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View Full Version : Do today's club player's play the same style as todays Pro's


The Pusher Terminator
09-19-2004, 03:38 PM
Most Pro's today are agressive baseliners. What style of player are you?

I like intenses definitions:

baseliner: A.K.A,,,"counter puncher" Someone like Bjorn Borg. or maybe Kuerten (debatable).. He anchors himself at the baseline and hits back solid shots....big topspin, solid passing shots etc etc.

Retiever: Similar to a baseliner...but this guy is fast as hell. He likes to run. He can chase anything down....Chang was one. Hewitt I think fits this as well.

Pusher: He simply "pushes" the ball back waiting for you to make the mistake. He is fast as well but unlike a baseliner or retriever ...the pusher simply taps the ball back in the middle of the court with absolutely nothing on it. There really are none on the tour. There used to be a guy by the name of Ramish Krishnan or something...he drove Mcenroe crazy ...beating him at Forset Hills. He hit the ball softer than anyone I have seen in my life...not really a pusher though. This type of player exists mainly at the club level.

Junk Baller: This guy plays very unorthodox. His swings are odd and he may even stand in the wrong place. He may like to play in no-man's land. He likes to put all kinds of spins on the ball...even maybe serve underhand...lots of dink shots.....JUNK BALL! There are none of these on the tour but Brad Gilbert , altough not solely a junk baller by any means, can play Junk ball real well and uses it when he has to...even if he has to win ugly.

Agressive baseliner. This guy loves to hit winners from inside the baselline...Andre Agassi...pure and simple!

All courter: He can do everything equally well. Federer and maybe Sampras...but late in his career he started leaning a little towards the serve and volley.

Serve and volley...is exactly what it sounds like. Mcenroe, Edberg,Henman,Dent. Rafter,Becker

The Pusher Terminator
09-19-2004, 03:40 PM
Serve and Volleyer here. Its the only way to play this game!

mlee2
09-19-2004, 03:50 PM
What's the difference between pusher and junkballer?

Like most pros, I'll play whatever game that allows me to win the most. I've seen guys like Hewitt serve and volley with moderate success on the challenger tour years ago.

Ronaldo
09-19-2004, 04:13 PM
Where is all of the above?

clownsuck
09-19-2004, 04:13 PM
When I was playing I was an 'all courter'. I was pretty darn fast too.

Tore my ACL playing a pick up game of soccer and havn't been on a court since.

I need to get back into it.

Marc C.
09-19-2004, 05:33 PM
Sometimes agressive baseliner/retriever/pusher. You just can't generalize a playing style.

intense2b
09-19-2004, 06:06 PM
Here are my definitions:

baseliner: Someone like Bjorn Borg. He anchors himself at the baseline and hits back solid hots....big topspin, solid passing shots etc etc.

Retiever: Similar to a baseliner...but this guy is fast as hell. He likes to run. He can chase anything down....Chang was one. Hewitt I think fits this as well.

Pusher: He simply "pushes" the ball back waiting for you to make the mistake. He is fast as well but unlike a baseliner or retriever ...the pusher simply taps the ball back in the middle of the court with absolutely nothing on it. There really are none on the tour. There used to be a guy by the name of Ramish Krishnan or something...he drove Mcenroe crazy ...beating him at Forset Hills. He hit the all softer than anyone I have seen in my life...not really a pusher though. This type of player exists mainly at the club level.

Junk Baller: This guy plays very unorthodox. His swings are odd and he may even stand in the wrong place. He may like to play in no-man's land. He likes to put all kinds of spins on the ball...even maybe serve underhand...lots of dink shots.....JUNK BALL! There are none of these on the tour but Brad Gilbert , altough not solely a junk baller by any means, can play Junk ball real well and uses it when he has to...even if he has to win ugly.

Agressive baseliner. This guy loves to hit winners from inside the baselline...Andre Agassi...pure and simple!

All courter: He can do everything equally well. Federer and maybe Sampras...but late in his career he started leaning a little towards the serve and volley.

Serve and volley...is exactly what it sounds like. Mcenroe, Edberg,Henman,Dent. Rafter,Becker

antontd
09-19-2004, 06:18 PM
S&V - there is nothing better than a frustrated baseliner.

Power Game
09-19-2004, 06:33 PM
All courter

The Pusher Terminator
09-19-2004, 06:49 PM
Marc,
There is no such thing as a "pure baseliner" or "pure Serve and volleyer"...of course you can do a little of everything. But what do you do most of the time. What is your strongest playing style. <cenroe was clearly a serve and volleyer but he could play from the baseline as well. Agassi is an agressive baseliner...but he knows how to hit a volley as well. If we can descibe the Pro's then we should be able to descibe you as well. What dou you do the most and the best = the style of player you are.

