View Full Version : To Push or Play my game under stress?

05-09-2007, 12:45 PM
I have my first tournament in 8 yrs coming up in two days, and want to run a thought by you folks. Last time I played a tourney, I was a very weak 3.5, and I was badly inconsistent now that I look back. I have spent literally *years* working on building skills with no tournament play. I hit with a good 4.0 all courter on weekends about 4 hours, and finally I have come out ready to play some tennis again with others. I went to our local tennis center, and have been winning plenty of games against other 4.0's, so I am excited to enter my first tourney in a long time.

I am a 4.0 (self rated - not official yet) 41 yr. old all-court player.
Stengths -

Speed - I can get to all of them.
Net Game - I can volley well and cover IDP, DVP, etc.
Backhand Slice deep and angled short
Forehand topspin, all paces
Aggressive Moonball with big topspin
Decent Accuracy - very accurate with slices on both sides
Chip and Charge (medium)


Tendency to get excited and jerk a stroke
Slow second serve, not a duck...but not a heater -lotsa spin
Have been guilty of making dumb shot selection

Since it has been a while...I don't know what to expect opponent skill wise. I expect some very good pushers, and then some very good ball strikers with pace.

Obviously, I have no idea what I will get sytle wise since I don't know any of these guys.

My question concerns my strategy. I *plan* of course to play my game, which many times depends on the opponent I hate to say. I always start out keeping balls deep, and play the ground game off both sides. If I start losing a lot, I move in a play the net game. However, good players can be hard to do that to depnding on their strengths.

See...here is the real deal. I can push. I can out push a pusher. I have more strokes than a guniune certified pusher, and I can play net, and pass. But if I start losing on the ground, and I can't seem to dial it in at net.....given that this is a tournament, and if all else is failing in the last set, should I start the dreaded push game? I can hit those slow medium high paceless balls pretty much all day. And the beauty is...pusher counter-tactics don't really work for the opponent because I am not a real pusher.

The real dilema for me, is if I get under pressure, and stressed, should I just suck it up, and keep trying to play my game, and fight through the mental part or give up, and go for the win by pushing. My logic is that I give up an opporitunity to grow out of a funk by doing that....but may extend my chances to play another match by just winning any way possible.

I loathe pushers too. I love to play them, but I loathe the philosophy.


PS. My main goal is to improve...not just win.

just out
05-09-2007, 01:02 PM
You said it at the end. Your goal is to improve not just win. Is there a consolation (just kidding). I can't say that I have not resorted to pushing before to win but I can say that it has not been all that satisfying when I have, and unlike you, I was never really good at it so I was better off just playing my normal game and exploiting the other persons weaknesses as much as possible. Good luck and let us know what happened.

05-09-2007, 01:20 PM
I'm a 4.0 self-rate myself. I played in my first tournament in April. I was all pumped up to play, probably too much though. In warm-ups against my opponent I twisted my ankle. That ruined part of my strategy of attacking the net. I tensed up and made all kinds of double-faults and unforced errors. I suffered the worst loss in my life because I was injured, nervous, tense, and lost confidence.

The moral of the story: Do whatever it takes to keep a point alive. You might find yourself needing to push a bit in order to get back into the flow of the match. I loathe pushing and I look at that kind of game with disdain. But I learned a few lessons from that defeat. Tennis is at least 70% mental. Skill-wise I can fight against 4.0s, but when I make mistakes or get frustrated, I sometimes feel like a 1.0 playing against Federer.

Play your game, but realize you may need to adjust as the match progresses. If you find an opponent's weakness, exploit it. You may also try probing your opponent by throwing different types of shots to see how he handles them.

05-09-2007, 01:36 PM
Thanks you guys. I actually do pretty well making adjustments to various styles of players, pace, ball bouce, etc. But you know how it is...you described it perfectly.

You are doing fine, then BAM, you get tense, balls start going long, you get internally frustrated with yourself, and lose the groove for a few games.

You know...there is that NASTY uncomfortable feeling every once in a while where balls don't feel comfortable coming off the raquet. Usually for me it is because I am standing to close to the baseline, but you know the feeling.

I really plan to play my game. I played a superchamp a few games a few weeks ago, and I realized then and there....there are guys that have such a big game like that, that I wouldn't have a choice at this stage in my development but to scrap like a 3.0 pusher, LOL. I don't expect those kind of stokes at 4.0, but I do expect some legit 4.5-5.0 stokes from some guys that just can't seem to play by the rules you know?

