Apologizing for hitting the net cord

Zielmann

Semi-Pro
While that scenario may play out rarely, a far more common scenario is you are given an easy short ball to smash and you nail the net cord and it goes out or falls on your side. Should your opponent apologize for being clearly at your mercy and you got unlucky with a net cord?

If you don't apologize for hitting the back of the baseline on your 30 foot lob, you shouldn't apologize for ticking the net cord for a winner. They were both lucky shots.
The convention has never been to apologize if the net causes your opponent to hit the ball out (or not go over). Generally it's more expected when you the net intervenes and creates essentially a winner or otherwise unplayable ball, winning you the point.

The difference is that the net cord will often cause a very abrupt change in how the shot plays. Based on the shot taken, both players are immediately reacting to it as it was intended to go. Hitting the net cord makes it so that a player's reaction might have been right for the shot that was hit, had it not clipped the net. The intention was to hit a cross court rally shot, not a drop shot, for example.
 

beltsman

Legend
OP, would you win something by luck (a lottery, for example) and then go around bragging about how hard you worked for it and how awesome it is? No? Exactly. If something lucky happens to you, be humble and show that you got lucky. It doesn't make you special. Trying to put up a false bravado when you win a lucky point and saying "YEAH! I WON THAT POINT! CLEAN WINNER!" is just false chest puffing and will cause normal people to roll their eyes and not want to play with you again.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I don't apologize. I just say, "I got a lucky break."
To me, apologizing just seems inappropriate to the situation.
The idea is to acknowledge that you got lucky, so what you do is perfect. When people say they apologize really what they mean is that they make that acknowledgement. It's not like anyone is really sorry to have won the point :)
 

justRick

Rookie
The idea is to acknowledge that you got lucky, so what you do is perfect. When people say they apologize really what they mean is that they make that acknowledgement. It's not like anyone is really sorry to have won the point :)
You know what momma used to say, "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good"
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
The group I grew up playing with would make fun of you if you made an unintentional bank shot [ie you got lucky] and you didn't do the equivalent of tennis' apology.
I guess we played with different crowds. I played with ethnic inner city gentlemen who didn't apologize for nuttin.

The difference is that the net cord will often cause a very abrupt change in how the shot plays. Based on the shot taken, both players are immediately reacting to it as it was intended to go. Hitting the net cord makes it so that a player's reaction might have been right for the shot that was hit, had it not clipped the net. The intention was to hit a cross court rally shot, not a drop shot, for example.
I don't hit many shots low and hard. My shots that hit the net cord tend to be dinks and drop shots that fall short and hit it. Much more than half go over, because they are arched shots that hit it on the fall rather than line drives.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The idea is to acknowledge that you got lucky, so what you do is perfect. When people say they apologize really what they mean is that they make that acknowledgement. It's not like anyone is really sorry to have won the point :)
Except we don't acknowledge all the other lucky shots. If I hit a ball that lands exactly on a line, I got lucky, because I sure as hell wasn't aiming for a line. I'm not that good. Instead of apologizing, usually I accept praise for a "good shot". Meanwhile I'm sheepishly exhaling.

It's a tad hypocritical that one lucky break out of hundreds requires a humble apology.

But I still do it because it's expected even if it seems silly.
 

Spin Doctor

Professional
Is it so hard to spend 3 seconds to apologize? If someone can't manage this miniscule attempt at civility, I'd wager they're probably a d!ck about other things on court as well.

Every sport has its oddball etiquette that makes no sense. Why rock the boat and create enemies over something so minor?

Go along to get along.
 

Max G.

Legend
It's very silly for the opponent to throw a tantrum about it. It's a minor tennis custom, it shouldn't be a big deal.

That said, there IS a reason why this custom came about, it's a different situation from hitting, say, the back of the line on a lob.

We generally assume, in tennis, that whoever controls the ball better, whoever does what they are trying to do with the ball better, "should" win the point. If you go for a topspin lob and hit a topspin lob that lands right on the line... you hit exactly the shot you were trying to hit, and did it perfectly. If you aim for a down-the-line shot and end up hitting a down-the-line winner that clips the line, well, great shot! Heck, even in other cases there's plausible deniability - if you aim to hit a crosscourt shot but hit the ball late and hit a down-the-line winner, well, the only person who knows that you didn't hit the spot you were aiming for is yourself.

