Originally Posted by smarulanda
So I was playing a flex league singles match last night; it was a bit chilly and I'm usually slow to warm up so I go down 0-3 in the first set. I finally start to get my groove going and proceed to play some really great tennis and take the first set 6-3.
The second set begins and I'm still playing well, very well, in fact I'm hitting some very deep and consistent shots, however my opponent now begins to refuse to chase my winners and any shot I hit that lands within a couple of inches of the line he calls out. I try and not let this phase me and work hard to hit great shots that land within an obvious margin. Unfortunately with so many points unceremoniously called against me I end up losing the second set tiebreak 9-7.
I quickly shake the set off and get up to 3-1 in the third set. It's in the middle of my service game and I hit a clean ace down the T. This was clearly 6 inches in; the guy calls it out. I walk up a bit and say "come on, man let's play fair". He replies "are you gonna serve?" I am taken aback for a second, I didn't exactly understand what he was implying. So I say "my serve was definitely in, let's be gentlemen"; he replies menacingly "serve or I'm going to claim the point, I haven't said anything about all your calls".
This completely threw me off. He was accusing me of making bad calls! I was dumbfounded, as I had been playing clean and fair tennis the entire match, despite his less than sportsmanlike conduct. He was a big guy so I wasn't about to get into any type of argument, I just shook my head and took my second serve. I couldn't shake the nerve this guy had though... I ended up losing in the tiebreak 10-8.
It was definitely a winnable match for me, but I had trouble playing safe enough tennis that he wouldn't be able to cheat me out of points. I also couldn't get this guys terrible attitude out of my head... turning the cheater table on me like that.
Who's done this/had it done to them? Had he at all questioned any of my previous calls, I would have gladly shown him the ball marks; but I think he knew I was playing fair and used this as a mental tactic because it definitely did shake me a bit. Or perhaps he was deluded and actually thought I was making many bad calls against him.
The way you describe it, he sounds like a cheater. So, what might you learn from this experience? A couple of suggestions are: 1) the realization, and acceptance, that there are people like this on every level of tennis, 2) use this experience as motivation to get good enough that you don't have to worry about false line calls from *****s.
Personally, I've never had an experience like this. But at my current competitive level nobody is good enough that line calls are going to make any difference.
What is your competitive level?