In an inter-club match – at a club and team I am new to — I was playing at #4 in a 4-man team in the final match of the day. I was playing with our captain and the #1 player in our team.
As a ball came towards me on the baseline, he called “Out”. The ball was hit hard with heavy topspin and was dipping fast, and I decided to play it. My partner immediately started to complain about what I’d done, even though the point was still going. He more or less stopped playing, but I fought out the point and won it.
I think he was probably right, that the ball would have gone out. However, my view is that, if the ball is coming to me then it’s my responsibility to decide whether to hit it or not, irrespective of what he calls. But even if that view is wrong, I think he was completely wrong in making an issue of it while we were still playing.
After that, we didn’t speak for the rest of the match, and it took a lot of effort on my part to retain my normal determined approach to playing. It had happened before; and this time I told him to “get on with the game”.
I’d be very interested in your take on what took place, and how you think you and the friends you play with would have handled it. I feel better for having written it all down, and I still think I was more in the right than wrong.
Best regards from down under,
Chris, Perth, Australia
Chris, I think your partner did three things wrong…
- He yelled “Out,” which signals to your opponents that the point is over. Rather, he should have yelled something like “NO!”
- Second, he talked during the point after that, which could have been called a Hindrance by your opponents.
- And, he childishly held a grudge, not talking to you.
All that being said, I DO believe it is your partner’s responsibility to “advise” you on whether a ball on your side is going to stay in or go out. And yes, it is up to you to make that quick and final decision to listen to him or not.
I believe that it is a doubles partner role to communicate during a point on many occasions….
- Noooooooooooo! (don’t hit it)
- Bounce it! (watch the ball, it may go out)
- Watch the spin!
- Up! (your opponent’s shot is going to be very short)
- Close! (tight to the net)
- Mine! (I am going to take it — your partner can still override that)
- And, (the ever-popular, as the lob is sailing over your head) Yours!!!!
Any other comments or similar situations?
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