When a weapon is deadly are the reasponsibilities higher?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by possessionpt, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. possessionpt

    possessionpt New User

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    I played a 7.0 Mixed doubles match last night and our male opponent, a 4.0, had one of the hardest overheads (and serves) I have played against. In spite of this, my partner and I managed a win. In the middle of the match my partner was in the center of the duce service box and I hit a lob a little short and the male opponent tracked it down just beyond the service line and nailed my partner full force . A simple apology was given but I had to take umbrage and I calmly told him "when you hit that hard you are obligated to control it". They had a fit! I have heard this issue back and forth, and of course we have all hit someone and felt bad about it but, I believe that if you are wielding a weapon that can clearly injure you have an obligation to control it, or not use it. Like firing a weapon without taking aim. Am I wrong?:confused:
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why continue to play against people like that? What is more important to a club player - risk of serious injury or the opportunity to play against this one person?
     
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  3. bet

    bet Banned

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    Yes, you are wrong and frankly you are being a complete whiny jerk about it.

    It is YOUR obligation to protect YOURSELF out there. He is not responsible for you or your partner's incompetence. If his overhead is too hard for you, TURN AWAY. GET OUT OF THE COURT. Besides basic common sense, this is something I was taught and have taught beginners and juniors.

    What you're saying is absurd and I hope the people you play with don't commonly think such things!

    Even if it is the easiest overhead in the world (and if he took it behind the service line it's not), if you continue to "play" the point, you are fair game. If it's an easy sitter and you turn your back and he hits you in the back repeatedly, THEN you have a case for breach of manners. (it's STILL not illegal). You have absolutely not right to expect him to limit his shot options unless you have CONCEDED the point.

    He should not be allowed to 'use it"??!!! Your attitude is shocking.
     
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  4. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I think it is legitimate to hit it as hard as you want. Move off the court when you hit it. If it is an overhead, you have time to get off the court. I've been hit by Division 1 players and it was pretty darn hard. They all apologize but I don't even expect that. Move down to 3.0 if you think a 4.0 hits too hard.
     
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  5. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    I pretty much agree, though not quite as vehemently as you... it's never good to tag someone with an overhead, but there are mitigating circumstances.

    First, I consider it a breach of etiquette to cut off the angle on an overhead sitter. Basically, you're using on the good sportsmanship of the other player (his aversion to hitting you) to force him to hit a low percentage shot. Nobody is obligated to do that, so if someone charges you and cuts off the angle at the net, giving you no choice but to crank it at them... well then I guess you have to crank it at them.

    Now that said, it doesn't sound like this was the case. Mr Overhead was hitting that shot from the baseline, the point was live, and your partner was right to cut off the angle at the net. It's regrettable that he hit your partner, but it sounds fair and square (from both sides).

    Oh - hitting someone who has turned his back and walked off the court is a huge breach of etiquette the first time. That's like breaking someone's arm in Judo after they've tapped out. No need for repeat offenses here, that's bad behavior the very first time. .
     
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  6. bet

    bet Banned

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    Oh yes, I agree. IF there was actually time to walk off and they did that! I was thinking of situations, and it does happen, where an overhead goes up, both people at close range, usually it's not a complete sitter, and the player at the net doesn't concede right away. Then at the last second, he just turns away. Now that is smart, if you see, even at the last second it's game over, you should turn and take it in the back and also send the opponents a msg that you're not trying anythign stupid up there. BUT if this happens, and you turn at the last second, sometimes it's too late for the player to redirect his overhead or even see that you are doing a last second twirl. If you take it in the back this way, especially the first time, you suck it up! But now you've shown the guy that you aren't an idiot and if it happens again, you're not going to be trying to impose yourself into the point. So you start to wonder a bit if it happens again! A bit tough to explain, hope you get the gist of it.
     
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  7. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    Yes, you are wrong. Like mamma always said, "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen"
     
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  8. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    accidents happen. also it could be said that it's your fault for setting up your partner to get hit by lobbing it so sloppy to a person with such a weapon.
     
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  9. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    No, it's your obligation to not setup your opponents who have a good overhead.

    Just because someone hits the ball hard doesnt mean they have any more control over it then you do.

    Ive accidently hit women in mixed doubles, and they (PROPERLY!!!) turned around and started yelling at their male partners.