But a net-cord results in weird situation like where you were TRYING to hit, say, a down-the line flat ripper, and instead hit a dropshot. Oops. Nobody can pretend that they really were trying to hit that dropshot. It's clear that you obviously lost control of the ball, it went somewhere you didn't intend it to go, and yet you still won the point.

Hence the custom of "apologizing" for it. It's not a particularly big deal, the most anybody expects is just a quick raise of the hand...

(If you hit the net cord and lose the point due to it, that makes sense and your opponent has nothing to apologize for - you lost control of the ball and therefore lost the point, makes sense.)
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
I'm curious what other sports anyone plays where they apologize for something inadvertent in the course/field of play. I've kicked corner kicks in soccer that are meant as a cross, but trickle through everyone somehow and wound up in the net. Team and parents and fans go ape-****.

Or a penalty kick that goes off a sidepost. That's where I was shooting, it's where I wanted it to go, just missed by an inch or two. I don't go hug the goalie and apologize for it.

Madison Bumgarner doesn't put up his hand when his sinker actually ends up in the dirt but Buster called for it knee-high inside.He takes that strike/strikeout in stride, maybe even a fist pump to end the inning.

There's just something about this single play in tennis that is beyond pretentious.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
Is it so hard to spend 3 seconds to apologize? If someone can't manage this miniscule attempt at civility, I'd wager they're probably a d!ck about other things on court as well.

Every sport has its oddball etiquette that makes no sense. Why rock the boat and create enemies over something so minor?

Go along to get along.
Anarchy rules!


Wait... that's.... nevermind....
 

SeeItHitIt

Professional
I love hitting the net cord when going down the line for an easy, open winner, only to clip it and have the ball take a left turn (and miss the line by 6"). My opponent almost always raises his hand and apologizes for his good fortune.
 

SGM1980

Rookie
I'm curious what other sports anyone plays where they apologize for something inadvertent in the course/field of play. I've kicked corner kicks in soccer that are meant as a cross, but trickle through everyone somehow and wound up in the net. Team and parents and fans go ape-****.
I ride horses, and there is a similar case. Not exactly the same, but similar. One of the events in my chosen discipline is jumpers. It's judged on the speed with which you can complete the course while leaving all the obstacles (rails) up. The rails are resting in shallow cups so that they will fall out if your horse hits them with her feet. Sometimes you'll see a horse barely brush a rail and it'll tumble from the cups. Sometimes you'll see a horse knock a rail really hard but it just doesn't move. Sometimes they'll hit it so hard that it bounces up out of the cups and lands back in them. Since it has not lowered the height of the obstacle, it's not a fault, and there is no deduction for your round.

Now, you're galloping around a course at the time, so there's no apologizing at that moment, but it is common to do the same sort of "aw, shucks, lucky rail that was, wasn't it? Sorry, you guys!" once you're out of the ring. Winning even despite a "lucky rail" (that stays up) or losing because of an "unlucky rail" (that comes down) is fairly common. And like tennis, it's not like people are turning back in prize money, but it's a very similar feeling and attitude.



Anyway, how hard is it to raise your hand in a fake apology? It's not like you're really apologizing, you're just acknowledging that even though you may have been outplayed on that point, you ended up winning it through luck. I do the hand-raise thing when i shank winners, too. Depending on the company I also might say something along the lines of, "I feel really bad about that - I mean, I'm taking the point, but i feel bad about it!" or "That's EXACTLY what I was trying to do!"
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I am so polite that I even apologize for drop shots and mishits which become winners. But then, that is me.
 

SGM1980

Rookie
I am so polite that I even apologize for drop shots and mishits which become winners. But then, that is me.
I apologize for my own intentional, well-hit drop shots. I use them and they are effective, but I still kind of feel like a dick.
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
I think anyone who has played tennis for a bit understands the frustration of losing points due to mishits or completely unintentional winners. Doesn't seem unusual that in a polite game such as tennis token apologies (really just recognition) that luck was involved. Aiming for the sideline and clipping a line isn't luck but skill -- a risk reward thing. Not so with net cord dribblers or shanked frame hit winners. Many acknowledge their luck by exaggerated expressions of glee but the principle remains.

