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Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 07:21 AM
Hi everyone,

I thought I would start this thread about what strategy to use against any type of player. Both in singles and in doubles. So please post your questions and I will tell you how to beat your opponents.

As my first installment I will deal with the dreaded Pusher as that seems to be the most frustrating style of play:

First here is video of the pusher so that we all understand the type of player we are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ


- Get to the net!!!!

-when Volleying use angles and touch rather than smash big bam boom put aways. The pUsher will merely run these down and push them back until you make a mistake or lobbing them back!

-Pushers can't volley. so bring the pusher to the net anyway you can. Hit a dropper. But be careful because they may try to drop back so run in. Don't worry about them hitting it hard....because they can't and if they try to they will hit it out. If they get to the drop and push it back and retreat to the baseline then you will have already been anticipating that! Again run to the net. Now you are where you want to be. But remember to use touch and angles rather than a hard hit volley.

-The temptation to hit a winner is huge. Follow this rule. Do not try for a winner until you have hit at least 4 balls over the net. this will curb your temptation to hit a winner/ unforced error.

-Try not to hit for the corner as they love to run those down. Do the opposite of what they like. Hit right in the middle of the court. As brad Gilbert says "Don't let a runner run".

-These players are always running for the open court....so hit behind them!!! Do the opposite

Mountain Ghost
10-12-2007, 08:50 AM
My question is:

How do you beat a player who is better than you and who reads the same threads you do about how to beat players who are better than you?

MG

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 09:25 AM
My question is:

How do you beat a player who is better than you and who reads the same threads you do about how to beat players who are better than you?

MG

LOL.....You can always hire a hit man to break his legs?;)

Seriously though....what does "better" mean? Its tactics.

For example if you are facing a "better" player than you who happens to be a serve and volleyer and you are baseliner then the "better" player has no chance .

You are employing strategies against a serve and volleyer. Those rules wont apply against a baseliner such as yourself.

Sonic Srve
10-12-2007, 10:07 AM
Hi everyone,

I thought I would start this thread about what strategy to use against any type of player. Both in singles and in doubles. So please post your questions and I will tell you how to beat your opponents.

As my first installment I will deal with the dreaded Pusher as that seems to be the most frustrating style of play:

First here is video of the pusher so that we all understand the type of player we are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ


- Get to the net!!!!

-when Volleying use angles and touch rather than smash big bam boom put aways. The pUsher will merely run these down and push them back until you make a mistake or lobbing them back!

-Pushers can't volley. so bring the pusher to the net anyway you can. Hit a dropper. But be careful because they may try to drop back so run in. Don't worry about them hitting it hard....because they can't and if they try to they will hit it out. If they get to the drop and push it back and retreat to the baseline then you will have already been anticipating that! Again run to the net. Now you are where you want to be. But remember to use touch and angles rather than a hard hit volley.

-The temptation to hit a winner is huge. Follow this rule. Do not try for a winner until you have hit at least 4 balls over the net. this will curb your temptation to hit a winner/ unforced error.

-Try not to hit for the corner as they love to run those down. Do the opposite of what they like. Hit right in the middle of the court. As brad Gilbert says "Don't let a runner run".

-These players are always running for the open court....so hit behind them!!! Do the opposite

The video was hilarious. I also thought your points were really helpful. So how do you beat a guy who can do just about anything?

smoothtennis
10-12-2007, 10:07 AM
The guy in the video hit a great deep angled approach shot, came in, and proceeded to hit three paceless volleys that hit in the service box. That just 'aint gonna do it. He didn't do his job.

You beat that guy like he was doing, but you have to have the mid-court and net game executed properly.

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 10:22 AM
The video was hilarious. I also thought your points were really helpful. So how do you beat a guy who can do just about anything?

I am sure most of the Pros have the same question: How to beat Roger Federer.

I am afraid that only Nadal on clay has the answer to that question...which is to play lefty and hit high topspin backhands until Fed makes an unforced error.

But for mere mortals you are refering to an all courter. heres the answer:



Tactics:


- Put him under pressure.attack this opponent at every opportunity.

Do not hot the same ball over and over again. Don't let him get into a rhythm. Change the spin and pace of theball. Change your style of play until you discover their weakness.