    So ya, you are wrong and it sounds kind of whiney. (i dont mean to make fun of you but that's how it sounds)
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    Sorry I never heard of that etiquette. I have faced a lot of hard hitters, some with control some without control. Even pros don't have pinpoint accuracy and they do hit other pros during matches with overheads. Simple apologies are given and that is the most that is expected. If you get a sitter short lob and you know the guy has a big overhead it is up to you to back up in a defensive position or turn and protect yourself. I have been nailed with an overhead right in the head even trying to protect myself. I never considered the person hitting it to be at fault or showed poor etiquette. Instead I was mad at my partner for setting me up. You should learn your lesson, do not lob unless you can place it deep. Nobody gets physically hurt by "killer" volley.


    I assuming this is a league match or tournament. In social tennis, it would be a completely different story.
     
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  11. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    These are the two answers that make the most sense to me. Did you communicate anything to your partner when you saw that you were hitting a short ball? Maybe give her time to get out of the way and/or back up?
     
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  12. Valdez737

    Valdez737 Rookie

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    if you was a 7.0 you woulde not be setting your partner up for a OH from a 4.0.
     
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  13. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    ^ 7.0 mixed doubles....means that someone was a 4.0 and their partner was a 3.0.

    as to the OP, what makes you think that 4.0 has complete control over that "weapon"?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
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  14. JHBKLYN

    JHBKLYN Rookie

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    I had the same situation last year, 7.0 mix dubs, I'm tracking down a short high lob in the middle of the left service line. I'm coming in a straight line and the only play I had was to hit down the line but hit down on it so it would bounce over their heads. Before I made my sprint, I notice the female was on the same side. By the time I ran up and hit the ball, I have no idea where the female is, I hit down on the ball but my momentum carried my shot over the service line and hit her in the leg. The second it hit her leg, everybody asked if she was okay.

    The only difference between your situation and mine was that the male player didn't tell me to control my overhead, instead, he said to his partner: "You have to move back on those." The female is a very good experience player and didn't seem to have hard feelings about it because she probably knew she could've prevented if she got out of the way.

    Not that you are wrong because you're trying to protect your partner, but it wasn't the right thing to say, you make it sound like the guy was intentionally trying to hit your partner or you're doing some gamesmanship. I'm curious what your partner thought about being hit. Who did she blame, your opponent, her or you?
     
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  15. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I agree with just about everyone here that you were wrong OP. There is no tennis etiquette that says big hitters need to tone down their shots or control them better imo.

    Your partner, seeing the short lob, should have backed up.
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    LOL. Reading comprehension FTW.
     
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  17. duketennisgal

    duketennisgal Rookie

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    I hate it when people apologize to me for hitting me. I always say that if I get hit it's either my fault for not getting my racket in front of me or my partner's fault for setting me up.

    That's all there is to it.
     
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  18. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I mostly agree that if someone is at net, hitting the ball (even a smash) at the net person is a legal, valid, and appropriate shot. However, in 7.0 mixed doubles, smashing at a woman, that may be a 3.0 player (when I am a solid 4.0 male player) just seems too aggressive. Of course accidents do happen, and when one apologizes, that should be the end of the discussion.
     
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  19. TennisND

    TennisND Rookie

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    I think the same. But if I play with mixed double, I would not hit very strong overhead or serve to the lady's side. It's just a courtasy.
     
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  20. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    For me, hitting away from the woman or the man for that matter should always be the way to go as a courtesy and etiquette only if the point is conceded. Otherwise, everything is fairplay. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean intentionally hitting your opponent if they don't concede the point. All I'm saying is if it necessitates to hit it at your opponent, it is acceptable as long as they haven't conceded the point. If it is a shot I can control though I always try to aim for the feet if that is the best shot I have.
     
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  21. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    In my opinion, it is your partner's responsibility when he sees a lob going short and should be able to determine that an overhead is coming, to move back and try to get away from the middle of the deuce service box. If he gets hit in the deuce service box, then it is his own fault cause he was not trying to get into a better defensive position.

    Most people do try to aim their overheads, but sometimes, they just don't go where you thought they were going; so, no it is not the overhead person's responsibility to make your partner move when he should have moved.

    And, this is from a girl's perspective.

    spokewench
     
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  22. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I think there are some details of the situation that are missing and it leads back to a thread started by CindySphinx a while back. None of us know the exact details of situation except of the people actually involved.

