1970’s Champion Charlie Brumfield called it “the bum fight” and recently at National Doubles there were several incidents of it. I am talking about the fight for center court and fighting for position.
First, when an athlete holds up at the top levels and the ref does not call it, the athlete has no choice but to swing away. In one match an athlete almost took another one’s head off but the ref created the situation. By ignoring close play and awarding a free point to the opponent because the athlete held up their swing, the ref left the athlete in a position where they became more aggressive,
Second, the pushing, shoving and jockeying for court position is often overlooked by a referee who is watching the ball on the other side of the court. Like it or not, you have to embrace this and fight back. I am almost reminded of the old “goon” role in hockey of beating up the star player. Know what? It works!
The bum fight starts when two players, the bums, really want to win. They fight and fight hard. It often comes down to who wants it more.
Now I do not want to see anyone hurt and a strong referee is needed for these matches.
One more thing that bothers me as a fan is trash-talking on the courts. Players–a piece of advice-shhhhh–let your racquet talk. Nothing is more embarrassing that you running your mouth and then getting beat because you focused more on talking than playing!