How to Act After a Match Ends

Wesley J

Rookie
Begin Rant...

Occasionally I'll play a match (both friendly matches and competitive/league matches) where I'll win and after coming to the net and shaking hands and exchanging the pleasantries and chit chat; some will say something to the effect of "You know I haven't played in X amount of time" or, if they are are older than me, they make sure to point out the age gap (this really makes me roll my eyes as I've been beaten by plenty older and slower, but more skilled players).

Honestly, this bothers me in both types of matches. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it feels like an unnecessary excuse that serves to diminish a win. Whenever I lose, I never say anything like that to my opponent. I chalk it up to them being better than me at that point and time and make it a point to play them again and win.

I was curious about other takes on this type of situation.

End Rant.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
Whether it happens during or after a match, this type of excuse making is probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to tennis. I get even more annoyed when my opponent is beating/has beaten me and makes a comment along the lines of, "Man, I'm playing/I played really bad."

I had some choice words for some of these excuse makers when I was younger. Now, it still bugs me, but I just roll my eyes and let it go.
 
N

Nashvegas

Guest
Can't wait to finally get a win myself and see how the other guy reacts.

But seriously. (That wasn't serious?)

Just a natural reaction of not wanting to believe someone was better. Had to have been some other reason for the loss. Out too late drinking the night before, sick, injured, distracted by blonde next court over, bad lighting, slick grips, uneven court, forgot to bring water, learning new stroke, not motivated, sandbagging (subconsciously or deliberately), new racquet, tight shoes, left towel at home, loss of string tension, net too high, balls too flat, sun too bright, too much noise, can't play in the wind, and why doesn't the a/c ever work in this damn place?
 

OrangePower

Legend
Agreed that there is no reason to say anything along those lines to an opponent after a match ends.
But if an opponent does that to me it doesn't bother me... in one ear and out the other.
If anything it makes me chuckle inside that they have to come up with excuses to themselves for losing.
 
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Wesley J

Rookie
I mean, I'm fine with people thinking it and it may even be true that they played badly or something was off that day. But to say it right after a match ends feels like bad sportsmanship/sore loser.
 

Tennisplyr

Rookie
Unfortunately this happens many, many times. My arms hurt, I like pace, have a cold, etc etc. Poor sportsmanship, I think feel if they elevate your play it diminishes theres. People hate losing and they will do almost anything to reduce the pain...even if it mean being dillusional.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I mean, I'm fine with people thinking it and it may even be true that they played badly or something was off that day. But to say it right after a match ends feels like bad sportsmanship/sore loser.
completely agree it's bad sportsmanship/sore loser.
 

johnnyb

Semi-Pro
I just think: "Bad loser!". :p

But the truth is, when I lose, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I played worse than usual, my serve didn't work, I was tired and things like that. In my defense, I never say that to my opponent.
 
When I've won (which isn't often) get the azzhole that says "I really played bad today", I usually tell them to find a good coach a pay for a few lessons so it doesn't happen again.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Begin Rant...

Occasionally I'll play a match (both friendly matches and competitive/league matches) where I'll win and after coming to the net and shaking hands and exchanging the pleasantries and chit chat; some will say something to the effect of "You know I haven't played in X amount of time" or, if they are are older than me, they make sure to point out the age gap (this really makes me roll my eyes as I've been beaten by plenty older and slower, but more skilled players).

Honestly, this bothers me in both types of matches. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it feels like an unnecessary excuse that serves to diminish a win. Whenever I lose, I never say anything like that to my opponent. I chalk it up to them being better than me at that point and time and make it a point to play them again and win.

I was curious about other takes on this type of situation.

End Rant.
ok, you won. What else do you need? Flowers? A thank you note in the mail for being kind enough to have played? why do you care what he says?
 

Wesley J

Rookie
ok, you won. What else do you need? Flowers? A thank you note in the mail for being kind enough to have played? why do you care what he says?
Could be immaturity, could be ego, probably both. However, if I play someone that I haven't been able to beat and I work to be able to beat them and finally do. If they toss me a comment like "off night for me" or "I played terrible" after the match, I'd feel like they just undermined any and all work I put in.

I understand where you're coming from but that's just my nature lol.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
ok, you won. What else do you need? Flowers? A thank you note in the mail for being kind enough to have played? why do you care what he says?
Because most people are socialized to care and words do matter. If you're one of those people who are immune to words, you're an outlier.

My bottom line is to be cool and not make excuses.
 

Freddy Cat

Professional
Begin Rant...

Occasionally I'll play a match (both friendly matches and competitive/league matches) where I'll win and after coming to the net and shaking hands and exchanging the pleasantries and chit chat; some will say something to the effect of "You know I haven't played in X amount of time" or, if they are are older than me, they make sure to point out the age gap (this really makes me roll my eyes as I've been beaten by plenty older and slower, but more skilled players).