The main problem I have if I have to push - and it is a very definate change of game when I do, is that it just isn't tennis to me. It is complete crap. It is like badmidton. You can't dictate play, you can't set up points, you don't control the court, you don't do anything except watch to see if the other guy can get them all back.

I read some comments by Dave on TennisMastery - and you know, honestly, I was inspired to try to take a risk, and excel if I start losing my rythym. Fight through it, find a way....any way...to relax, and hit my strokes.

Great thoughts guys, I appreciate the feedback sincerely.

Win lose or draw...I'll let you guys know how I fare this weekend. I just want to play my game well and not fall apart. I think I am ready.

05-09-2007, 01:45 PM
You said it at the end. Your goal is to improve not just win. Is there a consolation (just kidding). I can't say that I have not resorted to pushing before to win but I can say that it has not been all that satisfying when I have, and unlike you, I was never really good at it so I was better off just playing my normal game and exploiting the other persons weaknesses as much as possible. Good luck and let us know what happened.

Yes, there is a first match consolation, so I get two matches no matter how I do which is very nice. I want to play some good players.

The only reason for my seemingly self-answering question was that if I am in my second match, and down a break, and my game falls apart, or his is eating me alive....the thought was to push or moonball to get to the next match, thereby gaining another minumum of two sets of opportunity for playing some more good guys. It's tempting...

fuzz nation
05-10-2007, 06:12 AM
You sound to me like you're in the middle of deciding to take that harder path toward long term improvement. Cool!!! You're going to take some licks along the way, but a huge component of your progression toward where you want to be will probably come from trusting "your game".

I think you need to rely on "pushing" and using your wheels to stay in some points, especially when you're on the defensive, but your offensive skills are what you will learn to use to win more points against better players. It requires actively planning what to do as opposed to the passive reacting that you do when you're pushing. Learning to do this more often against different players is a HUGE step forward.

Stress? What is that anyway, fear of the unknown? Fear of losing? Rumor has it that 50% of all people who play matches lose. HA! Play more matches, focus on nothing more than the point you're playing, and get comfortable putting your game to work. When you actively engage your head and make a simple plan for each point, you'll have a degree of initiative in your favor and with a plan, there is relatively little that is unknown because you already know what you want to do. No more stress!

Best of luck in the tourney!!!

Geezer Guy
05-10-2007, 06:35 AM
Your Weaknesses:
Tendency to get excited and jerk a stroke
Slow second serve, not a duck...but not a heater -lotsa spin
Have been guilty of making dumb shot selection

Given what you said, I'd suggest you make a point of hitting consistent high percentage shots until you get an opening to put the ball away. Don't try to end the point too soon. AND, give your opponent a chance to make an error. They often will, if we only give them enough time. I'd suggest you NOT go into true "pusher" mode - but that doesn't mean you have to go for a winner on the first ball of every rally. Work the point, make good shot selections, look for your opening. I think this addresses Weakness #1 and #4. For #2, take a bit off your first serve. Make more first serves and you won't have to hit as many second serves. (And practice your Second Serves!) For #3, unless you get a sitter overhead inside the service line, just go for placement - not power. Not every overhead has to end the point.

Good luck!

05-10-2007, 08:07 AM
Geezer, sound advice, and also sound comments from all here. Thanks for the input, it does help.

I realize after reading through these many responses, that I have, if I will be honest with myself, been sort of planning to lose before I even get there. I need to change my mindset, and keep it positive. I have weapons, and I have beat 4.0 players, so why am I thinking this way?

My last two and only tournaments 8 years ago...I lost at 3.5 to FIVE guys, who were pushers. And these were not the pretty pushers, but the gross-malformed-stroke-no-pace-OMG-are-you-kidding-me pushers. Do you know what it did to my head watching them beat me game after game, when I had the better strokes? It drove me crazy!!! Now I admit I had terrible consitency, but at the time, I didn't realize it. Those of you who have lived through this nightmare know exactly what I am talking about I am sure.

Yes, I am past that I think, but I guess I am scared my game will fall apart suddenly. I have to quit thinking about what I don't want to do, and start thinking and feeling good about what I am going to do. I know I sound like a mental patient here, LOL, it is just pre-debut tournament jitters I know.

Thanks for the reality checks guys, I really appreciate it!