JohnThomas1
09-19-2004, 09:15 PM
Good thread :) Some random comments for chat. I think Hewitt is slightly more agrassive than retriever status. The other guys being so efficiently aggressive doesn't help his plight but he is way more aggressive than Borg ever was. I see Hewitt as a updated model of Wilander. Chang added a bit of power late too. Wilander in his early career was a retriever but later came to net a bit more and mixed it up. Krishnan was actually an artist, never hitting very hard but playing a very interesting style of game. Annacone (Not mentioned)was a step above a serve volleyer, he came in on pretty much ever second serve from the opponent and many of their first's as well lol. I wonder where Miloslav Mecir would fit in :)

EdbergFan
09-19-2004, 09:47 PM
Serve-Volley player by disposition. All-courter in reality. My footspeed or lack thereof makes me stay back on my second serve most of the time.


Ah Krishnan: Definitely a touch player. Could hit some wicked angles

Max G.
09-19-2004, 11:08 PM
Serve-Volley player by disposition. All-courter in reality. My footspeed or lack thereof makes me stay back on my second serve most of the time.

Ha, same with me. Serve-Volley by disposition, all-courter in reality. Not lack of footspeed for me - I used to be a pusher/retriever before learning to S&V, I can trust myself to get to lots of balls people don't expect me to - but simple lack of power. But yeah, same idea.

nyu
09-20-2004, 01:41 AM
You forgot an important style: counter-puncher. Similar to a "retriever", only much more agressive and opportunistic. A counter-puncher will use his opponents power against him and wait for the short ball to attack. Coria is an awsome counter-puncher, baiting his opponents into cross-court backhand rallies before rifling a down the line winner, over and over again. Or arnaud clement, who will run everything down and keep the ball deep before nailing a short ball, coming into net,and hitting a soft drop volley on his stunned opponent.

Tim Tiger Henman
09-20-2004, 02:17 AM
I agree that counter puncher is an essential category.

I put down all-courter - as did about 40% of respondants. Within that mass of people there will be an enourmous variation in playing styles.

In fact the amateur "all-courter" is most likely nothing like the pro "all-courter". So I don't think this question can be used to judge whether we play like the pros. Clearly we don't.

You only have to look at the agressive baseliner category for that. This dominates amongst the pros but is almost non-existant amongst amateurs. For a start you need weapons - weapons which 99% of people lack. How many of those claiming to be "agressive baseliners" have weapons and *regularly* hit winners from the baseline?

silent bob
09-20-2004, 02:28 AM
I guess nobody will admit to being a pusher.

Camilio Pascual
09-20-2004, 04:26 AM
You have counterpuncher mixed up with baseliner. If you don't mention the high aggressiveness of counterpunchers at the service line area, you left out their most distinctive characteristic.

Rabbit
09-20-2004, 06:44 AM
Borg may have started off as a retriever, but later in his career, he became the first power baseliner of the modern era. Borg actually S/V'd a good bit early in his career. And he continued to do so at Wimbledon and the US Open if he felt pressure. But when Borg was cruising, he'd stay back and knock the cover off the ball from the baseline.

The Pusher Terminator
09-20-2004, 10:58 AM
baseliner: A.K.A,,,"counter puncher" Someone like Bjorn Borg. or maybe Kuerten (debatable).. He anchors himself at the baseline and hits back solid shots....big topspin, solid passing shots etc etc.


I did not forget the counterpuncher. I lumped it in with baseliner. The lines get a little blurry here. But I believe a counter-pucher is a baseliner. Borg did not simply hit the ball back. He hit it back with great topspin...the harder it came at him the more topspin he hit at you. Connors I believe was the prime example of a counter puncher. He hit everything flat right back at you. No one has ever really played his style....who the hell can hit everything flat? But basically I dont see a difference between counter-puncher and baseliner. Both Borg and Connors are baseliners/counter punchers....tough call here!
As far as Mecir, I think he would actually be the one and only professional junk baller. I think he made it to like #3 in the world with that style...I can't believe that he never won a grand slam...but he came real close! He was not a pusher because he placed all kind of junk on the ball.
Finally...Krishnan was an artist. Pure and simple. What a soft touch. They just dont playe that game anymore.

