Is it worth making your opponent mad?

#1
Played my first USTA match today. I need some match experience so i guess USTA is a good choice.
My opponent was 6' 4, hit big serves and volley, first serve probably in 100s, 2nd serve probably around 80. First time i returned his serve, i almost dropped my racquet.
score was 3-3, and we had a little dispute. It was my 2nd serve, i thought i heard a let but i kept moving, waiting for his call. He hesitated a bit, but continued the point. I lost rhythm and fenced the ball. When the point was over, i asked him was it a let cord. He said thats what he thought, but no replay because he didn't make the call during point or watever reasons.
needless to say, i was furious. i am not very experienced with that kind of situation. first time ever , i told myself that i was going to destroy the guy. So i was playing some nasty tennis, stuff i never do when play with my friends. Hitting straight at the body a couple times when he rushed the net. At one point, he twisted his ankle. Then I started playing slice / dropshot, then lob. It was not fun for him.
Is there a way to get fire up like that in every match?
 
#2
BTW: it was his call to make on the let. If he didn't call it, it didn't happen. If you get furious, you need to work on your mental toughness. Just imagine when someone actually starts deliberately making bad calls.

So you want to get fired up: does it have to be directed at your opponent? What if your opponent is super nice? What are you going to do then?

How about instead concentrating on giving 100% on every point, ignore the score, take your best shot, and stop when he walks up to the net to shake hands?
 
#4
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#7
BTW: it was his call to make on the let. If he didn't call it, it didn't happen. If you get furious, you need to work on your mental toughness. Just imagine when someone actually starts deliberately making bad calls.

So you want to get fired up: does it have to be directed at your opponent? What if your opponent is super nice? What are you going to do then?

How about instead concentrating on giving 100% on every point, ignore the score, take your best shot, and stop when he walks up to the net to shake hands?
Thats the thing. I am a slow starter. I lose a lot of friendly matches because i don't get fired up until i am already 2 breaks down. I feel like i don't have the needed attitute to win matches. Hope it comes along with playing more.
 
#12
only if you're mac can playing mad help :p
so you think your opp cheated... i think he did too... ie - if i was unsure, and i hesitated, and you questioned me... i'd have ended up play a let
usually playing amped up like that leads to worst play (for me).
just so happens, the "vindictive" style of play you chose, was also probably ideal...
* 6'4' guys usually have trouble with body shots
* playing drop/slice vs. a movement impaired opponent is smart (regardless of anger level)
better question is, "how can i intelligently choose a strategy, on purpose, rather than accidently in a rage?"
 
#13
only if you're mac can playing mad help :p
so you think your opp cheated... i think he did too... ie - if i was unsure, and i hesitated, and you questioned me... i'd have ended up play a let
usually playing amped up like that leads to worst play (for me).
just so happens, the "vindictive" style of play you chose, was also probably ideal...
* 6'4' guys usually have trouble with body shots
* playing drop/slice vs. a movement impaired opponent is smart (regardless of anger level)
better question is, "how can i intelligently choose a strategy, on purpose, rather than accidently in a rage?"
Thats a good point and the reason I post this thread. There are guys like Andy murray who pick fights with umpire just to get his game fired up. So i guess everyone has his/her own way.
 
#15
I probably wouldn't do this in a match for fun, but in a USTA competitive match, frustrating your opponent can be a valid strategy. Just make sure they're not an aggressive ex-con looking for a reason to charge you.
 
#16
needless to say, i was furious.
You need to learn some rules before you start drawing stupid conclusions about match play. If YOU think you heard a let YOU should have immediately called let and stopped and replayed the point. If opponent also thought he heard a let he should also have called a let. Ideally both players call a let but either player can call a let and stop the point. If neither player calls a let then the point is live. You then play the point and it counts. You don't go back after the point and renegotiate.

You had no reason to be upset at all must less be 'furious'. Learn the rules.
 
#17
You need to learn some rules before you start drawing stupid conclusions about match play. If YOU think you heard a let YOU should have immediately called let and stopped and replayed the point. If opponent also thought he heard a let he should also have called a let. Ideally both players call a let but either player can call a let and stop the point. If neither player calls a let then the point is live. You then play the point and it counts. You don't go back after the point and renegotiate.

You had no reason to be upset at all must less be 'furious'. Learn the rules.
I get it that if nobody makes calls, the point was live. I was counting on my opponent to make calls. Definitely a lesson to learn.
To be honest, it was not that big of a deal. I was gonna let that point go anyway. I was only looking for a reason to get pissed off. it was good for me that day.
 
#20
Mostly when the threat of being shanked is imminent.
ah, i agree, that playing high risk tennis is never a good strategy... but if you can play high % tennis, AND frustrate your opponent, tha'ts a winning combo
driving body shots at a tall net player, and hitting drop shots on an immobile player, is high %
 
#21
ah, i agree, that playing high risk tennis is never a good strategy... but if you can play high % tennis, AND frustrate your opponent, tha'ts a winning combo
driving body shots at a tall net player, and hitting drop shots on an immobile player, is high %
I definitely agree. I should have said "frustrating your opponent is a good strategy." My thinking at the time was that if the intent is to play socially and have a good time, using certain strategies with the intention of pissing your opponent off can make for an awkward happy hour later.
 
#22
I definitely agree. I should have said "frustrating your opponent is a good strategy." My thinking at the time was that if the intent is to play socially and have a good time, using certain strategies with the intention of pissing your opponent off can make for an awkward happy hour later.
if you want to drill, and hit 100 balls in the row... that's cool, i can do that... can even socialize/chat while doing it... no points counted, just doing it for practice, and pure joy of hitting the ball over and over again.
when the match begins,... and you can't move forward? i'm hitting underhand serves.
shoulder is hurt, and can't lift your arms over your shoulder? i'm moonballing/lobbing every shot
only thing awkward about the happy hour afterward, is how stupid my opponent is making themselves look, as they are whining about the "poor" strategy i used to beat them.

i like playing guys who hit medium-fast paced balls, into my strikezone, just as much as the next guy... makes me feel good about hitting quality shots, even if i do lose...
but i gotta respect the guy that can dink, moon, lob, slice, etc... their way to victory becaues they intelligently ran me all over the court, preventing me from using my weapons.
 
#23
I believe this to be incorrect.

http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2. The Code.4.pdf

Refer to rule 27.

To the OP, save your fury for better things and next time just call it as you hear it.
I agree that the Code says anyone can call a let. However, that then leads to the following scenario: I hit a serve, you hit a return winner, and then I call a let. Now I have a surefire way of preventing you from ever hitting a good return because I can simply call a let until I hit a service winner. At which point, you can call a let.

Do away with lets, I say.
 
#24
I get it that if nobody makes calls, the point was live. I was counting on my opponent to make calls. Definitely a lesson to learn.
To be honest, it was not that big of a deal. I was gonna let that point go anyway. I was only looking for a reason to get pissed off. it was good for me that day.
Sorry I shouldn't be so sanctimonious. I've showed my rear end on the courts myself too many times to do that. Problem is that many times you don't know who you're dealing with. Things can get out of hand. Had a dispute with a guy one time that started because he was 'quick serving' me and I objected to that. I did just what you're supposed to do under the rules and code but he didn't like that and things went downhill from there. At one point he told me that he was going to beat me at tennis and then "beat me with his fists". Yikes! Lucky for me he did neither. I did clear out of there rather quickly when the match was over. Years later I played with and against him again and we were friendly then. I don't know if he had forgotten about the earlier match but I sure didn't bring it up.

Back on the let serve thing - even if you are doing everything right some guys can take exception to that. If you hear and call a let serve but your opponent doesn't hear it as a let guys can get irritated about that. Particularly if they just hit what they thought was an ace. That's why I call let serves loudly and immediately.
 
#25
Sorry I shouldn't be so sanctimonious. I've showed my rear end on the courts myself too many times to do that. Problem is that many times you don't know who you're dealing with. Things can get out of hand. Had a dispute with a guy one time that started because he was 'quick serving' me and I objected to that. I did just what you're supposed to do under the rules and code but he didn't like that and things went downhill from there. At one point he told me that he was going to beat me at tennis and then "beat me with his fists". Yikes! Lucky for me he did neither. I did clear out of there rather quickly when the match was over. Years later I played with and against him again and we were friendly then. I don't know if he had forgotten about the earlier match but I sure didn't bring it up.

Back on the let serve thing - even if you are doing everything right some guys can take exception to that. If you hear and call a let serve but your opponent doesn't hear it as a let guys can get irritated about that. Particularly if they just hit what they thought was an ace. That's why I call let serves loudly and immediately.
You had a good point though. We never know who we are dealing with.
The question i am raising is: is it a good idea to **** off your opponent ? :) its a game and you still want to win. You don't want to give your opp extra motivation to beat you. On the other hand, how can you turn the negative energy into motivation to beat your opp. This is pretty important for those that lacks the fire like me :cool:
 
#26
Actually I always try to start out being very polite and sportsmanlike to any opponent, even if I know the guy and think he is a jerk. This is so that maybe he will return the favor. All I want is a fair match. Don't like a lot of drama. And I don't need any extra motivation. I'm motivated by just being lucky enough to be there. Now if a fellow starts a bunch of bs gamesmanship I will fight back against that, within reason. Some people are just jerks, they're going to stay jerks and there's not a lot you can do about it, short of calling for a referee. And even calling for a ref is risky because there's a chance he's going to beat you anyway and then you end up sort of looking like the chump. There are all kinds out there. Some guys so nice and fair you hardly mind losing to them. And then other guys you really don't want to lose to.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
#27
Played my first USTA match today. I need some match experience so i guess USTA is a good choice.
My opponent was 6' 4, hit big serves and volley, first serve probably in 100s, 2nd serve probably around 80. First time i returned his serve, i almost dropped my racquet.
score was 3-3, and we had a little dispute. It was my 2nd serve, i thought i heard a let but i kept moving, waiting for his call. He hesitated a bit, but continued the point. I lost rhythm and fenced the ball. When the point was over, i asked him was it a let cord. He said thats what he thought, but no replay because he didn't make the call during point or watever reasons.
needless to say, i was furious. i am not very experienced with that kind of situation. first time ever , i told myself that i was going to destroy the guy. So i was playing some nasty tennis, stuff i never do when play with my friends. Hitting straight at the body a couple times when he rushed the net. At one point, he twisted his ankle. Then I started playing slice / dropshot, then lob. It was not fun for him.
Is there a way to get fire up like that in every match?
You always play through or stop play yourself. Just catch the return and call a let yourself, thats how i've always done it. Technically you cannot call balls on the opponents side of the net, this occurs in the neutral space.

2nd serve should have higher net clearence btw :) Lucky you didnt double fault

They banned lets in college for many phantoms, but for casual play it shouldnt be an issue.

If he smacked a winner off it you would have a case, but you played the point. Its like playing an out ball, cant go back in time
 
#28
You always play through or stop play yourself. Just catch the return and call a let yourself, thats how i've always done it. Technically you cannot call balls on the opponents side of the net, this occurs in the neutral space.

2nd serve should have higher net clearence btw :) Lucky you didnt double fault

They banned lets in college for many phantoms, but for casual play it shouldnt be an issue.

If he smacked a winner off it you would have a case, but you played the point. Its like playing an out ball, cant go back in time
I am pretty short :confused: , probably 5'5 on a good day. my 2nd serve needs a lot of work.

Actually I always try to start out being very polite and sportsmanlike to any opponent, even if I know the guy and think he is a jerk. This is so that maybe he will return the favor. All I want is a fair match. Don't like a lot of drama. And I don't need any extra motivation. I'm motivated by just being lucky enough to be there. Now if a fellow starts a bunch of bs gamesmanship I will fight back against that, within reason. Some people are just jerks, they're going to stay jerks and there's not a lot you can do about it, short of calling for a referee. And even calling for a ref is risky because there's a chance he's going to beat you anyway and then you end up sort of looking like the chump. There are all kinds out there. Some guys so nice and fair you hardly mind losing to them. And then other guys you really don't want to lose to.
I don't quite agree with you. I think i am nice off court (hope i am). But once you start playing the game, you try to win. I find a little extra motivation really helpful, keep you focus.
One of my good tennis friends is a high level 4.5, nicest guy ever, never raise his voice. But when we start playing, he is one mean SOB. He wants to win every single point, he will do everything to make you lose a point. let it be hitting you off the court or give you one of slices that you hate. I don't mind having that attitude on court.
 
#29
One of my good tennis friends is a high level 4.5, nicest guy ever, never raise his voice. But when we start playing, he is one mean SOB. He wants to win every single point, he will do everything to make you lose a point. let it be hitting you off the court or give you one of slices that you hate. I don't mind having that attitude on court.
I don't call what your friend does "mean". I call it competing. "mean" would be yelling "c'mon" when you make an error, cheating, making snide remarks sotto voce, etc.
 
#30
But once you start playing the game, you try to win.
Within reason.

Remember, you're not a professional; you're a recreational player. If you start acting like a d!ck on the court, then you'll only make it harder and harder to find people to play with, leaving you with USTA matches as your only option. But in that case, if you're a d!ck then you have to have a high win percentage; otherwise, you get dropped.
 
#31
Had a dispute with a guy one time that started because he was 'quick serving' me and I objected to that.
I find that the best thing to do if your opponent is quick serving and won't slow down to be accommodating is to wait until you are nearly in returning position before sending the ball over to your opponent.

So let's say you've just picked up a ball from the back fence. Instead of hitting be ball over to your opponent and then walking up to the baseline, you start walking first and wait until you are a few steps away before hitting the ball over.

By the time your opponent catches the ball and gets ready to serve, you'll have had time to get set to return.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#32
Within reason.

Remember, you're not a professional; you're a recreational player. If you start acting like a d!ck on the court, then you'll only make it harder and harder to find people to play with, leaving you with USTA matches as your only option. But in that case, if you're a d!ck then you have to have a high win percentage; otherwise, you get dropped.
So, seems we located where tennis d!cks are heading to? :D
 
#35
I find that the best thing to do if your opponent is quick serving and won't slow down to be accommodating is to wait until you are nearly in returning position before sending the ball over to your opponent.

So let's say you've just picked up a ball from the back fence. Instead of hitting be ball over to your opponent and then walking up to the baseline, you start walking first and wait until you are a few steps away before hitting the ball over.

By the time your opponent catches the ball and gets ready to serve, you'll have had time to get set to return.
Right. I do that a lot too. And I will also hold my hand up in a stop sign and sometimes play with my strings. Problem is I've played with guys who never even look across the net until they have served the ball so they don't see what I'm doing. When worse comes to worst I just catch the ball and hit it back saying very politely that I wasn't ready and could they give me just a second or two more to get ready. Believe it or not some guys react to this as if I just shot their dog which I don't get at all. When I serve I ALWAYS give the receiver plenty of time to get set and all I'm asking for is the same in return.
 
#36
Right. I do that a lot too. And I will also hold my hand up in a stop sign and sometimes play with my strings. Problem is I've played with guys who never even look across the net until they have served the ball so they don't see what I'm doing. When worse comes to worst I just catch the ball and hit it back saying very politely that I wasn't ready and could they give me just a second or two more to get ready. Believe it or not some guys react to this as if I just shot their dog which I don't get at all. When I serve I ALWAYS give the receiver plenty of time to get set and all I'm asking for is the same in return.
The few people [always guys] that do this aren't doing it to be a jerk, IMO: they are so focused on their serve that they've blocked everything else out. Almost like they're in a rhythm which can't be broken to observe whether the returner is ready.

I'm curious whether women do this: none of the ones I've played with/against do.
 
#37
The few people [always guys] that do this aren't doing it to be a jerk, IMO: they are so focused on their serve that they've blocked everything else out. Almost like they're in a rhythm which can't be broken to observe whether the returner is ready.

I'm curious whether women do this: none of the ones I've played with/against do.
Well yeah. Actually almost every time the response I get is that I'm being the jerk because thy think I'm deliberately trying to screw up their serving rhythm. And that ain't the case. I'm just asking for what I'm entitled to under the rules and what I am affording them.
 
#38
Well yeah. Actually almost every time the response I get is that I'm being the jerk because thy think I'm deliberately trying to screw up their serving rhythm. And that ain't the case. I'm just asking for what I'm entitled to under the rules and what I am affording them.
The interesting "irresisteble force meets immovable object" scenario is when Quickserver meets Slowreturner.

Quickserver: "You have to play at the pace of the server."

Slowreturner: "Yeah but if I'm not ready you can't serve."

They don't consider the possibility that they both might have to compromise. Instead, they stick to their respective viewpoints.
 
#42
Right. I do that a lot too. And I will also hold my hand up in a stop sign and sometimes play with my strings. Problem is I've played with guys who never even look across the net until they have served the ball so they don't see what I'm doing. When worse comes to worst I just catch the ball and hit it back saying very politely that I wasn't ready and could they give me just a second or two more to get ready. Believe it or not some guys react to this as if I just shot their dog which I don't get at all. When I serve I ALWAYS give the receiver plenty of time to get set and all I'm asking for is the same in return.
I find that the best thing to do if your opponent is quick serving and won't slow down to be accommodating is to wait until you are nearly in returning position before sending the ball over to your opponent.

So let's say you've just picked up a ball from the back fence. Instead of hitting be ball over to your opponent and then walking up to the baseline, you start walking first and wait until you are a few steps away before hitting the ball over.

By the time your opponent catches the ball and gets ready to serve, you'll have had time to get set to return.
I had to do this with an opponent on Saturday. Works perfectly. But, I had no answer for the quick 2nd serve while I was still walking back into receiving position.

I didn't make a play on his quick serves, but just let him keep doing it and gave him the point. As you say @Friedman Whip, the guy acted like I just shot his dog when I asked him to look up before he serves and let me get back into position.
 
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#43
The interesting "irresisteble force meets immovable object" scenario is when Quickserver meets Slowreturner.

Quickserver: "You have to play at the pace of the server."

Slowreturner: "Yeah but if I'm not ready you can't serve."

They don't consider the possibility that they both might have to compromise. Instead, they stick to their respective viewpoints.
Well if the rules and the code and the facts are all in agreement with your position I see no reason you should have to compromise.
 
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#44
I had to do this with an opponent on Saturday. Works perfectly. But, I had no answer for the quick 2nd serve while I was still walking back into receiving position.

I didn't make a play on his quick serves, but just let him keep doing it and gave him the point. As you say @Friedman Whip, the guy acted like I just shot his dog when I asked him to look up before he serves and let me get back into position.
Right. That's the response I think I have always gotten. I do not ever remember a guy saying oh, sorry I didn't realize that was causing a problem - I see what you mean and I'll try not to do that. Some guys are just really insecure about their serves I guess.
 
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