Originally Posted by TiberiusGracchus
If I'm playing against someone that is generous with the line calls, I'll return the generosity. By that I mean I'll hit a generous amount of serves/ground strokes/volleys as close to the lines as possible because hey, my opponent has widened the margins for me!
But seriously, if someone is letting a few go in my favor that were most likely out, I'll do the same with them.
If someone is calling my balls out that are in, I'm not so quick to think they are cheating me. I've played against more than one player that is somewhat aloof when it comes to watching lines or just doesn't pay attention well.
If they are cheating though, I remember Jim Courier had a funny story about that. He told a story about some little brat he was playing when he was a junior that was calling all sorts of good balls out...really trying to cheat a win out. Well, the next time the kid served into the middle of the box, Courier called it out. When the kid threw a fit, Jim said, "We can do this all day." I guess the kid straightened up!
Got to expect that you'll disagree with at least a couple line calls from opponents through the course of any set. Since the bouncing of the ball on the court is an event that's too fast for the human eye to actually see, we can only do our best reckoning and we definitely won't "guess-timate" every shot exactly the same. Let a couple of close calls go.
If you decide to call your opponent a cheater, then the rest of the match will be much less pleasant (at best), so we're not always in such a hurry to go that route, but there is a graceful way to keep things civilized. Once you're into that realm where you're sure you're getting hooked, but you want to keep playing, try this:
Stop play, stay cool, and go to the net for a quick chat. Offer to your opponent that you're seeing many of your shots land differently than they are and ask them what they want to do about it. That way, you haven't called them out and you've offered them the option to cut the crap while wrapping it in more of an opportunity than a threat. Everyone can still talk to each other this way, but you've also put them on notice without a declaration of war.
I learned this idea from Vic Braden's book, Mental Tennis
, and even though I haven't tried it yet, I think this is a great tactic. Beyond this, I have not patience or respect for cheaters. Wait for when you're receiving a critical second serve (maybe break point) and when the ball lands square in the box, call it out like Jim would do. You're simply returning the favor - hey, it's not tennis anymore when the cheaters come to town and show their true colors. I'm fine with picking up your gear and leaving if those turds want to waste your time, too. If you simply want to throw down, well that's up to you. I'm a fan of ice hockey, so I can sort of understand...