I'm usually very calm on court, it takes a lot to wind me up. But I had a match this morning where a fucker was using every piece of gamesmanship in the book and I fell apart. I don't think I've ever been so angry after a loss.
So here's how it goes: (apologies for the essay
- He serves first. He takes like 1 second in between points and then is hitting his next serve clearly before I'm ready. I tried to slow it down by walking to the back fence and stuff, but he pretty much just went ahead and served anyway.
- When I get used to this pace, he starts mixing it up. Some points he'll be hitting his next serve as soon as the previous point ends. Other times he'll take about 40 seconds in between points. Crazy.
- I'm playing pretty well, and cruising the match. So on my serve, he starts delaying me in between first and second serves. If I miss my first, he goes and gets the ball and hits it back to me, rather than waiting till after the point. There was often 15-20 second gaps in between serves, and my 2nd serve is shaky at the best of times.
- I still keep my focus and lead 6-4 *5-3. Serving for the match. I'm playing a bad service game but I serve an ace to save break point and take it to deuce. Just as I'm about to serve, he says "hang on". Goes to his bag and gets his mobile phone. Then spends 2 minutes having a conversation, and returns to the baseline without a hint of an apology. It was laughable. I lose my rhythm, hit a double fault and end up getting broken. :retard:
- Set goes to a tie break. Again, he stalls at the start. When it's my turn to serve, instead of passing me the balls, he hits them onto the next court. Again, no apology or anything, it was clearly on purpose. He celebrates all my unforced errors in the tie break and throws in a few dodgy line calls as well.
- He wins the tie break 7-4. As I'm sitting having a drink, he's muttering stuff like "can't believe how badly I'm playing and I'm still in this match", "you should really have beaten me by now the way I'm playing" etc.
- I start the 3rd set well and go up a break. Then he says he needs to go and get something from his car. He returns about 10 minutes later....To be honest, by this stage I was tempted to walk off the court.
- He carries on with some bullshit tactics and the 3rd set goes to a tie break. I've got the momentum having held from 0-30 to take it to 6-6. Again, at the start of the tie break he goes and gets his mobile and makes a call. At this point I lose it and shout "for fucks sake" and go and sit down. A couple of mins later he's ready for play (without an apology obviously). But I'm so infuriated by this stage I pretty much tank the tie break and play a shocker.
So I lost 4-6 7-6 7-6 in about 3 hours on the hottest day of the year in London.
The thing is, it wasn't even an important match, it was a league match which was pretty irrelevant. As I say, I don't usually get annoyed by these things, I just get on with my own game. I was playing pretty well and should've finished it off in 2, but even then I should've won the 3rd, I can't believe I lost to him. I should probably have just walked off court because it was ridiculous, but I played on. I was tempted to just hit my serves anyway when he was fucking around on his phone, but I pride myself on the fact I play the game in a good spirit and didn't want to stoop to his level. I basically didn't say anything to him at all apart from the "for fucks sake", I didn't want him to know he was getting to me.
I've challenged him to another game tomorrow because I want to beat this prick big time, and I want some tactics to deal with his inevitable cheating/gamesmanship. Any ideas?