check the ball's position; clear if necessary.

    If it is a second serve, do not bunt it back in doubles -- your partner at net might be turning around, the opposing net player may relax her guard. Again, just control the ball and send it back over at an appropriate time.

    Personally, I do not like people who rain tennis balls all over the place in the mistaken belief that this somehow speeds up the game.
     
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  40. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    Not to jack the OP's thread or anything but a question. The people I play with (recreational right now) tap faults into the net. It's obviously not trying to hit back, just an effort to get it out of the way. The ones that do this are really good at keeping it at the net too.

    Does this fall under the rule of don't return a fault or let serve if it's an actual competitive game?

    Obviously as long as we're playing for fun it doesn't matter I'm just trying to learn the rules here :)
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Tapping the ball into the net is fine, but I personally don't do that. I would rather not have a ball lying near the net during the point, especially outdoors where the wind might blow it.

    If you want to look ultra-cool and dead sexy, backspin the serve to yourself and then pocket it. The women will go wild.
     
    #41
  42. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    Typically I just miss the ball completely and drop my head in shame ;) maybe that's just me though
     
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  43. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Ha, that's what I do :) But only on the BH side. On the FH side I block the ball directly downwards so that it bounces into my hand. Can't block downwards on the BH side though because of the grip I use, so instead I block-slice it 5-10 feet up and in front of me and have it come back to me on the bounce.

    Now, can someone please point out all the women who are supposedly going wild while I'm doing this?
     
    #43
  44. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Rather than resort to physical violence, why not use a different "chick thing" tactic by calling her fat instead?

    For instance, you make comments out loud about how embarassing it must be to play tennis being so large, or how you can't understand why people can't keep themselves fit any more. You could give your opponent helpful fitness advice, and talk about how you would hit the panic button if you ever weighed as much as her.

    This would get in her head psychologically, distract her from the tennis, and probably hurt more than pegging her with an overhead!

    (Given the recent thread where you felt free to criticize Melanie Oudin - a world class athlete that is 1000X the player you will ever be - for being fat, I would think that this is how you roll. Roll on, sister! If an opponent or team member does something you don't like, just smile sweetly and inform them that it looks like they've put on some extra weight recently and you are concerned about their health! Huzza! :twisted:)
     
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  45. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^

    "Are you sure you're ok to be playing, seeing as you're expecting and all?"
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
    #45
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Found 'em for you:

    [​IMG]
     
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  47. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    In my normal life outside the courts I'm a very mellow guy and don't like confrontation at all. On the court I'm much more vocal and will not take much crap before I say something.

    Cindy, in your instance, there is NO WAY you should roll with it and let that jerk get away with such an outrage. Walk up to the net and get a conversation / interrogation going. What comes out of her mouth is a bag of excuses & justifications. Her crushing an out ball past you that was never hers to hit anyway is just crazy stuff. I'm pretty disjointed thinking about it. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
    #47
  48. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Melanie may be world class, a world class eater of Domino's Pizza. i couldn't believe how fat she was at the French, and the coomentators had said she had LOST weight! She looked like a sausage in her tennis dress.


     
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  49. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

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    You should sue her for such atrocities and penalize them atleast one game.
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What can I say? I play better if I don't have to deal with confrontation on the court. I know confrontation or conflict fires other people up, but it doesn't work for me.

    I have some partners who don't understand this. Like, they are unhappy if I am chatty with our opponents. Well, if the opponents happen to be friends of mine, I might want to talk to them on changeovers (esp if we are winning). For me, a bit of small talk eases the tension, and tension is my biggest enemy.

    This is especially so if my partner wants to "coach" me on changeovers and tell me everything I am doing wrong. I'd rather ask my opponent how her new puppy is doing rather than listen to that.
     
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