Is winning a match with mental tricks unfair?

Is winning a match with mental tricks unfair?

  • Yeah, that's cheating

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only if the used tricks are too dirty

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Why would it be?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Koaske

Rookie
In the game of tennis, probably one of the best ways to win a match is to play your best game and make your opponent play his worst game. Any style of play can result in opponent playing badly, but pushing usually works the best when it comes to actual play. Play style is not limited by the rules; you may play like a power-hitter or a pusher.

However, the mental tricks I'm talking about here are tricks done without racket.
You can make your opponent lose focus on the game for example by complimenting him or saying something else that affects opponent psychologically and makes his level of play drop.

Do you think this kind of mental play is acceptable to win a match?
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Koaske said:
In the game of tennis, probably one of the best ways to win a match is to play your best game and make your opponent play his worst game. Any style of play can result in opponent playing badly, but pushing usually works the best when it comes to actual play. Play style is not limited by the rules; you may play like a power-hitter or a pusher.

However, the mental tricks I'm talking about here are tricks done without racket.
You can make your opponent lose focus on the game for example by complimenting him or saying something else that affects opponent psychologically and makes his level of play drop.

Do you think this kind of mental play is acceptable to win a match?
You can use all sorts of tactics to beat your opponent, but obviously some mental tricks are not allowed. I have playing partners who call all line balls out and while they feel that's a good mental strategy, that's just plain cheating.
 

Indiantwist

Semi-Pro
Yes. If one is a mental weakling, that should be exploited to win a match.
My preference is first try to beat with sheer skill and game. If that doesnt work try working on strategy.if that doesnt then try mental stuff.

In my book, they all are good options. I fully expect an opponent to throw those kinda stuff at me when i go for a match.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
If your opponent is so mentally weak he can't handle a compliment, then no it's not unfair. Cheating on line calls is unfair.
 

Nuke

Hall of Fame
Some things are poor sportsmanship and some are just playing smart. it depends.

Things like stalling, or questioning lots of calls may rile your opponent, but are really poor ways to get a win.

A fair "head game" I use a lot is standing very far in on my opponent's second serve. It screws with a lot of players game, but there's nothing at all unsportsmanlike about it.
 

erik-the-red

Semi-Pro
I get a bad rep for making calls. Fact is, at our level, it's two players playing. We do not have a chair ump nor do we have eleven line judges.

If I'm not sure, I give the point to my opponent. If I think it was out, then I call it.
 

Pomeranian

Semi-Pro
"Stalling" is done even at pro level. I don't think it's really necessary at lower levels or effective unless you intend to try their patience. But at higher levels, you have long rallies and lots of running, and a couple of more seconds of rest becomes critical. But of course only in the time allowed by the rules.

Questioning lots of line calls just to rile your opponent is poor sportsmanship, but questioning them because you think you saw the shots go in, that's just being assertive and if you just let those close calls go the best of your opponent might come after you.

Giving compliments when appropriate is good sportsmanship. But if you give it too often, it becomes meaningless that's why only when appropriate. I agree with kevhen, if you're opponent is so mentally weak, he can't handle the gamesmanship of a compliment, ;), that's his problem.
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
If the compliments are used to disrupt the opponent's concentration, they are bad. In fact, some players will complain to the Umpire if you compliment them because they know that these "compliments" indeed are based on evil intent.

I think gamemanship is bad; however, using your other weapons such as sound technique, tactics, physical conditioning coupled with mental toughness, is all that's required!
 

PM_

Professional
I’m a big fan of the phrase, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

It certainly fits in these situations b/c some opponents will relent to all types of tactics to win a match, and that includes gamemanship. Nobody enjoys being on the receiving end of it, but also there’s no rule that says you have to keep your mouth shut.
My advice, for every action there can be a reaction. Learn to feed off of these so-called “compliments” often and thwart them appropriately without losing your cool-which is the last result you want.

