Cheating partners.........

#1
I just finished playing our club doubles tournament, and lost the final in a great tight match 7-5, 4-6, 4-6. This match was a lot of fun to some extent, and.... what made it less fun than it should've was my cheating partner....

I play with him often, his style really bothers me so I take it as great practice (very flat fh, uses slice a lot sometimes 1hbh but rarely, plays with a lot of touch, angles, lobs). I know how he is, he can be too rigorous on balls near the lines, but, since I know him, I take it. Anyways, we played a doubles match together last year and we played great, me with my style (topspin, 2hbh, aggressive returns) and him with his own, so I thought I would ask him to play this tournament with me.

Although we made it to the final, I was kinda sorry I ever did from the first match. Its not only his shady calls, which, being in doubles makes it worse because you dont know how to act! His attitude was crappy, he got into an argument with one of the guys from the other team because of bad line calls (other guy was right!) and me and the other guy's partner just stood there just waiting for them to stop arguing heatedly and continue play. Uncomfortable and made the match just awkward.

He also complained a LOT when I missed (as if he didnt miss!) or when I went for a big shot, for example, a down the line shot, he would go something like "This is doubles! You dont go dtl!". I would see him talking crap beneath his breath when I missed and then fake-smiled at me and told me to "come on! we got this!" Stuff like that. At one of the matches I just told him "shut up man, do you wanna play by yourself? Lemme play!"

With all of this we played the final, but this match was the worst of them all, he was calling out serves and shots that were MILES in, it was just uncomfortable as hell! I had it at one point and on a very clear ball that lands in an he called out, I finally went "That was in, sorry guys, your point". He continued making shady calls, and even worse he argued some balls that could've been close on the other side, but probably out. It was driving me nuts!

There was this ball that landed A FOOT inside the baseline, he was up at net, and I was behind, so I had a perfect view of it. It was a shot from the baseline with plenty of topspin and it lands a good foot inside the baseline. And I was there to play it! I did get it back decently and he calls it out. The other guys were more than thrown off and I immediately corrected it and gave them the point.

On another situation, I just threw a game away for the other team. We were down 40-15 I think and the other team hits a deep ball that lands in. Of course he calls it out. They've had it to this point, so they question the call, although very cool and politely (theyre very nice guys). 40-30, I know he just stole one more point, so I net my return on purpose.

It was just embarassing, the other team could see me rolling my eyes after each bad call he made, 'till I had it and corrected 2 or 3 points and gave it to them.

I'm partially glad we lost, I would've felt very bad winning like that. We played really well, it was a great match, there was no need to screw it like that. Never EVER playing doubles with that guy again. It was horrible.

Rant over.
 
#2
Never EVER playing doubles with that guy again. It was horrible.
There's your solution! Sound's like YOU did everything right short of walking off and conceding the match to your opponents. Sound's like your partner is not a "good person"--not delusional--just a narcissist CHEATER. Was your club pro the tournament director?--if so, was he informed of the cheater's un-sportsman like conduct? This creep should have a serious talk to and not be allowed to participate in future club events-- if he cheats in all club play, he needs to be given the boot.
 
#4
Yup, if you know your partner is cheating and you allow it, you are a cheater too. While we are not perfect, you should over rule your partner on balls you KNOW are in which it seems like you did not.
 
#6
I know you corrected a few calls but If you didn't correct all out calls your partner made that you were 100% sure were wrong then you were cheating also.

Not criticizing you, just saying that by playing with this guy he turns you into a cheater as well even if all you do is stay silent.

Just avoid him.
 
#7
Yup, if you know your partner is cheating and you allow it, you are a cheater too. While we are not perfect, you should over rule your partner on balls you KNOW are in which it seems like you did not.
I'll agree. I'm not much of a doubles player, trying to play more since I feel it does help my singles game, so I'm not that used to playing with a partner, I sometimes feel "uncomfortable", since I tend to feel more "guilty" when I miss shots or take the wrong decision. That being said, well I ended up correcting his bad calls. Theres a part of me that suggests I have to support my partner on his calls, good or bad, that same part is noble enough to trust their judgement and that they're not ill-intended. I mean, some close calls I would've called as good, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt, as in, MAYBE I saw the ball too close and couln't be absolutely sure he was wrong. On some balls, he had the better angle and/or was closer to the ball.