Honestly, this bothers me in both types of matches. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it feels like an unnecessary excuse that serves to diminish a win. Whenever I lose, I never say anything like that to my opponent. I chalk it up to them being better than me at that point and time and make it a point to play them again and win.

I was curious about other takes on this type of situation.

End Rant.
Obviously you are a little more secure in yourself than they are. Unwilling to accept defeat is ridiculous, and a maturity issue -- regardless of age.
 
ok, you won. What else do you need? Flowers? A thank you note in the mail for being kind enough to have played? why do you care what he says?
A beer, lunch, maybe a box of See's chocolates would be appropriate. If the OP didn't care what he said, we wouldn't need a TWTT forum to write about it, and you would't have this opportunity to contribute your pithy comment. Playing a tennis match is one of the highest forms of human endeavor, requiring one's maximum personal skills and a test of one's character. Opponent's who denigrate the winner of this competition spoiling there moment of victory, are bad losers and should be condemned to playing pac-man with themselves for eternity--or an hour and a half, which ever comes first.
 
I played dubs against a hacker the other day, I came in cold, no warm-up, and didn't put my shoes on until the first change-over. After beating him, he said to me that my "serve was really good--when it went in." He had already played three sets, and I had played none. I don't serve big until after one set, and my shoulder is warmed-up otherwise you risk injury. It also takes a while to get the serve calibrated to start hitting the spots. I told him I didn't appreciate his sarcasm, he seemed shocked and offended that I took his "complement" on my serve the wrong way--I don't think he'll be asking me to play again--or I hope not.
 
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Matthew Lee

Professional
To be fair, when I wasn't as good as I was in tennis, I played with people who were...pretty old. They used to beat me, and tell me that I was only going to get better. I was very thankful for that. I played with them a year ago for the last time, because my dad won't let me play with them. By this point, I had reached a certain level, and it was higher than their level. They just said, "you've gotten better, just like we knew you would", and would end it in a positive note. The only people who have had terrible sportsmanship in the face of defeat are those who I have played in high school who are just salty that they couldn't beat a popsicle like me.
 

14OuncesStrung

Semi-Pro
To be fair, when I wasn't as good as I was in tennis, I played with people who were...pretty old. They used to beat me, and tell me that I was only going to get better. I was very thankful for that. I played with them a year ago for the last time, because my dad won't let me play with them. By this point, I had reached a certain level, and it was higher than their level. They just said, "you've gotten better, just like we knew you would", and would end it in a positive note. The only people who have had terrible sportsmanship in the face of defeat are those who I have played in high school who are just salty that they couldn't beat a popsicle like me.
What's the deal with your father?
 

Wesley J

Rookie
To be fair, when I wasn't as good as I was in tennis, I played with people who were...pretty old. They used to beat me, and tell me that I was only going to get better. I was very thankful for that. I played with them a year ago for the last time, because my dad won't let me play with them. By this point, I had reached a certain level, and it was higher than their level. They just said, "you've gotten better, just like we knew you would", and would end it in a positive note. The only people who have had terrible sportsmanship in the face of defeat are those who I have played in high school who are just salty that they couldn't beat a popsicle like me.
Exactly. I've played with older "mentor" types as well that just want to see you improve and then those at the other end of the spectrum that just out of nowhere state their age ("well you know, I just turned 60 not too long ago and I'm not as spry as I used to be") right after we shake hands at the end. Maybe it is just conversation but it just seems weird to lead with that, would you have said that if I was closer to your age?
 
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Nashvegas

Guest
I kid you all not, opponent's first words at net as we shook hands after our match today: "We'll give you guys a better match once my shoulder gets better."

Thanks to this thread I was prepared to react graciously.
 

milk of amnesia

Hall of Fame
People often seem to come up with injury excuses when they lose. I don't want to be snarky or argumentative, so I say something like, "Thanks for not cancelling the match, I hope your injury heals quickly."

When I win a match, I try to find something nice to say about my opponent's game like, "You won a lot of points on that great backhand slice," or "I wish I could serve up aces like that." Unfortunately, many people are unable to accept a genuine compliment and respond back with some sarcastic comment. I don't know why some people can't be pleasant; they act as though being rude is the appropriate response to a loss. I don't bother to get into any drawn-out conversations with them; instead, I just move on.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
If it is someone I haven't played before and in a competitive setting, "good match" and a handshake is all I want. Personally, being buddy-buddy right after a loss is not an option and complimenting me just feels like pity for the fallen. Players usually know what they did poorly and what they did well.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I kid you all not, opponent's first words at net as we shook hands after our match today: "We'll give you guys a better match once my shoulder gets better."

