Why Tennis Players Apologizes On Net Balls

Tennis is one of the world-leading sports and is growing bigger for every year that goes by. Whether you play tennis regularly or just turned on the TV during a Grand Slam tournament, there is a question that you always have asked yourself. Why do tennis players apologize on net balls?

In an ideal world, you would be able to hit net ball on every shot. That is not realistic, but why should you apologize when hitting the best possible shot you can make? There are some very logical reasons why players do that, and that’s what we will go through in this post.

Why do tennis players apologize on net balls? Tennis players apologize on net balls to show respect for the opponent that didn’t get a fair chance to return the shot. You apologize by raising your hand or racquet and acknowledge a stroke of luck. Tennis has a tradition of great sportsmanship and acknowledging that you were lucky is a part of it.

Why You Should Apologize On Net Balls

Sportmanship: Tennis is a sport of respect, from the start in the early 1900s to now, tennis is a sport that always have been known for great sportsmanship. When you hit a ball that accidentally hits the net and is impossible to return, you should take up your hand and apologize for having luck. It’s super frustrating when it happens, but when the opponent apologizes and shows great sportsmanship, it becomes less frustrating.

Fair Play: When you get a lucky break due to a lucky net cord in tennis, it may deny your opponent a fair chance to return the ball. The apology offers the opponent acknowledgment and solace for not having a fair play opportunity.

A Gentlemen’s Act: Tennis is a gentlemen’s sport and apologizes for having a bunch of luck is part of being a gentleman. If you unintentionally hit a net ball that is impossible to return, it’s a gentlemen’s move to say sorry for having a bunch of luck. The tradition has been that tennis celebrates good sportsmanship and by apologizing to your opponent for hitting a net ball, you show your respect for the opponent.

Are They Really Sorry For Hitting The Net?

When a player hits a net ball in tennis, they take up their hand to apologize for that. But, are they really sorry or is it just an act?

I personally take up my hand to apologize for hitting the net all the time, but If I’m really sorry or not depends a lot on the situation. If I play with a friend for fun, I feel sorry for hitting the net, because the result isn’t that important most of the time.

But, in a competitive tournament, I would hit net balls every shot if that was possible. I don’t feel sorry for hitting the net, just happy that I was lucky. But, I still take up my hand or racquet to show respect to the opponent.

If you don’t apologize for hitting a net ball, the opponent will notice. Most players apologize because it’s the norm in tennis and no one wants to be the bad guy.

Pro Players Thoughts On Net Balls & Apologizing

Fabio Fognini; “I do it most of the time because it’s normal”

Liezel Huber; “I think it’s unfair when you get critiqued for not saying you’re sorry because I truly don’t think anybody is sorry”

Maria Sharapova; “I’m sorry because I’d rather have finished it on an outright winner”

Roger Federer; “I think it’s a bit exaggerated to do it every single time”

Should You Apologize For Hitting Net Balls?

Even though there is a hidden rule that you should apologize for hitting net balls, there isn’t a one-way answer to this question.

I think it’s up to personal preference, if you would appreciate the opponent to apologize when they hit a net ball, you should do it as well. If you don’t care if they apologize or not, because they still won the point and you know that they aren’t really sorry, you shouldn’t feel forced to apologize.

I think it’s a little bit exaggerated to apologize all the time. Sure, if you hit a net ball on a set ball, I would be mad if you didn’t apologize. But, on a normal ball, it’s up to you if you want to apologize or not. It’s quite unfair that players get critiqued for not saying that your sorry when they aren’t sorry at all.

My final view on this question is this; If you really are sorry for hitting a net ball, raise up your hand or racquet and apologize. If you aren’t sorry but feel like you have to apologize because it’s the norm in tennis, you should not apologize.

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