    If the guy hitting the overhead had other options in terms of where he could hit the overhead to win the point then I'd say he was in the wrong for taking aim at an opponent. With that being said, the person at the net does have an obligation/responsibility to defend himself/herself.

    Most 4.0 players have very good control over most of their shots when they have time to set up.
     
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  23. goober

    goober Legend

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    If the guy had that much time to set up, then you have enough time to position yourself in a defensive position. Whether the person has control over his shot or not is irrelevant. There are some 3.0-3.5 who can smash overheads hard. Do they somehow get a pass because they have less control on their shots? Often times the safest and best shot is right at the feet of your opponent. If you try angling one to the corner or sideline you could end up missing.

    Unless a person is intentionally trying to hit somebody I still don't see the problem.
     
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  24. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Why would your partner attempt to play out your opponent's overhead that is aimed directly at her? That sounds like she is asking to get nailed. A smart player would realize the point has been lost and get out of the way or at least get back out of harms way and hope for a defensive opportunity to keep the ball in play. Trying to take it head on is just stupid. If you can't anticipate what is about to happen then you are at the wrong level.

    Any 3.0 player that cannot handle aggressive shots from a 4.0 player has no business playing 7.0 mixed. Period. Thats why they have 6.0 division.

    Why is it proper to yell at your partner for hitting a bad shot? If that were the case than doubles would not be very fun for anyone.

    ---

    Its not good sportsmanship to target players intentionally but you have to realize that sometimes the ball will hit someone. You gotta be smart and know when you are at risk of getting nailed and avoid it. Don't expect your opponents to weaken their shots against you.
     
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  25. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    I have to laugh at this...it is so true. I tagged a guy twice last night very hard...guess what? I wasn't even aiming it at him.

    Lobs are fair game. When a guy is setting up for an overhead in front of me, I freaking turn away at the last second.
     
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  26. benasp

    benasp Semi-Pro

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    Well IMO a sport is supposed to be competitive so as long as you are playing by the rules everything is O.K. to win.

    And It doesn't hurt that much, not to cause serious injury like broken bone ...
     
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  27. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I got hit in the side of my head right behind my ear at Nationals when my partner hit a first serve. My ear was ringing for 5 minutes. I'd like you to take that hit and say it doesn't hurt. You could get hit in the eye, the throat, or even the junk and it could cause serious injury.
     
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  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I hit a guy in the junk once in high school tennis. It was a total accident because I was trying to hit it hard at his feet. Definitely felt bad about that one watching him in pain on the ground for 10 minutes.
     
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  29. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    You're right. The obvious and safest shot would be going for the feet of your opponent but the OP didn't share where his or her partner was hit by the overhead. From the tone, it didn't sound like his/her partner was hit on the feet.

    My issue is if the guy hitting the overhead intentionally set out to hit at the net person as hard as he could when the ball was a sitter. In my circles, when you rear back and crack an overhead all-out and directly at someone (at a greater than calf-high height) when you've got all kinds of time (meaning you can physically set up and wait on the ball) to hit into the other two-thirds of the court, you're just a bad sport.

    As for the partner who was hit, well it wasn't smart to stand there thinking he was going to hit into the open court. Best bet is to retreat to the baseline.

    Like I said, we don't know what exactly played out in the situation. From the OPs statement to his/her opponent that someone who hits that hard being obligated to practice control (over said power), well..that's not really true. But I do expect that someone playing at 4.0 when given a sitter would have enough control to hit into other two-thirds of the court effectively. And yes, I give 3.0-3.5's a pass in that case because I don't expect their technique, in general, to be developed enough hit hard and controlled a majority of the time
     
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  30. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, well, a top level 4.0 can tag a person pretty hard. It can hurt a lot, but hey, so can a volleyball spike to the face...it happens. Duck!

    But seriously, I won't tag a lady hard---yeah, yeah, I just won't do it, flame me, LOL! Ladies are softer and you CAN hurt them with a full-on proper ripping forehand, much less an overhead smash.
     
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  31. Lame_Backhand

    Lame_Backhand New User

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    As many others have pointed out, you are incorrect. It is your obligation to warn your partner when you hit a "dying duck" that is going to be crushed. As long as he apologized to your partner, then that should be the end of the issue.
     
