California Parent

Good article. But in Orange County, CA best players are even more advanced. We have a boy in U12 who even won Little Mo International when 2 years ago. This boy does not look like a good player when you watch him playing. He is known as “pusher” which means he returns all the shots easy and waiting for the opponent to attack. So the opponents attack with angles and crosscourt shots and sometimes miss sometimes don’t. But this boy calls all these shots “out” because all of them are close to lines. So his strategy is to play conservative on each critical point so the opponent will go for a risky angled shot, which will be always called “out” even if it was “in”. Bringing a referee to the court does not help because, like the article says, they do not overrule close to the line calls. This strategy works so well so this boy has mastered it and employs it all the time. The best countermeasure, that I have seen, was another “pusher”. I was watching the match in Carson, CA, at The Home Depot Center. During critical points his opponent would return all the shots safely on the middle of the court so the cheating strategy could not be used. The cheater became very frustrated and misbehaved so his mother asked to retire him. Because this boy is 11 years old he could not probably come up with such of advanced method by himself. The boy has an older brother, who went through USTA advanced training in Florida. As I can see, the cheater has an advantage when you play him at the first time. You do not expect. The second time you are ready.

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