Try and make sure that you use your own strenghts against this player. if you are a serve and volleyer then get to the net asap. If you like topspin forehands then run around your back hand.

These players have good net skills so keep the ball deep.

Even though this player seems to have no weakness' he does! Nadal found out that feds weakness is high backhands. So watch them and find out where they are weak.

Kevo
10-12-2007, 11:52 AM
Umm, which one was the pusher? ;-)

cliff
10-12-2007, 11:53 AM
There are some good articles in the www.procomparetennis.net article section that discuss the ways to beat various styles. Dave Sammel and Dr Ray Brown provide some great advice that is well worth looking at.

Check out the site it is free plus it has loads of free video clips and photo sequences as well.

WBF
10-12-2007, 12:07 PM
I do not agree with the op.

1.) All pushers are different. Some will be good at volleys, others will not.

2.) If you have poor volleys, getting to the net is a terrible idea.

3.) If you don't have the capability, don't go for winners. I think there are plenty of people out there who can hit winners left and right even against the scrappiest players. Playing the pushers own game seems like poor advice.

4.) I wouldn't hit down the middle every time, mix things up, but don't just let them run everything down, throw in some behind shots, throw in changeups, both in terms of depth, spin, and so forth (moving people forward and backward has proven effective against nearly all of my opponents).

Sonic Srve
10-12-2007, 01:10 PM
I do not agree with the op.

1.) All pushers are different. Some will be good at volleys, others will not.

2.) If you have poor volleys, getting to the net is a terrible idea.

3.) If you don't have the capability, don't go for winners. I think there are plenty of people out there who can hit winners left and right even against the scrappiest players. Playing the pushers own game seems like poor advice.

4.) I wouldn't hit down the middle every time, mix things up, but don't just let them run everything down, throw in some behind shots, throw in changeups, both in terms of depth, spin, and so forth (moving people forward and backward has proven effective against nearly all of my opponents).

1. actually thats wrong. If someone can volley well then they are not a pusher by definiton. Pusher can only "push" the ball back in play. If they are good volleyer then they are no longer pusher.

2. According to Brad Gilbert from winning Ugly you are incorrect. Even if you are not a good volleyer getting to the net is very important. Since a Pusher has only 2 choices in that instance:

1) pass you
2) lob you

If they try and pass you they will fail because that forces them to swing hard. if they swing hard they are no longer pushing and will make an unforced error as they simply cannot hit the ball hard.

The lob...this is a dnagerous one. You must be selective when to come into the net. but in either case you have stopped him from pushing and he is forced to play a different strategy.

3. You misread . He never said that you should go for winners. However there are many people who have the urge to go for winners. Therefore in order to curtail that urge the OP suggested that you should hit the ball at least four times before going for a winner. But that does not mean you have to go for a winner at all....its actually a way to stop you. I thought that was awesome advice.

4. Middle is the way to go. these guys love to run for balls in the corners. they can run all day and hitting in the corners is hard and can easily turn into an unforced error. In fact if you hit it in the middle whats a pusher going to do with that??? he has no angels at all. he simmply is forced to push it back right at you.

raiden031
10-12-2007, 02:29 PM
1. actually thats wrong. If someone can volley well then they are not a pusher by definiton. Pusher can only "push" the ball back in play. If they are good volleyer then they are no longer pusher.


I have played people who are good volleyers and good doubles players in general, but from the baseline all they do is push the ball or lob it. I would consider them pushers, especially when playing singles that is 90% of their strategy.


2. According to Brad Gilbert from winning Ugly you are incorrect. Even if you are not a good volleyer getting to the net is very important. Since a Pusher has only 2 choices in that instance:

1) pass you
2) lob you

If they try and pass you they will fail because that forces them to swing hard. if they swing hard they are no longer pushing and will make an unforced error as they simply cannot hit the ball hard.


I strongly disagree that someone with poor volley skills can beat a pusher by playing the net. Back when I had weaker volleys, I tried this strategy and got destroyed, because most of my volleys were ineffective and I made tons of errors.

I will agree that playing the net is the best way to defeat a pusher, but it can't be done until you develop a solid net game. So until then, people will keep getting demolished by pushers.