On the first call I corrected him, I even hesitated. He called a ball out of the baseline and the other team was like "Come on, that was way in, what do you say?" They asked me since I was at the baseline and again he was at net. I said it had been good. Their point. AT this point of the match he had hooked them on plenty of calls, apparently. And this one was obvious.

On the other point I mentioned, which landed a foot inside the baseline, I've had it. Even though I had a play at the ball and hit a good fh back, I gave them the point. He told me he'd seen it way out and I insisted it was CLEARLY in by a mile. He even attempted to ask if we should play two more.

I have to mention that I had been on traffic for 1.5 hours, and that is for a 3.5 mile ride to my club! Traffic just collapsed yesterday, so I waas more than pi$$ed, didnt really want to deal with it. We were supposed to play at 6pm and began an hour and a half later. The other team was MORE THAN GRACIOUS to wait for me.

Even though it was a club tournament, it was very informal, no referees, no tournament director present, just us, so that sucks.

This guy is already known, for years. I've had my problems with him more that a couple of times when we play against each other, lets say most of us who play with him "tolerate" that he shortens his side of the court, and we know what we're getting into. Some other members just dont play with him anymore. He's actually an ok guy outside of the court, it would be easier if he were an a-hole... But yesterday was a deal-breaker, just tyring, and worse of all he had the audacity of complaining about some close calls the other team made. At the end of the match we were talking and he INSISTED that ball, which I said landed a foot inside, was out. I just cut him off: "You are TOTALLY wrong. You were at net, I was at the baseline and I am WATCHING the ball land 3 feet from me, and its in by a foot".

That was that. End of our "collaboration". I'd say we are a good doubles team, tennis-wise, but I'm not cool with his antics.

EDIT: I have to mention that my partner is the oldest of the four. I'm in my late 30's, the other team mid 20's (really nice cool, polite young guys), and my partner mid 40's. Not cool to fkin act like a brat when you're mid 40's!
 
#8
I have a list of the known cheaters in my league. They are typically quite forceful in their calls and remind their opponents that it is their call to make and often bully their partners. Sounds like that is exactly what you experienced.

I typically have sympathy for their partners although lose respect for them when they are unwilling to overturn a clearly bad call (usually on a critical point)

There is one I have unfortunately faced multiple times and I have contemplated defaulting the court if I ever have to play against her again. The calls are that bad.

As partner of said cheater, it is a fine line to walk. You can't overturn a call that you did not yourself see clearly. When playing with a bully-type personality, you know you are going to get the business from them when you do overturn a call.

So questions for folks:
1. You are partnered with known cheater (you can't for whatever reason get out of it). What discussion do you have prior to the match?

2. You are facing known cheater (there is history) What discussion do you have (can you have) prior to the match?
 
#9
partner sounds like a tool.
i'd rather lose and have a great experience with someone i like.
perhaps if i was getting paid, i'd put up with all the BS,...
but FFS, it's rec tennis.

good for your for overruling and sticking to your guns (ie. the ball that was a foot in). that said he's still your partner... kinda douchey to be rolling your eyes behind your partner's back... eeither you stick with him, or you don't... or overrule calls (privately) if you must (if you're 1000% sure he was wrong),... but don't pretend to be his partner then throw the game for the other team (or make rolly eyes to signal to the other team that you too think your partner is a cheater).

going forward, you're basically voting with your time... so if you decide to play with him again, then you know where your priorities lie (ie. winning with a poor-example-of-a-person as a partner is more important, than choosing a more compatible-to-your-ideals partner)
 
#10
Yup, if you know your partner is cheating and you allow it, you are a cheater too. While we are not perfect, you should over rule your partner on balls you KNOW are in which it seems like you did not.
but sounds like he overruled when he was sure...
there are times i was 99% sure that my partner was wrong on the call, but because i wasn't 100% sure (ie. i was at the net, and my partner was on top of the baseline), i didn't/couldn't say anything... on the flip side, when the situation was reversed, or if i saw an "IN" gap between ball and the baseline i have and will overrule (privately first, to let my partner change his/her call, but publicly if i must if my partner still insists he/she was right).

side note, if the other team starts looking to me to overrule by asking, "what did you see?" i will vehemently defend my partner (unless i'm sure he's wrong - but then i will only "argue" with him in private...... and if he insists... i'll warn him that i'm going to verbally concedethe point if he doesn't, first).
 