05-10-2007, 09:55 AM
I realize that on a Forum that we all take shortcuts to explain ourselves to others in a brief note, but personally I would drop the use of the word "pusher". It is a highly charged word that means different things to different folks.

I would not be embarrased for having the ability to be consistent. Ultimately that is what seperates the very best from the wannabes (not putaway shots).

I am not advocating using only a high percentage strategy (you mentioned don't do that anyway). But use all of your weapons, and at the 4.0 level, high consistency is still an important weapon.

basil J
05-10-2007, 10:14 AM
smooth tennis, I know exactly what you are going through. I am 46 and have been playing this wonderful game for 7 years now. I am rated a 4.0 and took many losses over the years, especially to pushers. here's the thing, that's a way to play the game. It may not be a popular way but it is one way of playing the game. I finally got past losing to them by doing a couple of things that I worked on with a pro over the last year that has really helped all aspects of my game:
1.Play high percentage crosscourt tennis! Keep plenty of height and depth on the ball and move them side to side. make them move. keep the ball out of the middle of the court.
2. Put a challenge onto yourself to make every point last at least 4 shots. My pro told me that the average rally lasts 4 shots , so the person that can keep it going past 4 shots has a better shot at winning the point.
3.Don't go for a winner unless you can step into the ball and change direction comfortably! Pushers will do 2 things to you. Put your feet to sleep and make you go for shots you have no business going for.!
4. keep your feet moving and don't lose your follow through. Many Players start to take the pace off of a ball when playing pushers and they start abbreviating their follow through. Don't do it. keep your swing consistant and loose and make your opponent self destruct.
Good luck and Take it to Him!!!

05-10-2007, 10:34 PM

I mean it depends on who you are playing doesn't it? Some guys have games that are susceptible to pushing. Other players might do well against it. At the 4.0 level some guys would relish playing against a pusher. Personally what i would do is play my game but if I ran into a guy that I thought i needed to push against I would. :P

Listen the one piece of advice you will get on the forums is - hey don't worry about winning and losing play to improve your game. That's all fine and dandy but sometimes you actually want to PLAY THE GAME. And that means playing to win. You can always improve in practice matches or in practice. People get carried away here.

I mean can you imagine telling someone playing one on one hoops - hey just take those long range threes - you need to improve your game. Sure you might do that fooling around. But in a one on one tournament I am taking it to the hole baby.

No offense but your 40 something and you have been building to this. Play to win. Win the whole tournament. Get that trophy. Winning feels good. You can't go your whole life thinking man I am actually much better then x guy I was just working on improving my game. <g> I mean when do you start playing to win? 80!?!


05-11-2007, 06:26 AM
smoothtennis, I think your last post was right on the money ... go in with a positive attitude and good things will happen. The only advice I might add would be to focus primarily on minimizing your weaknesses. You can depend on the strong points of your game (unless the other player is so good he can easily overcome your strengths, but if that is the case you're in trouble either way), so minimizing your weaknesses is really the key to your game.

Three of your listed weaknesses - numbers 1, 3 and 4 - look to be the result of indecisiveness. To minimize these, you might focus on making your shot selection choice very early and making a commitment not to change your mind at the last second, no matter where your opponent is positioned. In my experience, jerked shots, mishit overheads, and poor shot selection are often caused by a glance across the net and a last second change of plan.

Along the lines of Geezer's advice, if you go in with a plan to keep it deep and crosscourt until you get a short ball you can attack that isn't pushing, it's simply playing percentage tennis.

Can't wait to hear how you did :)

fuzz nation
05-11-2007, 06:46 AM
Forgot to mention it earlier - you sound like you could benefit from one or two good reads if you're trying to think positively and hone your confidence. I learned a bundle from Vic Braden's Mental Tennis and recommend it to friends all the time - he's both a tennis guru and a liscenced psychologist with a great sense of humor that makes his reading really worthwhile.

05-11-2007, 06:48 AM
Penpal said:

Three of your listed weaknesses - numbers 1, 3 and 4 - look to be the result of indecisiveness. To minimize these, you might focus on making your shot selection choice very early and making a commitment not to change your mind at the last second, no matter where your opponent is positioned. In my experience, jerked shots, mishit overheads, and poor shot selection are often caused by a glance across the net and a last second change of plan.

