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-   -   Sportsmanship example, who is right? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=457504)

ark_28 03-13-2013 10:27 AM

Sportsmanship example, who is right?
 
I played a doubles league match two nights ago! My partner and I had lost to the same pair last month 7-6 7-6 they are decent! My partner is probably the best shot maker of the 4 of us very powerful serve huge forehand but his fitness is terrible it cost us the match last time!

This time we won the first set 6-3 2nd set we went down an early break he told me 2-0 down in set 2 he was tiring :/

My gut instinct is always to fight for every point but I felt 2-0 down against two decent servers it was too big a risk to fight for that set lose it say 7-6 and basically ruin any chances in a 3rd!

So I deliberately made loads of errors when I could after one or two shots to prevent any rallies or them getting confidence from hitting winners, they won set 2 6-0

We got lucky start of set 3 they played a shocking game we broke from here I put everything into holding my serve and making sure I did a solid job atnnet so he held I made no effort to break them again we won that set 6-4.and the match 6-3 0-6 6-4

I know one of the opponents well he implied the way I played that 2nd set and making blatant errors was not in the sprit of the game and I should have been trying to win, my theory is that what I did gave us the better chance to win.

Who is right do you guys think?

tennismonkey 03-13-2013 10:32 AM

complaining about tanking or throwing the second set away is like your opponent complaining that you are hitting sissy slice shots or moonballs or that you are pushing.

he has every right to complain and have his opinions about your team's strategy.

you have every right to be happy with your smart strategy and tactics and the W.

but you also have to accept that some people will think less of you.

you get the W but you don't necessarily get the respect. they are separate things.

blakesq 03-13-2013 10:43 AM

getting "respect" from a sore loser is not something I strive for, I much rather would have the W.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennismonkey (Post 7270659)
complaining about tanking or throwing the second set away is like your opponent complaining that you are hitting sissy slice shots or moonballs or that you are pushing.

he has every right to complain and have his opinions about your team's strategy.

you have every right to be happy with your smart strategy and tactics and the W.

but you also have to accept that some people will think less of you.

you get the W but you don't necessarily get the respect. they are separate things.


spot 03-13-2013 10:45 AM

I think its bad strategy to tank a set just because you got down a break in rec tennis. But no... l do not think it is bad sportsmanship to drop points on purpose.

Chivo 03-13-2013 10:47 AM

You're only down a break and you tank an entire set away.. I've been down 0-5 and came back to win 7-5,6-3.

cknobman 03-13-2013 10:47 AM

I'd say you rolled the dice and got lucky. Your plan could have royally backfired just as easily as it payed off.

I also think that throwing a set after only being a single break down is a bit premature.

Regardless of those points what you did has little to do with sportsmanship, in my opinion, and more to do with tactics.

ark_28 03-13-2013 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chivo (Post 7270691)
You're only down a break and you tank an entire set away.. I've been down 0-5 and came back to win 7-5,6-3.

That's the thing though it was a dilemma I always want to fight but if my partner is tiring and not able to take a long rally in the 2nd set tanking seemed an option I guess it was high risk!

ark_28 03-13-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cknobman (Post 7270692)
I'd say you rolled the dice and got lucky. Your plan could have royally backfired just as easily as it payed off.

I also think that throwing a set after only being a single break down is a bit premature.

Regardless of those points what you did has little to do with sportsmanship, in my opinion, and more to do with tactics.

Fair point mate it was risky I also didn't see it as and sportsmanship though.

@spot fair point mate

Jpin76 03-13-2013 10:56 AM

Losers always complain. don't worry about it......

gmatheis 03-13-2013 10:57 AM

The OP didn't ask if what he did was a smart strategy to win the match , he asked if it was bad sportsmanship.

Since your plan was to save energy for the final set you were doing what you thought would give you the best chance to win the match. How is that bad sportsmanship?

That's almost like saying it is bad sportsmanship to lob your opponents when they are both at the net.

As long as you are trying to win the match , not trying to injure anyone in doing it I'd say it's just fine.

Your opponent seems like a bad loser to me.

As for the question of whether or not it was a smart way to do things ... well you won. nuf said :)

Douggo 03-13-2013 11:01 AM

Having no knowledge of your partner's fitness issues, I can see how your opponents might not like it, especially if it's USTA and they might think you have sandbagging motives.
That doesn't mean I think it's unsportsmanlike, but I can see how your opponents might think so.

Mike Y 03-13-2013 11:09 AM

I believe Jimmy Connors deliberately tanked the 4th set of a match at the US Open to give him a better chance of winning the 5th set, which he did. I know he is not the model of sportsmanship, but it is legitimate match strategy.

But instead of deliberately making errors, why don't you go for high-risk winners early in the point instead? If they go in, then you have the lead again and you can win outright in two. If they don't go in, then you have the same intended effect of losing the 2nd set without expending too much energy, and without any question of sportsmanship.

