Originally Posted by storypeddler
If I hit the net a dozen times and 10 fall back on my side, my opponent never apologizes for one of them. But if a couple pop over and I win the point, I should apologize? Other than things completely out of a player's control (like a random gust of wind), I don't really buy the "luck" argument. If I attempt a dozen low-percentage shots like this one---shots that should succeed maybe 10% of the time, then I am not lucky when one of the dozen falls over.
That's like saying if a player serves at 50% when he goes for his kick serve, then he got lucky fives times out of the ten he tried it. No, he didn't. He succeeds at this at a 50% rate, so you expect to see about 5 out of 10 attempts turn out well for him. If I hit a huge number of balls very flat and very low and I get a great number of them within 4-6 inches of the net, you would logically expect some of them to hit the top of the net. Some will hit slightly too low and fall back, some will hit slightly too high and kick up, and some will hit in between and simply roll over and basically die. I am not arguing that I attempt to hit that exact shot---simply that I hit very flat groundstrokes and because of that my style serves to produce a much greater-than-average percentage of groundstrokes that hit the tape. Since so many more hit the tape, obviously a fair number more end up rolling over. It isn't luck. It is a matter of my stroke style and simple percentages. My original question was why should I feel obligated to apologize for something that I am technically responsible for because of my playing style? When players try to hit a forehand perfectly in a corner and it works, do we consider them lucky? Even if that was the shot they were attempting? No, we assume they tried a 5% shot and happened to make the one-in-twenty attempt. It DOES happen.
If you go for a shot that you hit 1/10 times, then yes, your opponent should be very sympathetic for your poor tennis strategy. However, it's still luck if you hit a net and win a point as a result, because you're not attempting to hit the net. If you ARE trying to hit the net, then your opponent should feel lucky, like you said, for playing someone who will most definitely lose the match.