hit someone in the head, feel bad

blakesq

Professional
#1
So last night we had a doubles match. We are 4.0 men's, and it was good tennis. We won the first set 6-1, second set we were up 5-2, but then the other team started coming back and they even it up at 5-5. anyhow, somewhere around 5-4 or 5-5, we had an intense rally, with at least 3 of us at net, we had very little time to react. A ball came to me, I was at net, and I wanted to end the point, and I hit the ball hard, but I was too slow to get my racket head facing down, and I ended up hitting the opponent net guy in the head. Luckily he turned his head, and the ball hit the side of his head.

I felt terrible, I usually have better control. I like hitting the ball hard, and have no problem hitting at the body or legs of net players, but this made me feel awful. I apologized immediately, then again after the match. The opponent said, its ok, he only gets concerned if the ball hits him in the mouth or eye, which actually made me feel worse, because of course, the ball could have hit him there.

Oh earlier in the match the same opponent hit an overhead in my direction, almost hit me, but I am pretty sure he slowed down his racket.

Anything I should do to feel better? Thanks.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#3
It's tennis, it happens, you apologized twice, you've done your duty.

It doesn't appear you were aiming at him or this happened multiple times in the match, so I would not expect the opponent to feel like there was anything intentional.

Regardless of level, although less so at higher levels, there are situations where due to speed/pace/reactions/position a player can't place the ball exactly where desired. Potentially getting hit is part of the game and an assumed risk, but as long as someone is not targeting their opponent, do the requisite apology and move on.
 
#4
So last night we had a doubles match. We are 4.0 men's, and it was good tennis. We won the first set 6-1, second set we were up 5-2, but then the other team started coming back and they even it up at 5-5. anyhow, somewhere around 5-4 or 5-5, we had an intense rally, with at least 3 of us at net, we had very little time to react. A ball came to me, I was at net, and I wanted to end the point, and I hit the ball hard, but I was too slow to get my racket head facing down, and I ended up hitting the opponent net guy in the head. Luckily he turned his head, and the ball hit the side of his head.

I felt terrible, I usually have better control. I like hitting the ball hard, and have no problem hitting at the body or legs of net players, but this made me feel awful. I apologized immediately, then again after the match. The opponent said, its ok, he only gets concerned if the ball hits him in the mouth or eye, which actually made me feel worse, because of course, the ball could have hit him there.

Oh earlier in the match the same opponent hit an overhead in my direction, almost hit me, but I am pretty sure he slowed down his racket.

Anything I should do to feel better? Thanks.
at 4.0, you should be alert enough at net to recognize a sitter/easy volley that's gonna get crammed down your throat. easy enough to turn your back. now if you're like me (sometimes), where you challenge the net player, then it's my fault for not taking my own safety into account. at 4.5 and up, everyone typically has good enough control that it's safe to actually challenge the net person (even on an overhead)... but accidents happen, so i need to protect myself first.

that said, despite how much harder a high level player can hit... it's far safer to go toe to toe at net with a high level player, because their placement and control are excellent.
similar in bjj... no one wants to roll with the white/blue belt spazzes, because they do things recklessly... it's far safer to roll with the 200lb beast of a black belt, because he knows how to control you.
 
#6
Not at all. He should consciously learn to control his strokes, especially overheads, so that it doesn't happen again.
lol, you're in the camp of, "it's everyone else's fault when bad things happen to me..."
"consciously learn to control his strokes..." i think that's just called "practice"... yes we should all practice tennis if we want to get good.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#7
lol, you're in the camp of, "it's everyone else's fault when bad things happen to me..."
"consciously learn to control his strokes..." i think that's just called "practice"... yes we should all practice tennis if we want to get good.
I have seen pros and D1 college players up close who can seriously injure you, but have learnt to hit their smashes more down and then make them bounce vertically and out of the court. It is a sign of civilized behavior.
 
#8
I have seen pros and D1 college players up close who can seriously injure you, but have learnt to hit their smashes more down and then make them bounce vertically and out of the court. It is a sign of civilized behavior.
of course you should try to avoid hitting someone, but accidents happen.
 