#11
but sounds like he overruled when he was sure...
there are times i was 99% sure that my partner was wrong on the call, but because i wasn't 100% sure (ie. i was at the net, and my partner was on top of the baseline), i didn't/couldn't say anything... on the flip side, when the situation was reversed, or if i saw an "IN" gap between ball and the baseline i have and will overrule (privately first, to let my partner change his/her call, but publicly if i must if my partner still insists he/she was right).

side note, if the other team starts looking to me to overrule by asking, "what did you see?" i will vehemently defend my partner (unless i'm sure he's wrong - but then i will only "argue" with him in private...... and if he insists... i'll warn him that i'm going to verbally concedethe point if he doesn't, first).
"he got into an argument with one of the guys from the other team because of bad line calls (other guy was right!) and me and the other guy's partner just stood there just waiting for them to stop arguing heatedly and continue play. "

Sounds like in this specific situation, he knew his partner was wrong but let his partner and the opponent argue it out.

Also, this opinion may make me unpopular but if you need to "argue" with your partner in private, then you know he/she did something "wrong". You aren't following the code then. If you think the ball was in but your partner called it out, you should call it in. If you thought the ball was also out or unsure, there is nothing to "argue" about.
 
#12
So questions for folks:
1. You are partnered with known cheater (you can't for whatever reason get out of it). What discussion do you have prior to the match?

2. You are facing known cheater (there is history) What discussion do you have (can you have) prior to the match?
1. Fortunately I'm cap, and these folks just don't make it onto my teams...but in the off chance I find myself in this situation, I just make a point to let them know that these days, I probably play a few more out balls than most folks, a) because I or the ball are moving too fast, and I'm not going to take a great shot away from someone...and b) I prefer to beat them anyway. I've rarely had to correct a call made by a partner, but when I do, if they get twisted about it that's their damage. If they want to argue with me, I also tell them we're likely to wind up playing with the other two players at some point in the future, so I'd rather set a good rep now than have to overcome a bad rep later...we're in a decent-sized market, but we do see the same players pretty regularly.

2. None really. Since it doesn't happen very often, I just deal with it as it comes...because of the tone I set in #1 above, I think the tight-callers relax a bit when I play them. After about 3-4 obvious bad calls, I might say 'you called that out'? but in a very matter of fact tone...not accusatory -- more like I couldn't hear because of the fan...I've found I don't have to ask that more than a couple times, and the issue seems to go away. Occasionally, if it's not going away, I might ask 'you feel good about that?'...then just beat them anyway...or not...whatever...
 
#13
"he got into an argument with one of the guys from the other team because of bad line calls (other guy was right!) and me and the other guy's partner just stood there just waiting for them to stop arguing heatedly and continue play. "

Sounds like in this specific situation, he knew his partner was wrong but let his partner and the opponent argue it out.

Also, this opinion may make me unpopular but if you need to "argue" with your partner in private, then you know he/she did something "wrong". You aren't following the code then. If you think the ball was in but your partner called it out, you should call it in. If you thought the ball was also out or unsure, there is nothing to "argue" about.
yeah, there's a grey area...

and i'll chalk up the "and he was right" comment as being only 99% sure (vs. 100%)... or just not knowing how to disagree with his partner (ie. deer in headlights)... which is why OP is writing now for our internet-"wisdom".

for me... i do the "private" thing as a courtesy to my partner.... while i want to play a clean game, i still need preserve my relationship with my partner and kick-ass-and-win... i don't want my partner thinking about what an ass i was for calling him out in public... i want him thinking about stuffing the next overhead down their throat.
 