I don't see the similarity with putting soccer balls or hockey pucks off the posts as this is like hitting lines; more skill than luck.
 

beltsman

Legend
I'm curious what other sports anyone plays where they apologize for something inadvertent in the course/field of play. I've kicked corner kicks in soccer that are meant as a cross, but trickle through everyone somehow and wound up in the net. Team and parents and fans go ape-****.

Or a penalty kick that goes off a sidepost. That's where I was shooting, it's where I wanted it to go, just missed by an inch or two. I don't go hug the goalie and apologize for it.

Madison Bumgarner doesn't put up his hand when his sinker actually ends up in the dirt but Buster called for it knee-high inside.He takes that strike/strikeout in stride, maybe even a fist pump to end the inning.

There's just something about this single play in tennis that is beyond pretentious.
Point 1, because soccer is a stupid sport.

Point 2, it's because luck is accepted in other sports, especially soccer. Luck is not accepted in tennis because it's not a game of chaos, it's a game of grace and precision.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I apologize for my own intentional, well-hit drop shots. I use them and they are effective, but I still kind of feel like a dick.
More traditional players often get frustrated with the success of my drop shots and dink shots. After a while, they often refuse to come to the net to return them, knowing a pretty good lob is likely to follow. I'll take such conceded points without apology.

Two other close analogies that have not been mentioned:

I've never seen a field goal kicker apologize for a kick that hits the uprights or crossbar and goes through.

In the shooting sports, shots that barely touch any scoring ring are always scored at the higher value. No one ever apologizes, even though shooters with larger calibers obviously have an advantage.

And while there is luck involved, there is also skill. Trajectories closer to clearing the obstacle obviously have a better chance of bouncing in that trajectories whose center of mass is not on a path to clear the obstacle.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Point 1, because soccer is a stupid sport.

Point 2, it's because luck is accepted in other sports, especially soccer. Luck is not accepted in tennis because it's not a game of chaos, it's a game of grace and precision.
It's funny because there is a ton of lucky shots in tennis, it just tends to go both ways. Golf is also a game of grace and precision and doesn't require apologies for the many lucky and unlucky breaks. "Rub of the grin" as they say in Scotland.

Generally if I have a match where I'm nailing lines and and dropping lobs on the baseline and skipping serves off the service line, I'll mention it to my opponent at changeover or after the match that I was getting really lucky. If someone compliments me for a shot that barely hit the line, I'll retort, "Bahh, I just got lucky." I accept my lucky shots as just that and will acknowledge them. I also know when my opponent gets lucky and as long as he doesn't "c'mon!!" a net cord winner, I don't need an apology.
 
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Nashvegas

Guest
It's funny because there is a ton of lucky shots in tennis, it just tends to go both ways. Golf is also a game of grace and precision and doesn't require apologies for the many lucky and unlucky breaks. "Rub of the grin" as they say in Scotland.

Generally if I have a match where I'm nailing lines and and dropping lobs on the baseline and skipping serves off the service line, I'll mention it to my opponent at changeover or after the match that I was getting really lucky. If someone compliments me for a shot that barely hit the line, I'll retort, "Bahh, I just got lucky." I accept my lucky shots as just that and will acknowledge them. I also know when my opponent gets lucky and as long as he doesn't "c'mon!!" a net cord winner, I don't need an apology.
Your intentions are good in attributing your good results to luck, but doing that repeatedly is a form of gamesmanship.
 

RoddickAce

Hall of Fame
Every sport has its own etiquette. The basketball example is just flawed as hitting the backboard is a regular play that happens all the time...they aim for the backboard all the time. Nobody in tennis aims for the top of the net.

Some counter examples to show how comparing across sports is flawed:
1) Why do tennis players apologize when they hit someone with a tennis ball? Soccer players do it all the time but they don't apologize (i.e. kicking the ball into a player's shins to get a corner).
2) Why do tennis players get two serves? Badminton and ping pong players don't.
3) Why should tennis players have to cover the entire half of the court when returning serve? Baseball players only have to cover a tiny square.
4) Why do soccer players get a red card for assaulting other players? Hockey players and boxers get away with this all the time.

