Most of us enjoy some “trash talking” during a friendly match; but when does talking and doing things on the tennis court cross the line from being “friendly banter” to “gamesmanship” and finally to “cheating”?
We all do some things that are meant to distract/bother our opponents, but are “legal”…
• Fake poaching at the net is an accepted part of the game
• The return of server standing in close, way back, or to one side is OK
• The server standing wide, but then serving down the middle is OK
But, how about some of these other actions that are really questionable?
• The doubles opponent who “talks to his partner” when you are hitting an overhead?
• The returner’s partner who leans over the center line in doubles when you are serving a big point second serve?
• The nationally-ranked player who stood INSIDE the service box when I was serving to him?
• The other team loudly announcing the score on your service games (especially when they are leading)?
• On changeovers, telling you one of your strokes is “working particularly well today” (not a pure compliment; but to get you thinking about it)?
• The opponent who holds the third ball while you are serving in order to control the tempo (not just as a convenience)?
• The player who doesn’t clear a ball on the court?
What of these and any other “infractions” you have come up against?