Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to handle a bad line call

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Legit Tennis Fanatic

Although the Hawk Eye system is not available
for everyday play, it has made a vast improvement
on line call verifications amongst the pros.
Anyone that has played some sort of competitive tennis can relate to a bad line call. Whether it's intentional/ unintentional, occurring on the next court over, or you're the one being interrogated, you have to learn how to handle it with some etiquette. The last thing you want to be known for is "that guy" or "that girl" that cheats or flips their lid over a line call.

Handling your opponent:   
"Are you sure that was out?" If you like to avoid confrontation like we do, this is the easiest way to question a bad line call without completely throwing your opponent into defense mode. If there's more than one doubtful call, then taking a long hard look will suffice--sometimes that alone will get your opponent to question himself. However, if it appears your opponent is blatantly making bad calls, then not only call them out on it but call over a coach, captain, or an offical (whatever the situation calls for) to resolve any future disputes.

Handling as a spectator: You might be watching from the bleachers or the next court over, but if you witness a bad line call can you do anything about it? When it pertains to the actual match, no officially there is not much you can do. We advise you to tuck it away and make a note to watch this player in the future, but getting involved in somebody else's match is just a bad idea and poor sportsmanship.

Handling when accused: Whatever you do, hold your ground! Point to where you saw the ball hit the ground to really emphasize your confidence in your line call. Afterward, really watch your lines and be absolutely positive before you make a call to avoid any further conflict.

Handling your partner: When playing doubles the partner closer to the line should be making the call, although sometimes your partner can make an honest mistake. In that situation, gently tell them after you thought the shot was good. However, if your partner makes a blatant bad call, then good sportsmanship will urge you to overrule it.

Most importantly, keep your cool! You may be one of those players who play great under fire (we envy you). But if you're like the majority of us, anger only invites errors so take a deep breath and focus on the next point while aiming inches within the line.

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