Also, there's a reason why you play a let when a serve hits the net cord...both in tennis and table tennis, it severely disrupts the rhythm of the other player due to an unintentional shot. I don't mind if my opponent doesn't apologize, but there is no reason to hate on polite individuals that do apologize for winning a point by disrupting you by accident.

And how often do you see people apologize in team sports? I.e. In soccer, usually people are so overcome with joy/support from teammates when they score a goal that the last thing on their mind is how their opponents felt. When you are in a 1 v. 1 sport, most players who believe in decent tennis etiquette will take responsibility for the situation.
 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
To OP, your opponent was a wack-job. He was upset that you were taking credit for hitting a totally lucky shot. You get the point, but you don't get credit. That said, he is still a [bad word here].

I don't remember "learning" to raise my hand. It just seemed the natural thing to do. Then again, if someone doesn't do it, I don't care. Mainly because I'm not looking for a reaction. I'm organizing for the next point.
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
Every sport has its own etiquette. The basketball example is just flawed as hitting the backboard is a regular play that happens all the time...they aim for the backboard all the time. Nobody in tennis aims for the top of the net.

Some counter examples to show how comparing across sports is flawed:
1) Why do tennis players apologize when they hit someone with a tennis ball? Soccer players do it all the time but they don't apologize (i.e. kicking the ball into a player's shins to get a corner).
2) Why do tennis players get two serves? Badminton and ping pong players don't.
3) Why should tennis players have to cover the entire half of the court when returning serve? Baseball players only have to cover a tiny square.
4) Why do soccer players get a red card for assaulting other players? Hockey players and boxers get away with this all the time.

Also, there's a reason why you play a let when a serve hits the net cord...both in tennis and table tennis, it severely disrupts the rhythm of the other player due to an unintentional shot. I don't mind if my opponent doesn't apologize, but there is no reason to hate on polite individuals that do apologize for winning a point by disrupting you by accident.

And how often do you see people apologize in team sports? I.e. In soccer, usually people are so overcome with joy/support from teammates when they score a goal that the last thing on their mind is how their opponents felt. When you are in a 1 v. 1 sport, most players who believe in decent tennis etiquette will take responsibility for the situation.
Actually, IMO you're making very good points as to why apologizing in tennis is so silly.


As to some other responses I've read: if you have your opponent completely on the run with an out-wide serve and you go hit his return cross court that there's no way he's going to get, but it clips the net and droops over, do you still apologize?

I feel like I"m reading a lot of "you only hit the netcord when you're playing extreme defense."
 

Minion

Hall of Fame
Isn't it a bit hypocritical to apologise for a netcord? Your ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second it can either drop on your side, or on the other side. If it drops on your side, there is almost always an exasperated wail of disappointment and disbelief, but if it drops on the other side, you apologise....doesn't make sense to do that.

But I do get it though - in the spirit of sportsmanship, your opponent is robbed of a chance to play the ball, and for you to earn the point, so putting your hands up is more like a "sorry, didn't mean to do that".

I personally like to shout a very hearty VAMOSSSSS! when it happens, but that's just me:)
 

GlennK

Rookie
Actually, IMO you're making very good points as to why apologizing in tennis is so silly.


As to some other responses I've read: if you have your opponent completely on the run with an out-wide serve and you go hit his return cross court that there's no way he's going to get, but it clips the net and droops over, do you still apologize?

I feel like I"m reading a lot of "you only hit the netcord when you're playing extreme defense."
In those cases I actually say I would rather it not have hit the net as it was a winner anyhow. But I'm still saying that with my hand raised.
 

Surion

Hall of Fame
Sorry, but your comparison isn't accurate.
If you play soccer and let's say plan to shoot the ball into the upper right corner and hit the post while doing so and still scoring, then you're fine. The ball went where it was supposed to.

But if you play tennis and plan to hit a forehand longline, but hit the net cord, so basically a stop results, then you got lucky, because you wanted to do something completely different.

OF COURSE you have to apologise.

For everything, framing the ball, hitting the lines, hitting the net cord.

That's how sportsmanship works.
 
