Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   The required but insincere apology (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=470827)

storypeddler 07-20-2013 09:02 AM

The required but insincere apology
 
In light of several recent threads on here that deal with proper and improper tennis etiquette, I thought I would pose my own question. I'll say right up front that I have my own opinion about this one, and am not likely to change it based on what others say. I simply am interested in hearing how other players feel about this.

I hit a pretty flat ball---serves, forehands, backhands, all of them. They don't clear the net by much and they don't come up much at all off the bounce. I have always played this way; it is my own (un)natural style. Because I hit so many shots with so little margin foe error, I inevitably hit the tape a good deal---far more often than most anyone else I ever play, maybe by a ratio of 5-1 or even more. That being the case, I get what appears to be an inordinate number of net-cord balls, a good many of which simply flip up off the top of the net and drop over with little playability. People who play with me a lot are used to it and may laugh or grimace, but usually don't say anything. My question is regarding whether I should feel obligated to apologize or make the "obligatory" hand raise (implying "sorry, lucky shot") whenever this happens? Honestly, I routinely get 3-4 of these every match and have had as many as a half dozen in a set. It happens because all my shots are near the net. Some hit the tape and fall back, some hit it and fall over. Yet, if you don't apologize for what your opponent deems a lucky shot, you are considered unsportsmanlike.

My opponents virtually never watch one of my flat balls strike the net, fall back on my side, and apologize to me for THEIR "lucky" point. But if I have one slide over, they look at me like I should feel embarrassed for it and feign an apology. Well, even if I said it, clearly I am NOT sorry for winning the point and they would not believe me if I said I was. I don't boast when it happens. I just shrug, turn around, and walk back to begin the next point. I win some of those and I lose some. But I have actually had opponents say something aloud like, "You're going to take that point?" Seriously? If he went for a one-in-a-thousand backhand winner down the line and the ball clipped the outer edge of the sideline, wouldn't he take the point? Would he apologize for making the shot he was attempting? I hit flat balls, and I do so intentionally; it's my style of play and always has been. I recognize my margin of error is smaller, and I live with the upside and the downside of that. Sort of like playing roulette where the odds are longer, but the payoff is greater. So why should I pretend to apologize for something I was, in essence, trying to do? Would you consider it unsportsmanlike NOT to apologize in this situation?

sam_p 07-20-2013 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603269)
In light of several recent threads on here that deal with proper and improper tennis etiquette, I thought I would pose my own question. I'll say right up front that I have my own opinion about this one, and am not likely to change it based on what others say. I simply am interested in hearing how other players feel about this.

I hit a pretty flat ball---serves, forehands, backhands, all of them. They don't clear the net by much and they don't come up much at all off the bounce. I have always played this way; it is my own (un)natural style. Because I hit so many shots with so little margin foe error, I inevitably hit the tape a good deal---far more often than most anyone else I ever play, maybe by a ratio of 5-1 or even more. That being the case, I get what appears to be an inordinate number of net-cord balls, a good many of which simply flip up off the top of the net and drop over with little playability. People who play with me a lot are used to it and may laugh or grimace, but usually don't say anything. My question is regarding whether I should feel obligated to apologize or make the "obligatory" hand raise (implying "sorry, lucky shot") whenever this happens? Honestly, I routinely get 3-4 of these every match and have had as many as a half dozen in a set. It happens because all my shots are near the net. Some hit the tape and fall back, some hit it and fall over. Yet, if you don't apologize for what your opponent deems a lucky shot, you are considered unsportsmanlike.

My opponents virtually never watch one of my flat balls strike the net, fall back on my side, and apologize to me for THEIR "lucky" point. But if I have one slide over, they look at me like I should feel embarrassed for it and feign an apology. Well, even if I said it, clearly I am NOT sorry for winning the point and they would not believe me if I said I was. I don't boast when it happens. I just shrug, turn around, and walk back to begin the next point. I win some of those and I lose some. But I have actually had opponents say something aloud like, "You're going to take that point?" Seriously? If he went for a one-in-a-thousand backhand winner down the line and the ball clipped the outer edge of the sideline, wouldn't he take the point? Would he apologize for making the shot he was attempting? I hit flat balls, and I do so intentionally; it's my style of play and always has been. I recognize my margin of error is smaller, and I live with the upside and the downside of that. Sort of like playing roulette where the odds are longer, but the payoff is greater. So why should I pretend to apologize for something I was, in essence, trying to do? Would you consider it unsportsmanlike NOT to apologize in this situation?

