How to Handle Someone Who is Cheating in Tennis?

Tennis can be a very challenging sport due to the one on one nature of the game. Being an individual sport, conflicts can arise when the rules are misinterpreted or even deliberately broken.

Whilst cheating in tennis is not something we advocate here at the tennis bros, we recognise that sometimes it happens and it is important to know what to do if your opponent is bending the rules in their favour.

Why is it Important to Know How to Handle Someone Cheating in Tennis?

Fair play in tennis is a cornerstone of the sport. It is something that makes tennis so special. Even in the heat of battle, for some of the biggest prizes in the game, many of the best players of all time have demonstrated fair play and good sportsmanship. 

However, it is also a reality that, in some circumstances, cheating can occur in tennis. This is particularly prevalent at the recreational level, as more often than not, players are calling their own lines. 

This leaves a lot of room for cheating, either by calling balls out that are actually in, ignoring double bounces, or by purposely calling the score wrong in the hopes that an opponent won’t notice. 

It is important to not only recognize when someone is cheating but be able to deal with it respectfully and effectively so both players can get on with the match. 

Cheating can occur both intentionally and unintentionally, so remember that someone may not always be trying to pull a fast one on you! 

That being said, it is also important to understand the rules of tennis so you can call someone out if they are clearly cheating and correct their mistakes. This will ensure you have a friendly and respectful encounter and the match doesn’t descend into chaos. 

How to Handle Someone Cheating in Tennis (Step by Step)

Here is your step-by-step guide to help you deal with a cheater on the tennis court. This should help you navigate any awkward situations on the court as a result of an opponent attempting to cheat.

Recognize When Cheating is Happening

The first thing to outline when it comes to handling someone who is cheating in tennis is actually to recognize when it is taking place. 

Having a good understanding of the rules of tennis is a good place to start.

This will help you easily spot when someone is breaking or bending the rules to their advantage and stop them in their tracks! 

If someone is calling lines incorrectly, this could be unintentional. Sometimes, the ball is just traveling too fast for someone to call the ball in or out quickly enough with accuracy. 

However, if these bad line calls keep on happening, or there are some pretty obvious errors in judgment from your opponent’s side of the net, it is worth considering how to approach the situation.

Question Your Opponent, But Don’t Overreact

Once you’ve noticed some cheating going on, this could be a few bad line calls, an opponent talking during the points, foot faults or not recognizing a double bounce, it’s time to take action. 

Tensions may be running high, so it is important to remain as calm and respectful as possible.

However, you should make it clear that you’ve noticed a few bad calls or instances where your opponent may be getting it wrong. 

Simply walk up to the net and question whether that ball really was out, acknowledge the fact that it could have been a mistake, and that you saw the ball in. If, after this, your opponent decides to continue cheating, you could be a little more firm with them. 

However, if your opponent really is cheating, then they are doing this to wind you up and get a reaction out of you as well as win the points unfairly. 

Therefore, it is important to remain as calm as possible and try not to overreact to these bad judgment calls. Doing this will only play into your opponent’s hands and give you less chance of winning the match.

Remind Them of the Rules

When confronting an opponent that is cheating in tennis, it is important to remind them of the rules so they know where they’re going wrong. It could simply be a case of them not being aware of the rules, scoring system, or tennis etiquette

However, reminding your opponent of the rules in a non-combative way will give them no excuse to carry on trying to cheat from here on out. That way, if any cheating continues, you’ll have grounds to escalate the situation to an umpire or senior club member. 

Figure Out Their Game 

After realizing that your opponent is trying to cheat and confronting the situation head-on, it is time to put your head down and try to figure out how to beat them fair and square. 

Just because an opponent is trying to play dirty, this doesn’t mean you can’t outsmart them with tactics and a positive mentality

Try your best to ignore the rule-breaking and instead focus your pent-up energy on executing a clear game plan to beat them regardless.

Check Out The Tennis Bros Singles Tactics Guide

One way to take your tactical understanding of the game to new levels is to check out our singles tactics guide. We break down tried and tested game plans so you can go onto the court with clarity and focus. 

This is especially helpful if your opponent is cheating, and you need to ignore what is going on down the other end of the court and simply focus on your own game. 

We have put together this course with the help of master performance tennis coach Dave Ireland, who has played on the ATP tour himself. It’s pretty clear Dave knows a thing or two about winning tennis matches under pressure! 

So, if you want to take your tennis knowledge to the next level, check out our singles tactics guide today.

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Remain Positive But Intense

Once you have started to figure out how to beat your opponent, the key is to channel your inner frustrations in a positive direction. This is much easier said than done.

You have to fight an internal battle of being annoyed at your opponent for trying to cheat but also have to remain calm with a clear head so you can execute your game plan. 

This is a difficult balance to strike at the best of times, let alone when an opponent is trying to bend the rules against you. 

However, trying to take the best out of the situation and use it as fuel to take positive strides in the match will massively increase your chances of winning. Use the anger you may be feeling as a reason to be even more intense with your footwork, track down every ball, and be relentless.

Don’t Be Tempted to Cheat Back

However tempting it might be, don’t fall into the trap of cheating just because your opponent is.

This will paint both of you in a bad light, and it is a battle you simply can’t win. 

It is understandable to feel wronged and frustrated when an opponent on the other side of the net is trying to cheat, but it is important to resist the urge to do the same. Otherwise, you’re just as bad.

Once You’ve Learned How to Handle Someone Who is Cheating, The Next Step is to Improve Your Own Game

Dealing with an opponent that is trying to cheat is no easy task. It takes a lot of mental fortitude and integrity to stand up for yourself in this sort of situation. 

That being said, once you have learned how to outsmart your opponent with tactics, it is time to take your serve and return to the next level. 

Serving and returning are two of the most important shots in tennis, yet they are criminally underpracticed. These are the two shots that start every point, so it is incredibly important to practice them the same amount, if not more, than regular forehands and backhands. 

That’s why we have put together two killer courses to help you improve both of these fundamental tennis shots. They are the Secrets of the Serve, and Return of Serve. Check them out today if you want to silence your opponents and blow them off the court.

Simple Guide to Handling Someone Who is Cheating in Tennis 

Dealing with someone that is cheating in tennis is not an easy thing to do. It takes courage to stand up to someone that is trying to do you over, and dealing with the situation respectfully and calmly takes a lot of self-control. 

However, if you follow the step-by-step guide above, you’ll be able to handle this scenario like a pro. 

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