Ok, that is a spot on dead accurate statement Penpal. I am laughing reading this, because I looked at this closely in the past year. I never really thought about it directly affecting my weakness I mentioned or causing them. The one thing I have found with my partner this year, is that changing the stroke for a different aim point after we set up is a complete diasater! I mean...you are set up for down the line, then late if you switch to crosscourt, causing the jerking motion! Set up for crosscourt, then to down the line, the ball is suddenly too close to the body, and I do something else wrong. I'll take this to heart, because it is already an internal rule I personally have with myself. Your comment really reinforces this strongly. Thanks!

BasilJ - Thanks for the pointers....in fact #4 feet moving...is especially important for me, because I expect to be nervous....and Gilbert says that nerves kill the feet movement. I'll stay on those toes bro!

GuyClinch - Thanks, and I am going there with a positive mindset to win each match. Since I haven't played 4.0 tournament before, it is my first foray into tournament 4.0 play. I am just a tad anxious.

As far as pushing you guys....I will keep it in the bag just in case. And I'll make sure if I have to use it, I'll keep my strokes full and deep. I will NEVER EVER push short high balls to the middle of the court. If they can't put those away...they aren't 4.0 in my book. I'll only use deep balls with little pace and good net clearance for safety. But I will use ball placement and hit both wings.

05-11-2007, 08:21 AM
good luck. and dont push. thats for losers. you are going to be a winner right?

05-11-2007, 09:52 AM
...and adjust as necessary. There's nothing wrong with a combination of trying to take control of some points and just playing rally ball (a term I prefer to "pushing") on other points. A breakthrough, I think, to get past 4.0 is what you do on a 30-30 point. Anybody can do the right thing at 40-0, players who are match tough do the right thing at 30-30, 4-5 down on their serve. And what is the right thing? In general, I believe ya gotta take it to the other guy and take control of the point. So I might be thinking something like "Nice shot...now watch this. Slice out wide to the forehand, and I'll be waiting at the service line for the volley, because I'm gonna get you, sucka..." If you don't play a point, at this juncture, to make something happen...in other words, you just play passively and hope for an error, you're more likely to make an error yourself, and that way leads to ulcers and lost matches. As Billie Jean King used to say, "If you're gonna make an error, make a doozy."

There's another way of looking at the whole idea of match play that my coach, who's a really smart guy, laid on me last summer. We're out there one day working away on having me structuring points using my strengths and I'm alternately firing on all cyclinders and having a miss on #4 and saying things like "Blank blank frammistan...hit the ball, stupid!" So my coach smiles and says "Stop thinking your way through the point, and start playing your way through the point." In other words, shut up and play tennis. Words from the wise...

05-11-2007, 11:26 AM
"If you're gonna make an error, make a doozy."
.........shut up and play tennis.

Clearly two very smart people. If you know were I can buy the tshirts let me know I want 5 of each!

05-11-2007, 11:39 AM
Well good luck in your tournament! You will need it ;)

Seriously, most 4.0 players that I've come accross are the definition of the "weekend warrior". They will leave it all out on the court and do whatever it takes to win. Even if they don't have all the skills or the best technique, they will use what they have and try their best to turn the match into a battle. Really the only way to beat a 4.0 player in a tournament is to either out-grind & out-maneuver them, or to possess a greater skill set than them to begin with. It sounds like you might have an edge in the skills department due to your hard work over the last few years, but you will still be forced to battle with each of these guys, so be prepared for that.

* Aggressive Moonball with big topspin

This skill right here will win you alot of matches at the 4.0 level. This should be your main weapon in my opinion. Use it to draw erorrs and to setup the rest of your game. The average 4.0 player will NOT like having to move his feet to get into position to handle high bouncing balls. This should generate all kinds of short balls that you can work with.

As far as match strategy goes I would suggest these goals/strategies to begin with:

* No double faults. Period. At the 4.0 level these guys should not be capable of blasting return winners past you. And if try to, then good for them -- that means they'll be giving you alot of free points via missed returns. Don't miss your second serve!

* No missed returns either. If they have a hard flat first serve (common at 4.0), then just block it back and try to get yourself back to neutral ground with your second shot. Then it's game on. Second serve returns I would hit out on more, but be mindful not to go for too much. The key here is to put some pressure on the server without generating any errors yourself.