Ignore and filter it out what your opponents say that doesn’t serve you any interest in the match.
Remember Kevin Costner in For Love of the Game where he pitches that perfect game. Before he starts each inning he says to himself, “Activate the mechanism!” After that, he filters the crowd into silence. Amazing. That’s what I do and it works!


My advice is take it for what it is b/c you KNOW WHAT IT IS. And you know what the intent is. The more you know, the better, and the more you receive the thicker the shell you’ll develop.
 

BillyBee

Rookie
C'mon, do you really want to win matches by playing mental tricks? That's pathetic to me. Why even play the game then? Reminds me of the yahoos who sit behind home plate and yell insults at players in an attempt to get under their skin.

If you need to resort to that stuff, then you must not be very good, and I would suggest practicing actual strokes instead. Can you imagine Sampras or Federer resorting to that sort of stuff? Gee, I wonder why.

That being said, I do think certain things are okay in an effort to swing momentum in your favor. For instance, if I'm particularly angry at myself after a point and I'm having trouble getting over it, I might take an extra 10 seconds before serving by walking over to a ball and picking it up when I've already got two in my pocket. But that's something I'm doing for myself. If my opponent got angry at that, I don't think that would be reasonable anger on his part.

On the other hand, Ivan Lendl was famous for carefully examining tennis balls for ridiculous lengths of time before selecting one to serve with. He often did this as a way to stall momentum if things weren't going well for him, pushing the limits of how much time you're allowed between points. He would do this to a maddening effect. Brad Gilbert writes a whole chapter about this topic in his book, "Winning Ugly."

I'm always happy to see any of my opponents try and pull stuff like this, because it immediately lets me know that they're not secure enough about their actual game to let their strokes win the match.
 

equinox

Hall of Fame
Mahboob Khan said:
If the compliments are used to disrupt the opponent's concentration, they are bad. In fact, some players will complain to the Umpire if you compliment them because they know that these "compliments" indeed are based on evil intent.

I think gamemanship is bad; however, using your other weapons such as sound technique, tactics, physical conditioning coupled with mental toughness, is all that's required!
I'm always praising my opponents shots, even when i'm kicking ass or losing.

I'm EVIL++. :D

Anyways being mentally tough and being able to focus and block out distractions is part of playing good tennis. If they get rattled by a little chatter..they should go play something else.
 

AngeloDS

Hall of Fame
Is it unfair -- yes. Anything that gives you an advantage can be considered unfair ;p. But is it cheating? It depends on the situation.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
When I am playing a match and I hit the ball out.

I will say, "it is in."

My opponent will say, "it is in."

It only works on the weak minded though...
 

Indiantwist

Semi-Pro
I'm always happy to see any of my opponents try and pull stuff like this, because it immediately lets me know that they're not secure enough about their actual game to let their strokes win the match.
Infact i purposefully let my opponents think like i am not secure enough.
Against Some opponents that is actually true. To me Mental strength is a part and parcel of the game. Like it or not . some people play dirty. Using a lil mental game to upset them is correct per me.

There were times when i act as if i am really frustrated. Though this didnt give me a lot of mileage, it did force a few opponents to try being more aggressive and forced a few more errors.

I also had good number of matches where i was over matched and my opponnt just blew me off becuase it didnt matter which game i played mental/physical.
 

Mattle

Rookie
I think it's ok to make a little frustration, those that are legal and not obvious. Saying time out all the time for watering the clay court just to break the opponent's rythm, that's bizar. Yelling and saying not appropriate things to the opponent is illegal. You should do small things, like move around while he's making his toss, taking your time between points, stretching, getting your sweat off etc.
 

Jolly Reaper

New User
Things like complimenting your opponent or saying something to them with a underlying intention is kind of sneaky, but not necessarily unfair. If the opponent can't handle the stress from the other person from something they say, then they should heighten their mental game. But things like calling out things during the match, or taking time out of a game for drama isn't really right.
 
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