Help! They are saying bad things about me!" Or "Do you know what they are saying about you?" Racquetball players who move up the chain of ability levels are often shocked when people who used to be their friends may not be because that player becomes a threat! That often leads to people saying bad things. By the way, that happens to coaches too!
The famous tennis player, John McEnroe once stated "Everyone loves success but not successful people!"
Your arch-enemies on the court may spread rumors, engage in gossip, and do other disparaging things to besmirch your reputation. Why? Fear mostly. I also know the only thing you can do about any of this is to play as well as you can and let the performance do the talking. Here is the lesson in all of this.
Coaches may even have it worse. People make opinions and throw out things about you for no reason. Athletes (and coaches) and you cannot control what others say or do. Often comments made by others say more about them, not the person they intend to injure. Fighting back against unjust criticism can be almost impossible and very counter-productive.
I do like to think of that in a different way. I ran across this saying years ago and it applies here!
"If you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig likes it!"