The Pusher Terminator
09-20-2004, 11:12 AM
Rabbit,
You are right Borg was able to serve and volley etc etc. But he was still a baseliner/counter puncher in my opinion. In fact he beat Mcenroe at Wimbledon serving and volleying. Mcenroe can play from the baseline surprisingly well and he has a counterpunching style from the baseline using his opponents power...but Mcenroe is still a serve and volleyer. Pro's and tennis player can do everything....but the question is what do they do best and most often. Clearly, Borg was a baseliner/counterpuncher...or even arguably a retriever. He was known for standing far behind the baseline and hit his shots from that position. That does not mean that he cant serve and volley!!

Kaptain Karl
09-20-2004, 11:31 AM
If I played like the pros I’d be too busy getting ready for my next PRO match to be visiting this board(!).

#2 - Most of the time (65%?) I am an All-court player, but I will play whatever style I have to for the win.

#3 - I happen to be *able* to Junk Ball very well. If it bugs my opponent ... that’s what he gets. (I had a short, dumpy, instructor one summer who’d drive me nuts with his junk. I’d only win games when I played near- perfect points.)
It was only when I screamed at him, “Why don’t you play “normal” tennis?” that I recognized the wisdom in his response, “Because all these spins frustrate you so much, you lose to me this way.” (Thinking of some of the strong players I frequently met in tournaments ... ) I asked him to show me how to do it. (I learned fast....)
Now, I especially enjoy junk-balling an 18 kid from the local college team. It drives him crazy that he cannot beat an old man.
In my own (Men's 45) division, junk isn’t very effective. We’ve seen enough of it at this stage of life, most of my peers know how to handle it.

#4 - Just this morning -- in crazy, gusty, swirly winds -- I would have fit the “All of the above” category. It took every trick in the book to play in that tornado. I won ... ugly.

- KK

Rabbit
09-20-2004, 12:02 PM
Clearly, Borg was a baseliner/counterpuncher...or even arguably a retriever.

I agreed with you, early in his career. But, later in Borg's career, when he had the whole Fila, Diadora, Donnay and walk with the head down thing going, his personna, he had morphed into the first power baseliner; an early version of what Lendl was to become. Late in Borg's career, he could and did outhit Lendl from the baseline. Hence Lendl's infamous tank job to Connors at the Masters in NYC to get around playing Borg in the semis. Borg leads Lendl 5-2 in their lifetime, with Borg winning the first two and the last three in their head to heads.

There is no argument that Borg was a retriever early on, that is how he won the French at age 17. He and Wilander played the same game early in their careers. The big difference was the Borg became a power baseliner later in his career and Wilander didn't. I still remember a match that Borg played at Ceasar's Palace against Harold Solomon. Borg spent the 2nd half of the first set and the whole second set hitting winners from behind the baseline against Solomon, who was a retriever. The announcers were amazed that anyone could hit the ball that hard. This, of course, was back in the wooden days. Borg played with a Donnay and Solomon with a Garcia.

Ace
09-20-2004, 12:16 PM
I would say I am a "no-courter". I do all things equally crappy.

Thank you, thank you....I'll be here all week.

perfmode
09-20-2004, 12:42 PM
Good thread :) Some random comments for chat. I think Hewitt is slightly more agrassive than retriever status. The other guys being so efficiently aggressive doesn't help his plight but he is way more aggressive than Borg ever was. I see Hewitt as a updated model of Wilander. Chang added a bit of power late too. Wilander in his early career was a retriever but later came to net a bit more and mixed it up. Krishnan was actually an artist, never hitting very hard but playing a very interesting style of game. Annacone (Not mentioned)was a step above a serve volleyer, he came in on pretty much ever second serve from the opponent and many of their first's as well lol. I wonder where Miloslav Mecir would fit in :)


Hewitt is a pusher. He doesn't hit a lot of winners and he plays the best % tennis in order to let his opponent **** up.

PusherMan
09-20-2004, 01:17 PM
Perf...Hewitt is far from a pusher.

Feña14
09-20-2004, 01:26 PM
I play like Hewitt, not a total pusher as I can hit winners and can easily finish points of at the net.

I find it frustrating to see players just go for to much and miss, thats why I love to see Hewitt play.

-Liam

BigK35
09-20-2004, 05:54 PM
All court

And when I say All court I meant it. I'm 60% baseline, 40% S&V on serves. When returning hard serves I stay back until I get the short ball which I put away or get an easy volley. On easy returns I use it as an approach shot and put the volley away. And I do sometimes chip and charge.

-BigK35-

intense2b
09-20-2004, 06:38 PM
RABBIT,

I agree with most of what you said about Borg. Except be advised that Lendl was no where near his prime when Borg was around. Lendl had not even won a grand slam. Lendl started coming into his own after Borg had retired (Bore retired at a very young age ...like 27 I think). Borg only dominated Lendl during the infancy of Lendl's career.