#14
I'll agree. I'm not much of a doubles player, trying to play more since I feel it does help my singles game, so I'm not that used to playing with a partner, I sometimes feel "uncomfortable", since I tend to feel more "guilty" when I miss shots or take the wrong decision. That being said, well I ended up correcting his bad calls. Theres a part of me that suggests I have to support my partner on his calls, good or bad, that same part is noble enough to trust their judgement and that they're not ill-intended. I mean, some close calls I would've called as good, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt, as in, MAYBE I saw the ball too close and couln't be absolutely sure he was wrong. On some balls, he had the better angle and/or was closer to the ball.

On the first call I corrected him, I even hesitated. He called a ball out of the baseline and the other team was like "Come on, that was way in, what do you say?" They asked me since I was at the baseline and again he was at net. I said it had been good. Their point. AT this point of the match he had hooked them on plenty of calls, apparently. And this one was obvious.

On the other point I mentioned, which landed a foot inside the baseline, I've had it. Even though I had a play at the ball and hit a good fh back, I gave them the point. He told me he'd seen it way out and I insisted it was CLEARLY in by a mile. He even attempted to ask if we should play two more.

That was that. End of our "collaboration". I'd say we are a good doubles team, tennis-wise, but I'm not cool with his antics.

EDIT: I have to mention that my partner is the oldest of the four. I'm in my late 30's, the other team mid 20's (really nice cool, polite young guys), and my partner mid 40's. Not cool to fkin act like a brat when you're mid 40's!
Way to make the difficult but right move! It can be hard to overrule your partner and I agree over ruling them seems wrong. On that same note, I assume no one is maliciously calling balls out... they just have bad eyes!
 
#15
I have a list of the known cheaters in my league. They are typically quite forceful in their calls and remind their opponents that it is their call to make and often bully their partners. Sounds like that is exactly what you experienced.

I typically have sympathy for their partners although lose respect for them when they are unwilling to overturn a clearly bad call (usually on a critical point)

There is one I have unfortunately faced multiple times and I have contemplated defaulting the court if I ever have to play against her again. The calls are that bad.

As partner of said cheater, it is a fine line to walk. You can't overturn a call that you did not yourself see clearly. When playing with a bully-type personality, you know you are going to get the business from them when you do overturn a call.

So questions for folks:
1. You are partnered with known cheater (you can't for whatever reason get out of it). What discussion do you have prior to the match?

2. You are facing known cheater (there is history) What discussion do you have (can you have) prior to the match?
These are very good questions.
1. Like I mentioned, I wont play with him as partner if I have the choice. IF there's a case where we HAVE to pair up with each other, I will talk to him and discuss the situation of our "last time". I would ask him to BE ALERT, let ME call my lines (when its my play for example, like on the 1 ft in ball I mentioned). Its dodgy, though, how to address the situation without him feeling like Im calling him a blatant cheater??? I mean, I think I would try and make him see that he is MISSING a lot of calls (not hooking them). I dont know. Anyways, if he would become offended off of this, I wouldnt really care, really.

2. I wouldnt have a prior discussion with him, but I would be alert from ball 1. The first time theres a dodgy call I would have a look at it. My policy is 3 strikes:
First dodgy call: "Are you sure about that? Looked IN to me, pretty sure!" Move on.
Second dodgy call: "Cmon man, thats clearly in, you cant call that out...."
Third dodgy call: "No, that ball is in, its my point, you're either hooking or cant see very well, but Im absolutely certain, its the third time!" (Either call a ref, if available, or stand my ground and claim the point).
 
#16
1. Fortunately I'm cap, and these folks just don't make it onto my teams...but in the off chance I find myself in this situation, I just make a point to let them know that these days, I probably play a few more out balls than most folks, a) because I or the ball are moving too fast, and I'm not going to take a great shot away from someone...and b) I prefer to beat them anyway. I've rarely had to correct a call made by a partner, but when I do, if they get twisted about it that's their damage. If they want to argue with me, I also tell them we're likely to wind up playing with the other two players at some point in the future, so I'd rather set a good rep now than have to overcome a bad rep later...we're in a decent-sized market, but we do see the same players pretty regularly.

2. None really. Since it doesn't happen very often, I just deal with it as it comes...because of the tone I set in #1 above, I think the tight-callers relax a bit when I play them. After about 3-4 obvious bad calls, I might say 'you called that out'? but in a very matter of fact tone...not accusatory -- more like I couldn't hear because of the fan...I've found I don't have to ask that more than a couple times, and the issue seems to go away. Occasionally, if it's not going away, I might ask 'you feel good about that?'...then just beat them anyway...or not...whatever...
True ... On teams I captain, these types of players are not invited .... I like your approach overall.

On point 2 .... There are a few local players that it doesn't matter how fair or generous you are, they are blatant cheaters ... the type that will call a ball out when they have no vantage point, will overule their partners in call and then argue that it is their call to make.
THOSE are the folks that I would like to have a little pre-match conversation about their current bad reputation and that they have the opportunity right here and now to start repairing that reputation .... and I will likely never have the talk.
 
#17
I feel for the OP. That would be an awful experience. Fortunately most of the folks I play with are reasonably fair and there are a few that are bad line callers but generally not to the point they call anything inside the line as "out". Everyone knows those guys and we will over rule them. You'd think they'd get the message but they never seem to. I certainly would never enter a tournament with a person like that. Too much drama.

The secret to enjoying life in doubles tennis is really finding good folks that are social and positive. Don't settle for Becky or the rest of her cohorts.

Too bad you didn't see it coming, but now you know.
 
#19
I think people often do not correct their partners because they just don’t know the right words. One thing you can say if your partner makes what might be a bad call but you are completely sure is “boy, we’re really calling the lines tight, aren’t we?” If you referred to it as calling the lines tight as opposed to cheating or hooking, they might ease off just enough for their calls to be acceptable.

When I am playing known cheaters, I do nothing about it before or even during the match. If they are going to cheat, they are going to cheat. That means I need to focus up and play my game and win. Simple as that. It means I wind up playing with a slight handicap, but it is still only a handicap.
 
#20
but sounds like he overruled when he was sure...
there are times i was 99% sure that my partner was wrong on the call, but because i wasn't 100% sure (ie. i was at the net, and my partner was on top of the baseline), i didn't/couldn't say anything... on the flip side, when the situation was reversed, or if i saw an "IN" gap between ball and the baseline i have and will overrule (privately first, to let my partner change his/her call, but publicly if i must if my partner still insists he/she was right).

side note, if the other team starts looking to me to overrule by asking, "what did you see?" i will vehemently defend my partner (unless i'm sure he's wrong - but then i will only "argue" with him in private...... and if he insists... i'll warn him that i'm going to verbally concedethe point if he doesn't, first).
I was at the net and partner at baseline called it immediately and decisively out. I saw it in (90% sure) as did the opponents. I know him not to be a cheat. Just an honest mistake.They started looking at me and finally asked me.

I told them I thought it was probably in but can't overrule my partner unless I'm 100% sure. They grumbled.

Next time, probably best to say, "Partner's call. He was closer" and leave it at that. Opponents often cannot grasp the "overrule only if 100% sure" concept and will use my
"probably in. not sure" response to say, 'If you think it's in and your partner thinks its out, it's in".

Are they even supposed to ask my opinion if partner closer to the ball makes an immediate decisive call? I never ask for a second opinion on a definitive call.
 
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#21
I was at the net and partner at baseline called it immediately and decisively out. I saw it in (90% sure) as did the opponents. I know him not to be a cheat. Just an honest mistake.They started looking at me and finally asked me.

I told them I thought it was probably in but can't overrule my partner unless I'm 100% sure. They grumbled.

Next time, probably best to say, "Partner's call. He was closer" and leave it at that. Opponents often cannot grasp the "overrule only if 100% sure" concept and will use my
"probably in. not sure" response to say, 'If you think it's in and your partner thinks its out, it's in".

Are they even supposed to ask my opinion if partner closer to the ball makes an immediate decisive call? I never ask for a second opinion on a definitive call.
i’ve been there many times... like you said, my typical answer is “my partner was in a better position to make the call”.

of course it’s ok to ask, and sometimes folks get desperate and will. the less prepared will fumble the answer and make their team look guilty, lol.
 
#23
i’ve been there many times... like you said, my typical answer is “my partner was in a better position to make the call”.

of course it’s ok to ask, and sometimes folks get desperate and will. the less prepared will fumble the answer and make their team look guilty, lol.
In singles, I only call balls out if I am 100% sure. If I have 1% doubt, it is in. I'm sure I've given opponents many free points with generous calls.
That seems to be at odds with the doubles "overrule your partner only if your 100% sure" guideline.
I can see an argument whereby if one has significant doubt on their partner's call (let's say 50% doubt instead of 1%), he should concede the point.
I suspect the only reason it is not done is that one risks alienating his partner.
 
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#24
In singles, I only call balls out if I am 100% sure. If I have 1% doubt, it is in. I'm sure I've given opponents many free points with generous calls.
That seems to be at odds with the doubles "overrule your partner only if your 100% sure" guideline.
I can see an argument whereby if one has significant doubt on their partner's call (let's say 50% doubt instead of 1%), he should concede the point.
I suspect the only reason it is not done is that one risks alienating his partner.
Interesting point; I've never thought about it in this context.

I guess it boils down to the way in which doubles partners interact and also individual personalities [ie one partner is definitive [even if he's wrong] so it's harder to contradict].
 
#25
In singles, I only call balls out if I am 100% sure. If I have 1% doubt, it is in. I'm sure I've given opponents many free points with generous calls.
That seems to be at odds with the doubles "overrule your partner only if your 100% sure" guideline.
I can see an argument whereby if one has significant doubt on their partner's call (let's say 50% doubt instead of 1%), he should concede the point.
I suspect the only reason it is not done is that one risks alienating his partner.
also presumes your partner is in a superior position to make the call.
i likely won't allow my partner to overrule me if i'm on the baseline, and he's at the net, and it's really close to the line.
 
#26
also presumes your partner is in a superior position to make the call.
i likely won't allow my partner to overrule me if i'm on the baseline, and he's at the net, and it's really close to the line.
But, the second your partner overules you (whether you allow it or not) the point goes to the opponent, at least how I read The Code .... (disagreement point goes to opponent)

That is the challenge in doubles and why a partner may be hesitant in overruling a call unless they are very sure.

I really dislike players who make calls from terrible vantage points (e.g. on deuce side net near alley calling a ball landing on ad side near baseline as out ... they cannot see it well!)
 
#27
But, the second your partner overules you (whether you allow it or not) the point goes to the opponent, at least how I read The Code .... (disagreement point goes to opponent)

That is the challenge in doubles and why a partner may be hesitant in overruling a call unless they are very sure.

I really dislike players who make calls from terrible vantage points (e.g. on deuce side net near alley calling a ball landing on ad side near baseline as out ... they cannot see it well!)
yup, that's fair.
that's why i will never overrule my partner in public (at first). i'll always stop, walk to him/her, and tell them i disagree... then let them change their call.
but it's also not a disagreement, if i say nothing and they say out. i typically never *call* a ball good. (it's presumed good unless i say "out")
 
#28
I really dislike players who make calls from terrible vantage points (e.g. on deuce side net near alley calling a ball landing on ad side near baseline as out ... they cannot see it well!)
I don't dislike the players necessarily, but I do dislike the practice. It can be tough sometimes to refrain, but I always try to not make hasty calls if I have a bad angle. I also try to not make calls after my partner has hit the ball, so I know that I usually give the opposition a decent number of bad serves.
 
#29
I don't dislike the players necessarily, but I do dislike the practice. It can be tough sometimes to refrain, but I always try to not make hasty calls if I have a bad angle. I also try to not make calls after my partner has hit the ball, so I know that I usually give the opposition a decent number of bad serves.
I agree with your more nuanced statement ... dislike the sin rather than the sinner.

In the case of one particular player who does this in my district ... I also dislike the player as well as the practice.
 
#30
I played a doubles match last night and the two oldest guys in the group seemed to be intent on out bad-calling each other. I had to make a couple overrules. As did my younger opponent. We also went along with a few dubious calls because we weren't in the best spot to over-rule. But it was comical because it was merely a social match. I think I should email both these guys the tennis code for review. It's like they were trying to call lines like they were line judges at the US Open, not doddery old men trying to hold onto their fading tennis skills.
 
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