Late calls on serves, is it prevelant?

MoxMonkey

Rookie
When playing a match, and you hit your first serve out but close. Does it ever seem like your opponent gauges his return before calling it out?

Against this one guy in particular, my close but out first serves that he returned well didn't seem to get called out, but weak/failed returns do.

Is this a common method of cheating?
 

Friedman Whip

Professional
Oh yeah. Way too common. To prevent this that's why the rule book says the call must be 'immediate' and you must be sure. If you don't get an immediate call the point is on even if afterwards you can go back and check the mark and see that the ball was in fact out. If things are working right both players should be playing some serves that are in fact out but too close for the returner to know for sure.

Clay courts are a little different than hard courts. On clay you can check the mark but you have to stop playing to do so. You cannot play the point and then go back, see the mark as out and ask for a replay.

You could of course explain this to the guy. Maybe he doesn't know what he's doing but from what you say my guess is that he probably does. I'd suggest this. Don't get in habit of hesitating to see what call he is going to make. If you don't hear a call and you see his ball is heading out just start walking for the next point. And never ask 'was that out?' That makes it too easy for him to say yes that was out.
 
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When playing a match, and you hit your first serve out but close. Does it ever seem like your opponent gauges his return before calling it out?

Against this one guy in particular, my close but out first serves that he returned well didn't seem to get called out, but weak/failed returns do.

Is this a common method of cheating?
Welcome to big-time rec tennis! Let me guess--3.5?
 

MoxMonkey

Rookie
Welcome to big-time rec tennis! Let me guess--3.5?
Yeah. I haven't played usta yet, but I'd say based on rated players I go against I'd say I'm a legitimate high 3.0 to low 3.5

Ive got above average groundstrokes, below average net play, decent enough serve, and poor game management.
 

Mungo

New User
Guilty, but in my own defense I would say not in an attempt to gain an advantage but avoid calling double fault. In a real competitive situation I understand your point.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Some people don't make any call. They just figure that everyone can see where it landed and that everyone agrees about if it was in or out. I was playing doubles, and the server hit a slightly long serve, but there was no call. After 5 or 6 shots the point ends, and the partner of the returner, (who has the responsibility to make that call), said, "Well, the serve was out." I told her it's too late to call now, and that calling that was her responsibility.

Some people don't understand that even when you don't expect cheating, it's better to know who is responsible for what calls, and that those calls should be immediate. The Code is on-line. When I first read it I had to buy it from the USTA. There's no excuse for not knowing how to call an unofficiated match anymore.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
When playing a match, and you hit your first serve out but close. Does it ever seem like your opponent gauges his return before calling it out?

Against this one guy in particular, my close but out first serves that he returned well didn't seem to get called out, but weak/failed returns do.

Is this a common method of cheating?
He probably doesn’t feel comfortable calling your close ones out, especially when he figures you can’t see it too well from the opposite side of the court. If he hits his return in, he’s just gonna let your out serve slide, but when he misses, he doesn’t want to lose the point when you’ve missed your serve. He may not be cheating, but being too nice. The best way to avoid this is to do what I do. Quit playing tennis with other people.
 

HuusHould

Hall of Fame
Don't get in habit of hesitating to see what call he is going to make. If you don't hear a call and you see his ball is heading out just start walking for the next point.
It can happen if they're calling anything close out as well, you start expecting anything close to be called out and then all of a sudden, they call a close one in and you're not ready for their return. This can happen with deep approach shots as well, where you're close enough to the net to see where the ball lands, so you pay more attention to where the ball is landing so you can see if you're getting the right call or not, rather than paying attention to cues as to what your opponent is going to do with their pass/lob and consequently you react to late to a good shot, also after they call a few close ones out, like with the return of your serve, you stop for a close one and they pass you while your on your heels. People that call the serve out late on purpose can be quiet line callers as well, they might claim they made a call right away when they didn't.