Tennis Truth 03-13-2013 11:36 AM

Does your partner weigh like 600 lbs? How can someone get tired in doubles after one set? You deal with fitness very often in singles, but I don't think I have dealt with the issue after one set of doubles.

In my opinion your strategy was poor. Throwing away a set after being down one break does not make sense. You must have broken them in set one to win 6-3, so you could have broken back.

Is your partner LESS tired in set three, than he was in set two?

How long are the rallies going?

If you are down in set two, a better strategy might be to play first strike tennis and go much more aggressive, rather than making deliberate errors. The points will end quickly, but you may find yourself back in the match.

schmke 03-13-2013 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Y (Post 7270743)
But instead of deliberately making errors, why don't you go for high-risk winners early in the point instead? If they go in, then you have the lead again and you can win outright in two. If they don't go in, then you have the same intended effect of losing the 2nd set without expending too much energy, and without any question of sportsmanship.

Because it isn't a black or white proposition. What if half of these high-risk shots go in? It could just prolong the set and they lose 6-4 having played 4 extra games sapping more of his partner's energy.

Having said that, I think going for winners probably could have been done for a game or two. If the strategy gets the break back, you are back on equal footing. If you stay a break down (or worse) after a couple games of this strategy, then perhaps time for a change if the partner really only has another set in him.

Brian11785 03-13-2013 11:44 AM

Meh. I think tanking only gets a bad name in pro tennis because it cheats spectators out of the match they were hoping/paying for. And of course, there are issues involving tanking to avoid being bumped up to a higher level in USTA or whatnot. But short of that, do what you have to do. I don't see a problem.

Is it unsportsmanlike to "tank" a return game that you are down 0-30 in?

Govnor 03-13-2013 11:53 AM

What level are you?? Because unless you are 4.5+, I just don't see how what you did was smart (sportsmanship aside). You're only 2 games down with the rest of the set to play...were you playing against players with monster serves??

Anyway....you won fair and square. Conserving energy as a part of game tactics is par for the course, for any sport, not just tennis.

ark_28 03-13-2013 12:23 PM

Without being unkind! My partner is a big guy let us say! We play in the UK but I have been told I am a strong 3.5 touching 4.0 definitely not 4.5.

Reading what you guys have said on hindsight there definitely were other options available I was working on this basis, despite seeming tired his serve was still popping the break was my fault I lost cocentration and missed some easy volleys!

But while they aren't massive servers there serves were affective I just felt to break was going to take a big effort but he had enough energy if I volleyed well to keep holding!

On that basis I felt no point wasting energy trying to get a break back they were serving well volleying well and keeping the ball on him was tough for me as they saw him tiring!

So strategy simply was get to the 3rd just keep holding and either sneak one break or get it done in a tiebreaker that they gifted us a break was a massive bonus that I didnt expect!

Apart from the one game we broke in first set we had not come close to breaking and that game had lots of deuces I just felt with him tiring we couldn't afford another game like that in set 2 from 2-0 down!

OrangePower 03-13-2013 12:45 PM

I don't think there is an issue of sportsmanship - at least not in rec play. If you think that's a good tactic, then you can do it.

[Note that in ATP, this is *not* allowed - a player can be fined for not trying hard enough. But that's because spectators paid good money to watch tennis.]

Whether not it is a smart tactic is a different question. Like others have said, I would rather have just gone for clean winners on every shot. Worst case you lose the point. But you have at least a chance of winning the point there and then, and one break is not a lot to be down at the 3.5/4.0 levels (generally more breaking of serve going on at those levels than at higher levels).

Just as an aside - I don't think I've ever seen fitness being an issue in a 3.5/4.0 dubs match, unless this guy had already played a lot of tennis on the same day, or is elderly.

gameboy 03-13-2013 12:57 PM

I would be just offended that I played a match with somebody this dumb... And lost.

beernutz 03-13-2013 01:00 PM

I think it was just a strategic option you chose, not a gamesmanship or sportsmanship issue at all. I did something similar in a singles match where we were playing using a 10 point tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. I beat the guy I was playing 6-2 in the first set but was broken twice in the first 3 games of the second. Rather than focus on trying to win the 2nd set from 0-3 down I pretty much conceded him the set but focused in the remaining games on moving him side to side as much as possible and didn't really go for many winners at all. I was thinking I just wanted to extend the match as long as possible as he was a big guy who perhaps had questionable fitness.

In the TB I kind of surprised him by changing tactics and again like I did in the first set starting hitting away and coming to the net a lot which I think threw him off his game and I consequently won the TB easily 10-4.

I think this is just one strategic option for playing a certain way. As long as your overall intent is still to win the match everything within the CODE is fair game. I'd compare it to the analogy in american football of letting an opponent score quickly if time is running down so you can get the ball back with enough time to make the last score of the game.


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