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  32. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    I agree with your opponents, I would be pretty upset if someone yelled at me for pegging them when they have plenty of time to get out of the way. If I'm at the net and the other guy gets an overhead I either make a dash for the baseline or just get off the court because theres not gonna be anything I can do at the net. Now, groudstrokes and volleys are another story because you have much more control than on an overhead and your opponent doesnt have the time to get out of the way.
     
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  33. benasp

    benasp Semi-Pro

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    And you are still here to comment so it wasn't that bad! I'm not even sure you can get a commotion from a tennis ball.
     
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  34. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I don't know what a 'commotion' is, do you mean concussion?

    I would bet if you got hit in the brain stem it could probably kill you. Sure in most places on your body it will just sting alot but it can definitely injure seriously. If it hit me square in the ear maybe I woulda had some hearing loss, who knows.
     
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  35. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    You should be playing badminton instead of tennis if you're worried about your partner getting hurt.

    Or maybe ping pong. Or racquet ball. Or squash. Tennis is the football of racquet sports (well except for Real Tennis I guess).
     
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  36. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Hard to believe. In my whole life, I have never heard of a woman trying to blame a man for something.
     
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  37. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Agreed! Women are Softer. After all, they are ONLY designed to handle the pains of childbirth. That's nothing to what we men have to endure, watching in 720p our team losing. Now that's painful but they just don't understand. What is 24 hours of pain compared to watching your team lose, the beer getting warm, the nachos getting stale.
     
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  38. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I played racquetball only a few times and got beamed in the back by the ball and that stung terribly. Plus I almost got hit in the face with my friend's racquet. I think being in close confinement like that makes it more dangerous than tennis.
     
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  39. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Get whacked back-in-the-day with those hard squash balls, that'll leave a mark. Or in the head with a wooden paddleball racquet. Its all good
     
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  40. jules2

    jules2 New User

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    Tennis is a sport and it's best when it's competitive. Nothing wrong with getting a ball mark on my arm or a graze on your knee now and again. It reminds me I'm a (crap) sportsman when I'm sat behind my desk at work.
     
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  41. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    Stinging isn't the same as the damage a tennis ball at 120 MPH could do if it hit you in the throat or undercarriage...

    The weight of the ball and the speed involved makes it generally more dangerous. Also, less speed is taken off the ball because it's not slamming into a wall.
     
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  42. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Just tell your partner to stay at the baseline.

    or better yet, as soon as you realize you've hit a poor lob,
    run in front of your doubles partner and then when the
    4.0 opponent blasts the overhead at her, catch the ball
    with your hand and say, "that all you got?". If you don't
    have fast enough reflexes, then stick out your chest and
    let it thump you in the chest. Make sure you have your
    back to your opponent when you nurse your wounds.
     
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  43. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    You're 90% wrong, 10% right. Here's why; you're going to get hit by the ball in tennis, esp doubles. That's just how it is. If you think there is some guantee against this, you're wrong. I enjoy the game anyway, can you?

    The opponents should never try to hit you. If you turn your back, then you're safer. Of course, by turning your back, you can't return the shot. So you have to decide what you want to do. Should you face the net, in an effort to return the shot, while at the same time feel that the opponent is obligated to hit away from you? No, you can't have it both ways, not conceeding the point but still being safe from getting hit.

    So they hit your partner? Sounds like it was an accident, they said "Sorry". If I was your partner, I'd most likely blame you. I hate it when my dubs partner hits a short lob and I get blasted. I have a theory that often in their own mind they blame me for losing the point. They probably think, "I got the ball over the net, but he didn't cover his side." They dont' realize that the partner has no chance when getting smashed at from point blank range. Don't hit to the net man, and don't hit short lobs. Just follow those two rules and this problem won't come up much in your doubles matches.
     
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  44. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Btw, hitting your opponent may work well at lower levels. 4.0 and above that ball will come back into play.
     
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  45. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    I suppose all the professionals we see on replays getting aimed at are babies, too, e.g. Hewitt and McEnroe, Santoro. Let's all try to hit each other with the ball whenever we get a chance. There's no rule that prohibits it. How long do you think a tennis match would last if players intentionally took aim at their opponents? It would end up in the parking lot. Mistakes happen but there is no excuse for recklessly hitting a ball at or near an opponent.

