Tennis etiquette reveals character
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Etiquette matters in high school tennis. There are no line judges to tell if the ball is in or out. That is where opponents take advantage of the situation. I have dealt with cheaters through the two years I have been playing MC tennis. I think that it isn’t fair for me, a person who does not cheat at the game of tennis. Opponents regularly call balls “out” when they are clearly “in,” and in all honesty it is upsetting.
The last match I played was against a player at a local public school. The game went back and forth. I won the first set 7-5 and lost the second, 5-7. Throughout those two games, my opponent regularly was calling balls “out” when they were in. At one point in the game, he admitted, “I’m losing so I’m desperate.”
By that point I admit was agitated. Then the match went to the overtime, in which the first player to ten points wins. It was six to six, I hit the ball well and “boom” – it landed well inside the foul line. Predictably, my opponent called “out.”
That is when I snapped. I didn’t say it straight to his face, but I commented loud enough for him to hear: ” You have been doing that the whole game.” I lost 14-12, and there’s no question “losing” that point got to my head.
I believe players should be honest and have the decency to make the right call. Tennis etiquette reveals a great deal about a player’s character.
Matthew Martinez, born in Chicago, goes to Mount Carmel High School on the South Side of Chicago. He went to grade school at St. John the Baptist in Whiting,...