* No missed overheads. You listed this as a weakness and that's fine. Something to improve on later. But for now it's important to get these puppies in. If it's a tough lob then either hit a soft overhead or a high volley, or let it bounce and hit a forehand -- do whatever is most comfortable at the time. Regardless of what you hit, make sure you close back into the net to keep the pressure on your opponent. With any luck they won't even notice that you don't have a powerful overhead; instead they will see that you don't miss any overheads! Oh, and feel free to smack the bejesus out of any short fluffy lobs. This will intimidate your opponent (even if only subconsciously) and it will help build confidence in your overheads.

* Use your spin serve to draw your opponent off court, especially on the deuce side. Even if your outwide serve isn't excactly acing him, it can still be a good serve because it make him move his feet in order to hit a decent shot. More often than not the 4.0 player will try to hit too aggressively simply because it is a forehand, not realizing that the ball is still moving away from him & thus away from his strike zone, and unless he hits a really good shot he will be out of position for the next ball. Be sure to mix up your serve locations though. I would try to place most of your serves towards the corners of the boxes which will make him move his feet for every return. They don't need to be aces right in the corner, just not right to him. Every now and then throw a serve right at him, preferably towards his left hip (unless he is a lefty). You don't have to serve hard to win at this level. Good placement and spin will get the job done.

* Grind out the first two points of every game. This is where your heavy moonball will come into play. Unless you have a confident one-two punch combination that you find very effective and efficient (such as a serve & volley), I find it better to play more consistantly early in the games. Try to get up 30-0 in every game via your opponent's unforced errors, then put the clamps on him with some controlled aggressive play. This will give you some room to work with and should put the pressure squarely on your opponent, not you. This will give you a good opportunity to refine your shot selection. Find out what works and what doesn't, and take a note of it. If the score ever gets back to 30-30, then think back to the plays that DID work and try to replicate them. Going to the well will pay off more often than not, even if your opponent thinks he knows what's coming. Those shots work for a reason, so use them!

In summary, I would play somewhat of a hybrid game. Grind out alot of points ussing your heavy topspin, but also look for the short balls to attack. Be consistant with your serving & returning, and play your best grinding tennis at the beginning of the games and your best attacking tennis to finish off the games. Most importantly, have confidence in yourself. You are the one who has been practicing for these past few years. Most of your opponents, while good players with lots of heart, probably don't have the skills that you now possess. Make the most of those skills and you will do just fine.

As you progress in the tournament, or go on to play other tournaments, you will develop your own patterns of play that are best suited for you. But I think the above is a good basic strategy set that should serve you fairly well at the 4.0 level. Remember that pushing is a part of the game and at that level if they aren't pushing at least a little bit then they will lose, horribly. If they could play aggressively all the time and win they wouldn't be a 4.0!

05-11-2007, 11:56 AM
Yep, just play your game. Don't treat it like a tourny, but just another practice session. Don't worry about losing. If you lose, you know you lost because you tried the best you can instead of playing a different game than you would usually do.

05-11-2007, 12:55 PM
NoSkillz - great points and great perspective. LOL, Oh, I plan to test every guy with the aggressive moonball up front, to see if they have that down. My hitting partner and I...we get that going for up to 8-10 apiece with massive spin, and they are a 'bear' to handle if you haven't played that game before. It is a footwork nightmare covering those things. We have to 'work 'em down' if we don't want errors, and it takes usually two or three balls to get the height safely back to normal once you decide to bring it down.

Well...you certainly hit the sensitive spot in my game talking about what to do at 30-30. You are so right...and it takes some real guts under pressure of going home to step it up and take control there. No risk, no reward I guess. Only this time out, I'll not go straight for a winner! I'll work semi-aggresive to get court advantage, and squeeze his options down to zero with smart shots.

Last time out, I got the advantage off a good groundie, and like a total noob, would try for a ripping forehand winner. And you know what happned next.....the guy would say, "Thank you".

Ok, I am off to the match...really looking forward to competing, and taking it to these guys as best I know how at this point. I'll let you guys know how it goes tonight.

I appreciate the advice everybody has given here, more than you guys know, so I sincerely appreciate the good will and wisdom offered!!!

05-11-2007, 02:24 PM
Clearly two very smart people. If you know were I can buy the tshirts let me know I want 5 of each!

...sounds like an excellent replacement for my day job. If I can sell lots of these, I won't have to have a real job any more and I can play more tennis! Watch this space...

05-11-2007, 06:46 PM
Not the best news to report...but not the worst either. I lost the first match 4-6, 5-7 to a tournament tough player, who used to play 4.5, but kept losing. He had some weapons, and used them well.

