Surely there must be a rule against this

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Yet another...

    ...baffling Cindysphinx thread. I'm not understanding your approach to a tennis match at all. Here's what you said in your OP:

    "My partner was serving to the deuce court. She has what I will cheerfully call an "anti-gravity" server. Let's just say there isn't much pace on her serve. Her serve landed in the ad service box, about six inches into the wrong service box. Clearly a fault.

    The returner's partner was standing near the T. She said, "Out" and returned the ball straight at me, hard. I ducked, so I didn't get hit.

    What the -- ?

    Not only did she return an obviously out serve, she wasn't even the returner (!). This is dangerous and annoying.

    Just on general principal, shouldn't there be a rule against this?"

    I don't know it for a fact, but there's got to be either a USTA rule, a Nick Powell "The Code" rule, or both. So at a minimum, you had every right to point this out to the returner.

    Above, you talk about how you avoid confrontation on the court. That's fine, but a tennis match, by its nature, is confrontational, as opposed to say, birdwatching. You're trying to confront the other team with your skills, strategy, and determination to win the next point, the next set, and the match.

    We're probably alike in one respect, which is that I'd rather just play tennis and avoid any interpersonal confrontation with the other team, but in my experience, that's often unavoidable. In the above instance, you talk about the return, straight at you, as being dangerous. I totally agree.

    This is not an academic discussion for me. I almost lost my left eye due to an errant bungy cord thanks to a bonehead move by one of my ski racing teammates. Obviously, I wasn't very happy with him, and it took two surgeons and a 5 1/2 hour lensectomy to restore my vision, which I'm thankful for. I now have 20/25 vision in both eyes, but I will never, however, be able to contract or dilate my left pupil again because all the muscles that control it are shot. I have a full range of sunglasses, and always wear one of them outdoors. So if anybody hits anything any where near my eyes, I tend to get real mad, real fast.

    You're a different person, and you have to handle conflict your way. All I can say is that, given the circumstances you presented in your OP, I don't know how you were able to just let it go without at least saying something.

    And again, you have to deal with match tension your way. If you want to talk with your opponents about their daily lives on changeovers...while your partner tells you all the stuff you did wrong...I guess that's okay, if it works for you. It wouldn't work, at all, for me...
     
    #51
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^I don't know what to tell you beyond what I have said.

    I guess we are different people.

    Maybe I can explain it this way. Sometimes people do things that are unexpected or shocking. Some folks react with anger and express that anger. Other people don't know what to say but think of the perfect comeback later.

    I tend to be in the latter category. There have been many times when people have said slurs or unbelievably rude or inappropriate things to me. I don't pop off with the first thing that comes into my head. I just don't.

    Maybe next time I will have to be ready with:

    [​IMG]
     
    #52
  3. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Yep, we're definitely different people...

    ...I think my only point was there's a big difference between "rude" and "dangerous"...but you're gonna have to deal with it your way...
     
    #53
  4. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Raining balls? If I let it go to the fence it will rebound to another court or back unseen into ours. I want it at the net where I can see it. Players on adjacent courts are also grateful. I've never seen hitting other players with a bunt back as an issue. This is simply the local convention.

    That said, perhaps once every 300 sets I'll run into someone new who wants every ball picked up before proceeding. I accommodate.... now off to practice this driving women wild thing....
     
    #54
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^The Code says you are not to hit obvious faults *back over the net.*

    If you aren't doing that, you're fine.
     
    #55
  6. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

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    Well, if you are going to confront your opponent in this or any other scenario, you have to ask yourself, what are you hoping to achieve?

    There are two possible positive reasons why you would confront:

    (1) Confrontation fires you up. This is true for some people, not so for others. I personally fall into the latter camp.

    (2) You think confronting them will change their future behavior. This is valid, if you think their behavior was intentional and somewhat systemic. I am not convinced this was the case in Cindy's situation. (Cindy, was this person repeatedly returning obviously out serves?)

    So, unless you enjoy the confrontation, in this particular case I don't think it would have served any positive purpose. I'm not saying you would be in the wrong to say something, just saying it would be pointless, so why do it, since there are of course possible negative consequences also.

    Now, if this (or similar) happened a second time, then I would say something, because I would suspect that not saying anything would result in it happening yet again.
     