#9
I don't mind getting hit as long as I don't think someone is head hunting. It's just a tennis ball. Unless it hits me in the mouth, eyes or crotch, it's not going to hurt that bad. Also, if I get hit it's usually because, as someone mentioned above, I didn't bail when I should have because I wanted to challenge the person hitting, or I had my hands at my waist like the lazy turd I sometimes am. Neither is the hitter's fault. No big deal.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#10
at 4.0, you should be alert enough at net to recognize a sitter/easy volley that's gonna get crammed down your throat. easy enough to turn your back. now if you're like me (sometimes), where you challenge the net player, then it's my fault for not taking my own safety into account. at 4.5 and up, everyone typically has good enough control that it's safe to actually challenge the net person (even on an overhead)... but accidents happen, so i need to protect myself first.

that said, despite how much harder a high level player can hit... it's far safer to go toe to toe at net with a high level player, because their placement and control are excellent.
similar in bjj... no one wants to roll with the white/blue belt spazzes, because they do things recklessly... it's far safer to roll with the 200lb beast of a black belt, because he knows how to control you.
Agreed. Well, its your own fault or your partner's fault :O

Yes, I've been drilled in the head in a 4.5 doubles match, so reasonably skilled players. I was at net, partner at baseline, he had a shot he reasonably should have been able to hit a good shot off of but didn't resulting in a floater straight to the opponent's net person who drilled a high volley higher than he planned towards me. Given how close I was, I didn't have time to move/react and took one off the forehead. Opponent apologized, I said it was ok, and we continued the match, no hard feelings.

I also unintentionally drilled a female in the gut with an overhead in Mixed when I had to retreat to get the overhead so had to be looking up/back and couldn't be offensive with it and just tried to hit the ball down the middle of the court and the female was lingering right in the middle just inside the T. I apologized (although why she lingers/moves to that spot when I have an overhead who knows) and we moved on.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#11
I got hit in the head last night. I was at net, my partner hit a shot and it fell into the wheelhouse of the opponent net player. I was ready for a volley, but when I saw how big the back swing was (he was going for a swinging volley) I started to drop for cover but the ball was on its way and fortunately I was able to turn my head and got pegged in the side of the head.

Yeah it stung for a while. I don't think he meant anything by it. Nor do I think he had the control to hit or not hit me in the head. It's just part of playing aggressive at net.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#12
I got hit in the head last night. I was at net, my partner hit a shot and it fell into the wheelhouse of the opponent net player. I was ready for a volley, but when I saw how big the back swing was (he was going for a swinging volley) I started to drop for cover but the ball was on its way and fortunately I was able to turn my head and got pegged in the side of the head.

Yeah it stung for a while. I don't think he meant anything by it. Nor do I think he had the control to hit or not hit me in the head. It's just part of playing aggressive at net.
If he doesn't have the control, he should not have a big back swing.

It is not about tennis. It is about human decency.
 
#13
What about when you play mixed and the opposing lady starts running erratically to get out of the way and you end up hitting her anyways because you can't predict which way she was going to move?

Most people just turn around and stand in place making it easy to avoid... but some people just start to run.
 
#14
I think it has happened more since playing higher levels as we tend to aim for feet or pressure net poachers, and miss or they don't move. No biggy really, unless someone is intentionally head hunting, and that is usually easy to spot.

We had one of the college kids step in a doubles match back in November. He shanked a serve that bounced right under his partner and nutted him hard. Like, 90MPH shank right to the tenders!

Stuff happens, even with the best of players.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#15
Yeah what everyone else has said. It’s tennis, when you get to a certain level, we’ve all been pegged by a ball. The key is, like everyone has said is the intention.
 
#16
So last night we had a doubles match. We are 4.0 men's, and it was good tennis. We won the first set 6-1, second set we were up 5-2, but then the other team started coming back and they even it up at 5-5. anyhow, somewhere around 5-4 or 5-5, we had an intense rally, with at least 3 of us at net, we had very little time to react. A ball came to me, I was at net, and I wanted to end the point, and I hit the ball hard, but I was too slow to get my racket head facing down, and I ended up hitting the opponent net guy in the head. Luckily he turned his head, and the ball hit the side of his head.

I felt terrible, I usually have better control. I like hitting the ball hard, and have no problem hitting at the body or legs of net players, but this made me feel awful. I apologized immediately, then again after the match. The opponent said, its ok, he only gets concerned if the ball hits him in the mouth or eye, which actually made me feel worse, because of course, the ball could have hit him there.

Oh earlier in the match the same opponent hit an overhead in my direction, almost hit me, but I am pretty sure he slowed down his racket.

Anything I should do to feel better? Thanks.
You are a savage. Never show your face in this club again son. Later.
 
#17
Anything I should do to feel better?
Send him a dozen red roses. It's only a fuzzy little ball--it's not like it was a golf ball that could kill ya'. Most of the times I've been hit by a ball in the eye or ear, it was a ricochet off my own frame due to not being totally focused--who do I blame then? Compared to other sports that are truly hazardous like MMA boxing, Olympic skateboarding, or moto-cross, getting hit by a tennis ball is a nothing burger. Only one person has been killled by a tennis ball--that was a lineperson who got hit in the chest, got knocked out of his chair and had a heart-attack.
 