Personally I think it is fine not to apologize and even to celebrate your luck if it is on an important point in a competitive match. In a social match I'll usually make a smartass comment if I hit one like "I would apologize but I'm not really sorry" or if one is hit against me I'll say something like "Are you really going to take that point?" - all in good fun and with a laugh though.

A side and slightly related question - what do people think about switching to college rules for lets during serves? In college and WTT they play service lets, might be a fun change in USTA too.

gmatheis 07-20-2013 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603269)
In light of several recent threads on here that deal with proper and improper tennis etiquette, I thought I would pose my own question. I'll say right up front that I have my own opinion about this one, and am not likely to change it based on what others say. I simply am interested in hearing how other players feel about this.

I hit a pretty flat ball---serves, forehands, backhands, all of them. They don't clear the net by much and they don't come up much at all off the bounce. I have always played this way; it is my own (un)natural style. Because I hit so many shots with so little margin foe error, I inevitably hit the tape a good deal---far more often than most anyone else I ever play, maybe by a ratio of 5-1 or even more. That being the case, I get what appears to be an inordinate number of net-cord balls, a good many of which simply flip up off the top of the net and drop over with little playability. People who play with me a lot are used to it and may laugh or grimace, but usually don't say anything. My question is regarding whether I should feel obligated to apologize or make the "obligatory" hand raise (implying "sorry, lucky shot") whenever this happens? Honestly, I routinely get 3-4 of these every match and have had as many as a half dozen in a set. It happens because all my shots are near the net. Some hit the tape and fall back, some hit it and fall over. Yet, if you don't apologize for what your opponent deems a lucky shot, you are considered unsportsmanlike.

My opponents virtually never watch one of my flat balls strike the net, fall back on my side, and apologize to me for THEIR "lucky" point. But if I have one slide over, they look at me like I should feel embarrassed for it and feign an apology. Well, even if I said it, clearly I am NOT sorry for winning the point and they would not believe me if I said I was. I don't boast when it happens. I just shrug, turn around, and walk back to begin the next point. I win some of those and I lose some. But I have actually had opponents say something aloud like, "You're going to take that point?" Seriously? If he went for a one-in-a-thousand backhand winner down the line and the ball clipped the outer edge of the sideline, wouldn't he take the point? Would he apologize for making the shot he was attempting? I hit flat balls, and I do so intentionally; it's my style of play and always has been. I recognize my margin of error is smaller, and I live with the upside and the downside of that. Sort of like playing roulette where the odds are longer, but the payoff is greater. So why should I pretend to apologize for something I was, in essence, trying to do? Would you consider it unsportsmanlike NOT to apologize in this situation?

You apologize because as close to the net as you like to hit your shots, you aren't actually trying to "hit" the net. So hitting the net is a completely unintentional result that often gives the opponent no chance to stay in the point, not because of your skill but because of pure luck.

Same thing with hitting your frame on a volley and getting a unintended drop shot because of it.

A common comment with the people that I play when something like this happens is person A says "Sorry". Person B asks "How Sorry?". Person A replies "Well , not quite sorry enough to give you the point, but almost". After a laugh or two we play on.

newpball 07-20-2013 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603269)
IMy question is regarding whether I should feel obligated to apologize or make the "obligatory" hand raise (implying "sorry, lucky shot") whenever this happens?

What I think you should do:
I think you should do what you think is the right thing whatever that is. It does not bother me at all if my opponent does or does not do it.

What I (usually) do:
Utter or signal something indicating a sorry.

What I think of people wanting to dictate what everybody should do
They should take a hike!

:)

newpball 07-20-2013 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sam_p (Post 7603346)
A side and slightly related question - what do people think about switching to college rules for lets during serves? In college and WTT they play service lets, might be a fun change in USTA too.

I think they should and I expect eventually they will.

Cindysphinx 07-20-2013 10:20 AM

The hand wave or whatever folks do does not not translate as, "Oh, do forgive me. I'm so sorry."

It translates as, "You have my sympathies that you just lost a point through no fault of your own or anything spectacular that I could have hoped to do. Good luck with that."