And never ask 'was that out?' That makes it too easy for him to say yes that was out.
I agree with this as well. Regarding a different situation, this applies to asking for help with your own calls as well, I've hit with a guy who will tell you the balls in 100% of the time when you ask for confirmation of a close out call that you've made.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm still running a 60 MHz CPU on a Windows 3.1x machine. So it takes me a little bit longer to process and make those line calls. Hoping to upgrade my CPU so I can make quicker line calls:

 

Steady Eddy

Legend
He probably doesn’t feel comfortable calling your close ones out, especially when he figures you can’t see it too well from the opposite side of the court. If he hits his return in, he’s just gonna let your out serve slide, but when he misses, he doesn’t want to lose the point when you’ve missed your serve. He may not be cheating, but being too nice. The best way to avoid this is to do what I do. Quit playing tennis with other people.
Being too nice? Doesn't sound like it. He gives himself two chances to win the point. He returns an out serve, and if he wins the point, oh well. But, if he misses the return, he points out that the serve was out, and gets another chance to win the point. He took one chance to win the point, he doesn't get another.

There's a lot to be said for not playing tennis with other people, but you might suggest that they make the out call before seeing if their return is good. If you don't call out right away, you lose your chance to call it later. Making calls right away can eliminate a lot of unpleasant situations.
 

MoxMonkey

Rookie
This has been a learning experience, though I shouldn't be all that surprised.

People constantly 'cheat' in golf. Usually it's just out there hitting in a non tournament casual round, so I never really cared that people gave themselves gimmies, bumped it on the rough, etc. You can have your make believe score if you want to, it doesn't really affect me. If you feel as though you beat me, feel free to live in your fantasy.

It's different in tennis though, peoples cheating adversely affects others' game.

But to those that do it though, your lack of honor makes you worthless. Cheating in a game of honor is beyond pathetic, and if you do it in some subtle insidious fashion to give yourself a means to pivot or for plausible deniability that's even worse. Just accept the reality that your not as good as you think you are.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
People constantly 'cheat' in golf. Usually it's just out there hitting in a non tournament casual round, so I never really cared that people gave themselves gimmies, bumped it on the rough, etc. You can have your make believe score if you want to, it doesn't really affect me. If you feel as though you beat me, feel free to live in your fantasy.
I think many of the "cheats" in golf are largely done to save time or give yourself a chance to hit a solid shot during what is essentially a "practice" round. The score is relatively meaningless in the end other than as a general marker of performance. "Honor" doesn't really play into it in that setting as its just for fun and practice. As long as rules are followed in competition. And if you submit those scores for handicap purposes, you are only hurting yourself.

Foot wedges, mulligans and gimmees are not much different than guys playing tennis points without serving or playing cross court. Deviating from the rules in a practice setting is perfectly fine.

It's different in tennis though, peoples cheating adversely affects others' game.
I think the big difference is that usually the level of cheating in golf is agreed upon by all players. We give each other gimmees. We allow more than a club length for relief. Breakfast balls are freely handed out. It's nothing serious. In tennis, you haven't usually agreed to the cheating process the opponent is using. If one guy calls lines fairly but the other doesn't then that can lead to aggravation.
 

Friedman Whip

Professional
Being too nice? Doesn't sound like it. He gives himself two chances to win the point. He returns an out serve, and if he wins the point, oh well. But, if he misses the return, he points out that the serve was out, and gets another chance to win the point. He took one chance to win the point, he doesn't get another.

There's a lot to be said for not playing tennis with other people, but you might suggest that they make the out call before seeing if their return is good. If you don't call out right away, you lose your chance to call it later. Making calls right away can eliminate a lot of unpleasant situations.
Righto. Double jeopardy not allowed.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Righto. Double jeopardy not allowed.
OP didn’t say that the guy hit winners. Steady Eddy made that possibility up. OP also never said whether when he (the OP) questioned the guy, after a good return, whether it was out, what the returner said. Maybe, when questioned, after the returner hit a good return, had the OP said “wasn’t my serve out,” the returner might have acknowledged that it “may have been.” Dealing with other humans is tricky business. I still stand by my statement that the returner may have been interested in playing more than being ticky-tacky.
 
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