How should I feel about this .... I won a doubles match today where it was obvious to me they were trying to massage their ratings for fear of the DQ .... I did think they wanted to win, but wanted to do so while keeping it close. It just so happens we lucked out. STORY BELOW: _______________________________________________________________ Today I was finishing a postponed match from earlier in the year. We needed to win to make the playoffs ... they were in the playoffs but needed to win to secure a first round bye. I was playing third doubles against two very strong players. One has been a 5.0 after winning Nationals as a 4.5 two years ago and is now a 4.5 A (appealed) and the other is a 4.5 that went 17-2 last year and is undefeated this year. TlS has them rated at 4.60 and 4.65 respectively. I am a new 4.5 and my partner today was an aging, low 4.5. TLS has us rated at 4.17 and 4.00 respectively. BY my estimation they should have beaten us 6-1, 6-1 or worse. First Set ... they serve first and hold a deuce game. I serve next and although the serve is the only part of my game that can be considered at the 4.5 level .... they break me very easily. 4 First serves in ... does not matter, we lose at love. They hold and are up 3-0. In my partners service game they play two out balls. On the second one ... we ask "That was out?" .... they shrug as if to say it really does not matter and then say "Uh, we must have missed it". Set proceeds along. They hold each of their games easily .... on or serves the opponents were just going for broke ... big swings, ending the point either way. They win first set 6-3. At this point I am really perturbed .... I really felt like they wanted to break us early in the set and coast to the win. I wanted to win, but I knew it should not this close and that they were just toying with us. Second Set: Everybody holds and it is 3-3 ... At this point I feel like they are at least trying and they were getting a frustrated that they had not broken us yet. We were going for broke on every service game, and had a very high first serve percentage. However, they could tell we were putting everything we had out there and they clearly were not ... a caught a couple shared smiles after we would run down a shot and lob into the sun that they missed. Now this is where it gets interesting. At 3-3 we break them. It is our only break of the day and it is a lucky break. I hit two backhands down the line when the guy was poaching ... my partner hits a cross court return that clips the tape and dribbles over. At love-40 the server doubles ... both serves just back. Everybody holds out and we win the second set 6-4. After we broke my opponent starts talking to the neighboring courts asking them what their scores were etc. Also, I hear them discussing at length about the 3rd set possibilities and wondering out load what the rule was about playing a MTB. I knew the rule and kept quiet until we got there. Once we won the 2nd set, I calmly walked up and said ... "boys we are playing a breaker". They immediately wanted to talk to their captain, to check the rule. We play the MTB .... We serve big, and continue to get the balls in. We win a couple clutch points with frame shots. At one point I chase down a lob over my head and throw a lob of my own into the sun, which the other guy misses. We win, we win, good guys win. Furthermore, we win the match outright .... we are in the playoffs ... they lose the first seed. Our reward for winning this match .... we get to play them again net week where I am sure we will not be getting any gifts.