What Do You Do When You're Superior

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by gordo, May 26, 2009.

  1. gordo

    gordo New User

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    I have run into this situation a few times in leagues. What do you do when you are playing a person who you are far better than? Do you play your normal game or do you take some off? I find that I normally play my game for the first few games and then after I am way up I begin feeling bad for my opponent and start easing up. Many times I start making too many errors and have even blown a match or two because of this. Have any of you run into this situation?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
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  2. bulldawg

    bulldawg Rookie

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    Play your regular game. Have you ever noticed how you can play better while hitting against a better player...you elevate your own game. The same is true when facing weaker players...the tendency is to play down to their level. Save your compassion until the completion of the match.
     
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  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Q: "What do you do when you're superior?"


    A: Keep it to yourself.
     
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  4. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    hmm I guess I try new tactics and practice my plan B or C on my opponent.
     
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  5. subaru3169

    subaru3169 Semi-Pro

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    always play your game.. if you feel that there's something that can make you out of focus and start committing errors, win the point as quickly as possible.. be sure not to get into some mentality trap just coz they're a lower skill player
     
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  6. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    LOL... Kick ass?
     
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  7. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I agree, move to plans B/C

    if I'm knocking them off the court with my serve I'll spin it in a bit and see how it goes, try to hit more groundstrokes or mix in an approach or 2
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Try to make it so they do not win a single point. Or set a time limit in your mind and see if you can finish them off quickly.

    After the match, you can offer to play another set and then work on some stuff.
     
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  9. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I think it depends on the consequences

    In a USTA match, where tiebreakers may come down to sets/games lost I'm more apt to finish someone off, but am not a big fan of the bagel

    In a ladder or in-house, I'll work on game play. ie. can't go for a winner until after the 5th stroke or have to s/v on all 2nd serves for a game
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If its a competitive match, I strive for a bagel every set if I can get it. If its just a friend or social match, then I will go easier by usually try to work on things that cause me to hit more errors.
     
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  11. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    I think the assessment 'far better' should be changed to just 'better'. When I'm playing one of our pros that is far better, even if they take some off, they can still win.
    But, You should not take some off. If you do, make sure you get to 4-0 or 5-0 and let them win their serve. Then it's back to business.
     
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  12. Sublime

    Sublime Semi-Pro

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    Don't ease up. Maybe they're way better than you and they're just bringing it to a 6-0 5-0 match point to make it challenging for them. :)
     
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  13. stoo

    stoo Semi-Pro

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    Good question...

    I ran into this same situation this past weekend in our houseleague.

    In the first set, I was making all kinds of errors and stupid mistakes because I didn't want to drive the ball hard at my oponent and I let up on my regular game. When I realized that it was hurting me more to try to play easy, I just said screw it and went back to my normal game. Turned things around for me and at the same time I think it elevated their game a little too.
     
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  14. cak

    cak Professional

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    If it's league play I know there is alchohol waiting for me on the viewing deck, so I finish them off as fast as possible to join the viewing party. (I love tennis, but heck, if there's a party....) If it's social play I will try new stuff to make it competitive.
     
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  15. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    I agree with this, especially on the serve. Everytime I try to hit "soft" serves to lesser players, my motion gets all screwy. I end up hitting second serves into the wrong court. Give 'em the good stuff, I says. Better for you, better for them. :)
     
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  16. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I set the goal of keeping the level of my game up and getting a 6-0 6-1 win. I do however make sure to lose at least one game :)
     
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  17. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    tournament go for 6-0 -6-0. social you want to hit some balls give them balls they can hit
     
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  18. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    If you are actually blowing matches, then you should realize that your impression of whether you are "superior" or not is flawed.

    So with that in mind, just play that match out.

    If you ever read "Winning Ugly" by Brad Gilbert, or "The Inner Game of Tennis", you'd probably realize what Im talking about but there are plenty of pitfalls in a match where you could be breezing thru pretty handily only to have momentum reverse itself on you.

    A big one being the beginning of the second set. You can win the first set 6-0, and if you fall behind in the 2nd set and are struggling to get back in it you can kiss any momentum you had at the beginning of the match good bye.

    I know people who do what you do, and I even have people on my teams who do things like that. It doesnt always end well. The reason being most of the time is even at 3.0 sometimes the players are good enough that if you give them a little confidence all the sudden their shots will start falling in.

    The only time you should probably get away with being able to sandbag is if you're playing players that are obviously 2 levels below you. (like you are a 4.5 playing in the 3.5 league)

    But even then I always tell myself if they are present in my league, then I certainly will not feel bad about stomping them.

    And the truth is most normal people dont feel that bad when they get beaten that badly, they will just say you're a better player and they might even appreciate that you took the 20 minutes to give them a free tennis lesson on that day.