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Nashvegas

Guest
Isn't it a bit hypocritical to apologise for a netcord? Your ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second it can either drop on your side, or on the other side. If it drops on your side, there is almost always an exasperated wail of disappointment and disbelief, but if it drops on the other side, you apologise....doesn't make sense to do that.

When I hit the net my first reaction is more like a dejected, "Oops, that's not good." When it drops on my side it's what I expect since I didn't want to hit the net (and because it usually drops on my side).

When it drops on the other side, I'm lucky. But more than serving as an apology for being lucky, the quick raise of the hand says you understand things worked out very well for you and directly impacted your opponent's options, even though you had no intention of getting that result.

I always hit the ball dead center but I'm sure if I ever framed a shot I'd throw up a hand as well. ;)
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I apologize for my own intentional, well-hit drop shots. I use them and they are effective, but I still kind of feel like a dick.
I am so nice that if someone apologizes to me about a drop shot or mishit, I feel bad and assure them that it was an intentional good shot and nothing to apologize for.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Your intentions are good in attributing your good results to luck, but doing that repeatedly is a form of gamesmanship.
No I attribute my truly lucky shots to luck, not just good outcomes. And I don't necessarily say something if its infrequent and my opponent is hitting just as many lines as I am. Only if it seems the match is unbalanced by a bunch of lucky breaks on one side. I think claiming luck when you aren't actually lucky is gamesmanship.

I think we all know when we hit a nice shot and when we get lucky. It's only right not to take excessive credit for the times the ball didn't go where intended but still produced a winner.

Of course the only gamesmanship I tend to engage in is being overly complimentary to my opponent. Nothing like a well timed, "Hey, you're playing real well!" to totally throw their game off. Kind of like saying shutout to a goalie or mentioning a no-hitter to a pitcher.
 
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Nashvegas

Guest
... the only gamesmanship I tend to engage in is being overly complimentary to my opponent. Nothing like a well timed, "Hey, you're playing real well!" to totally throw their game off. Kind of like saying shutout to a goalie or mentioning a no-hitter to a pitcher.
"You're really planting that front foot well on the forehand today." Works like a charm.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
So I wanted to start a topic on this, get everyone's take on this persistent situation in tennis. It came up as a big verbal argument recently for me in a 18+ 4.0 USTA match, and I just simply do not understand this kerfuffle.

I have played sports my whole life: soccer, tennis, golf, hockey, you name it. I have never, ever apologized once for shooting a puck off the post to score a goal; never for hitting the crossbar or post with a soccerball, the flagstick in golf. Baseball players never apologize for hitting the foul ball posts for a homerun, a kicker never apologizes for hitting the uprights to make a field goal or extra point, a basketball player for hitting the backboard/rim and the ball dropping through the hoop, a rugby player for hitting the uprights.

So what is the deal with this pretentious argument in tennis that somehow hitting the netcord and winning the point should instantly be followed by this guilty-yet-full-of-sarcasm, apologetic tone by the winning player? I had an opponent literally lose his **** because I didn't put up my hand to apologize after hitting a netcord last weekend. Seriously, he called me a bad sportsman with poor tennis etiquette.....because I didn't apologize for this single point. I just refuse to apologize for hitting a netcord, it's part of the field of play.

Everyone I play tennis with, and watch on TV, always apologize for doing this. I just don't get it. I've never, ever seen a pro sports player apologize for hitting a goalpost or something. What gives?
Well tennis is a sport with a bit of etiquette. You see how in tournament level matches the players wait for the spectators to take their seats and sometimes get annoyed when they don't do it in a timely fashion. It's one of the few sports along with golf, where it's expected that the crowd remain silent during points. You'd never see that during soccer match, baseball game, basketball game, or football game. Only in golf and tennis do they really demand that the spectators remain silent at times. It's also expected that you apologize when an errant balls rolls into an adjacent court, especially if it's during match play. Also, you never run and retrieve the ball until the other players have finished their respective point, and you thank anyone who hits the ball back to you. So yeah, man it's a sport with some etiquette and a lot of history to it. I think the whole point is simply this: You don't intentionally try to hit balls that clip the net and then dribble over. Also, you don't intentionally shank balls off the frame. For me personally, every time I hit a netcord, I apologize, or if I don't verbalize it, I hold my racquet up in apology. I also apologize or hold my racquet up anytime I shank a ball off the frame, and when I hit an unintentional shot like a crazy drop shot that I wasn't intending, or just anything I play what I feel is a lucky and/or crazy shot that I didn't intend, particularly if it hits off the frame. Just how I play the game, but to each their own. I mean I'm not gonna fight someone because they didn't apologize for a mishit or a netcord.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
I am so nice that if someone apologizes to me about a drop shot or mishit, I feel bad and assure them that it was an intentional good shot and nothing to apologize for.
My segue:

Waiting to get on for league, watching 4.0 women's match on the courts. Singles line, younger girl had much stronger game than middle aged girl (younger-middle to differentiate). Younger would keep middle nailed to the baseline, and when middle hit short, younger would rush in and successfully hit angled drop shots. Middle would take a few steps and quit on the ball.

As younger would turn and head back to her baseline, middle was sending flaming eye daggers her way, muttering to herself disparaging things (presumably about her opponent).

Just could not comprehend what middle was thinking. SHE was the one losing the baseline battle and bringing younger up to the service line. SHE was the one not remembering what had happened repeatedly when younger came to the service line. SHE was the one not going all out to try to get a stick on it.... yet eye daggers and curses clearly directed at the opponent seemed justified to her.
Unbelievable.

I got called onto an open court with the score younger up 1 set and 5-0 in the second. Would LOVE to hear what middle had to say to her teammates about her opponent behind her back.

Edit: not that it is important, but I looked up the match... younger won 6-0 6-0 and when I saw her name, I recognized her as a very talented former HS player who competed at state level. She will no doubt get bumped to 4.5 as she has won all her matches with scores like 6-0 6-3, 6-0 6-0 (3x's), 6-2 6-0, etc. Her closest match was 6-4 7-5.

Middle according to TLS should be a high 3.5... so actually the scores were pretty indicative of their respective levels. I bet middle thought younger was a sandbagger.
 
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Zielmann

Semi-Pro
As to some other responses I've read: if you have your opponent completely on the run with an out-wide serve and you go hit his return cross court that there's no way he's going to get, but it clips the net and droops over, do you still apologize?

I feel like I"m reading a lot of "you only hit the netcord when you're playing extreme defense."
They are an extreme example. Just like your case where a net cord gives somebody who has no chance at the ball an actual shot at returning it.

But the two cases are very different. To state it plainly: you apologize when your own mistake wins you a point; you don't apologize when the other player's mistake does. So, in a case where the ball drops short because it hit the net cord when you were clearly not looking for a drop shot, an apology is commonly issued. But when a player hits the net cord and it lets the other person back into the point, or even causes their own shot to go out (or drop on their own side of the net), of course you don't apologize. That's just silly.

Realistically, it's a judgment call, and most certainly not a requirement. I'm not trying to argue that the player in the OP's story was right for being irate over somebody not apologizing for hitting the net cord. I'm just trying to clarify when and why people sometimes feel the need to apologize, as some people don't seem to get it.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
My segue:

Waiting to get on for league, watching 4.0 women's match on the courts. Singles line, younger girl had much stronger game than middle aged girl (younger-middle to differentiate). Younger would keep middle nailed to the baseline, and when middle hit short, younger would rush in and successfully hit angled drop shots. Middle would take a few steps and quit on the ball.

As younger would turn and head back to her baseline, middle was sending flaming eye daggers her way, muttering to herself disparaging things (presumably about her opponent).
I've had my share of negative reactions to my propensity for drops and dinks against players unwilling to use their wheels, often players younger than me.

When they've bothered to articulate their thoughts it is along the lines of ...

"Why bother, I'm not going to get those."

"That's not real tennis."

"I came to play tennis not chase your junk."

It's as if making an opponent move side to side is a valid strategy, but challenging their mobility front to back is not.

They get really mad when they run up and get one and I lob it over them...

For me a dink or drop hitting the net and going over is like a lob hitting the baseline: perfect.
 

pinky42

Rookie
I've never considered it an apology. To me, it's an acknowledgement that I was lucky the ball went over. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I've had my share of negative reactions to my propensity for drops and dinks against players unwilling to use their wheels, often players younger than me.

When they've bothered to articulate their thoughts it is along the lines of ...