Rabbit
09-21-2004, 07:19 AM
No argument from me. Lendl didn't reach his prime until after 84 when he won the French. But, while Lendl's tactics and confidence improved, he still hit the ball as hard as anyone when he played Borg in 81. My point was that Borg didn't get hit off the court by anyone and could hit with anyone. IMO, Lendl then was a lot like Agassi early in his career, a forehand and a haircut.

Dedans Penthouse
09-21-2004, 08:26 AM
Borg's game was for the most part built on consistency, but he could hammer the ball (esp. the forehand) when he had to. I once saw the bow-legged, slouching Borg playing Jose Higueras at the Masters at Madison Square Garden--Jose Higueras had a pretty decent forehand himself. One point they got into a "rhythmic" power exchange of crosscourt forehands, the two of them just "feeding" off each other's pace. It got to the point where (in the indoor arena) it sounded like gunshot and you could hear the crowd audibly gasp in amazement at the pace of that exchange. I still remember it ("hear it") clearly years later.

mlee2
09-21-2004, 05:13 PM
Hewitt, a pusher? He doesn't have as much power as most of the Top 10, but he easily overwhelms most of the other guys out there with winners and agressive play.

Jay34
09-21-2004, 05:33 PM
I put down "all courter" as my style but I'de like to change it after thinking about it. I am in reality an aggressive baseliner. Aggressive meaning that i will set up a point and be oppurtunistic with it. whether it being able to hit either an inside out or down the line forehand for a winner, or even better, get a short ball in the service box for an easy putaway forehand. I am a capable volleyer, but thats not where i am most comfortable. The evolution of the open stance forehand has been a tremendous advantage for the baseliners in recent years. 2 less steps to get to the ball and the disguise of the shot keeps you s&v'ers guessing...nothing better than a passing shot!!!!!!

WW Volley
09-21-2004, 05:36 PM
Hewitt, a pusher? He doesn't have as much power as most of the Top 10, but he easily overwhelms most of the other guys out there with winners and agressive play.

Agreed.

Jay34
09-21-2004, 06:09 PM
I would definitely not call Hewitt a pusher...there are no pushers on the pro tour, trust me. pushers are 2.5-3.0 club players that annoy the hell out of the 4.0-5.0 players. In my club we call them mosquitos because they're all over the place, bugging the hell out of you.

intense2b
09-21-2004, 08:56 PM
I would definitely not call Hewitt a pusher...there are no pushers on the pro tour, trust me. pushers are 2.5-3.0 club players that annoy the hell out of the 4.0-5.0 players. In my club we call them mosquitos because they're all over the place, bugging the hell out of you.

I agree with you. Todays game is too powerful for Pushers to exist. They are extremely effective and common at clay court clubs however...and there is nothing wrong with using that style. Brad Gilbert says don't be embarrased. Hewit is NO pusher....he has some serious strokes....he is however a retriever! he can chase anything down but he does NOT simply "PUSH" the ball back...he has some great strokes. In the old days probably the closest thing to a pusher was Krishnan & Mecir. But even they hit the ball back with spin and angle...they were really professional Junk ballers rather than pushers. (see defintions of each in the first post on this string).

The Pusher Terminator
09-22-2004, 05:52 AM
Why won't anyone admit to being a pusher? I believe people hate pushers so much is because they are so frustrating. They simply run everything down and "Push" it back and.....THEY WIN!!!! I used to be an agressive baseliner and Pushers would consistently beat me. They would chase evrything down and sooner or later I would make a mistake. I was going to quit tennis at one point because they drove me crazy. Then I read Brad Gilbert's Winning Ugly. He said to play serve and volley or bring a pusher to the net because they are unable to hit a volley to save their lives. From that day on "The Pusher Terminator" was born! I revamped my entire game. I took lessons for 8 months from Tim Mayotte (former #9 in the world) and learned how to play serve and volley. I am happy to say that I have not only never lost to a pusher ever again....but now I really destroy them. I used to dread playing a pusher and now I can't wait. Last week I beat the clubs premiere pusher 6-1, 6-2....everyone said that there was no way I could win. I terminated him....and thats why I am the "pusher Terminator!!"

Kaptain Karl
09-22-2004, 05:27 PM
Good for you. It takes lots of discipline to beat a pusher, but once you’ve succeeded with one ... you’ll be prepared for all the others. Only inattention will have you lose again.

- KK