Mr. NiceGuy or Condescending?

Fred Stolle

Tennis writer Joel Drucker asks the question on FaceBook, “You’re absolutely killing an opponent in a league or tournament match 6-0, 5-0. Would you then concede a game?”

Shit and Suicide

Most of the commenters echoed the feeling that NO, when you take your foot off the gas, you can possibly crash the car.

According to Aussie Legend and Newk camp coach, Fred Stolle, “You will find ‘sympathy’ in the dictionary, right in between ‘shit’ an ‘suicide,’”  Obviously, he thinks you should win as quickly as you can.

Late tennis guru Vic Braden had a similar philosophy: he said that you should beat your opponents as badly as you can… then go buy them lunch.

Reporting The Score?

I was once bageled in a tournament singles match; but when I saw the score posted, my opponent had reported it as 6-1, 6-1.  At first, I had a negative reaction; but then felt that it was a kind gesture (instead of giving me two games on the court) … and have since done the same thing when I was on the winning end.

Now, do you think that is Kind or Condescending?

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11 thoughts on “Mr. NiceGuy or Condescending?

  1. Obviously Fred thinks sympathy is spelt with an I.

    Mark, it is the thought that counts! george

  2. I whole heartedly agree with Fred. My freshman year in high school I played a doubles match with a psycho senior partner against a Livermore team in 100 degree heat. We blow 17-18 match points in the second set and then got swept away in the third. My coach, Don Anger, brought the whole team an article of a match at San Jose State in which he was up 6-0, 5-0 (add in) and lost. We didn’t feel so bad after seeing that article. Step on the neck……

    I have been on many a winning and losing team in Softball with of 2 outs in the last inning with 10 plus run leads… National Tournaments and league finals.

    The losses hurt twice as much as the upside feel of the wins.

    Rambo, i agree. Altho we are supposed to “flush,” the memories of the losses seem to stick around longer and clearer than the wins. thanks, george

  3. I agree with Fred even though only an Australian could misplace his two descriptions in the dictionary ! Sadly, I cannot recall ever winning by a double bagel. I have been on the receiving end more than once. It happens, the score is what it is. Just ask Berdych. Chucking a game or reporting an incorrect score is patronising and demeaning. Forget it. We live by the racquet and we die by it too !

    Howard, as always, there are two sides to every coin. thanks, george

  4. We all know how quickly momentum can shift in a tennis match, so if you’re going to be Mr. Nice Guy at 6-0,5-0, just remember that when “Big Mo” is in town for your opponent, he just may never leave!

    Jim, Exactly!! george

  5. Why is it nice to hand someone a point or a game? Why is that nice? I find that incredibly patronizing. Pummel me. That’s fine. It’s a game. The implication of the way this has been framed is that it’s therefore mean not to give a game.

    And the same goes for reporting the score. We want our children to be honest and accurate. Yes, in many areas, doing that is not so easy. But again, this is a game, with rules and agreements that are more clear than in most endeavors. Go ahead, beat me 6-love, 6-love. It’s fine. I respect the game and my opponent so much that I will try to do that. I will let the game itself prove who’s better rather than engage in some patronizing application of hierarchy. No matter how big my lead, I will continue to sharpen my skills rather than give anything less than my best effort. You will show me most sympathy, empathy and care by adhering to the rules of the game. Beat me all day.

    I have had far greater losses in my life than twelve straight games in a tennis match. And again, I would much prefer being pummeled than patronized.

    Joel, one thing we do agree on: i would love to pummel you! 🙂 george

  6. A further question to those who give away games or report the score differently:
    – Who do you think you are that you have the right to violate the rules of the game by tossing away points or reporting the score inaccurately?
    – What makes you so special that you can violate the rules and agreements we’ve all agreed to?

    But Joel, how do you really feel? george

  7. I play my best on every point and the result is the result. I think as long as you conduct yourself with class and restraint, no looking at your buddies and joking around etc.
    Simply treat your opponent as you would like to be treated. Mom would be so proud!!!!

    Ron, yes, as compared to some friends who are “trash talkers.” thanks, george

  8. Once you take your foot off the gas pedal, you may be surprised when putting it back on there isn’t as much gas left!

    Howie, been there. done that. thanks, george

  9. I remember that a few of the top tier players (city tournament, state tournament, NE tournaments) used to give “a courtesy game” to their opponent. I discussed this with one of the perennial winners who NEVER gave a free game and he pointed out that if you wanted to feel good about whatever match performance you had on the losing end, that any games you got, you wanted to know that you EARNED them.

    Dag, I agree… i don’t like the feeling of someone tanking to be nice. thanks, george

  10. giving an gracious opponent who you are obviously better than a game is not
    that bad of a thing. you just should not do it at 60,40 or 50 (it makes it too obvious).
    with me it was always an match to match decision.
    is this not being “competitive” enough?

  11. Serving at 5-0, keep the pedal to the metal lest you be looking at someone in your rear view mirror who will soon be passing by you up ahead.

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