If in daily life, your friends think that you're a lovely person, once on a tennis court, you change completely. Because when you play tennis, you hate to lose and it shows.

Off the courts, you're a cool guy, your friends enjoy your humour, your kindness and your integrity. When you play a match, as long as you're winning, everything goes well, you smile, you play the ball even when it is "out". All in all, you're a pretty cool person... But when you start to lose control of the situation, when defeat seems inevitable, you start changing, you breath through your ears and an unexpected devil takes over your mind. Fair play, what do you mean?

 

...You stop writing your score on the display panel, and are careful not to touch the numbers of the one you nicknamed "the other guy": your opponent.

 

...You stop saying the score out loud like you used to when it was 3-2 for you...

 

...Even when you're asked to.

 

...You refuse to go verify a ball trace on clay while you protest against everything your opponent says...

 

...Anyway, you're not a man of clay but of grass. You can't help it you're a gentleman.

 

...You hit every balls no matter how - into the net, two meters behind the line - to give less class to your opponent's victory.

 

...You have to say the famous "You see, when I try a little" after (finally!) scoring a beautiful point.

 

...You ask "politely" to people who came to see you to "shut up". Including your friends and the guys on your team. And yet, you're really trying to be polite.

 

...You look at your stringing between each point as if it was all its fault.

 

...You think that ALL your opponent's points are lucky. Although this is the 25th passing shot along the line that you take.

 

...You put yourself on service box line when your opponent is about to serve his second ball.

 

...You have lots of different explanations to justify the fact that you lost a point: wind, sun, night, bad bounce, the stringing, the audience...

 

....And of course, you clench your fist and scream "Come on!" when he makes the double ...

 

...You call yourself by your name and get upset while talking about you in the third person - to in fact - insult your opponent.

 

...You do the same thing with familiarity. It works well but it’s slightly more direct...

 

....You try to lace your shoes or change racquet to break the pace of service of your opponent. He then serves a soft second but it will not prevent you to return it into the sideline.

 

...You demand the hawk-eye while you play in amateur.

 

...You suddenly start to shout loudly on every ball to destabilize your opponent.

 

...You don't pick up the balls to return them.

 

...The only time you manage to hit balls is between his first and second service...

 

....You're able to go to the toilets three times in a game just to break the rhythm of your opponent. And to try and recover a little...

 

...You bounce the ball 17 times before serving.

 

...You don’t even apologize when one of your ball touches the band of the net.

 

...And you have the nerve to scream rudely that your opponent was lucky when he touches the band of the net once in the match: "Lucky b..... "

 

...You feel the match escapes you, you pretend to limp, to stretch your arm, wrist, or any other part of this body that longer seems to work...

 

...You say loudly and with your best contempt: “Anyway, I have better things to do in life than winning a poor game of tennis.”

 

...You think someone poisoned your Gatorade.

 

...You're taking a beating, you see your opponent fall and hold his ankle, so you ask him "Are you Ok?" as if you were actually concerned, while in your head you're thinking: "I hope he really hurt himself."

 

...On the other hand, you give up at 6/3 5/0, while you have nothing at all...

 

...At 2/6 3/6 1/5, you tell your opponent: "Didn't we say that we weren't counting points?"

 

...You serve like a retard on the match point.

 

...Lost Match, the time to go to the net to shake hands with your opponent feels like an eternity. You walk head down, with clenched teeth and think A. ... you can't even play." But you mumble "Well done" with a not very convincing smile...

 

....You pretend that you don't remember the score while you have just left the court after a three hours match.

 

...You tell your opponent that you have played the worst match of your life and that you were sick last night.

 

...You tell your friends that if you had stayed in last night, you would have taken 2 sets to this penguin!

 

...Impossible to play, you couldn't stop looking at these gorgeous birds on the court next to yours...

 

...You say that his first ball was horrible but that you weren't in a good day in return.

 

....You refuse to have the drink offered by your opponent.

 

...Or if you agree, it's only to see him spend money for you.

 

...You always find excuses, even if you lose against a top 100!

 

...After each game you lose, you tell yourself that you'll stop tennis.

 

By Jérémy Francisco