I think it's a nice little tradition, but I don't much care if my opponent doesn't abide. I am usually not even looking at them. I am staring at the net or the ball or my partner or my shoes or my racket . . .

sam_p 07-20-2013 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newpball (Post 7603406)
I think they should and I expect eventually they will.

I agree. One of the flavors of BS artist in USTA is the caller of the phantom let on a great serve. You rarely run into it I find, but it does happen occasionally and it can be hard to tell if is sincere or insincere. This rule change would dispense with that. I believe this is the reason it was removed in college? Since college players are apparently notorious for dodgy calls in matches.

josofo 07-20-2013 10:50 AM

most of the people i have played in my 8-9 years of playing competitive tennis don't apologize on net courts.


so i don't think op is at all that unique in that regard.

dcdoorknob 07-20-2013 10:54 AM

Couldn't care less if an opponent raises a hand to me after a net-cord or mishit.

I raise my own hand sometimes out of habit, but don't give any thought to it. Other times I"ll make eye contact and just sort of shrug, like 'eh what are you gonna do, part of the game' kind of message.

RetroSpin 07-20-2013 10:55 AM

Wow, having to raise your hand in mock apology three or four times a match must be agonizing.

And the comment about not taking the point, I believe it's called sarcasm.

storypeddler 07-20-2013 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetroSpin (Post 7603495)
Wow, having to raise your hand in mock apology three or four times a match must be agonizing.

And the comment about not taking the point, I believe it's called sarcasm.

LOL. No, not agonizing exactly. But even if I said it out of some feeling of obligation, I wouldn't mean it, my opponent would know I didn't mean it, I would know he knew I didn't mean it...so why play the silly game of pretending to be sorry?

And no, I've played a couple guys over the years who honestly felt like a player who won a point like that should not take it, but play it over.

darkhorse 07-20-2013 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603609)
LOL. No, not agonizing exactly. But even if I said it out of some feeling of obligation, I wouldn't mean it, my opponent would know I didn't mean it, I would know he knew I didn't mean it...so why play the silly game of pretending to be sorry?

And no, I've played a couple guys over the years who honestly felt like a player who won a point like that should not take it, but play it over.

Well, that's just ridiculous, tennis involves a lot of lucky bounces here and there during a match, that's just part of it.

That being said, I always put my hand up to "apologize" when I hit a netcord during a rally, but it's mostly out of habit. I don't mean it, and sometimes an opponent will jokingly tell me "you're not sorry" or something like that. If my opponent doesn't do the hand gesture I don't get upset, I'm a bit of a traditionalist but that's one thing which never bothers me. If my opponent gets a lucky netcord, I'm usually too busy giving the netcord or the ball the death stare t notice what my opponent does anyway.

kylebarendrick 07-20-2013 12:30 PM

I don't see any reason to give my opponent something that might motivate them. So I raise my hand, mouth 'sorry' and get ready for the next point. I don't care if they do the same or not.

Silent 07-20-2013 02:08 PM

Well, the thing with etquette is that it's not always easy or convenient, that's why it's called etiquette.

I think Cindysphinx summed up my feelings about this. It's a "gentleman's game" and that's part of it, but personally, I try not to be affected by how my opponent acts. I'd probably get a little aggravated (inside) if my opponent acted as if he was the best in the world because he's doing that. Also, as kylebarendrick said, it's generally a bad idea to give your opponent reasons to want to beat you on a personal level, so there's another reason to observe etiquette on this one.

The truth is if the nets were us-open tight, more balls would fall on your side than not, so it is definitely luck. You're not trying to do this, it simply happens often because of your style of play. I think most players would avoid clipping the net if they could help it, because then the ball becomes unpredictable.

All in all, I'm a bit old school in the sense that I try to act as if I've been there before. Sometimes emotions can take over, but I don't force my celebrations. I don't like gamesmanship all that much.

As for replaying points won luckily ? What a load of BS. If the point was won within the rules, then so be it, end of story. I mean really, these people should give up sport altogether if they feel those points should be replayed.

OrangePower 07-20-2013 06:17 PM

I do raise my racquet or hand when I hit the net cord... not really an apology per se, but more of an acknowledgement that I was a little lucky there. Same thing if I frame a ball for a winner.