    If they really seriously cry because they lost 6-0, 6-0 or something like that, then that says something about their character more then anything. Only whiners and crybabys expect that somehow they will never get crushed and you shouldnt have to worry about them.

    I was in a doubles match last night against one player that beat me last year, and we both had different partners and we killed them 6-1, 6-1, and then we played a 3rd set for fun and was up 5-0 when we all decided to call it quits.

    It was actually one of the most pleasant matches Ive had and there was no hard feelings.

    I felt worse last year when I had a inconsistant partner and we just barely lost 6-3, 6-4 to these guys who were two older cagier players. (lots of lobs, crazy backspin, the guy I played both times can play lefty or righty including serves and he has a weird low shot where the racquet scoops under the ball blade first like it's a pitching wedge)
     
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  19. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^It was actually one of the most pleasant matches Ive had and there was no hard feelings. because you won:)
     
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  20. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    No, the other team was fine with it as well. It was friendly and we had a few beers afterwards.

    There was no "feeling sorry" for anyone, we're competitors and it means nothing if we win and the other team doesnt put in their best.

    I hate it when someone falls behinds and loses to me and then they try to make the excuse that "they stopped trying", that's like an insult.
     
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  21. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Match From Hell

    Last night was one of those matches.

    I was destroying the guy (far superior) and during a changeover, I checked my work Blackberry as I was on call and he made a filthy comment like, "are you so bored that have to text people in between games?"

    I got livid, he ran off the court to tell his coach. After 20 minutes I ran off after him and the argument continues in the presence of his coach and others.

    I'm sure hes pulling to have me DQ'd.

    What an effed up situation.

    But just because you are losing do not pull such non-sense.

    Are cell phones really not to be touched during match play?

    Was he trying to psych me out?

    Was he a big baby?

    Did I over react?

    Ugh. I feel bad, but just because you are being slaughtered by someone, don't be a whiney sob. Funny thing is, I'm sure someone is reading this now that was there.

    I do not believe that checking my BB during changeover is an extremely distasteful thing to do. I was on call for work last night, and life or death is more important than tennis, well actually tennis is much more important than that.
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Actually I think they instituted a rule this year that you cant text message during the match. But only the captain would probably know that, was this guy the captain?

    Apparently someone on your team can text you instructions on how to FURTHER win the match. Perhaps they have the ability to travel thru time and they know that one or two games will decide whether you win the covented pen or not.

    Or it's inside investors who know that these pen's can be melted down and used as rocket fuel or something.....

    I think he's being a ****** and completely disrepectful for creating the whole drama.

    He's losing after all, and he should take it like a man and just lose. If he was to make excuses that would be really uncool, but complaining about text messaging is just weird on top of that.

    Maybe if it was a close match though, it would be a different story, I know teams that want to win the pen badly enough that they would do something like that.

    But even if that's the case, it's just like if someone is coaching. You can just ask them to stop, and if it continues that's when it's a problem and you may want to file a complaint later with the Federal Tennis Marshall.

    You shouldnt go ranting and raving just because it happened.

    I dont know if you over-reacted or not. He's being a big baby about it and you should probably just let him. People are like that sometimes and rather then get frustrated about it, sometimes it's fun to just sit back and enjoy the show.

    Obviously your tennis match wasnt all that interesting, so at least it gives you something else to talk about. :)
     
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  23. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I learned alot.

    1. Who cares if the guy sucks. You just paid $20 to play for your team, and to WIN. Even if its straight bagles. I could have dubble bagled this jurk but gave him games. Don't ever do that again. I gave him ALOT to avoid DQ suspicions.

    2. Don't talk to your opponent no matter what he says. Act deaf. Don't freak out.

    I got really pist off and it got ugly.

    But, the match wasn't even close, the text was work related NOT "hey help over here, I'm getting killed..."

    I don't give a damm what my opponent does during changeoveer. If he wants to grill steaks and watch TV, go for it. I don't CARE.

    But don't tell me I can't check a work email.
     
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  24. serve and Justin

    serve and Justin New User

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    I lose...because instead of playing I start thinking about a cold drink...women...the weekend...school work...next thing I know I am getting beat.
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It might be better to handle things this way.

    When you walk on court, greet your opponent and say, "Hey, I'm a heart transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and I'm on call tonight. In fact, this ice chest here contains both my Gatorade and a live, beating human heart. If my Blackberry beeps, I'll need to take that call, 'kay?"

    Seriously, if you notify your opponents of any special needs you will have during that match, they will be much less likely to give you a hard time than if you spring it on them later.

    I remember once I was supposed to play but was not feeling well and knew there was a chance I would need a bathroom break between sets. This is within our local rules, but it is frowned upon because our matches are timed and bathroom breaks can be abused to run out the clock.