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 03:08 PM
I have played people who are good volleyers and good doubles players in general, but from the baseline all they do is push the ball or lob it. I would consider them pushers, especially when playing singles that is 90% of their strategy.

I would first like to commend you on your great insight and astute questions. Really great points.

However the question that was posed to me was for singles play. Doubles is an entire different ballgame. If you want answers on how to beat a team that pushes or a team that has one pusher and one agressive baseliner...or any other combination...just let me know.

I strongly disagree that someone with poor volley skills can beat a pusher by playing the net. Back when I had weaker volleys, I tried this strategy and got destroyed, because most of my volleys were ineffective and I made tons of errors.

Another great point and a very logical one. May I suggest you read brad Gilberts winning ugly. In his book he says that in order to beat a pusher you must come to the net or make them come to the net.

Even if you have weak volleys the strategy is to get a pusher to swing hard. Since they do not have strokes by swinging hard they will make unforced errors.

Staying back , according to Gilbert is certain death. Because then you are playing right into the pushers hand. he has been using the pushing strategy loneg than you and he will simply "Out-push" you.

You therefore should get to the net to stop him from merely pushing. make him take a high rish shot by trying to pass you. pushers only push....they cannot hit bullet passing shots and if they try it will be an error.

Think about it...the harder you swing the higher the risk that you wil;l make an error. A pusher almost never makes an error because he merely pushes back. Thats a very low risk shot. But by going to the net he must either try and pass you with a hard swing or try and lob.

The key is to WATCH FOR THE LOB!!! Don't close in to much. Don't worry about him passing you because he can't and if he trys it will be an error.

Also another key at the net is dont try and put balls away as the pusher will run them down. Rather use touch and angles.

I will agree that playing the net is the best way to defeat a pusher, but it can't be done until you develop a solid net game. So until then, people will keep getting demolished by pushers.

Good point again. But the key is forcing the pusher into unforced errors. Whether you can volley or not is of no consequence because just your prescence at the net will trick the pusher into making an unforced error. However you should practice smashing lobs.....you will really need that!!!! But just by knowing that a lob is coming and not even worrying about a pass will prepare you. So get ready for the lob forget the passing shots,.

One thing is for sure...you are not going to beat a pusher at the baseline. You will not beat him at his own game. he will "out push" you because he has been doing it a lot longer.

Good luck and have fun!:p

Attila the tennis Bum
10-12-2007, 03:18 PM
I love that video!!! But if you look at the video you will see that your own principles don't work. that guy played the net and the Pusher hit a passing shot!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 03:29 PM
I love that video!!! But if you look at the video you will see that your own principles don't work. that guy played the net and the Pusher hit a passing shot!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

Good point!!! But you are not looking at the situation with a trained eye.

Although our player seemed to do everything right....did he really??

No he did not. he made one crucial mistake. He did not look for the lob.

Watch the video carefully.... On the fifth ball the pusher hits a lob to the players backhand. The player was not looking for the lob. he just kept closing in!! He should have stopped and stood still and waited for the lob. At that point he should have let it drop and hit a dinker or if he would have anticipated and watched for the lob he would have had time to run around it and hit a forehand .

Instead he hit this lob very poorly and then to make matter worse he closed in even more to the net when he should habe stayed where he was and wait for the next "push".

Watch the video again and you will see excatly what I am talking about. Look for the fifth ball in the rally. That sets up the whole path to destruction.

Attila the tennis Bum
10-12-2007, 03:32 PM
Good point!!! But you are not looking at the situation with a trained eye.

Although our player seemed to do everything right....did he really??

No he did not. he made one crucial mistake. He did not look for the lob.

Watch the video carefully.... On the fifth ball the pusher hits a lob to the players backhand. The player was not looking for the lob. he just kept closing in!! He should have stopped and stood still and waited for the lob. At that point he should have let it drop and hit a dinker or if he would have anticipated and watched for the lob he would have had time to run around it and hit a forehand .

Instead he hit this lob very poorly and then to make matter worse he closed in even more to the net when he should habe stayed where he was and wait for the next "push".

Watch the video again and you will see excatly what I am talking about. Look for the fifth ball in the rally. That sets up the whole path to destruction.