"Why bother, I'm not going to get those."

"That's not real tennis."

"I came to play tennis not chase your junk."

It's as if making an opponent move side to side is a valid strategy, but challenging their mobility front to back is not.

They get really mad when they run up and get one and I lob it over them...

For me a dink or drop hitting the net and going over is like a lob hitting the baseline: perfect.
Absolutely no need to apologise for employing a strategy.
Here's how it's listed in the Oxford Dictionary.
"Strategy : alien concept to quite a few professional tennis players "
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I hardly ever watch basketball, but with the Warriors these past couple years it's hard not to go anywhere around town where it wasn't on TV. I don't think I have ever seen even once anyone apologize for using the backboard.
A lot of times, if you see a ridiculous, "I'm falling down and flip it up since it's going to be a turnover anyway" shot that goes in, you sometimes see a shrug, a headshake, a wry smile even in the NBA.

Usually not in the playoffs, etc., there's too much money on the line, but sometimes even then.

But the opponent going off for your not doing it? That's just silly.
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I hardly ever watch basketball, but with the Warriors these past couple years it's hard not to go anywhere around town where it wasn't on TV. I don't think I have ever seen even once anyone apologize for using the backboard.
A lot of times, if you see a ridiculous, "I'm falling down and flip it up since it's going to be a turnover anyway" shot that goes in, you sometimes see a shrug, a headshake, a wry smile even in the NBA.

Usually not in the playoffs, etc., there's too much money on the line, but sometimes even then.

But the opponent going off for your not doing it? That's just silly.
 

tennytive

Professional
The definition of comedy versus tragedy is which side of the net the ball drops over after it hits the net cord.

It's not just the net cord dribbler drop that can ruin a great rally. What about when you hit the perfect approach and come to net ready to put away the volley only to see the ball clip the tape, jump over your racket and land in the open court for a *clean* winner?

As to the question: I always acknowledge my lucky breaks to strangers or new players, but with my friends and regulars, we already know better and even take it to trash talk. "Are you really gonna take that??" I've taken to throwing up both hands like Connors when he beat Krickstein at the US Open.

I usually can only do that once tho, hard on the knees. :)
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
So I wanted to start a topic on this, get everyone's take on this persistent situation in tennis. It came up as a big verbal argument recently for me in a 18+ 4.0 USTA match, and I just simply do not understand this kerfuffle.

I have played sports my whole life: soccer, tennis, golf, hockey, you name it. I have never, ever apologized once for shooting a puck off the post to score a goal; never for hitting the crossbar or post with a soccerball, the flagstick in golf. Baseball players never apologize for hitting the foul ball posts for a homerun, a kicker never apologizes for hitting the uprights to make a field goal or extra point, a basketball player for hitting the backboard/rim and the ball dropping through the hoop, a rugby player for hitting the uprights.

So what is the deal with this pretentious argument in tennis that somehow hitting the netcord and winning the point should instantly be followed by this guilty-yet-full-of-sarcasm, apologetic tone by the winning player? I had an opponent literally lose his **** because I didn't put up my hand to apologize after hitting a netcord last weekend. Seriously, he called me a bad sportsman with poor tennis etiquette.....because I didn't apologize for this single point. I just refuse to apologize for hitting a netcord, it's part of the field of play.

Everyone I play tennis with, and watch on TV, always apologize for doing this. I just don't get it. I've never, ever seen a pro sports player apologize for hitting a goalpost or something. What gives?

Fairly easy concept to understand. You put your hand up for a second to acknowledge that it was luck that won the point. It doesn't have to be a big show, just a slight gesture for half a second. Not everyone enjoys winning the point on a net cord. I certainly don't. I actually mean it when I put my hand up. I'd play a let on nets cords if it didn't open a can of worms (then the opponent has to start playing lets or it isn't fair).
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
I generally say some variant of one of two things (depending on the circumstances):

1. "I can't say I'm sorry about that as I really needed that point."
2. "I'm only a little bit sorry about that - but not very much, in truth."

I never, ever say "I'm sorry" about a let cord winner. I just want to acknowledge that I was lucky and I feel just a *touch* bad about it... but that I don't really feel that bad about it and I'm glad I won the point.
 
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