    #56
  7. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Here's why newbies do this. They don't know The Code. Instead, they watch tennis on tv and listen to the commentators. They hear stuff like this:

    "It appeared that Sharapova let that serve go believing it to be long. See, never do that. Always return every serve that you can reach, the linesman might make a mistake and rule it in."

    They hear this and adopt it for non umpired matches, which is a totally different thing. First, there are no ball-boys, so hitting the out serve means that the server has to fetch the loose ball between serves. Also, since they make the call on the serve, there's no way the call can go against what they thought.

    I've noticed that at the 4.5 levels, people know this stuff. But I hack around with the 3.5s. When their serve goes long, I courteously, block it back into the net, so as not to interrupt their serve. But I'm way in the minority. The goofuses I play with blast the out serve even though they know it's out. They think, "The pros do that, why shouldn't I?"
     
    #57
  8. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    My dad and I started playing a few months ago (well he played some recreationally in college but it's been years). Anyways he has this weird bad habit. He hits back faulted serves but the way he hits them back it really funny because he doesn't hit that great but when it's a fault he can slice the ball right to my feet and have it bounce into my hand 99% of the time. It's a running joke that we have that he can only hit faults well ;)
     
    #58
  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Hi Cindy. I know that you're among some of the folks around here who "care a lot", so I'll offer a little more than my $.02.

    *** cue symphonic background music ***

    In general, I'd bet that most of our pals here honestly appreciate your endeavors to walk the Earth as a more civilized human and I respect your preferred methods for dealing with things. I'm a rather non-confrontational person myself, but bad sportsmanship on the tennis courts is a sore spot for me, maybe because I'm a high school coach, etc.

    *** build the tension in a minor key ***

    That rip that this returner's partner took at you was atrocious behavior. In that instant of action in a doubles match when a serve lands out, everyone relaxes and lets their guard down. She could have easily hurt you with that unexpected crack from close range. Think about it - you probably would have had trouble even getting a racquet on that ball if it was actually in play, right? Heck, the NHL often hands out suspensions for players who take runs at defenseless opponents. This is a doubles match!

    *** build urgency toward the big crescendo ***

    I'm not telling you to go medieval on someone like this and turn your tennis outing into a war - that's just not why we play the game (at least you and I). But what do you expect will change if you offer no reaction, even if it's to merely put a small light on the issue. She clearly put you at risk. Regardless of what's in the rules, you need to stick up for yourself enough to simply say, "Don't do that!" When people decide to act like 5-year-olds, they need to be addressed as such.

    *** I suppose the theme to Rocky will suffice ***

    If this person is bent on behaving like a butt-hole, you can't cure that. If the knucklehead is merely acting out of ignorance though, you just might fix that "unfortunate conduct" forever... and save the rest of us from getting whacked by a ball that's not in play (Bonus Points!!!). Don't think so hard - after all, if her aim was really that bad and that's why she nearly pezzed you in the x-ring, she has no business hitting the ball like that.

    The rules are in your favor, but so are the laws of self-preservation.
     
    #59
  10. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    My point exactly...

    ...there's breaking the rules, and there's breaking the rules in a way that can cause serious injury to somebody on the other side of the net. As I said in an earlier post, I almost lost an eye because somebody did something stupid in a similar situation, and believe it, I let this clown know what a jerk he was and how unhappy I was with him. Somebody endangers you, rule or no rule, on purpose or not, you better let him or her know you're aware of what a bonehead play they just made...or, it's likely to happen again...
     
    #60
  11. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    I am sure Cindy did a Nadal style fist pump then and when asked said "Excellent new thread material!!"

    "I had three days with no on court drama and this will do...this will do." She then thanked the returner, but shook her hand by mistake and as a result conceded the match in spite of being 2-0 up as the opponents were 7.5 minutes late.
     
    #61
  12. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    oooh, a new contender for Cin-Prin critic of the day.
     
    #62
  13. Maui19

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    Why do you call her a name--Cin-Prin? It sounds like a slam, but you obviously follow her threads closely and post in them frequently.
     
    #63
  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It is insulting and juvenile "mean girl" behavior, and it is not something I would ever do. I think it is best and most respectful to address folks by their chosen on-line name. I am glad someone else noticed, Maui.

    FuzzNation, I understand your post. Your reasoning is sound.

    It is, however, the same reasoning that leads to road rage though, isn't it? Someone does something rude or dangerous, and the "victim" decides they are going to set them straight. And before you know it you have a squabble when you could have just gone about your business.

    Meh. If it happens with this same woman again in the future, I will say something. A second occurrence means it was not an accident or a brain cramp, so saying something would be appropriate.

    And if it happens again, I will be sure to drop by and tell you all about it. :)
     
    #64
  15. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    That's true - when it's a chronic problem, it's a problem. I hate having to give grown ups direction concerning their fundamental behavior. That can be a major buzz killer and really wreck the day, but I've learned in my own dealings (away from the courts) that too much tolerance can get "expensive".

    Hopefully you survived a one-time deal there and won't need your hardhat and safety goggles for a match anytime soon.
     
    #65
  16. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    There are a group of people here who have become absolutely obsessed with Cindy. It is truly an amazing phenomenon how she can say something completely standard for this board and then there will be some people who jump all over her as if she were the first person who has ever had a rule dispute on the court or was on a team with some personality conflicts. It makes the people who attack her randomly look awfully pathetic but for some reason they are blinded to it and simply can't help themselves.
     
    #66
  17. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I think this could be worked out in an amicable manner becoming a teachable moment for the rest of us. I vote the parties involved appear on the Jerry Springer Show for a mediation session.
     
    #67
  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Why? So somebody can bust a chair across my head?

    No thanks, I'm good.
     
    #68
  19. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Have you people had your sense of humor surgically removed, or what? If you're that sensitive, what are you doing on the internet in any capacity? Are you looking for legit opinions and lively banter, or just to have everyone agree and sympathize with you? (Perhaps even to love you, you sad creature.)

    Once we graduate adolescence, most of us have reached the conclusion that not everyone on earth is going to adore us - and even more important - that it's therapeutic to laugh a little at ourselves.

    Neither realization has been comprehended by our post-prolific Cindy.

    Cindy - whose ego is as relentless as her self-important musings.

    FYI I've used the nickname "Cin-Prin" a LOT of times, did you just catch it? It's meant not as a slam, and you know, if the tennis shoe fits...
     
    #69
  20. dcdoorknob

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    It's never come across as remotely funny or anything other than mean spirited and catty.

    Sometimes, when no one laughs, it's not because they all have no sense of humor. It's because nothing was funny.
     
    #70
  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'd prefer if you simply called me Cindy or Cindysphinx.

    Many thanks.
     
    #71
  22. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Gee calling a women a princess isn't a slam! Who knew? My bad.
     
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  23. tennis_ocd

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    The Princess Diaries 3 – A lowly Genovian 3.5 awakens to discover she's really heir to the throne of usta 4.0 with all the surrounding pomp and glamour; secretly primed for an arranged partnership with a family member who refuses to take the net or signal her intentions. Opposing royal family doubles target her relentlessly at the net, going as far as disrupting her carriage travels by reclining seat backs…. Will she be bumped back to 3.5 or live a fairytail life of 8.0 doubles?
     
    #73
  24. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    So is snarking about someone's weight. But you do that, both about pro players and opponents you play.

    Criticize their tennis skills all you want, I wouldn't say a word. But when your "critique" is about the person's looks (and weight is part of that), then you absolutely cross into the "insulting and juvenile "mean girl" behavior" you claim you would never be a party to above.

    Pot, meet Kettle.
     
    #74
  25. domosborn

    domosborn Rookie

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    I couldn't agree more Mauvaise. the worlds too full of hypocrites. and people who, rather than confront head up, snark behind peoples backs on online chatrooms...
     
    #75
  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, dear. I guess I need to spell it out for you, slowly.

    I didn't say anything to this woman about her weight. Nor would I.

    My point is that unsolicited advice to a stranger who probably doesn't care what you think is never a good idea. This is so even if the advice were well-intentioned or even true.

    I chose the example of weight to make the example *extra* outrageous and obvious, so that folks would grasp the point more easily.

    I guess some folks don't grasp simple concepts no matter how obvious you try to make them. Ah, well.
     
    #76
  27. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Have reading comprehension skills completely vanished from our society? From some of the comments here, you can tell the person didn't completely read the post they are commenting on.

    I guess I notice this kind of thing because it seems like no one reads emails, posts, handwritten notes, or anything else. They just skim them or read the first sentence. I can't tell you how many emails I've sent people lately and their reply is asking a question that was answered in the email they are replying to.

    Example: My email. "I need a sub for doubles on Thursday at 6PM. I have a clay court reserved at Oaktree Club. The other 3 players are Jane, Kay & Sherry." Typical response: "I think I can play, but what time do you need someone. And who else is playing?" :confused: Sheesh!
     
    #77
  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe you are right.

    After all, screens have replaced reading for many people. I guess if you don't read a lot, you get a little rusty on the whole comprehension end of it?

    I have to laugh at your example, though. I cannot tell you how many times I have written to a player asking if they can sub in a match: "Becky, can you play the match on June 1 (9 pm, Masters Country Club)?" "I'm not sure. What time?"

    Maybe it is because everyone is squinting into smart phones held at arms length and no one wants to pull out their glasses?
     
    #78
  29. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Some people have admitted to me that they are often reading emails on their Blackberry's or smartphones and it's too hard to see the whole email so they only read one sentence. I can understand that. But I do think reading comprehension skills and attention spans are at an all time low.
     
    #79
  30. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Here are recent comments from cin-prin:
      It is insulting and juvenile "mean girl" behavior, and it is not something I would ever do.
    I didn't say anything to this woman about her weight. Nor would I.
    I chose the example of weight to make the example *extra* outrageous and obvious, so that folks would grasp the point more easily.

    --and yet, you continually admonish your opponents to "perhaps lose a few pounds" or "eat more fruits and vegetables" when they disagree with you.

    We all grasp your extremely obvious points, don't worry your blonde head about it (even if you're not a bleached-blonde, you sound like one). You are the quintessential "mean girl" and it's just amusing that you don't get it.
     
    #80
  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah. I have to admit, I have done this. Whatever doesn't fit on the screen might not get read. It's human nature. You open an email looking for a particular piece of information. Once you see that information, you're done.

    When I send match reminders, I construct them with the assumption that they will be viewed on a smartphone and few will make it to the bottom.

    So time, date and location go in the subject line, which begins in all caps "MATCH REMINDER."

    The first line requests confirmation and has any applicable warnings: "Note that the Susan B Koman Race will be run that day, so allow time for traffic and parking."

    The second line says who is captaining the match and their phone number.

    The third line is the line-up.

    The fourth line is anything useful about the opponents or venue.

    Experience has taught me if I don't lay it out exactly that way in that order, someone will get confused.
     
    #81
  32. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    Oh dear, I guess I need to spell it out for you, slowly.

    If you somehow think that because you didn't directly say anything to this woman about her weight absolves you of 'mean girl' behaviour, you are sadly mistaken. Your defense of 'I didn't say it to her face, but instead snarked about it anonymously on an internet message board' isn't much of a defense. The fact that you think it's perfectly alright to make fun of someone behind their back as long as you aren't saying anything to their face is telling.

    You're a smart woman, Cindy, and you have a lot of tennis knowledge. You could have picked any number of examples that dealt with her actual tennis skill and not her physical appearance. The fact that you 'went there' says more about you than it does about your opponent, even with her egregious error in offering unsolicited advice. And let's not forget, she's not the first target of your snarking about a woman's weight on this board.*

    Making fun of someone's physical appearance, whether to their face, or anonymously on a message board is juvenile mean-girl behaviour.

    But, I guess some folks don't grasp simple concepts no matter how obvious you try to make them. Ah, well.




    *http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=425585&highlight=Oudin
     
    #82
  33. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    It cannot be no one has read this thread in a week now...
     
    #83
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You, sir, are a troublemaker! :) :)
     
    #84
  35. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    ORIGINAL THREAD:


    I was mad at the girl who whomped the dead ball at you.
     
    #85
  36. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Cindy, can you post the rule for me? I have a match tonight with a group of guys that do this and it drives me nuts! They think it is ok and not against the rules. There was a thread on here before that talked about this but I can’t find it. So if you can help it will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
    #86
  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry,but I only have my droid today, and I can't figure out how to copy the provision.

    It is code provision 28, though.

    Good luck in your quest to reform those obviously out returners. They don't change their ways easily.
     
    #87
  38. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Here you go

     
    #88
  39. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Thanks, and you are right Cindy "They don't/won't change their ways easily." They probably won’t, but I will try and they will know that there is a rule on it. When i called them on it the last time they just brushed it off and said they had never heard of it and keep on doing it....:shock::-x
     
    #89
  40. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Tell them, this ain't golf, no mulligans allowed!
     
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  41. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Hall of Fame

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    I am glad I fell upon this thread. I guess I never really thought about it being improper to lightly return an obvious fault back to the server. During casual play and even league play, I will casually return a ball back to the server from time to time. I didn't realize this was improper, so you learn something every day.

    So, I am guessing of the choices:
    a) casually return it back to the server
    b) hit it into the net
    c) catch it and pocket it
    d) let it go past and roll to the fence

    d would be correct, then? I guess I was doing it to keep the ball ready for play and not waste time chasing them down or risk them rolling into the next court. :)
     
    #91
  42. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I don't consider bunting a ball back to the server to "not waste time" a return of service. Of course if a server complained or his serves were too difficult to control I'd accommodate by letting the ball go and take a moment to control the fence rebound. (The real goal is to control the ball from interfering with adjacent matches... and keeping our own moving.)
     
    #92
  43. IA-SteveB

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    Ah. The people I play against at 3.5 usually don't have terrific pace on serves, so bunting it back is usually easy enough. :)
     
    #93
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If you can bunt it back, you can control it and pocket it.

    Why do it wrong when it is so easy to do it right?
     
    #94
  45. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

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    I do c) a lot - often I just catch the ball with my left hand, or else I will control it with my racquet if it has a lot of pace on it.

    If it's out of my reach or just too fast to react to, then d)

    I never even try b). If I can control it, better to do c).

    However I do sometimes end up with a)... sometimes I have already begun my return stroke by the time I realize the ball is out; in those cases I don't have time to bail entirely, but I usually have enough time to take pace off the return and hit it back to the server.
     
    #95
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    My preference is (c). Followed by (d).

    I never intentionally swat it into the net, as I would prefer that there not be balls lying on the court during points if it can be easily avoided.

    Sometimes I don't have time to stop my swing or I am not sure it will be a fault. In that case, I just hit the ball as per usual rather than try to hold back because holding back or changing my swing might make me peg my partner or something. I usually say "sorry" if I hit a fault back -- because I am in fact sorry.
     
    #96
  47. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Hall of Fame

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    Good points. I was a baseball player, so it would be natural to just grab it with my left hand as well. Your avatar always makes me think of breakfast because it looks like a "sunnyside up" egg at first glance. :)
     
    #97
  48. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    The problem with hitting it back is when the ball ends up in play and has to be retrieved breaking the servers concentration. I have a big serve and they don’t just bunt it back with any control, so you never know where the ball will end up…
     
    #98
  49. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    631
    Good tips. The close ones are not “OBVIOUS FAULTS” I do the same thing, it’s the balls that are out a foot and are returned like they are in the finals of a Major….



    Same here...
     
    #99
  50. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,464

    a) would be the least acceptable as it interferes with the server's rhythm and if you messed it up you are obligated to give him two--not good for you and there are no mulligans (practice shots) in tennis.

    b) is acceptable but takes skill to do it just right, a few inches from the net but not touching the net where it could roll back underfoot if a ball in play touches the net or too far from the net where the net man or a serve volleyer or becomes dangerous charging in for a drop-shot, or if the wind causes the net to move the ball.

    c)is the best, taking the least amount of time and moving the game along faster than any of the other choices and the ball is not susceptible to being acted on by outside forces like a strong breeze.

    d)is acceptable too but takes the most time, you have to look back to make sure it has not ricocheted off the fence, a fence post, rolls back due to the wind or a court that is not level and slanted back towards the baseline. Courts that have been well laid out have a depression at the fence to keep the balls from rolling back.

    Everything has a reason. It takes some skill to learn how to do this stuff but anything worth doing is worth doing right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

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