Wow. I see exactly what you are talking about! That was great! Thanks!

VaBeachTennis
10-12-2007, 03:36 PM
Which one was the pusher? The guy on the court closest to the camera or the guy further away? If you are calling the guy on the close court a pusher, I don't know if I really agree. He controlled most of the point and the guy on the far side tried to be aggressive beyond his capabilites (at the time), he blew it on the volleys, the older "pusher" worked the young guy and counterpunched for a cross court passing shot winner. Yeah his strokes were not pretty and he had a backspin serve, but he played within his abilities on that point and won.
I would be glad to play that old guy because he would help make my game better.
Here are my strategies:
Instead of the "dreaded pusher", make it the "welcomed pusher", work him and don't let him work you, play the game to have one more stroke or ball that's in than your opponent.
"Don't think your better": Some people lose because they tell themselves that they are "so much" better than the "pusher" and they feel "above" playing him/her. Then when they make some UE's and the "pusher" that is "below" them gets some "lucky" shots and gets a winner or forces the person to make more UE's, that person tends to fall apart mentally and then loses the match.
Personally, I think I am better than everybody until they beat me, but I don't think that I am "above" them. Once I changed my attitude about that, my success changed for the better as well.
"Don't think so much!": If you have so many different strategies in your head, it clutters your mind (at least my pea brain), thus taking you out of the task at hand.......hitting the ball correctly with good placement, pace, and spin. Slow your mind down (not too slow) and concentrate on making good contact with the ball and the shots/winners will follow naturally. Don't force your winners, let them flow, let the "pusher" get frustrated and impatient and make the UE's. ;)
"Stay Loose Mentally & Physically": Don't be floppy and lazy, but just be loose and have confidence in your training and reflexes. If you make a UE or guess and make a mistake, laugh it off but make a mental note. Just react, let your strategy develop naturally, and carry it out.
"Consider Every Match a Learning Experience": The title speaks for itself. Experiment a little bit, learn by trial and error. Let your mindset go into learning mode.
"Drop the EGO and the desire to win, win, win, win": Most people, if not everybody wants to win their match, or win at what they do. That's not a bad thing. It's only bad when you put a neurotic pressure on yourself to "WIN!" so you can stroke your "EGO", then that starts to break you down mentally when you don't get your way. It's good to have a healthy ego, but many times it's detrimental to have an ego of either extreme.

There are many people I am sure, that thrive on the exact opposite of what I just posted. People have different personality types. When I play tennis and part of the time in "normal walk around life" I am more of a type A personality, depending on the situation. So the above strategies help me slow my mind down and concentrate better, thus perform better. I hope this helps.

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 03:44 PM
Which one was the pusher? The guy on the court closest to the camera or the guy further away? If you are calling the guy on the close court a pusher, I don't know if I really agree. He controlled most of the point and the guy on the far side tried to be aggressive beyond his capabilites (at the time), he blew it on the volleys, the older "pusher" worked the young guy and counterpunched for a cross court passing shot winner. Yeah his strokes were not pretty and he had a backspin serve, but he played within his abilities on that point and won.
I would be glad to play that old guy because he would help make my game better.

Yes the guy closer to the camera.

But who controls the point has nothing to do with what a pusher is. People tens to use the term "pusher" as derogatory or as to someone who cannot play.

Nothing can be further from the truth! Its a legitimate strategy especially on red clay as was the case in the video.

Rather a pusher is someone who "Pushes" the ball back into play over and over again. It was the lob in the point that won the point. After that lob the volleyer was completely out of position. He did not play beyong his cpapbalities bit rather was not prepared for the lob.

When playing the net against a pusher you must anticipate a lob or you are dead.



