Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

Me, John L., Gary W., Chuck
Me, John L., Gary W., Chuck
What should you do if you are leading in a tournament match (6-1, 5-1) and your knee starts telling you that you should not play the next round? Push through and get the victory/points or default on the spot?

That was 65s, #2 seeded Mike Dahm’s dilemma in his first round of singles at Longboat Key. His decision? Default before the match was over; so his opponent could move on – and the waiting opponent would have a match to play and not a “walkover.”

My Proposed Rule

Most players would probably have pushed through, taken the victory (i.e. points) and hoped their injury would miraculously improve overnight, so they could continue in the tournament. My proposed rule change? If someone drops out after winning, his opponent automatically becomes “a lucky loser” and moves onto the next round in his place.

That way the drop-out gets his points… the “loser” gets to play another match… and the next round opponent has a match to play. Your thoughts?

Longboat Doubles

Today was Chuck Kinyon and my first round of doubles (as the #4 seeds in the 70s) vs. the solid righty-lefty team of John Lundquist (MI) and Gary Williamson (OH).

All four of us started out playing tentatively, resulting in EIGHT CONSECUTIVE breaks of serve. Chuck served at 4-4 and we finally held serve… they held … I held … and then we were able to break them for a 7-5 first set win.

Weird Second Set

At the start of the second set Chuck and I went on an Evonne Goolagong “walk about” and lost the first four games. At 0-4 we righted the ship by me keeping the ball in play deep and Chuck controlling the net. We were able to gain and keep the MO to win six games in a row for a 7-5, 6-4 survival.

For all the day’s results, please click HERE

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8 thoughts on “Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

  1. Totally agree with your rule change to let the lucky loser play the next match!

    Rambo, Thanks. George

  2. Great idea, George.
    How do you get the ear of the USTA?

    John, i started with Larry Turville. thanks, george

  3. For clarification, I did talk to my opponent when the score was 6-1, 5-0 40-15 & gave him the option #1 for me to retire & he could move forward into the main draw or #2 I win the match & he would go into the consolation draw. He chose to play into the main draw. I realize the option is mine, but in this case I am in the last year of the 65s and the match did not mean that much for me. However if it was the finals or semis of a significant tourny, then I would exercise my option- and I think you know what most of us would do.

    Mike, no matter what you say, that makes it even more noble!! George

  4. Mike, good for you. Just once again proves that middle-westerners are gentlemen and exude class.
    George, I love your suggestion. Some years ago I was playing the CAT II in St. Pete. I had flown in at the last minute and ended up in a 3 hour and fifteen minute singles match with…well, don’t want to indict anyone, so… Let’s just say that my legs gave out after going without sleep for two out of the three previous nights and…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Well, I lost and then my opponent did what people told me later he did frequently — was a no show for his next match which happened to be a guy I had long wanted to play, Hill Griffin. Your rule would have been wonderful in that instance.
    Also, a tennis buddy of mine would also like to share a similar horror story so I’ll have to alert him to your website. Mike knows him, “Wild Bill Adkins” fromTroy, Ohio.
    Let me know what I could do to help get your rule imposed by the USTA

    Bernie, if you know anyone “in the inner circle”, let them know. thanks, george

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