    So I walked on court, introduced myself, and told my opponents that there was a very good chance I would need to excuse myself for a bathroom break after the first set. They were fine with it. And as it turned out, we beat them so quickly I didn't need the break anyway.
     
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  26. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    +1.

    A couple of weeks ago I played against a doctor who was on call. During the warmup, he told me that he might have to take phone calls during the match and also that he would be checking for text messages during changeovers. I appreciated him telling me up front and of course I had no problem with it.
     
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  27. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I hear ya'll.

    Honestly though, who really cares? Its not Wimbledon right?

    It was as if we were on a date, the guy was acting like a jealous monster...lol.

    Anyhoo, luckily I'm on call only one week every 8 weeks, so its not something prevalent.

    I just hate to think the guys is gonna spread bad news about me around the league, argh.
     
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  28. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Why would you care if he does that?

    If you dont think you did anything wrong then you should feel no need to get upset, and you shouldnt worry about such things.

    If you think he's being petty, then let him go talk about it everywhere then, he's just advertising how petty he is more then anything.

    That's about the only reason you might of went over the line (getting upset, following the guy, arguing, etc....).

    I dont even play when Im on-call. It's inconceivable that I could get called and have to leave in the middle of an actual match, that's about as good as not even being available in the first place.

    Sure it's not Wimbledon but some people (captains usually) put a lot of time and effort into arranging these matches and sometimes in an effort to win it, so it wouldnt be fair of me to show up when Im not fully commited to finishing.

    (actually it's better then Wimbledon because Im actually playing in it, not just watching it on TV.....)
     
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  29. royer

    royer Rookie

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    I will typically smoke a cigar and sip from my martini glass during change-overs. Occasionally I begin speaking with a British accent and will play the match wearing an ascot. I won't risk subtlety when it comes to displaying my superiority.
     
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  30. robby c

    robby c Semi-Pro

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    In tournaments and league play, if you are capable of winning 6-0,6-0 you should do so. This is a core value of competion. Trying your best.
    Treat your opponent with respect. To give away games is very disrespectful.
    However, if you are asked to hit with lower level players in a social setting, you can play shots that are challenging without hitting your hardest shots.
    Robby C
     
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  31. subaru3169

    subaru3169 Semi-Pro

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    :lol::lol: i kinda like this idea
     
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  32. snark

    snark Rookie

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    I have the same problem. I play someone who is a much weaker player and let my guard off. I start playing their game, and suddenly it becomes a close game. I still win usually, but it is quite often uncomfortably close.

    Recently I've been telling myself that I should respect my opponent by making sure I play with full effort. It seems to work pretty well -- I've finally become able to convincingly beat some weaker players by basically pretending that they are better than they are and that I have to play my best game to win.
     
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  33. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I was on fire and making some killer winners, aced him at least 5 times. Captain watched 2nd to last point and I made a Federesuqe down the line OHBH passing shot that left me and my captain breathless. I'm on fire lately, sorry if I am destroying weaker players. If I play you again, you will get bagled, I'm done giving games, this is league, if the USTA wants to bump me to 4.5, fine.
     
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  34. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    FWIW giving games away to avoid a DQ is cause for being suspended from USTA league play. That is a worse violation than texting during changeovers. If yoru captain encourages giving games away than he can be suspended as well.
     
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  35. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    In no way was I giving away games for that purpose nor was I giving away games consciously. I was losing games because I always subconsciously give up games to 4.0 pushers. My captain wasn't even near the court nor would he EVER encourage such a thing. Here in the Western Region we play fair sir. I'm not in it for bagels, or slaughters, I'm in it for match practice and sharpening match toughness. I could care less about league, I care about tournaments MUCH more.
     
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  36. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Ooops my bad, my captain was there for the last game, thats it.

    O captain my captain, lol.

    :)
     
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  37. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Your post above:
    Seems to imply otherwise. Either way I wasn't accusing you of anything, I was just providing a warning.
     
    #37
  38. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I'd also advise breaking out the Monocle when responded to with insolence.
     
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  39. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Ugh. Bad choice of words. Look, if I kenw I was playing a 3.0 cry baby guy that gave me NO competition I would NOT have spent a friggen hour driving there, $25.00 for court fee, and then get in shouting match with the guy over stupid stuff.

    In between games the guy literally told me he tired of playing people like "me" and he just got knocked out of a tournament to someone like "me". What, because I've been playing for 35 yeas and know what I'm doing and can slaughter you handily?

    UGH. It was just a horrible situation through and through.

    Rant over.

