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.
I don't know why you bothered to deal with it when it became obvious he was cheating you and you confronted him about it. From that point on, you should've just screwed around. Throw in short, underhanded serves, then when he moves up, try to nail him in the face and say "damn, wish I could just get the damn ball in the lines today". Give up the service game and have some fun. When it goes back on serve 2-3, he's going to choke and double fault every point anyway. Might as well go check your email while you're waiting for him to finish up his serves. Hell, he'll start off strong, go up 40-love, but then he'll just seem to keep missing the next 10 serves.
Back to your serve at 4-2, we know you aren't going to hold serve for ****. Time to throw in some more funky stuff. Tweener serves, blast the ball straight up and pray it goes in, and whatever you feel like doing to the ball. Hell, blast one straight down, who cares.
Sigh, you managed to double fault a whole game away. What a shame. Guess it's time for your opponent to be nice and return the favor. Whoops! Up 5-3.
Why even bother holding serve at this point? 4-5.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand he chokes and double faults the entire game when serving to stay in the match. Man, what an ugly game of tennis, errors all over, but hey, you got through it.
Against blatant cheaters, there's only so much you can do. Yes, it is childish to cheat them back, but the fact is, if you want to play a fair game of tennis, you have to have both players play on equal footing. If you want to play handicapped tennis, then don't complain. When someone cheated Jim Courier in his junior days, he just caught the ball, called it out, and said "we can do this all day".
Originally Posted by LuckyR
Great description of your advice on what not to do. What do you do?
I know right? Let's just narrow our options and screw ourselves without putting additional options on the board.
Also, at TimothyO, if it's not an immediate call, he has to call it in. That is the rules. If he shows signs of hesitation, take that point. Ask for the call. If he takes more than a second to tell you "in" or "out", the point is yours. Any slight doubt is given to the opponent. I saw a serve that I was 99% sure landed abound an inch wide of the line. I would instantly use an electronic challenge if I had the opportunity. But I wasn't completely focused at the moment and gave him the point, even when he knew (and said) it was out. The fact is, I have to give him the point. But to a certain extent, I think he was being pretty generous with a lot of his baseline calls as well.
At least if they're cheating, make them do it as obviously as possible. Don't even let them try that "maybe" **** because if it's a "maybe", that means it was 100% in. Also, if you have ball marks, just check them everytime. Though I don't think there's anything in the rules about cleaning off marks after you made a call even if it's obvious you're doing it to prevent your bad call from being caught. (I think Connors did that once in a professional match...)