Line Calls

$50,000 Gimcheon, Korea 


It’s 5-6 in the first set I’m serving at Deuce (after being up 40-0 in the game) there’s a ball that lands outside of the baseline, I’m waiting for the call. One, two, three long seconds pass by and still no call by the umpire. “In” says the umpire. Like a tea pot waiting to scream, I burst. My mind goes crazy internally. I did not win another game after that. What’s crazy is right before the match I was talking to the umpire and saying how tough it is because there is no baseline referee. Which in tennis makes it extremely difficult for the chair umpire to see everything for the entire match. Little did I know it would hit me in such a pivotal point of the match. These things are not new to me though. I know that at times the first 2 rounds of a tournament will not have all the lines covered. I know that I will get some bad calls and some bad calls that go my way. I know that some of these calls can come at some unfortunate times. I really do.

This is the second time this year where line calls in a match have really got the best of me. I’ve played eight tournaments this year and somehow it almost feels like the chair umpires have a bounty on me. They are out to get me. Unfair. Bad line calls happening at the most critical times. After the first time I really blew up in a match this year and visibly lost the match because of bad line calls I vowed to myself to never do it again. Keep my mind in check. Then today happened. So surely I haven’t completely got my mind in that state where outside noise/distraction doesn’t affect me.

I spoke with my Taiwan professor (ex-professional tennis player) after the match and we talked a bit on what happened today. We both know that these bad line calls happen. And yes, it may seem like it’s unfair. My professor told me that these line calls are out of our control.  He told me sometimes in his profession as a professor there are situations or events that are out of his control that make his job more difficult to do or overcome. My professor’s example really hit home for me.

In any sport, any profession, or life itself there are so many factors that are outside of our control. So many things that are trying to distract us, trying to take us off course, and take us out of our game. When these things happen in our life it’s how we deal with the distractions that’s most important. Do we let the bad line calls affect us so we can’t play anymore? No! I could have totally changed the outcome of the match today. Not saying I would have won or lost with this attitude, but I sure as hell would have given myself a better chance.







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