Thanks to this thread I was prepared to react graciously.
You could have done the "one-upmanship" thing by saying "I hear ya, man. I just got released from St. Jude's Hospital for the Criminally Insane and they don't let us have tennis racquets in there. Too easy to make a shiv. Well, see you next week!" ;)
 
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Nashvegas

Guest
You could have done the "one-upmanship" thing by saying "I hear ya, man. I just got released from St. Jude's Hospital for the Criminally Insane and they don't let us have tennis racquets in there. Too easy to make a shiv. Well, see you next week!" ;)
Made me laugh S&V.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Personally, being buddy-buddy right after a loss is not an option and complimenting me just feels like pity for the fallen.
If I feel that way, it's usually my ego getting in the way. I've picked up some excellent hitting partners after a loss so I like to keep an open mind, win or lose.
 

FedLIKEnot

Professional
I agree and encounter this more often than I would like. Mostly as I play USTA leagues and more casual hitting sessions with friends. I live by the whole do unto others thing, and I will admit I was ultra competitive early on and didn't like losing...but the tennis pro at my club once put it like this:

When you lose and you weren't 100% that isn't the opponents fault and if you didn't feel you could win as you were you should've told your captain and further if you played anyways you must accept that it wasn't all there. If you lose and you didn't play well more often then not the people on the other side of the net were the reason, so show them respect in that. If they hit every ball right to us and hit a neutral ball to rally we would expect to win. So you must give credit when you lose and often we don't. Rather we want to just blame our forehands for being missing in action when mostly it was our opponents fault for that.

So when I walk to the net I say great match, way to pull it out, etc but never to distract from there win. And when I walk to the net the winner and they say something to the effect of my shoulder this or elbow that, or I have even had someone blame their stringer I just say great match we will have to see how it goes next time.
 

Turbo-87

Legend
To be fair, when I wasn't as good as I was in tennis, I played with people who were...pretty old. They used to beat me, and tell me that I was only going to get better. I was very thankful for that. I played with them a year ago for the last time, because my dad won't let me play with them. By this point, I had reached a certain level, and it was higher than their level. They just said, "you've gotten better, just like we knew you would", and would end it in a positive note. The only people who have had terrible sportsmanship in the face of defeat are those who I have played in high school who are just salty that they couldn't beat a popsicle like me.
That's something I really like to see in tennis. Positive comments from elders really go a long way toward developing young talent and shaping who they are as players, pointing them in a positive direction.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
I played dubs against a hacker the other day, I came in cold, no warm-up, and didn't put my shoes on until the first change-over. After beating him, he said to me that my "serve was really good--when it went in." He had already played three sets, and I had played none. I don't serve big until after one set, and my shoulder is warmed-up otherwise you risk injury. It also takes a while to get the serve calibrated to start hitting the spots. I told him I didn't appreciate his sarcasm, he seemed shocked and offended that I took his "complement" on my serve the wrong way--I don't think he'll be asking me to play again--or I hope not.
Maybe your opponent wasn't trying to be sarcastic, as you noted his "shock". Seems a bit of overreaction on your part.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
I agree and encounter this more often than I would like. Mostly as I play USTA leagues and more casual hitting sessions with friends. I live by the whole do unto others thing, and I will admit I was ultra competitive early on and didn't like losing...but the tennis pro at my club once put it like this:

When you lose and you weren't 100% that isn't the opponents fault and if you didn't feel you could win as you were you should've told your captain and further if you played anyways you must accept that it wasn't all there. If you lose and you didn't play well more often then not the people on the other side of the net were the reason, so show them respect in that. If they hit every ball right to us and hit a neutral ball to rally we would expect to win. So you must give credit when you lose and often we don't. Rather we want to just blame our forehands for being missing in action when mostly it was our opponents fault for that.

So when I walk to the net I say great match, way to pull it out, etc but never to distract from there win. And when I walk to the net the winner and they say something to the effect of my shoulder this or elbow that, or I have even had someone blame their stringer I just say great match we will have to see how it goes next time.
This is similar to Roddick's mantra, if you're healthy enough to step on the court, you're healthy enough to take the beating like a man.

Probably need more than the single comment, but if a guy was whining most of the match, I would almost counter with "So you'll be able to take your beating like a man next time?"

If I say anything about my forehand or whatever, I'll also say it's because the opponent kept putting me in bad positions.
 

coyote

Semi-Pro
How to act? Win or lose, you go shake hands and say nice match. I either say congratulations and good luck in the future or I say good match and hope them the best of luck.

After the match when nonone is around I may say things that I would not say in their presence.

As for the people who have to tell you how lucky I am to win, I just nod and agree and then when they are no longer in my presence, I will likely mention it.

I try to win/lose with grace or dignity (can't say I have never let my emotions get the better but fortunately it is the exception and not the rule). With that said, when the time is right, I have expressed my actual opinion but rarely to never in the presence of my opponent. If the score is lopsided in my favor, I will say I just really played great today or out of my mind... whether I did or not. If it is lopsided against me, I might just say they are very good players and expect to see them to continue to have great success and wish them success.

In reality, I am a far bigger critic of my own game than any opponent will ever be. I just try to keep it to myself. I know I am never as good as my best day or as bad as my worst. I try not to be the guy who lives in some past glory remembering the time I clinched an important match or the time I played my absolute best and ignoring my absolute worst.
 
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newpball

Legend
Begin Rant...

Occasionally I'll play a match (both friendly matches and competitive/league matches) where I'll win and after coming to the net and shaking hands and exchanging the pleasantries and chit chat; some will say something to the effect of "You know I haven't played in X amount of time" or, if they are are older than me, they make sure to point out the age gap (this really makes me roll my eyes as I've been beaten by plenty older and slower, but more skilled players).

Honestly, this bothers me in both types of matches. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it feels like an unnecessary excuse that serves to diminish a win. Whenever I lose, I never say anything like that to my opponent. I chalk it up to them being better than me at that point and time and make it a point to play them again and win.

I was curious about other takes on this type of situation.

End Rant.
Kudos Wesley J for highlighting yet another area we should be way more politically correct.
How dare they saying something awful like that, it ought to be forbidden!



:D
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
It happens, but agree it is a very self-serving act to make those excuses. I always say, there are people I should beat and I always have a lot of reasons why I don't beat them, but none of those are the other persons problem when they win. A loss is a loss, is a loss.
 
Maybe your opponent wasn't trying to be sarcastic, as you noted his "shock". Seems a bit of overreaction on your part.
He didn't have to try being sarcastic, his life is a sarcasm. The terminology for such a remark is : "a back-handed complement"--how apropos since it's tennis.

"... a backhanded (or left-handed) compliment, or asteism, is an insult that is disguised as, or accompanied by, a compliment.."

That's what this thread is about, a-holes who suck the life out of winning, because they are little pricks, who can't come to terms with the fact that they are LOSERS. Next time maybe he'll think before he opens his stupid alcohol besotted club-tie mouth--it's called tough love. Mission accomplished, we won't be playing again, hopefully, and he can keep his sarcasm to his bar-buddies.
 
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kevrol

Hall of Fame
If I'm playing a friend in a friendly match I'll throw out every excuse I can thing of as to why I lost.

If I'm playing a competitive league/tournament match I will always congratulate my opponent and compliment them on their play. If I get blown out I'll add that I wish I'd have given them more of a challenge.
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
I didn't think I had anything to contribute to this thread...until last night.

I'll preface this by saying that I was playing 7.0 mixed, and I'm a 3.5C with a serve that is better than typical at 3.5, so I was eating up the opposing team on my service games.

We won in a 3rd set TB against the captain of the opposing team. After we had walked off the courts and into the lounge, opposing captain says to me: "So, you're a 3.5 self-rate? It seems like you must have played in HS or something." It irked me because the assumption was that I was a sandbagger. I just replied that I was a 3.5C and then proceeded to pretty much ignore her while we watched the other 2 matches finish.

Oh...and their #3 court retired while behind once the second court won and the match had been decided. So...champions of sportsmanship all around on that team.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
Oh...and their #3 court retired while behind once the second court won and the match had been decided. So...champions of sportsmanship all around on that team.
One of them could've had a nagging injury or another legit reason for retiring.
 
One of them could've had a nagging injury or ! legit reason for retiring.
NOT! If they were that injured they shouldn't have played. They should have given the opportunity to another "team-mate" to participate, and they robbed the opposing team of getting to play a match. Given the "attitude" of their captain it's ALL about winning at all costs and not about having fun, exercising and camaraderie of meeting players from other teams. One carves out the time and commits to playing and then nothing. As the OP alluded to : POOR SPORTSMANSHIP!
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
Confession time. made the open finals in a small tourney (not USTA) with my cousin. I am 61, he is 68. Came up against a legit 5.0 player and his 4.0 partner who just smoked us, 6-1, 6-1.
The 5.0 just dominated us. I made a snarky comment or two after the match about age. Shouldn't have. Been ashamed of it ever since. Resolve to act better next time I get smoked, which I am sure will be soon.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
Confession time. made the open finals in a small tourney (not USTA) with my cousin. I am 61, he is 68. Came up against a legit 5.0 player and his 4.0 partner who just smoked us, 6-1, 6-1.
The 5.0 just dominated us. I made a snarky comment or two after the match about age. Shouldn't have. Been ashamed of it ever since. Resolve to act better next time I get smoked, which I am sure will be soon.
Yeah, that's too bad. As you know, totally un-necessary...but I think part of it is your competitive juices are still flowing- which is a good thing! You must've felt if you were younger things would've been closer, and that is probably true. But as you also know, unless the other team were jerks, they probably didn't deserve your scorn. Sucks getting older, that is for sure.
 
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