    :(
     
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  40. royer

    royer Rookie

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    I love it! Too, too funny old chap! :)
     
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  41. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    A little Uncle Walt never hurt anyone. :)
     
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  42. royer

    royer Rookie

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    Just a quick couple o' things JoelDali.

    It is indeed disrespectful (perhaps disrespectful is too strong a word, but ...) to break out a cell phone or blackberry or whatever during a competitive (i.e. league/tournament) match. Not only is it really not cool to do so, I believe that it is indeed against the rules.

    If you were on call, you should have made your opponent aware of that fact before the match began. That would have alleviated the conflict altogether.

    Put yourself in your opponent's shoes. You're getting your butt kicked and your opponent is playing around with his blackberry during changeovers. (I know you weren't "playing around," but your opponent didn't know that). It wouldn't bother you that your opponent was not only killing you, but was engaged in some other activity during the match? It doesn't simply hint, but rather screams that "this is such a cakewalk, I don't even need to think about it."

    You also adamantly state that you have not and were not tanking games, but there are numerous (NUMEROUS!) references to doing just that in your many posts.

    Lastly, I don't mean to come off as a jerk, but your posts drip with arrogance. More than being truly bothered about playing someone so weak, you seem to revel in it. The Federer-like forehand that left you and your captain "breathless;" please! So you hit a great shot against a shoddy player, so what?

    I know I'm liable to get pounded for being so frank here, but after so many of your seemingly contradictory posts I just had to throw in my two cents.

    It's nothing personal and I mean no disrepect to you. It's just an observation.
     
    #42
  43. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Lol. I'm so over it, and yes, I sounded like a basturd there. My apologies for several gaffes on this thread on my part. Indeed, tanking games was not the right word.

    For what its worth, I only glanced at my bb, I wasn't furously typing on it. I glanced at it for literally 3 seconds - no messages --- good --- back in bag you go. THATS IT.

    On every change-over he would actively instigate negative conversations to me about how hes trying really hard not to hate me, why am I playing in this league, what am I doing here, etc etc etc. I kept being a gentleman, saying I've been playing quite alot lately and playing well. Which I have.

    For him to come at me like he did and then run after to his captain was pathetic.

    And yeah, I did hit an awesome Federesque one hander passing shot and loved it... lol. Regardless of who you hit a winner against, its a beautiful thing when you connect. Winners agaisnt a 2.0 feel just as good against a 5.0. Kapeesh.
     
    #43
  44. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    You make a very good point. I would rather play a someone who is giving a full effort rather than someone who is going through the motions. In the latter situation it can be almost insulting to you opponent to let them win points or games. I play singles socially with a couple of guys that I know are better than me right now but I expect them to play full out and they do. If they didn't I wouldn't play them.

    A tennis friend told me of a mixed doubles match he and his wife were playing. They are both decent 4.0 players and the guy they were playing apparently was much better than his opponents and his partner. My friend said he was hitting shots between his legs and kibitzing with spectators during play and during changeovers. My friend and his wife were losing badly and were not having any fun since this guy wasn't even trying. The clincher came when he was serving. On one serve he turned his back to them and hit a serve over his shoulder. That was it for them. They politely said they were retiring from the match and left.
     
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  45. royer

    royer Rookie

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    I can certainly see your frustration there. Perhaps I failed to mention that, yes, it does appear that he was being a bit of a whiner, and that's definitely not cool.

    Point well taken. You are correct. I kapeesh :)!

    Good luck with your game JoelDali. Sounds like you're well on your way to the 4.5's.
     
    #45
  46. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    Was just reading up in some of the threads I have posted in and just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. Hilarious...
    If I were in your situation, I would have just shouted out, "HEY!!! YOUR Lesson isn't over yet!!! GET BACK HERE!!!!" :mrgreen:
    What a sore loser.
     
    #46
  47. buckfastlover

    buckfastlover New User

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    i had this exact problem in all the tournaments and leagues i played this summer. i lost no more than 4 games in any match and that was down to a mixture of lack of concentration and letting people have games. i hate it. i always feel so bad i give people games and then end up losing concentration. i'd love just to play my game but i just feel too bad beating people so easily cos it's obvious one or other of us is in the wrong category. worse, i played a match once at the start of my competitive career about 4 years ago and the woman i was playing walked off to get the ref to say i was too good and it wasn't fair (total gamesmanship as she had previously won higher tournaments and was totally sandbagging) and i've been paranoid since.
     
    #47
  48. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Hmmmmmm...
     
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  49. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    In a team competition. I'll go for the 6-0 set. Never know how many games will be needed for the overall win.

    In social comp, i'll toy around with drops and lobs and make my opposition run.

    I've had the last happen to myself against a 5.5. Damn i was working hard for no result the final two games. :|
     
    #49
  50. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    so true always elevate my game to better players
     
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