The good news was that I played well, and never at any point did I get the jitters, nerves, or lose my game. That may not sound like much, but I was pretty happy. I realized once I got there, while watching my opponent, and the 7 other matches in viewing distance all around us, that I picked the right level to play at. They were not going to blow anybody off the courts out there.

So this guy almost won a 4.0 tournament last year, and had previously played 4.5 for a few years, but said there was a skill gap, so he moved back down. I was not fooled by the fact that he was much older, and overweight. He had three stengths - his flat hard forehand, first serve, and was super fast. That was it. He simply knew how to impose that on me better than I could impose my game on him.

First set was crazy for me, I couldn't read his ball, but second set I adjusted, and was up 5-2, and even had a set point. I didn't fall apart or get nervous, he just upped his game a little tighter, and went for it. I knew if I could just get him into set three, I had him, because he was exhausted, and I was still fresh.

I could not for the life of me, seem to get my topspin game going because he kept the ball so low, and hard. I was bending down and having to block and slice most everything. Nearly any ball that got up chest high, I could take that point with my stroke play, but he owned the low balls, and placed them well.

Tomorrow - I have to play either a 6'3 S&V player with a booming first serve, or a guy that plays a game that looks like mine. Only problem is he is the #5 seed. I hope for the latter regardless, as that is what I am used to, and I can grind with him. The S&V will likely never let me establish my rhythm like this guy did to me tonight.

Anyway that is it, I am very pleased, and I used many comments from you guys to good effect at certain key times.

PS. couldn't moonball this guy....he would get the ball high enough. The few I forced, I won the point. But it was very difficult to lift his hard low ball off the court with top.

fuzz nation
05-11-2007, 07:17 PM
Yahoo! Thanks for the update - sounds like you've got your head switched on.

Have a blast tomorrow and drop another installment.

05-12-2007, 03:48 PM
Smoothtennis, sounds like you had a very competitive match yesterday. 4-6, 5-7, not bad for your first tournament in years. So how did your consolation match go today?

05-12-2007, 06:39 PM
Well, once again I lost, but I did get a set off this guy. Score was 3-6, 6-3, 0-6. He was tall, strong, and played a power game of serve and volley, attack, attack, attack.

Although I still feel good about the result, my hitting partner showed up and watched the last set, where I was losing my form. He said I was very very tight, and I looked scared by my body language during stokes. He said I was leaning backward, fanning balls, instead of hitting out. The funny thing is, I didn't seem to 'feel' scared, but I was obviously tight as a drum!

This was good for me, because I don't know any other way to get over something like that except to get out there, and start hitting with these guys and playing games under stress.

This guy kept me out of my rhthym with his quick game, which in retrospect, I allowed to happen for the most part. I stood in on his 100+ mph serves and blocked into the corners. This is how I took so many games off of him. He never really picked up that his serving pace was what was killing him.

I stood right on the baseline, and this caused me more problems with my strokes. Was I really aware I was standing in that close at the time? No of course not. But I sure do now.

All in all, I came away very pleased with the experience, and even with getting so tight, and not knowing what was wrong. Now I know what that feels like, and can hopefully deal with it better next time out. Tightness does not have to feel like fear, like scared fear. But you can just get tentative, and tight because you don't want to get sent home. And it is very hard to hit out and move forward when you are already at the baseline. I guess the tightness made my feet like lead in that regard.

Honestly? There wasn't anything to fear in retropect. If I get scared and fearful, and tentative, then you I go home anyways right? I found tennis cannot be played that way.

PS. My forehand was so GONE, you would have thought I never hit one in my life in this last match. I mean, it was a total no show! I was 'running around' to hit my topspin backhand during the match, which actually worked! LOL, I could have never guessed that it could be that bad in a single match.

Thanks you guys!

05-12-2007, 07:01 PM
I too am guilty of pushing the ball in tense situations. Its a natural thing to do I suppose. But since im dishing out advice and not actually in the point I would have to say to play your natural game. Your strokes cant mature in match play if you dont play what you've practiced right? Also, I would think it would be quite ineffective to try to push a 4.0 unless your opp. is a pusher himself at which point this proverb although not related to tennis may hold true (dont argue with an idiot cause they will pull you down to their level and beat you with experience).

05-12-2007, 07:06 PM
Good to know you have now have a better game plan, or at least was able to get a little bit of a different perspective on strategy.

You should be able to handle the mental game better now. GL in your future tournaments.