I have had many moments of frustration playing USTA league tennis over the years, from head case partners who enjoy hitting opponents as an intimidation technique to snippy opponents who don't remember the score and so you have to go all the way back and replay the third set to dealing with stacked line-ups.
But today was a refreshing change--and not just because I won and not just because I won by one point! Though that did feel nice. But my doubles partner and I played against a very nice team. Not overly sweet nice where they try to talk to you all the time--'cause that's annoying too. But fair. They never questioned any call and there were some close ones. (We were playing fair too, though; but that's not the way it always happens.)
It was a really close match and no one lost it or got snippy or slammed a racket (not even me!). And we ended up having to play a tie break to decide the third and final set (we had ten minutes left). At 5-5 in the breaker (first to 7 by 2 wins it) they hit a ball long--just. They didn't question the call; they walked up to the net and said "well the clock says 2 and you're up by a point so you win." I had been walking back to the baseline getting ready to try not to choke and serve the match out. They could have easily made me serve it out. But they didn't.
No whispering or lamenting of kvetching afterwards.
I know this seems kind of like a silly post, but this kind of behavior is--in my experience--the exception more than the rule. And since I spend a lot of time on this blog complaining I thought it would nice to say something good about good sporting behavior.