Gamesmanship?? What would you do?

Homey

Rookie
I need your HONEST opinion on what you would do in this situation.

Most likely I will be playing a guy this week in a tournament that has a bad reputation, and it is well deserved.

I have only played him once, in doubles, 2 or 3 years ago. In that match, he got mad that his team was losing so he cussed me out during the match. He also intentionally called at least 4 balls out that were CLEARLY in. He even called a ball out on match point that was at least a foot inside the line.

In other matches when he is playing other people he tries to take over the court by doing the following:

1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.


I understand what gamesmanship is, but intentionally calling balls out that are clearly in, is just cheating. It is not gamesmanship.

This will be the first time I have faced him since he cussed me out on the court and cheated.

I want your thoughts on what I should do. Here are the options I have come up with. Let me know what you would do, or if you have any better options.

1. Confront him about his line calls BEFORE the match ever starts.
2. Wait till he cheats then confront him.
3. Ask the tournament director for a line judge BEFORE the match starts.
4. After he calls a ball out, immediately call the next ball he hits, OUT!
5. Other_________________________________________________

I am nervous about playing, so I really need some direction on this situation.

I go out to fight hard and win, but I always want to be a nice person when it is over. Most people are like that, but this guy is not. He will do WHATEVER it takes to win, including cheating.

Thanks for your input.
Homey
 

Joeyg

Semi-Pro
State to the tourney director that there have been prior problems with this player, play one point and call for a line judge.
 
You can either hand it back to him, deal with it or go the the officials. Sooner or later you have to learn to deal with these degenerates. Then you will have to teach your kids how to deal with that.
 
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Homey

Rookie
Degenerate

You can either hand it back to him by being a pr1ck, whoop his ayss, deal with it, I wouldn't rat him out. Sooner or later you have to man up and learn to deal with these degenerates. Then you will have to teach your kids how to deal with that.
So just let him to continue to call in balls out? How can you beat a guy who goes by a different set of rules(lines) than what I play by?
 
This sounds like someone who frankly isn't man enough to let his racquet do the talking. He has to count on cheating and "gamesmanship" (if it can be called that) to win at all costs. I'd talk to a tournament director about his reputation and ask for a line judge. If I were a tournament director, I would not let him compete. So what if he paid the fee to get into the tournament? He deserves to have his right to compete taken away.

The sooner he learns that his behavior doesn't even give him a chance to compete, much less, the sooner he will begin taking responsibility for his actions. He has no one to play but himself if he gets thrown out of the tournament.
 

tennytive

Professional
Before you begin, you might ask or remind him to play by the code, since there are no officials working your match.

If he agrees, you should have no problem. If he doesn't, then you might suggest to him that you may need a line judge if his eyesight hasn't improved.

Look him right in the eye and make it clear you won't be intimidated. Sooner or later someone needs to stand up to this guy, and if it's you, you'll be doing yourself and hopefully his future opponents a big favor.

Good luck, and stay focused on your shots and not on his antics. That's what he's hoping for.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Be careful about confronting him before the match - that might make it appear that you are the one who is up to some gamesmanship.
 
Maybe so, if you could get a line judge that would be ideal. With most league matches this is not an option and you are left to deal with people yourself.
 

Homey

Rookie
Dilemma

Be careful about confronting him before the match - that might make it appear that you are the one who is up to some gamesmanship.
Yeah, that is the dilemma. If I start off complaining to the Tournament Director or to the player before the match ever starts, then I look like the spoiled brat.

FYI, the guy is like lake 30's early 40's and is a trust fund baby. He has never had to work as far as I know. So he is spoiled and usually get his way.

Homey
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
Be careful about confronting him before the match - that might make it appear that you are the one who is up to some gamesmanship.
funny - I got a warning once because I told the opponent, before a match, that his calls (against another player) were s$!t and that I would call for an official if he starting making those bs calls against me.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
funny - I got a warning once because I told the opponent, before a match, that his calls (against another player) were s$!t and that I would call for an official if he starting making those bs calls against me.
That is why I posted about OP's suggestion. All that an official knows is that you are the one who tried to pick a fight before the match even started. He/she cannot go by undocumented history claimed by you, so I understand that. It is a tough situation.
 

raiden031

Legend
You should start the match with a clean slate (do not confront him BEFORE the match). Assume he is going to be play with integrity, even though its most likely not the case. If he makes a bad call the first time, you can say, "Are you sure about that?" If he continues to make bad calls, then you escalate it and start calling him out on it. Once its clear he's trying to cheat you, immediately get an umpire involved to call lines.

You shouldn't have to tolerate cheating and these people need to learn a hard lesson.

I've never been cheated like this, but if someone was blatantly cheating against me, I would walk off the court and not give them the pleasure of playing the match. I refuse to play with a smaller court than my opponent, or play with someone who doesn't respect the game or their opponent enough to play fairly.
 

mikro112

Semi-Pro
I need your HONEST opinion on what you would do in this situation.

Most likely I will be playing a guy this week in a tournament that has a bad reputation, and it is well deserved.

I have only played him once, in doubles, 2 or 3 years ago. In that match, he got mad that his team was losing so he cussed me out during the match. He also intentionally called at least 4 balls out that were CLEARLY in. He even called a ball out on match point that was at least a foot inside the line.

In other matches when he is playing other people he tries to take over the court by doing the following:

1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.


I understand what gamesmanship is, but intentionally calling balls out that are clearly in, is just cheating. It is not gamesmanship.

This will be the first time I have faced him since he cussed me out on the court and cheated.

I want your thoughts on what I should do. Here are the options I have come up with. Let me know what you would do, or if you have any better options.

1. Confront him about his line calls BEFORE the match ever starts.
2. Wait till he cheats then confront him.
3. Ask the tournament director for a line judge BEFORE the match starts.
4. After he calls a ball out, immediately call the next ball he hits, OUT!
5. Other_________________________________________________

I am nervous about playing, so I really need some direction on this situation.

I go out to fight hard and win, but I always want to be a nice person when it is over. Most people are like that, but this guy is not. He will do WHATEVER it takes to win, including cheating.

Thanks for your input.
Homey
I once had the same problem with a cheater during college tennis. This one guy was always cheating in important situations, so I lost all three close matches against him. A line judge will only help if he/she stays on your court the whole time. In my case the line judge came and went to the other courts, so my opponent didn't cheat during the time the judge was on our court, but in all other situations.

I wouldn't do anything before the match though.

If you can beat him without having to do anything about the cheating, I would do that and then let a sarcastic remark out after the match ("Nice trying with the cheating").

If cheating is getting out of hand and the line judge is not there all the time, you should rule the first ball after the cheat that bounces within 3 feet of a line OUT. If he complains, ask him to come to the net and then tell him seriously that you can and will cheat him one more time if he decides to continue that behavior. ;) :D

--

Your other problems are handled easily:


1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
Slow it down. Say "I'm not ready yet." If you don't have a CU on the court, nobody cares if the 5 minutes warmup time is exceeded.

2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
So what? Ignore it. Focus on your warmup, your shots, your feeling. You already know how he plays, so it doesn't matter if you can see him in the warmup or not, right?

3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.
Say a loud and sarcastic "Thanks for giving me the ball." every time he does that, but you give him the balls properly every time! Do it as loud so that everybody who is standing around the court and on the next court can hear it. I promise you, if you say it really sarcastically, it will stop within 2 or 3 times. That works for me EVERY time.
 
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Racer41c

Professional
Depends on where you want to take it, which depends on who you are. As such, no one can really give you suggestions unless they really know you.

Having said that, here's what I'd do: "Man up you've no game" when he calls your shots out. I'd also make sure the "score is even" and have some fun with it. "just missed, would have been a nice shot" when he can see it was in.

Lefthanded warmup? I'd hit all drop shots (be sure to warm up before the match).

As you can tell, I don't respond well from intimidation and BS. When I walk off the court, it's on my terms not some dip$hit with a little winky.
 

ALten1

Rookie
Definitely remind the guy of the cussing he gave you before the match starts. People that try to intimidate are usually only acting tough. How you decide to stand up for yourself is your call, but be sure to hold your ground once you do stand up to him.

Don't walk off the court and forfeit...cheat more and better before you walk away and give the guy what he wants, a cheap win.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
Maybe so, if you could get a line judge that would be ideal. With most league matches this is not an option and you are left to deal with people yourself.
Right, but this is a tournament so there should be someone there you can go to if you have problems.

I would agree that confronting the opponent before (or even during) the match is pointless. If they are a tool,they cant help it that they are a complete tool so there is nothing you can do about that...

But going to someone else is better. You paid good money to play in the tournament and you shouldnt have to put up with that kind of crap. (at least the cheating part, some of the other stuff like the left handed warmup or when he shoots balls into the corner for you to fetch are not something anyone can do anything about....)

But Im not saying anyone should get mad and upset and make a big deal about it, they should just stick up for themselves, that's all. (remain calm)

It's better then waiting until it's over and then you choose to cry about it, and even post it on your favorite message board.... Fat lot of good that will do anyone....
 

cknobman

Legend
What kind of area do you play in?

In my area someone with this kind of reputation would not have been tolerated.

I play with a bunch of nice guys but I can guarantee you if someone like that was playing in our area he would have been handed a supreme azzwhoppin by now.

But in response to the original question:
If the match is a tourney then there should be USTA refs walking around. I would request one be present at all times.

If not ref was walking around then once he started pulling his crap I would stop play and talk to him about it. Depending on the outcome wed either continue play - by the rules, stop play and I would file a complaint against him, or I beat the living shIzer out of him.
 

athiker

Hall of Fame
Do you have the option of warming up with your own partner? If not get what you can out of it and if that is nothing then just cut it short and say "Let's get started.". Try to do a little pre-match shoulder warmups...maybe with a stretch band.

Balls returned to opposite corner...pause...look at it a moment and take your sweet time getting the ball going and coming. Waste no energy and try to make it as annoying for him to wait as it is for you. Use the time to strategize about your next serve and point. Maybe call your teammate over to walk along with you! "Joe, I've gotta go get the balls, let's talk about this next point!"

I would not make any advance statement to him or a tourney official. It's been several years, maybe against all odds he's improved his attitude.

Once the cheating starts, and you are 100% positive you are sure and know he knows he is cheating. Not close calls here but cheating, I would just calmly approach the net or during a changeover say, "Look I remember playing you a few years ago, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt today since its been a few years but everyone can see what's going on out there with the calls. Do you want to see who are the better tennis players today or not?"

I doubt if he will admit to cheating but you're giving him a second chance to change. That's also why I would not even use the word "cheating", its what's happening but its a very loaded word and you are still trying to save the integrity of the match at this point.

If it continues, again, as calmly as you can manage say. "I'm not (Or we are not...you have a teammate right?) going to just stand here and let you cheat your way to a win again. I paid my fee for this tournament just like you did. I'm going to get an official so we can play a fair match." You might try to ask the opponent's partner at this point if he feels good about what's going on. It would just depend on your gut feeling about the partner however. Once the work "cheat" is used pretty much any chance at an enjoyable match is pretty much lost anyway.

I don't really get the "ratting out" references. If someone robs me or my home, steals my car maybe, and I go to the police to tell them who did it am I "ratting them out"? Am I supposed to go beat them up myself to be a man or steal something from them to get even instead?

Anyway, that brings this to the hard part. If no official is available do you cheat back? I think that's gotta be your call. Obviously any enjoyment from playing is totally lost at this point as the game is pretty much a farce. I can't honestly say what I would do at that point. Make a public scene every time, embarrass the guy's partner as an accomplice each time, bring up how proud his kids/parents must be of him, say to the next court "Hey guys, have fun playing this guy in the next round....he's about to cheat his way to a win over here!", suggest he take tennis lessons if he really wants to beat someone, bean them with the ball every chance I got, etc. or just shut up and play and get the match over. It can be a fine line to walk w/o appearing like a jerk yourself.

Walking off the court would be very hard for me...letting them "win" without a struggle. The point would no doubt be lost on them anyway since they would've already shown they don't care how they win.

There was a Tennis Channel bit on the U.S. vs Romania I think it was Davis Cup match years ago. The lines calls were so consistently slanted that the U.S. Team had to resort to hitting everything back almost to the middle so nothing could be called out. They were actually able to win that way, but it sucks if one's skills are truly close to begin with and that's just not possible. Good luck, I don't envy your situation.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
Obviously any enjoyment from playing is totally lost at this point as the game is pretty much a farce.
I like this line.

And pretty much at that point if you cared about it being actually "enjoyable" you might as well forget about it because that ship has sailed.....

It's not even tennis at that point. (if for sure you know the guy's cheating on purpose and isnt just making an honest mistake)

The code is designed with two people in mind who are playing the game honorably with the benefit of doubt in mind. When someone is cheating blatantly you might as well toss that out the window.

Generally the few times Ive gotten stuck in that situation Ive found it important to not show them that Im upset, but when it comes to THEIR enjoyment I could care less.

If someone wont give me a warmup (and I feel it's because they are jerk and not because they are simply nervous or maybe not very good), I generally will start feeding balls into the corners or drop shot feeds. Im not a ball machine and it gives them a choice, we either end the warmup or they're going to spend time shagging balls because Im done with them.

If they hit the ball into the opposite corner everytime they gave me back the balls I think when I returned the balls back to them, Id walk up to the net, and just drop them really gently on their side and make them walk up and get them. If they dont like it too bad, maybe they'll get the hint. (and if not we're going to have fun finding ways to make the other player have to go fetch stray balls....)

Or Id open a second can of balls if I have one. Might as well have more since we seem to have an issue with simply returning them.

As far as warming up left handed, I dont care about that as long as I get a warmup. How often do you really get valuable info out of someone in a warmup anyway? (unless they are just terrible on one side or another) And I wouldnt guess that he necessarily is doing it to be sneaky or anything, perhaps he's just practicing playing left handed.....

As far as cheating, I wouldnt confront him ahead of time because that's pointless (if you really know that he's THAT sort of person). Id wait until he does it again and then Id just leave the court and get an official. (instead of arguing with him about it)

If it's un-officiated and it gets out of hand Id either just play on, aim my shots more inward or cheat back but only as a last resort if it gets too ******** out there.

I think it's important to just play your game though and not get worked up about this guy before you've even begun to play the match. The important thing is you're prepared for the worst so at least you cant be all that surprised when it happens again....
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I would just play. If he cheats the lines, I would try to get a line judge. If I couldn't, then I'd just play, and if he needs to cheat to win, oh well. It's just not worth it to me. This is supposed to be fun. Our livelihoods are not on the line here.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
I need your HONEST opinion on what you would do in this situation.

Most likely I will be playing a guy this week in a tournament that has a bad reputation, and it is well deserved.

I have only played him once, in doubles, 2 or 3 years ago. In that match, he got mad that his team was losing so he cussed me out during the match. He also intentionally called at least 4 balls out that were CLEARLY in. He even called a ball out on match point that was at least a foot inside the line.

In other matches when he is playing other people he tries to take over the court by doing the following:

1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.


I understand what gamesmanship is, but intentionally calling balls out that are clearly in, is just cheating. It is not gamesmanship.

This will be the first time I have faced him since he cussed me out on the court and cheated.

I want your thoughts on what I should do. Here are the options I have come up with. Let me know what you would do, or if you have any better options.

1. Confront him about his line calls BEFORE the match ever starts.
2. Wait till he cheats then confront him.
3. Ask the tournament director for a line judge BEFORE the match starts.
4. After he calls a ball out, immediately call the next ball he hits, OUT!
5. Other_________________________________________________

I am nervous about playing, so I really need some direction on this situation.

I go out to fight hard and win, but I always want to be a nice person when it is over. Most people are like that, but this guy is not. He will do WHATEVER it takes to win, including cheating.

Thanks for your input.
Homey
Homey you have got my curiosity up with these references to being cussed out. Can you give us an idea of what he said to you? I've been playing tennis over 30 years and while I've heard (and done) a lot of cussing on court, I've very rarely had any directed specifically at me and I know I've never directed swearing at another player.

IMO, #2 above is not cheating or even gamesmanship unless by playing left handed the opponent is not giving you an adequate warm up. I don't think the purpose of the warm up is to give you a chance to view the other player's strokes.
 

North

Professional
You should start the match with a clean slate (do not confront him BEFORE the match). Assume he is going to be play with integrity, even though its most likely not the case. If he makes a bad call the first time, you can say, "Are you sure about that?" If he continues to make bad calls, then you escalate it and start calling him out on it. Once its clear he's trying to cheat you, immediately get an umpire involved to call lines.
Yep. What he says.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Two questions need answers:

1- Are line judges available to be there for the whole match?

2- Is this win really, really important to you?

If the answer to #1 is: yes, problem solved, if not and the answer to question #2 is: no, problem solved do what you want, perhaps just play normally and don't stress about it.

On the other hand if line judges are not available and you really, really care about this match, you need to cheat back (after the obligatory: "are you sure it was out?" BS).
 

OrangePower

Legend
You should start the match with a clean slate (do not confront him BEFORE the match). Assume he is going to be play with integrity, even though its most likely not the case. If he makes a bad call the first time, you can say, "Are you sure about that?" If he continues to make bad calls, then you escalate it and start calling him out on it. Once its clear he's trying to cheat you, immediately get an umpire involved to call lines.

You shouldn't have to tolerate cheating and these people need to learn a hard lesson.

I've never been cheated like this, but if someone was blatantly cheating against me, I would walk off the court and not give them the pleasure of playing the match. I refuse to play with a smaller court than my opponent, or play with someone who doesn't respect the game or their opponent enough to play fairly.
Agree 100%.

As for the other potential gamesmanship, I would just put up with it and not let it get to me. It does not affect the outcome as long as I don't let it affect my play.

But the cheating can't be tolerated. Call him on it, ask for an official, and if all else fails, do what Raiden suggests and walk off - and make it clear to everyone why you're walking off. Don't try to cheat back because (1) it won't work, and (2) it reduces you to the level of this idiot.
 

TnTBigman

Professional
I once had the same problem with a cheater during college tennis. This one guy was always cheating in important situations, so I lost all three close matches against him. A line judge will only help if he/she stays on your court the whole time. In my case the line judge came and went to the other courts, so my opponent didn't cheat during the time the judge was on our court, but in all other situations.

I wouldn't do anything before the match though.

If you can beat him without having to do anything about the cheating, I would do that and then let a sarcastic remark out after the match ("Nice trying with the cheating").

If cheating is getting out of hand and the line judge is not there all the time, you should rule the first ball after the cheat that bounces within 3 feet of a line OUT. If he complains, ask him to come to the net and then tell him seriously that you can and will cheat him one more time if he decides to continue that behavior. ;) :D

--

Your other problems are handled easily:



Slow it down. Say "I'm not ready yet." If you don't have a CU on the court, nobody cares if the 5 minutes warmup time is exceeded.


So what? Ignore it. Focus on your warmup, your shots, your feeling. You already know how he plays, so it doesn't matter if you can see him in the warmup or not, right?


Say a loud and sarcastic "Thanks for giving me the ball." every time he does that, but you give him the balls properly every time! Do it as loud so that everybody who is standing around the court and on the next court can hear it. I promise you, if you say it really sarcastically, it will stop within 2 or 3 times. That works for me EVERY time.
I like this approach.

When the first sign of gross cheating occurs. Pause the game by going up to the net and look in disbelief, then return. Each event of cheating afterwards, make your reaction more and more noticable yet resonable. The Captains should notice, if not already. If a volunteer line judge or Umpire comes out and there is still cheat- increase the number of drop shots.
 

TnTBigman

Professional
Do you have the option of warming up with your own partner? If not get what you can out of it and if that is nothing then just cut it short and say "Let's get started.". Try to do a little pre-match shoulder warmups...maybe with a stretch band.

Balls returned to opposite corner...pause...look at it a moment and take your sweet time getting the ball going and coming. Waste no energy and try to make it as annoying for him to wait as it is for you. Use the time to strategize about your next serve and point. Maybe call your teammate over to walk along with you! "Joe, I've gotta go get the balls, let's talk about this next point!"

I would not make any advance statement to him or a tourney official. It's been several years, maybe against all odds he's improved his attitude.

Once the cheating starts, and you are 100% positive you are sure and know he knows he is cheating. Not close calls here but cheating, I would just calmly approach the net or during a changeover say, "Look I remember playing you a few years ago, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt today since its been a few years but everyone can see what's going on out there with the calls. Do you want to see who are the better tennis players today or not?"

I doubt if he will admit to cheating but you're giving him a second chance to change. That's also why I would not even use the word "cheating", its what's happening but its a very loaded word and you are still trying to save the integrity of the match at this point.

If it continues, again, as calmly as you can manage say. "I'm not (Or we are not...you have a teammate right?) going to just stand here and let you cheat your way to a win again. I paid my fee for this tournament just like you did. I'm going to get an official so we can play a fair match." You might try to ask the opponent's partner at this point if he feels good about what's going on. It would just depend on your gut feeling about the partner however. Once the work "cheat" is used pretty much any chance at an enjoyable match is pretty much lost anyway.

I don't really get the "ratting out" references. If someone robs me or my home, steals my car maybe, and I go to the police to tell them who did it am I "ratting them out"? Am I supposed to go beat them up myself to be a man or steal something from them to get even instead?

Anyway, that brings this to the hard part. If no official is available do you cheat back? I think that's gotta be your call. Obviously any enjoyment from playing is totally lost at this point as the game is pretty much a farce. I can't honestly say what I would do at that point. Make a public scene every time, embarrass the guy's partner as an accomplice each time, bring up how proud his kids/parents must be of him, say to the next court "Hey guys, have fun playing this guy in the next round....he's about to cheat his way to a win over here!", suggest he take tennis lessons if he really wants to beat someone, bean them with the ball every chance I got, etc. or just shut up and play and get the match over. It can be a fine line to walk w/o appearing like a jerk yourself.

Walking off the court would be very hard for me...letting them "win" without a struggle. The point would no doubt be lost on them anyway since they would've already shown they don't care how they win.

There was a Tennis Channel bit on the U.S. vs Romania I think it was Davis Cup match years ago. The lines calls were so consistently slanted that the U.S. Team had to resort to hitting everything back almost to the middle so nothing could be called out. They were actually able to win that way, but it sucks if one's skills are truly close to begin with and that's just not possible. Good luck, I don't envy your situation.
I like this approach too.

Hope it turns out well. Keep us updated.
 

Homey

Rookie
Here is what he said

Homey you have got my curiosity up with these references to being cussed out. Can you give us an idea of what he said to you? I've been playing tennis over 30 years and while I've heard (and done) a lot of cussing on court, I've very rarely had any directed specifically at me and I know I've never directed swearing at another player.

IMO, #2 above is not cheating or even gamesmanship unless by playing left handed the opponent is not giving you an adequate warm up. I don't think the purpose of the warm up is to give you a chance to view the other player's strokes.
Here is how he cussed me out a two years ago.
We were playing doubles and I make a point of testing the net man right off the bat. Let's call the guy I am talking about is JB. JB would serve and I would return the ball at his partner at the net with some pace on it. Well his partner was struggling with my returns. So when it got time for JB to play the net. He walked up to the net and he started screaming.
"Bring that **** to me!!!" "Bring that **** to me right now!!!"
At first I thought he was joking, but he was not. He kept saying
"You try that **** on me"

Once I figured out he was serious, I was in shock. I told him that I was here to have fun. None of us were Pros, and there was no since in talking like that.

He continued to say "Your not going to Hit that **** on me!!!"
Needless to say I was rattled the rest of the match. He also started calling lots of balls out that were clearly 6-12 inches in.

Have never had to play him since then, but a good chance that I will play him in singles this weekend at the tournament.
 

JoelDali

Talk Tennis Guru
I played the same guy in two tourney finals last Summer and each time he called for the TD within the FIRST GAME accusing me of hooking.

Imagine that, hooking calls in the first game in an NTRP tourney final.

I was rattled.

Lost both finals.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
Here is how he cussed me out a two years ago.
We were playing doubles and I make a point of testing the net man right off the bat. Let's call the guy I am talking about is JB. JB would serve and I would return the ball at his partner at the net with some pace on it. Well his partner was struggling with my returns. So when it got time for JB to play the net. He walked up to the net and he started screaming.
"Bring that **** to me!!!" "Bring that **** to me right now!!!"
At first I thought he was joking, but he was not. He kept saying
"You try that **** on me"

Once I figured out he was serious, I was in shock. I told him that I was here to have fun. None of us were Pros, and there was no since in talking like that.

He continued to say "Your not going to Hit that **** on me!!!"
Needless to say I was rattled the rest of the match. He also started calling lots of balls out that were clearly 6-12 inches in.

Have never had to play him since then, but a good chance that I will play him in singles this weekend at the tournament.
Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

He sounds like a really fun guy to be around. A real charmer. </sarcasm>

I wish you luck, wisdom, and patience if you have to play him.
 

kelawai

Rookie
Thanks for bringing up this issue. I have played and been to many matches. Some don't even have coordinator or officials around. Not only that, a lot of matches the Captain don't even show up. When this cheating happen, who I gonna call to judge the match?

About cheater, this is one part of their game. I had experienced one player walk off the court without notice during changeover when he is down. And come back 2 minutes later. I can see him through the glass and he was standing in the club lobby. Just that, standing there. And in Mixed Dubs, we all know both Captains is not showing up. The opponent have one player always making bad lines call. All our Men player doesn't want to play that match.

I heard that if many players will come out and complaint to the tournament director, league coordinator then they will have a talk with this player. If your are the first one to complaint, that doesn't help to prove him cheat.
 

Delano

Rookie
You've already gotten some good general advice here. The only thing I'd add is: never accuse your opponent of dishonesty or cheating. Instead, just describe everything as a difference of opinion that requires an official's intervention to be resolved.

Also, bring a copy of the code.

For instance, if he refuses to give you a decent warm up, stop the warm up and say "unfortunately, I' don't think I'll be able the warm up warm up with you. Would you mind if I used a different hitting partner?" When he says no, he'll try to engage you in an argument. Don't try to reason with him, just say "it sounds like we have a disagreement, so we should call an official." When the official comes over, say that you were unable to get an adequate warm up because your opponent's shots (make it about the shot, not the opponent himself) were inconsistent and erratic, which made it impossible for you to warm up. Bring the code, and refer to the section that says the opponent "should make a special effort to hit shots directly to the opponent." He'll say "I was" or, if he's stupid, "he's lying!" (accusations tend to bring more suspicion upon the accuser, especially when the accused is reasonable and the accuser has a history of pulling this kind of crap). You say, "unfortunately, we disagree, which is why we brought you here to make a decision - may I warm up with a different partner?"

Similarly, if he makes a bad call, just say "I disagree with your call, are you sure?" He'll say no, you say "it looked clearly in to me, so we have a disagreement." And once again, bring over the official. Describe it as a simple disagreement (don't equivocate, be very clear about your opinion, just stay objective).

Same for sending balls to the far side of the court, or time delays, or the other crap a small portion of the tennis playing population likes to pull. Since you have a history with this guy, do it right away.

One thing - this guy does seem to be a bozo. An experienced hooker will wait until a critical moment (ie., a second serve close to the line when his opponent is serving 30-40, 5-6). An official can't review a point that has already been played, and if the aggrieved player demands that the official remain, the hooker will simply remain honest for the remainder of the match, knowing that a surgical bit of precision dishonesty has already done the damage, and knowing now that he can bolster the impression of honest line calling for the remainder of the match.
 

pabletion

Hall of Fame
1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
Try and warm up before. I cant warm up in 15 mins so what I always do is go to the courts at least 30 mins before my match and have someone to hit with, for like 20 minutes or so, and sometimes even warm up my serve, so when we do the pre match warmup Im already ready to go

2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
Well, thats his prob. Its supposed to be a warmup not a "show me your strokes" showcase. Dont mind that.

3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.
This I find incredibly rude. What I would do is, at the first time he hits the ball away from me, ask: could you pass them to me please or to the middle of the court? If it happens again Id say something like:dude, I already asked you to please pass them near me...
The third time, payback, when its time for me to pass balls to him scatter the balls all over the place and ask him how does he like it.

I understand what gamesmanship is, but intentionally calling balls out that are clearly in, is just cheating. It is not gamesmanship.

1. Confront him about his line calls BEFORE the match ever starts.
2. Wait till he cheats then confront him.
3. Ask the tournament director for a line judge BEFORE the match starts.
4. After he calls a ball out, immediately call the next ball he hits, OUT!
5. Other_________________________________________________

I go out to fight hard and win, but I always want to be a nice person when it is over. Most people are like that, but this guy is not. He will do WHATEVER it takes to win, including cheating.

Homey
1. Dont confront him before the match, give him the benefit of the doubt to be fair. Dont mention the last episode where he cussed u, let the past stay in the past and start over.
2. Again my rule of three, hehe: first time, something like "whoaaa, that was way close, are you sure?", then let it go. Second time say something like "thats way too close and its the second one". The third time dont let him have it, call him out saying stuff like "this has happened all match long no way, that ball is in" and stand your ground. Call an official if there are any and dont play till someone shows up or last case scenario, start calling his shots out. I wouldnt like that last one, I wouldnt stand for his cheating and would probably claim those points he takes by cheating.
3. Id wait to call a referre or director till the cheating is very obvious
4. That would be my last resource, if a resource at all.

5. Personally, if hes a flagrant cheater, meaning he calls a ball out that has CLEARLY landed in, say by half a foot or so and theres no doubt, I would be all over it from the first time, maybe give him the first one after arguing it but the next time for sure I wouldnt give it to him. If hes really that kind of a jerk maybe I would deliberately call some obvious in balls out, and say something like: how do you like it now?
Bullies (cause theyre kind of bullies) like that have no place competing and the only way to take them out is not let them get away with cheating, you just have to stand your ground, why would anyone let a cheater get away with stealing calls? Good luck let us all know how it went!
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
State to the tourney director that there have been prior problems with this player, play one point and call for a line judge.
Ask the TD to assign an umpire before the match begins. Such players are widely observed and I am sure the TD also knows about him.

If you become like him then there won't be any difference; you both will be equally bad.

The best thing would be to ask for an umpire given the guy's previous demonstrated record with other players.
 
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Tennisman912

Semi-Pro
That is unfortunate but the first thing you do is laugh and smile the first time and make sure he sees it isn’t going to bother you one bit. If he cusses at you, smile, then laugh a bit and ask him if that usually works for him. Then move on. This is a battle of wills. Will you let it bother you and self-destruct or allow him to do that? If he realizes his usual tactics are not going to work, he may try to play straight up. Despite his reputation, give him the benefit of the doubt and treat it like any other match and don’t talk to him or a tourney director before hand.

People like this know the only way they have a chance to win is play games. Once they realize it isn’t going to work, they will probably self-destruct. If they don’t and try to cheat even worse, then get the tournament director. Then I suggest not ever playing with them again. Maybe have a few extra people around to watch as well. But don’t stoop to his level, even if you end up losing. Don’t compromise your integrity for an idiot.

Kept your head and you will be fine. Granted, easier said than done. But you will like the results.

Best of luck

TM
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
1. Dont confront him before the match, give him the benefit of the doubt to be fair. Dont mention the last episode where he cussed u, let the past stay in the past and start over.
2. Again my rule of three, hehe: first time, something like "whoaaa, that was way close, are you sure?", then let it go. Second time say something like "thats way too close and its the second one". The third time dont let him have it, call him out saying stuff like "this has happened all match long no way, that ball is in" and stand your ground. Call an official if there are any and dont play till someone shows up or last case scenario, start calling his shots out. I wouldnt like that last one, I wouldnt stand for his cheating and would probably claim those points he takes by cheating.
3. Id wait to call a referre or director till the cheating is very obvious
4. That would be my last resource, if a resource at all.

5. Personally, if hes a flagrant cheater, meaning he calls a ball out that has CLEARLY landed in, say by half a foot or so and theres no doubt, I would be all over it from the first time, maybe give him the first one after arguing it but the next time for sure I wouldnt give it to him. If hes really that kind of a jerk maybe I would deliberately call some obvious in balls out, and say something like: how do you like it now?
Bullies (cause theyre kind of bullies) like that have no place competing and the only way to take them out is not let them get away with cheating, you just have to stand your ground, why would anyone let a cheater get away with stealing calls? Good luck let us all know how it went!
No need for such a lengthy response. Do not confuse the issue. Simply ask the TD to assign an umpire given this guy's previous record, period.

On the circuit, I scout my daughter's opponents. In an international junior tournament, or in an ITF Women Pro Circuit events, it is easy to spot players with bad reputation, or those who have created problems for Sarah in her previous matches. I simply alert the Referee to the situation and he assigns either an observer or an umpire. Some time the Referee himself would stand there for a while and keep on visiting the match. The fear that someone might be observing, solves the problem.
 

ALten1

Rookie
If he cusses at you again, respond with 'your momma'. Talk about his momma, no way he can keep a cool head.

BTW to me, he was cussing at you but not cussing you out.
 

Taxvictim

Semi-Pro
It's interesting how this guy's behavior several years ago is already getting in your head a week before you might play him again. That said, if this cad regularly misbehaves and cheats, he should have a notorious reputation for it. That would make it easier to get a ref to your court.

On the other hand, the guy might be completely different now than he was the one time you played him those years ago. You won't know until you get into the match. Will you get a chance to watch one of his earlier matches in this tourney? If so, then you'll know what to expect.

As to his warming up with his left hand, who cares? That just means his racquet arm will get less of a warm up.

Please let us know how it goes. You've really got us curious.
 

pabletion

Hall of Fame
No need for such a lengthy response. Do not confuse the issue. Simply ask the TD to assign an umpire given this guy's previous record, period.

On the circuit, I scout my daughter's opponents. In an international junior tournament, or in an ITF Women Pro Circuit events, it is easy to spot players with bad reputation, or those who have created problems for Sarah in her previous matches. I simply alert the Referee to the situation and he assigns either an observer or an umpire. Some time the Referee himself would stand there for a while and keep on visiting the match. The fear that someone might be observing, solves the problem.
well most of the times there wont be anyone there to go watch the match. I dont know if OP is playing ITF tourneys or what, but Im assuming theyre amateur tournaments and from experience, its not easy to get a referee for those types of matches, in my case, if you ask for a referee you get charged like $25. There will be times you need to work out the issues yourself, my lenghty response is considering what I would do.
 

Sakkijarvi

Semi-Pro
If there is a line judge available, go with that as suggested.

If there is no line judge, have a couple of your buddies there to watch the match. That might help.

I am a little leery about these people lately, not interested in confrontations with 'damage cases'. I guess I am getting older, just like interacting with those with good sportsmanship and zero interest in even passing contact with the remainder.
 
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If your playing in those numbers tournaments, switch to age group tournaments. I've never experienced that kind of extreme warped behavior in senior age groups tournaments in nearly 20 years playing in them.
 

Inner Game

Semi-Pro
I need your HONEST opinion on what you would do in this situation.

Most likely I will be playing a guy this week in a tournament that has a bad reputation, and it is well deserved.

I have only played him once, in doubles, 2 or 3 years ago. In that match, he got mad that his team was losing so he cussed me out during the match. He also intentionally called at least 4 balls out that were CLEARLY in. He even called a ball out on match point that was at least a foot inside the line.

In other matches when he is playing other people he tries to take over the court by doing the following:

1. He tries to hurry the warmup.
2. He hits with his left hand during warmup so you can't see his strokes.
3. Once the match has started and a point is complete, he will hit the balls to the opposite corner that you are in, so you have to walk around to pick up the balls.


I understand what gamesmanship is, but intentionally calling balls out that are clearly in, is just cheating. It is not gamesmanship.

This will be the first time I have faced him since he cussed me out on the court and cheated.

I want your thoughts on what I should do. Here are the options I have come up with. Let me know what you would do, or if you have any better options.

1. Confront him about his line calls BEFORE the match ever starts.
2. Wait till he cheats then confront him.
3. Ask the tournament director for a line judge BEFORE the match starts.
4. After he calls a ball out, immediately call the next ball he hits, OUT!
5. Other_________________________________________________

I am nervous about playing, so I really need some direction on this situation.

I go out to fight hard and win, but I always want to be a nice person when it is over. Most people are like that, but this guy is not. He will do WHATEVER it takes to win, including cheating.

Thanks for your input.
Homey
Let him do whatever he wants...don't worry about anything he does......there's 1 really good way to deal with a guy like this....Call him the wrong first name every time you change ends or if you dispute a call...Nothing drives a guy like this more crazy...Even if you lose you can have a good laugh....
 

Homey

Rookie
UPDATE from this weekend

This is for those of you who were wanting to know what happened.

JB, the guy I was talking about, was in the other half of the bracket. He got to the finals. I lost in the semis so did not face him this tournament.

However, the guy who beat me in the semis, (lets call him MP), played JB in the finals obviously. I warned MP to watch the line calls when he played JB in the finals.

Needless, to say it didn't take long, JB called the very first ball out and MP clearly saw it in. So they had a "discussion" for about 3 minutes. This happened two more times in the first set. So MP went and got the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director had to go out and call lines for the second and third set. MP ended up winning the match in a third set super tie-break.

I didn't play against JB this tournament, but I know I will run into him this year, so thanks for all the input guys.

Homey
 
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