#18
Don't feel bad, happens all the time. I've been hit in the head, shoulders, chest, legs. I tend to stay put at net unless the opponent is capable of hitting an extremely hard shot.

Last week I did feel a little bad about nailing my opponent in the nuts. He was at net and my ROS was a flat BH drive that looked like it wouldn't clear the net, but did by about an inch, hit him right where it counts. Took him about 2 minutes to recover.
 
#20
If they are at 4.0, they should know how to play at net. If you get hit up there, it's your own fault.

I personally have no qualms going at them; it is actually my preferred strategy. Until they prove they can handle it, my shots are always aimed right at the net person (chest high or just below the knee, depending on the situation). Unless they it's a woman, which always reminds me why I don't like mixed.
 
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IA-SteveB

Hall of Fame
#23
I usually feel bad if I am even close to hitting someone. I calmly explain that I am not TTMR and don't have sublime form and strokes. I am just a rec player that is lucky to hit where I am aiming.
 
#24
What about when you play mixed and the opposing lady starts running erratically to get out of the way and you end up hitting her anyways because you can't predict which way she was going to move?

Most people just turn around and stand in place making it easy to avoid... but some people just start to run.
this drives me nuts. just stay where you are and spin/crouch away from me, dammit. dont run left or right, i'm already picking one of the open areas to either side of you to smash it. if you move to one of those areas, and i'm already in my motion, there's a 50% chance you're going to get drilled.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#25
Agreed. Well, its your own fault or your partner's fault :O

Yes, I've been drilled in the head in a 4.5 doubles match, so reasonably skilled players. I was at net, partner at baseline, he had a shot he reasonably should have been able to hit a good shot off of but didn't resulting in a floater straight to the opponent's net person who drilled a high volley higher than he planned towards me. Given how close I was, I didn't have time to move/react and took one off the forehead. Opponent apologized, I said it was ok, and we continued the match, no hard feelings.

I also unintentionally drilled a female in the gut with an overhead in Mixed when I had to retreat to get the overhead so had to be looking up/back and couldn't be offensive with it and just tried to hit the ball down the middle of the court and the female was lingering right in the middle just inside the T. I apologized (although why she lingers/moves to that spot when I have an overhead who knows) and we moved on.
When they apologize, I usually say it's ok, but try to hit me in the strings next time. I actively try to get in the flight path of overheads to make a shot. I try to position myself around midcourt where I think it's most likely the ball will be ankle high or so based on where the lob is and where the opponent is hitting from and then try to get a low volley back. I've taken a couple in the thighs, stomach, and chest doing this. It happens, no big deal.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
#26
at 4.0, you should be alert enough at net to recognize a sitter/easy volley that's gonna get crammed down your throat. easy enough to turn your back.
So just the clarify..the OP said that there was little time to react given that 3 of the 4 players (possibly all 4 from the way he phrased it) were already at net. Also, the guy who got hit was turned head to avoid being hit directly in the face which means he WAS alert enough but sometimes at every level of the game you don't have enough time to completely turn the larger portion of your body away. Even then, that doesn't guarantee that you won't be hit in the head. It wasn't like he ran towards the OP when he was setting up to hit an overhead in an effort to "challenge" him.

Also, I think the OP should have felt bad about hitting his his opponent but he also should let go of any guilt over it since it was unintentional AND he apologized. This was a rec tennis match..not flippin' Vale Tudo.
 
#27
So just the clarify..the OP said that there was little time to react given that 3 of the 4 players (possibly all 4 from the way he phrased it) were already at net. Also, the guy who got hit was turned head to avoid being hit directly in the face which means he WAS alert enough but sometimes at every level of the game you don't have enough time to completely turn the larger portion of your body away. Even then, that doesn't guarantee that you won't be hit in the head. It wasn't like he ran towards the OP when he was setting up to hit an overhead in an effort to "challenge" him.

Also, I think the OP should have felt bad about hitting his his opponent but he also should let go of any guilt over it since it was unintentional AND he apologized. This was a rec tennis match..not flippin' Vale Tudo.
there's always enough time to turn your head, which is all that really matters. and the guy did that. good :)
i've gotten hit with an OH in the back of the head (lol after completely turning around and conceding the point)... by a good friend even. it's not that big a deal. stings.
 
#28
What about when you play mixed and the opposing lady starts running erratically to get out of the way and you end up hitting her anyways because you can't predict which way she was going to move?

Most people just turn around and stand in place making it easy to avoid... but some people just start to run.
Had this happen at 9.0 Nationals this year. It was cold and windy and the lob was carrying deep into my court, I knew where the woman was at and she moved while i was in the air and I caught the ball a little late. I hit her pretty hard in the mouth/nose area. I felt terrible. Her lips swelled up overnight but she laughed it off after several minutes.

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