    Tennis is not football, hockey or mixed martial arts. An opponent who does more than moderately strike another player or comes close to striking another player should be mortified that he could have done something to cause the other player to take offense.
     
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  46. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Right but I also think because of that, those players have a general knack for putting the ball somewhere knowing that it wont come back (not to either player).

    At 3.5 not everyone has that option, sometimes if you know it's not coming back if you aim it toward the person, then there is nothing wrong with that.

    I think "trying to hit them on purpose" is wrong, but hitting it in their general area is not a big deal.

    I dont think you have any responsibility to make sure the ball doesnt hit someone, and you shouldnt even have to "be careful" not to hit it near them. Your opponent has a bigger responsibiilty to not let their partner get whacked in the first place.

    If someone (even a woman) was THAT afraid of getting hit, or you are worried that it's that harmful then they better not play the net then. Stay at the baseline, it's much safer back there.

    And as far as the pro's, I was at the 1998 RCA Championship Finals between Agassi, and my hero at the time Alex Corretja.

    One one point Corretja came to the net and Agassi who was well behind the baseline took aim and fired it dead at him. The ball hit him in the chest and he got the wind knocked out of him and he actually fell over.

    Agassi came over and made sure he was okay, and after a few minutes he was. (Corretja went on to win in 3 sets)

    Is Agassi wrong? No he is not, they are playing tennis, he's a pro but even he's trying to just put the ball somewhere to make sure it's not coming back. He's not trying to injure anyone and he probably has no motive for hitting him, but it's just part of the match.

    If there is anything bad to say about the OP's position, it's just the weirdness about some of these mixed doubles leagues in general.

    You can have a real 3.0 player on the same court with someone who is a sandbagging 4.5 player and the 3.0 player at the net is going to have a hard time dealing with even some of the simple shots, much less trying not to get hit.

    Yet it's not a social match or a mixer or anything, it's an actual league where people are trying to win so they can get the covented mixed doubles pen or water bottle or liquid soap dispenser (might as well be functional).
     
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  47. SirBlend12

    SirBlend12 Semi-Pro

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    If you have a deadly weapon, it is your responsibility to use it to win.

    Might wanna get a permit, too:)
     
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  48. taz23

    taz23 New User

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    I disagree with the op regarding his opinion that the player who hit the overhead shouldn't have done it. I understand that it can hurt, i've been pegged more than enough times, and i even got a black eye once. At the same time when i hit an overhead my only goal is to not see it come back, if it means it might hit someone then I'll say sorry if it does.

    I'm usually a singles player but i've been playing alot of doubles lately. I have noticed a few things that change between the levels. People at the 3.0-4.0 level tend to be much nicer when it comes to doubles. I've played with some of the 5.0 and if they noticed that someone is sluggish at the net, they will test him over and over with groundstrokes/volleys right at him or her.

    I also don't really see the difference between an overhead that might hit someone, and a serve that is intentionally hit at the body. Its just smart strategy
     
    #48
  49. HowardH

    HowardH New User

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    92
    I've been hit, twice in in the head in the same match. It stings and I was embarrassed because I was a weak net player and the other team realized that.
    They didn't smash overheads at me but they knew if they hit close fast volleys at me I couldn't respond fast enough. I've improved a little since then.
    I talked to a guy once that lost all of his front teeth to a hard smash.

    Last month I was playing doubles and one of the opposing players had a very hard and consistent overhead smash from the baseline. He's far enough away that I can put my racquet over my face to protect myself and I even won a couple of points doing just that but if it's a close overhead and I see it coming then I HAVE to move back or get out of the way. There is not enough time to react try and play the point. I think many times we just stick our racquet out there and hope we get lucky on the return, and even though most players won't intentionaly try and direct overheads at you, it's going to happen.

    To me, it's more court etiquette to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let opponent have court for the big overhead. Stay there in harm's way and hope for a lucky return and you should get hit, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
    #49
  50. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    Its not about etiquette but is about common sense. Whenever I set up for an overhead, the strong 3.5 and 4.0s players I have played against will usually turn around completely and concede the point if they are in harms way. Its the 3.0ish players that attempt to play off my overhead because they think they have a chance and probably have not felt the effects of getting nailed by a hard hit shot. I usually aim it into open space anyways, so they are lucky I'm not the type to punish them for being where they are.
     
    #50

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