It's really not a big deal but I guess it shows a bit of humbleness and recognition that even though tennis is a game of skill, there is still an element of luck involved.

The contrast is the guy that will celebrate winning a point on a lucky net cord as if he just put a passing shot past Federer on Center Court. That just seems tacky to me but whatever.

chatt_town 07-20-2013 06:38 PM

I think the only time to apologize is when I mean it. Like if you step into an overhead that I was trying to hit through the middle and you move to the middle thinking I was coming behind you...or a stab a volley that hits you in the chest, but I'll never say sorry for a let cord. I always say something like "they'll even out in the end" and they normally do. I had a guy hit one my first time playing 4.0 in a tourney in the finals on match point. It actually was going wide down the line and hit the tape and rolled back into the court. You think that guy was sorry after 2 1/2 hours of running back and forth? I say only do it when you are sincere. I mean I don't give the Leyton Hewitt "come onnnnn" or do the lawn mower but I'm not about to apologize for winning a point.lol


Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603269)
In light of several recent threads on here that deal with proper and improper tennis etiquette, I thought I would pose my own question. I'll say right up front that I have my own opinion about this one, and am not likely to change it based on what others say. I simply am interested in hearing how other players feel about this.

I hit a pretty flat ball---serves, forehands, backhands, all of them. They don't clear the net by much and they don't come up much at all off the bounce. I have always played this way; it is my own (un)natural style. Because I hit so many shots with so little margin foe error, I inevitably hit the tape a good deal---far more often than most anyone else I ever play, maybe by a ratio of 5-1 or even more. That being the case, I get what appears to be an inordinate number of net-cord balls, a good many of which simply flip up off the top of the net and drop over with little playability. People who play with me a lot are used to it and may laugh or grimace, but usually don't say anything. My question is regarding whether I should feel obligated to apologize or make the "obligatory" hand raise (implying "sorry, lucky shot") whenever this happens? Honestly, I routinely get 3-4 of these every match and have had as many as a half dozen in a set. It happens because all my shots are near the net. Some hit the tape and fall back, some hit it and fall over. Yet, if you don't apologize for what your opponent deems a lucky shot, you are considered unsportsmanlike.

My opponents virtually never watch one of my flat balls strike the net, fall back on my side, and apologize to me for THEIR "lucky" point. But if I have one slide over, they look at me like I should feel embarrassed for it and feign an apology. Well, even if I said it, clearly I am NOT sorry for winning the point and they would not believe me if I said I was. I don't boast when it happens. I just shrug, turn around, and walk back to begin the next point. I win some of those and I lose some. But I have actually had opponents say something aloud like, "You're going to take that point?" Seriously? If he went for a one-in-a-thousand backhand winner down the line and the ball clipped the outer edge of the sideline, wouldn't he take the point? Would he apologize for making the shot he was attempting? I hit flat balls, and I do so intentionally; it's my style of play and always has been. I recognize my margin of error is smaller, and I live with the upside and the downside of that. Sort of like playing roulette where the odds are longer, but the payoff is greater. So why should I pretend to apologize for something I was, in essence, trying to do? Would you consider it unsportsmanlike NOT to apologize in this situation?


chatt_town 07-20-2013 06:55 PM

That is exactly my point. I think that's a good fair way to look at it. I think you are being a good sport if you don't give the pump fist behind it to make it worse than it is. I think that is good enough.


Quote:

Originally Posted by storypeddler (Post 7603609)
LOL. No, not agonizing exactly. But even if I said it out of some feeling of obligation, I wouldn't mean it, my opponent would know I didn't mean it, I would know he knew I didn't mean it...so why play the silly game of pretending to be sorry?

And no, I've played a couple guys over the years who honestly felt like a player who won a point like that should not take it, but play it over.


NLBwell 07-20-2013 07:49 PM

I don't say "sorry." I say "I got a lucky shot," or "that was lucky." This is the truth, sometimes they go over, sometimes not.

mikeler 07-21-2013 12:45 AM

You can do the apology followed by a fist pump like Bartoli did at Wimbledon this year.

spot 07-21-2013 07:57 AM

I will do it it if happens on a huge point or after a great rally. I think that is a nice balance where you aren't doing it all the time but it can acknowledge when some luck plays a part in a highly leveraged situation.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:12 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse