Worst Tennis Etiquette EVER

redrealist

New User
Okay. For starters, perhaps the headline is a bit of hyperbole, but I played a guy yesterday who was unbelievable with his comments/actions.
For starters:
1. A call on my side of the court, a ball he hit that I thought was out, he said, "No way. That's in. That's my point." He took the point. That's OK, I figured, because I might have missed the call, and if he's so sure of it, so be it. What comes around goes around, right? Still, what's important here is precedent has been set for not following scoring/etiquette rules. Then ...
2. I'm serving and fault on my first serve. Some clueless guy and his dog sprint around the back side of the court and are standing near the door directly behind my opponent, so I wave them in. They were not there during the first serve. Anyway, as a courtesy, I expected my opponent to say, "Take first serve." He didn't. I asked him if I can have first serve. He said, "No. They're standing outside the fence. It's not a distraction." To which I replied it was to me. Anyway, I hit the second serve. Life goes on. Then ...
3. I'm serving and fault on my first serve, but he whacks the ball back over the net, and it caroms off the hitting wall behind me, and trickles into the doubles alley as I'm about to hit my second serve. I find this distracting and potentially dangerous, so I walk 15' to get the ball. Now, I fully expect for him to say, "Take first serve." He didn't. I told him that it was his fault that I had to break my rhythm and go get the ball he banged off the back wall, that bounced back onto the court. He said, "That doesn't matter. I can hit the fault serve wherever I want to." Now ... I'm starting to get a little miffed, but I take my second serve. Life goes on. Then ...
4. I hit a passing shot by him and as the ball is sailing by him far out of reach, I shout, "YES!" He said, "No talking during the point, that should be my point." I told him the ball was already by him and the point was over. He relented. Then ...
5. We get to a tiebreaker. I jump ahead 4-2 and we switch sides. He had served the 6th serve, so he should get one more serve when we switch sides. He served, and I flubbed it off my frame into a huge, deep puddle outside the court. He comes over to my side of the net to see what's going on. While he's walking toward the net, I said, "It's in the water. I'll get it after the set." This interchange and him coming over to my side got me a bit off-focus, so he returns to his side of the court, and serves and wins another quick point. 4-4. However, I now realize that he has served three times in a row. The guy has a good serve, and so do I, so serving is a HUGE advantage, and this is a key point in the tiebreaker. Now, I realize that when a point is played, the rulebook states that the point stands, and adjust future serves accordingly. I think, though, that's a major flaw in the tennis rulebook. I think it's akin to batting out of order in baseball. If a team does it and the opponent catches it -- even after the batter hits a home run -- the umpire would rule the batter out, and the outcome of his at-bat is voided. Now ... I know tennis isn't baseball, and rules are rules, but I still think what my opponent did was total horseshit. Serving three times in a row at a crucial point in the game is garbage. Furthermore, it was his unsportsmanlike action of coming to my side of the net and taking about a minute after the previous point, that made me forget it was my serve (not that it should be my sole responsibility). So ... If we're really going to be sticklers, as this guy wanted to be whenever it was to his advantage to do so, he should have forfeited the point when it was 4-3 me, right?

Anyway, at that point, I said we're either reverting the score back to 4-3, with me serving, or I'm done playing. He said, "No," so I packed my bag and walked, advising him I play tennis for exercise, to improve my game and have fun. This was not a fun match, so it was time to leave. He kept saying "Rules are rules." To which I said, "Then why did you overturn my call on a ball on my side of the court at the start of the set?" There was a precedent set at that moment that rules were not going to be strictly adhered to, right?

Wow. It makes my blood boil just to type this. Guy was a total ******. I also failed to mention that he insisted that we play at his courts, despite the fact that there are no wind screens and it's always gusting 20-30 mph there, benefiting his style of play. So ... What do you think? Have you experienced worse?
 
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mucat

Hall of Fame
I only agree with you on #1 and #4 (first one)
#2 You cannot claim distraction on normal things happens outside of the court.
#3 You should make sure the first serve ball is stopped (or close to stopped) before you start your 2nd serve.
#5&#6 Just follow the rules.
 

chic

Semi-Pro
I've definitely experienced worse with randoms at the park, that's pretty bad etiquette still. If it was at a club: completely ridiculous.

3 I disagree with you, I don't ever expect, take, or give firsts for waiting on a ball that ended up somewhere as a result of a serve (and it's very common to swing at the return no matter what) unless another court interrupts to give it back.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
I've definitely experienced worse with randoms at the park, that's pretty bad etiquette still. If it was at a club: completely ridiculous.

3 I disagree with you, I don't ever expect, take, or give firsts for waiting on a ball that ended up somewhere as a result of a serve (and it's very common to swing at the return no matter what) unless another court interrupts to give it back.
I always offer a first, as a courtesy. 50/50 on guys who take me up vs. guys who insist on 2nd. We're out here to play points. I'm not looking to goad a dude into a double fault after I blasted an out serve into the fence.
 

redrealist

New User
Regarding #3 ... Keep in mind, the ONLY REASON the ball trickled back into play is because the dumbass insisted on whacking into my side fo the court. Whenever someone hits a first-serve fault to me, I either let it go to the fence behind me or hit it into the net in front of me, or grab it and put it in my pocket. If I EVER hit it back over the net or did something to make it land in play on his side of the court, breaking his rhythm and making him stop his second serve sequence and have to retrieve the ball, I immediately offer first serve. That's just what's right. Opponents should not do things to make the opponent fetch a ball after a first-serve fault. Period.
 

redrealist

New User
I always offer a first, as a courtesy. 50/50 on guys who take me up vs. guys who insist on 2nd. We're out here to play points. I'm not looking to goad a dude into a double fault after I blasted an out serve into the fence.
BINGO! I'm surprised others on here think it's cool to bang an opponent's first-serve fault back onto his side of the court ON THE COURT!
 

redrealist

New User
I only agree with you on #1 and #4 (first one)
#2 You cannot claim distraction on normal things happens outside of the court.
#3 You should make sure the first serve ball is stopped (or close to stopped) before you start your 2nd serve.
#5&#6 Just follow the rules.
Does #6 follow the rules if he took a minute in between points?
 
#1: Mr. "Rules are rules" is not following the rules, which state that stuff on your side is your call.

#2 & 3: it's not uncommon to offer a first serve. However, it's not required. Clearly from his behavior on #1 dictated that he was more likely to not offer a first serve. You just have to expect that from some people and brush it off.

#4: technically he's right. Shows you his personality that he'd complain when the ball was already by him. If you had waited, he'd probably criticize you for excessive celebration.

#5 [you wrote 2 #4s]: I'm not sure what the rule is. What I'm familiar with is when there is a disagreement on score you go back to the first point where you agree on the score. Here, you both agree on the score but the serve was out of order. Maybe the same idea applies.

Did he foot fault? Rules say you could call it [after warning him]. I'd bet he wouldn't be too happy about that rule.

What about the 30 seconds between points? Or 90 seconds during changeovers? Or the no sitting down after the 1st game of a set? Or...you get the idea. Many people who hide their boorish behavior behind citations of rules don't follow all of the rules [and perhaps are ignorant of them]. But they sure know the ones that benefit them.

Was this a league match or a MeetUp or a Craig's List or...? If it was voluntary, just lose his # and tell all of your friends to stay away. People like that don't need encouragement.
 

redrealist

New User
You shouldn’t have let #1 happen. It’s your call, period.
Line judges miss calls in pro tennis every match. It would be arrogant (and wrong) of me to assume I'm right about every call just because I may be a few feet closer to it. In all honesty, I see the side lines better on a ball I've hit to the opponent than I do one that lands right at my feet. Furthermore, I'm not "that guy." But he certainly set the tone for the type of person/player he was at that point. I had a feeling things would get worse, and they did.
 

redrealist

New User
From my understanding, he was just coming over to see what was going on with you. Are you going to start call time violation on this?
Why would he be doing that? After I shanked the shot, I looked behind the fence and saw it landed in 3 inches of water. I turned around within 5 seconds and was ready for the next point. It was this a-hole who felt the need to come over and investigate what happened like the ball was made of gold and he couldn't afford to lose it.
 

redrealist

New User
Line judges miss calls in pro tennis every match. It would be arrogant (and wrong) of me to assume I'm right about every call just because I may be a few feet closer to it. In all honesty, I see the side lines better on a ball I've hit to the opponent than I do one that lands right at my feet. Furthermore, I'm not "that guy." But he certainly set the tone for the type of person/player he was at that point. I had a feeling things would get worse, and they did.
But to answer your question ... No. I've never called a time violation on anyone. But in the future, if someone is going to be an ******* about enforcing some rules and ignoring others, I need to remember to bring that one up. I remember my Dad once told me a guy in golf tried to penalize him for being a milimeter in front of the tees when driving. There's always going to be "that guy."
 

redrealist

New User
#1: Mr. "Rules are rules" is not following the rules, which state that stuff on your side is your call.

#2 & 3: it's not uncommon to offer a first serve. However, it's not required. Clearly from his behavior on #1 dictated that he was more likely to not offer a first serve. You just have to expect that from some people and brush it off.

#4: technically he's right. Shows you his personality that he'd complain when the ball was already by him. If you had waited, he'd probably criticize you for excessive celebration.

#5 [you wrote 2 #4s]: I'm not sure what the rule is. What I'm familiar with is when there is a disagreement on score you go back to the first point where you agree on the score. Here, you both agree on the score but the serve was out of order. Maybe the same idea applies.

Did he foot fault? Rules say you could call it [after warning him]. I'd bet he wouldn't be too happy about that rule.

What about the 30 seconds between points? Or 90 seconds during changeovers? Or the no sitting down after the 1st game of a set? Or...you get the idea. Many people who hide their boorish behavior behind citations of rules don't follow all of the rules [and perhaps are ignorant of them]. But they sure know the ones that benefit them.

Was this a league match or a MeetUp or a Craig's List or...? If it was voluntary, just lose his # and tell all of your friends to stay away. People like that don't need encouragement.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you on everything. On #5, technically, he's right in that the point stands. But given the extenuating circumstances, and the fact HE served out of turn and HE waited a minute between points, he should've been more accommodating. Frankly, that's a lousy rule in tennis. If someone serves out of turn, they should either automatically lose that point or have to replay it with the right person serving. After all, it was him who decided to serve three times in a row. He made the mistake doing it and should have tossed the balls to me after his second serve. That's the ****ty part about the change-over in tiebreakers. That sometimes happens. It sucks, though, as serving three times in a row is obviously a huge advantage (for people with power serves). I wish I had caught it, and I almost always do, but his little visit after I shanked his serve into the water had me off-focus.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
Why would he be doing that? After I shanked the shot, I looked behind the fence and saw it landed in 3 inches of water. I turned around within 5 seconds and was ready for the next point. It was this a-hole who felt the need to come over and investigate what happened like the ball was made of gold and he couldn't afford to lose it.
I wasn't there, I don't know.
If it happens often, I will get annoyed. But from what you described, it happened only once, so no big deal really.
 

redrealist

New User
I wasn't there, I don't know.
If it happens often, I will get annoyed. But from what you described, it happened only once, so no big deal really.
I think you're missing the bigger point. That being he took well beyond 30 seconds in-between points, and distracted me from realizing it was my turn to serve. Had I known he was going to serve out of turn and insisting the point counts, I would have called him for taking more than 30 seconds between points. Two can play "nitpicky" tennis.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
Okay. For starters, perhaps the headline is a bit of hyperbole, but I played a guy yesterday who was unbelievable with his comments/actions.
For starters:
1. A call on my side of the court, a ball he hit that I thought was out, he said, "No way. That's in. That's my point." He took the point. That's OK, I figured, because I might have missed the call, and if he's so sure of it, so be it. What comes around goes around, right? Still, what's important here is precedent has been set for not following scoring/etiquette rules. Then ...
2. I'm serving and fault on my first serve. Some clueless guy and his dog sprint around the back side of the court and are standing near the door directly behind my opponent, so I wave them in. They were not there during the first serve. Anyway, as a courtesy, I expected my opponent to say, "Take first serve." He didn't. I asked him if I can have first serve. He said, "No. They're standing outside the fence. It's not a distraction." To which I replied it was to me. Anyway, I hit the second serve. Life goes on. Then ...
3. I'm serving and fault on my first serve, but he whacks the ball back over the net, and it caroms off the hitting wall behind me, and trickles into the doubles alley as I'm about to hit my second serve. I find this distracting and potentially dangerous, so I walk 15' to get the ball. Now, I fully expect for him to say, "Take first serve." He didn't. I told him that it was his fault that I had to break my rhythm and go get the ball he banged off the back wall, that bounced back onto the court. He said, "That doesn't matter. I can hit the fault serve wherever I want to." Now ... I'm starting to get a little miffed, but I take my second serve. Life goes on. Then ...
4. I hit a passing shot by him and as the ball is sailing by him far out of reach, I shout, "YES!" He said, "No talking during the point, that should be my point." I told him the ball was already by him and the point was over. He relented. Then ...
5. We get to a tiebreaker. I jump ahead 4-2 and we switch sides. He had served the 6th serve, so he should get one more serve when we switch sides. He served, and I flubbed it off my frame into a huge, deep puddle outside the court. He comes over to my side of the net to see what's going on. While he's walking toward the net, I said, "It's in the water. I'll get it after the set." This interchange and him coming over to my side got me a bit off-focus, so he returns to his side of the court, and serves and wins another quick point. 4-4. However, I now realize that he has served three times in a row. The guy has a good serve, and so do I, so serving is a HUGE advantage, and this is a key point in the tiebreaker. Now, I realize that when a point is played, the rulebook states that the point stands, and adjust future serves accordingly. I think, though, that's a major flaw in the tennis rulebook. I think it's akin to batting out of order in baseball. If a team does it and the opponent catches it -- even after the batter hits a home run -- the umpire would rule the batter out, and the outcome of his at-bat is voided. Now ... I know tennis isn't baseball, and rules are rules, but I still think what my opponent did was total horseshit. Serving three times in a row at a crucial point in the game is garbage. Furthermore, it was his unsportsmanlike action of coming to my side of the net and taking about a minute after the previous point, that made me forget it was my serve (not that it should be my sole responsibility). So ... If we're really going to be sticklers, as this guy wanted to be whenever it was to his advantage to do so, he should have forfeited the point when it was 4-3 me, right?

Anyway, at that point, I said we're either reverting the score back to 4-3, with me serving, or I'm done playing. He said, "No," so I packed my bag and walked, advising him I play tennis for exercise, to improve my game and have fun. This was not a fun match, so it was time to leave. He kept saying "Rules are rules." To which I said, "Then why did you overturn my call on a ball on my side of the court at the start of the set?" There was a precedent set at that moment that rules were not going to be strictly adhered to, right?

Wow. It makes my blood boil just to type this. Guy was a total ******. I also failed to mention that he insisted that we play at his courts, despite the fact that there are no wind screens and it's always gusting 20-30 mph there, benefiting his style of play. So ... What do you think? Have you experienced worse?
I think you're missing the bigger point. That being he took well beyond 30 seconds in-between points, and distracted me from realizing it was my turn to serve. Had I known he was going to serve out of turn and insisting the point counts, I would have called him for taking more than 30 seconds between points. Two can play "nitpicky" tennis.
You did not mention 30 sec between points in your original post.
I don't time my opponent, as long as they are not stalling and being reasonable about the time, I am ok with how ever long it takes.
 

jered

New User
Line judges miss calls in pro tennis every match. It would be arrogant (and wrong) of me to assume I'm right about every call just because I may be a few feet closer to it. In all honesty, I see the side lines better on a ball I've hit to the opponent than I do one that lands right at my feet. Furthermore, I'm not "that guy." But he certainly set the tone for the type of person/player he was at that point. I had a feeling things would get worse, and they did.
You allowed him to make the call when the rules state it’s your call. Without officials, it’s on you to make the call. You were annoyed but did nothing and now you’re complaining about it. You’re also defending that you let him bully you. I’m empathetic that there are assholes out there, we’re all trying to give you advice on how to deal with this in the future but, if you’re going to insist you did the right things then what do you want?
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
In terms of the serving out of order situation, I have an even worse story. 11 years ago, my team was in the local USTA League 4.5 finals. It was 2-2 in the matches, and the advancement to Sectionals was all coming down to the winner of the #1 doubles line, which was in a third set superbreaker. My team was up 8-5 and it was their turn to serve. In fact, it was "in the bag" as it was our best server (we'll call him "Mr. Cool") that was up. Everybody there knew it was our turn to serve and that the match was on our racquets. There was even a USTA umpire at the net overseeing the match. However, inexplicably, our guys somehow lost track and instead of Mr Cool, they let our opponent's best server (we'll call him "Lefty Isner") serve the next two points. Lefty Isner has a huge crushing lefthanded serve and he blasted two unreturnables to make it 8-7. At that point, everyone is howling on our team and our guys realize that they were supposed to have served the last two points, up 8-5. So they ask the umpire what they need to do from there to correct the problem. Predictably, the umpire says that both points by Lefty Isner were played in good faith and stand, so the score is 8-7 for us. However, instead of now letting Mr Cool serve like he should have, the umpire says that Mr Cool missed his opportunity in the rotation, and now it's our opponent's serve... and Lefty Isner again. Lefty Isner (and everyone else there) knows this is wrong, but he goes back and hits two more unreturnable serves to make it 9-8 for his team to take the lead. Now, the umpire makes Mr Cool's partner serve at match point down. Our guys are completely upset and flustered, and the opponents know they got away with something they shouldn't have. Our guys saved that 1st match point to make it 9-9, but end up losing 9-11. In summary, the umpire allowed their team to serve 5 out of the last 7 points, 4 by their best server, and blocked our best server from his turn. This cost us the League championship and our trip to Sectionals, so as you can imagine, we were all incensed.

Anyway, the umpire was completely wrong. I tracked him down in the parking lot and showed him the applicable section in the rule book. He admitted that he had messed up and that Mr Cool should have been allowed to serve at 8-7, not Lefty Isner again. I ended up appealing the situation to our Section League Coordinator. We were eventually awarded a wildcard into Sectionals when another team pulled out, so I guess it turned out OK. But even now, it stings thinking of our opponents standing around with the championship trophies and Cheshire grins. I mentally flip those guys off in my head whenever I run into any of them, even now. On the flip side, none of those opponents ever made it to Nationals, but most of my guys made it in the past few years, so we "won" in the long run.
 

WilPro

Rookie
From what I see nothing was friendly or fun in there. Not worth continuing playing. And you guys played like it was a major final.

The simple way to deal with that is to leave court. It's not worth playing a moron that cannot take a loss. I only play with friendly people, even in a competition.
As long as it is not worth a big prize, I stop playing as soon as there is no more fun.
 
Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you on everything. On #5, technically, he's right in that the point stands. But given the extenuating circumstances, and the fact HE served out of turn and HE waited a minute between points, he should've been more accommodating. Frankly, that's a lousy rule in tennis. If someone serves out of turn, they should either automatically lose that point or have to replay it with the right person serving. After all, it was him who decided to serve three times in a row. He made the mistake doing it and should have tossed the balls to me after his second serve. That's the ****ty part about the change-over in tiebreakers. That sometimes happens. It sucks, though, as serving three times in a row is obviously a huge advantage (for people with power serves). I wish I had caught it, and I almost always do, but his little visit after I shanked his serve into the water had me off-focus.
What it highlights is that you can't control how your opponent behaves; you can only control how you react. One of the best weapons a player can have is mental toughness because you never know who you're going to run into.
 

chic

Semi-Pro
I always offer a first, as a courtesy. 50/50 on guys who take me up vs. guys who insist on 2nd. We're out here to play points. I'm not looking to goad a dude into a double fault after I blasted an out serve into the fence.
Fwiw I also won't take one that's offered in this situation. I just very much consider a ball rolling around the court in this scenario pretty normal, it's not like it's much further or more time than if it was served in the net and rolled at a skew into the doubles alley or something.

No one interrupted the court, no external factors happening, etc. Composure walking to pick up the ball then still hit your second serve is parta the second serve skillset imo
 

WilPro

Rookie
In terms of the serving out of order situation, I have an even worse story. 11 years ago, my team was in the local USTA League 4.5 finals. It was 2-2 in the matches, and the advancement to Sectionals was all coming down to the winner of the #1 doubles line, which was in a third set superbreaker. My team was up 8-5 and it was their turn to serve. In fact, it was "in the bag" as it was our best server (we'll call him "Mr. Cool") that was up. Everybody there knew it was our turn to serve and that the match was on our racquets. There was even a USTA umpire at the net overseeing the match. However, inexplicably, our guys somehow lost track and instead of Mr Cool, they let our opponent's best server (we'll call him "Lefty Isner") serve the next two points. Lefty Isner has a huge crushing lefthanded serve and he blasted two unreturnables to make it 8-7. At that point, everyone is howling on our team and our guys realize that they were supposed to have served the last two points, up 8-5. So they ask the umpire what they need to do from there to correct the problem. Predictably, the umpire says that both points by Lefty Isner were played in good faith and stand, so the score is 8-7 for us. However, instead of now letting Mr Cool serve like he should have, the umpire says that Mr Cool missed his opportunity in the rotation, and now it's our opponent's serve... and Lefty Isner again. Lefty Isner (and everyone else there) knows this is wrong, but he goes back and hits two more unreturnable serves to make it 9-8 for his team to take the lead. Now, the umpire makes Mr Cool's partner serve at match point down. Our guys are completely upset and flustered, and the opponents know they got away with something they shouldn't have. Our guys saved that 1st match point to make it 9-9, but end up losing 9-11. In summary, the umpire allowed their team to serve 5 out of the last 7 points, 4 by their best server, and blocked our best server from his turn. This cost us the League championship and our trip to Sectionals, so as you can imagine, we were all incensed.

Anyway, the umpire was completely wrong. I tracked him down in the parking lot and showed him the applicable section in the rule book. He admitted that he had messed up and that Mr Cool should have been allowed to serve at 8-7, not Lefty Isner again. I ended up appealing the situation to our Section League Coordinator. We were eventually awarded a wildcard into Sectionals when another team pulled out, so I guess it turned out OK. But even now, it stings thinking of our opponents standing around with the championship trophies and Cheshire grins. I mentally flip those guys off in my head whenever I run into any of them, even now. On the flip side, none of those opponents ever made it to Nationals, but most of my guys made it in the past few years, so we "won" in the long run.
For a while I thought you would tell that story of those guys who found up the umpiring didn't line up with the rules in the book. Later on they found out where he lives and beat the poor guy to the pulp.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
For a while I thought you would tell that story of those guys who found up the umpiring didn't line up with the rules in the book. Later on they found out where he lives and beat the poor guy to the pulp.
The umpire that screwed up in my story was actually a well known and very successful high school tennis coach who used to be the #1 ranked doubles player in our Section when he was younger. He took up umpiring in retirement to give back to the game more. He was trying to do the right thing, but got confused in the pressure of the moment, and blew the call. And he was man enough to admit his mistake later.

In the end, I was more upset with our opponents, who knew it was wrong and showed unethical sportsmanship, than the umpire.
 

PD1978

Rookie
I don’t offer 1st serves unless it’s a very clear distraction. I see no reason. Opponent served, didn’t get it in. That’s their problem.

I don’t expect freebies from my opponent either.
 

redrealist

New User
You did not mention 30 sec between points in your original post.
I don't time my opponent, as long as they are not stalling and being reasonable about the time, I am ok with how ever long it takes.
I mentioned "a minute":
"Furthermore, it was his unsportsmanlike action of coming to my side of the net and taking about a minute after the previous point, that made me forget it was my serve (not that it should be my sole responsibility."
 

rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
Winning is important, but not at the expense of playing a person who is a total idiot.
I'm not saying winning is everything. Its not. But you actually did play the match. You should of just went to work and won especially from your perspective he was not the best opponent to deal with.

Just don't play him again. No need to complain about it.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

redrealist

New User
Fwiw I also won't take one that's offered in this situation. I just very much consider a ball rolling around the court in this scenario pretty normal, it's not like it's much further or more time than if it was served in the net and rolled at a skew into the doubles alley or something.

No one interrupted the court, no external factors happening, etc. Composure walking to pick up the ball then still hit your second serve is parta the second serve skillset imo
If I hit a bad serve into the net, I always get it. Call it OCD, but I like my side clean. I hate when this happens, because unlike when I hit a fault long or wide, I have to take time to go get the ball and it breaks up my mental pattern/rhythm. It is especially disruptive when I hit a ball long, and the opponent whacks it back over, and instead of me teeing up my second serve immediately, I'm waiting for the ball to finish rolling on my side of the court, and now it ends up in the doubles alley about 10 feet onto the court in a spot I would consider potentially unsafe for the next point.
When my opponent explained to me he could do anything he wanted with my first serve, I told him, "Good, then the next time you miss I'm going to hit it over the fence or 3 courts over on your side of the net." Part of me wishes I would have stuck around long enough to do this, and make the idiot go get the ball after the point or game. Or better yet, I could hit a fault serve straight up in the air on his side of the net and make him wait for it to come to a stop. Ideally it would eventually roll right to his feet (if only I were that good!) Point being, I think that's disruptive and poor sportsmanship when opponents do things that interfere with a server's sequence.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
I mentioned "a minute":
"Furthermore, it was his unsportsmanlike action of coming to my side of the net and taking about a minute after the previous point, that made me forget it was my serve (not that it should be my sole responsibility."
You mentioned a minute only for a single incident over the match. I do not see a problem with that.
If he repeatedly coming after many points, then it is a problem. But one time?
I am just trying to have a more accurate understanding of the situation.
#1 is a big no no and #4 is just ridiculous. The others seems to be minor.
 

redrealist

New User
I'm not saying winning is everything. Its not. But you actually did play the match. You should of just went to work and won especially from your perspective he was not the best opponent to deal with.

Just don't play him again. No need to complain about it.

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I did feel a need to complain about it. It's called venting. Ever hear of it? It's healthier sometimes to share experiences. Anyway, thanks for offering feedback, even though I think it's useless.
 

SaltyDDDog

New User
So what is the “rule” on #1? Let’s say I refuse to put up with my opponent taking the point after I call out. He decides it’s his point and starts to serve. I stop play and say we don’t agree on the score, as I called out. We find ourselves in a disagreement on the score, so then what. I feel I’m in the right by stopping play until we agree on the score, correct? Assume no official available. Thx!
 

redrealist

New User
You mentioned a minute only for a single incident over the match. I do not see a problem with that.
If he repeatedly coming after many points, then it is a problem. But one time?
I am just trying to have a more accurate understanding of the situation.
#1 is a big no no and #4 is just ridiculous. The others seems to be minor.
I included all the instances that I consider to be poor sportsmanship -- albeit not against the rules -- to provide proper context for the type of match/opponent it was. My thinking is this: If we're going to ignore the rules, as he did initially by overruling a call on my side of the court -- which is a HUGE no-no -- then shouldn't he bend the rules a bit for me, or at very least have the common courtesy to offer second serves if some idiot is hovering behind the fence or if he's banging a faulty first serve onto my side of the court, interrupting my second serve?
He enforced the rulebook only when it was convenient for him to do so. I dealt with it to a point I could no longer do so. I have never worried about time in between points and changeovers because I'm not that type of player. But if someone is going to be an ahole like this guy was, in the future, I'm going to fight fire with fire, and look for every foot fault, excessive time between points, unsportsmanlike conduct, foul language, etc ...
Two can play that game, and actually, it might do him some good to realize what it feels like playing someone who is such an idiot.
 

redrealist

New User
So what is the “rule” on #1? Let’s say I refuse to put up with my opponent taking the point after I call out. He decides it’s his point and starts to serve. I stop play and say we don’t agree on the score, as I called out. We find ourselves in a disagreement on the score, so then what. I feel I’m in the right by stopping play until we agree on the score, correct? Assume no official available. Thx!
The rule is that the game reverts back to the last score you mutually agree on. So, in essence, since you can't agree on the call, and therefore can't agree on the score, you go back to what it was prior to that serve. It's like that point never happened. WHICH MAKES ME THINK!!! ....
That should have been my technicality!!! When he served out of turn and went up 4-4, I should have said, "No, I'm up 5-3." We would have argued, I would have said, the last score we can agree on is 4-3, so it's 4-3 me and my serve."
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
So what is the “rule” on #1? Let’s say I refuse to put up with my opponent taking the point after I call out. He decides it’s his point and starts to serve. I stop play and say we don’t agree on the score, as I called out. We find ourselves in a disagreement on the score, so then what. I feel I’m in the right by stopping play until we agree on the score, correct? Assume no official available. Thx!
The rules is each player is responsible to call his own side.
If your opponent insist on calling your side, we are not playing tennis at that point.

What redreadlist mentioned above I think is about disagreement on the score?
 

redrealist

New User
What it highlights is that you can't control how your opponent behaves; you can only control how you react. One of the best weapons a player can have is mental toughness because you never know who you're going to run into.
I agree 100 percent. However, sometimes mental toughness can only take you so far. If your opponent squeezes you on every single line call, and essentially cheats, and you lose the match because of numerous wrong calls at pivotal points in a game, mental toughness isn't worth a can of tennis balls. That's not the case in my situation, but let's not rally around that "mental toughness" cry too strongly.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
I'm serving and fault on my first serve, but he whacks the ball back over the net, and it caroms off the hitting wall behind me, and trickles into the doubles alley as I'm about to hit my second serve.
It really depending how close the serve is when he hitting those back. Return obvious serve is bad, return close serve is ok.
 

redrealist

New User
So what is the “rule” on #1? Let’s say I refuse to put up with my opponent taking the point after I call out. He decides it’s his point and starts to serve. I stop play and say we don’t agree on the score, as I called out. We find ourselves in a disagreement on the score, so then what. I feel I’m in the right by stopping play until we agree on the score, correct? Assume no official available. Thx!
Upon looking at your post further, Mucat is right. You're not truly debating the score, you're debating who won that point (which then makes the score debatable). It is your call. Even if it's a foot in and you call it out, it's your call. So if the score he calls out doesn't reflect that, you are at an impasse and the game can't proceed. I would then think it would be considered unsportsmanlike conduct for your opponent to overrule a call on your side of the court, so he would technically forfeit the match if he refused to play on because you couldn't agree on the score/who won the point.
The major flaw with this rule is that if someone wants to get in your head and cheat to win a match, he could technically start calling every ball that you hit that lands on his side of the court "out." I know this sounds absurd, but he could do that. Your options at that point are very few, as it's impossible to win a tennis match if your opponent calls every shot you hit out. And since there are no line judges, it's your word against his. As soon as a governing agency hears that he made a call on his side of the net, your argument is dead in the water. I'm not even sure if you had supportive video evidence it would help, as the recreational game relies on a certain degree of sportsmanship.
So, if I played a recreational match, unofficiated, against Roger Federer, he could never beat me.
 

redrealist

New User
It really depending how close the serve is when he hitting those back. Return obvious serve is bad, return close serve is ok.
I agree with you. If it's close, and he's started his swing, no harm in doing that. A follow-up thing to do is say, "My bad. I thought it might be in. Take two."
 

redrealist

New User
For a while I thought you would tell that story of those guys who found up the umpiring didn't line up with the rules in the book. Later on they found out where he lives and beat the poor guy to the pulp.
That's rough. I can't believe nobody pointed it out during the course of the match, though. At least I had something out of the ordinary happen to disrupt my focus on who's serve it was. But ... With an official there, players shouldn't have to think about who's serving, I guess. Either way, it stinks. Why do you assume the opponents were aware they were serving out of turn? If your team didn't know, why do you assume they knew? Did you ever ask them after the fact?
It's ridiculous that the official didn't know the rules. Why be there if he doesn't?
 
I agree 100 percent. However, sometimes mental toughness can only take you so far. If your opponent squeezes you on every single line call, and essentially cheats, and you lose the match because of numerous wrong calls at pivotal points in a game, mental toughness isn't worth a can of tennis balls.
You only mentioned the one call when he [erroneously] over-ruled you. No description of any other line call controversy or that he was "squeezing" you. Not that I'm saying it didn't happen, just that you didn't include that in your OP.

That's not the case in my situation, but let's not rally around that "mental toughness" cry too strongly.
I agree that if it was as you stated, there is little you can do unless you want to cheat right back.

Mental toughness means you won't get wrapped around the axle wondering why this guy is such a d-bag.
 
It's ridiculous that the official didn't know the rules. Why be there if he doesn't?
Have you ever read through the rule book? Not a trivial matter to memorize every rule. Although maybe umpires should carry a copy rather than risk making a bad call.

And most of the time, the mere presence of an "official" makes people behave better and the rulings are usually accepted. Not always, though.
 

mucat

Hall of Fame
I agree with you. If it's close, and he's started his swing, no harm in doing that. A follow-up thing to do is say, "My bad. I thought it might be in. Take two."
I do not agree "Take two" on returning close serve. "Take two" should not be given when the delay is caused by the first serve.
Especially you are playing 4.5, the serve will come faster and closer as level goes higher.
But I remember there were discussion about this before and probably others might agree with you on this one.
 
So ... What do you think? Have you experienced worse?
Just an average day on the rec courts. What is the context of this match? Interwebs blind date match up? What level?--sounds like 3.5 or shyster 4.0. Are the scores being reported to a governing body, or to the sports pages of the newspaper?

The words "thought it was out" are telling--sounds like your vision is not fully focused--try some vison therapy like the Blake Method for vision improvement and eventually, you will be sure it was out or in--or, if you're not 100% sure, giving the benefit of the doubt to your opponent, as the "rules" state. Things went south after you acquiesced to your opponent overturning your initial call--I bet, after that your vision/VISION improved.

There's too much other stuff to reply to--this could takes hours--that's why we have depositions, weeks long jury trials, and appeals courts. In summary, don't play this guy again--and, I doubt that you will. But, I urge you to play him again--because that would make for another great thread--but, hire a USTA chair umpire to officiate the match, and Hawkeye for challenging those close calls.
 
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