Here are my strategies:
Instead of the "dreaded pusher", make it the "welcomed pusher", work him and don't let him work you, play the game to have one more stroke or ball that's in than your opponent.
"Don't think your better": Some people lose because they tell themselves that they are "so much" better than the "pusher" and they feel "above" playing him/her. Then when they make some UE's and the "pusher" that is "below" them gets some "lucky" shots and gets a winner or forces the person to make more UE's, that person tends to fall apart mentally and then loses the match.
Personally, I think I am better than everybody until they beat me, but I don't think that I am "above" them. Once I changed my attitude about that, my success changed for the better as well.
"Don't think so much!": If you have so many different strategies in your head, it clutters your mind (at least my pea brain), thus taking you out of the task at hand.......hitting the ball correctly with good placement, pace, and spin. Slow your mind down (not too slow) and concentrate on making good contact with the ball and the shots/winners will follow naturally. Don't force your winners, let them flow, let the "pusher" get frustrated and impatient and make the UE's. ;)
"Stay Loose Mentally & Physically": Don't be floppy and lazy, but just be loose and have confidence in your training and reflexes. If you make a UE or guess and make a mistake, laugh it off but make a mental note. Just react, let your strategy develop naturally, and carry it out.
"Consider Every Match a Learning Experience": The title speaks for itself. Experiment a little bit, learn by trial and error. Let your mindset go into learning mode.
"Drop the EGO and the desire to win, win, win, win": Most people, if not everybody wants to win their match, or win at what they do. That's not a bad thing. It's only bad when you put a neurotic pressure on yourself to "WIN!" so you can stroke your "EGO", then that starts to break you down mentally when you don't get your way. It's good to have a healthy ego, but many times it's detrimental to have an ego of either extreme.

There are many people I am sure, that thrive on the exact opposite of what I just posted. People have different personality types. When I play tennis and part of the time in "normal walk around life" I am more of a type A personality, depending on the situation. So the above strategies help me slow my mind down and concentrate better, thus perform better. I hope this helps.

I agree with all of the above. However those are more mental strategies rather than physical tactical ones.

I think together we would make a great team!! Very insightful indeed! Thanks.

raiden031
10-12-2007, 03:56 PM
Good point again. But the key is forcing the pusher into unforced errors. Whether you can volley or not is of no consequence because just your prescence at the net will trick the pusher into making an unforced error. However you should practice smashing lobs.....you will really need that!!!! But just by knowing that a lob is coming and not even worrying about a pass will prepare you. So get ready for the lob forget the passing shots,.

One thing is for sure...you are not going to beat a pusher at the baseline. You will not beat him at his own game. he will "out push" you because he has been doing it a lot longer.

Good luck and have fun!:p

I don't know what kind of pushers you play, but I have yet to see any pusher that will crumble at the sight of a poor volleyer coming up to net. The pushers I've played, while not having the precision to paint the lines, can direct their shots at least enough to make volleying difficult if you're not strong at net. Obviously it didn't work for me, and I own Brad Gilbert's book. I accepted that I just didn't have the skills to beat certain pushers and have since worked hard at improving all aspects of my game. I'm getting better and really there is no magical formula for beating a pusher, you have to have the skills and play the right strategy. You have the right strategy, but its foolish to assume its guaranteed to work regardless of whether you can execute.

Kaptain Karl
10-12-2007, 04:16 PM
Attila is correct. And calling that high BH a "lob" is a stretch, IMO.

1 - 22 seconds of video is insufficient to claim that guy is a true "pusher". He may just not be all that good. It's just not fair to classify him by watching a single short point.

2 - As Attila pointed out, your "pusher" did indeed hit a passing shot. (Pushers don't do that very often.) That guy may not qualify....

3 - Using Gilbert as an "authority" is troubling. He has both called himself a pusher ... and argued he is not one. One TT-er claims Gilbert has called Murray a pusher. (Murray isn't by any means a pusher.) But that was before he worked for the Brits and coached Murray.

_________________

I will say your tactical advice for playing pushers is pretty sound. Good job and well-presented.

My advice for playing Pushers and Soft-ballers (They are different players.) is pretty much the same for each. Here's the link to my post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1375982&postcount=37) in the Pusher Sticky. (You will note several similarities to your own suggestions.) Also, see the Playing Styles Sticky (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284). It helps to know what style your opponent is employing ... so you can "switch" into the proper counter-measures.

- KK

Attila the tennis Bum
10-12-2007, 05:04 PM
Attila is correct. And calling that high BH a "lob" is a stretch, IMO.

1 - 22 seconds of video is insufficient to claim that guy is a true "pusher". He may just not be all that good. It's just not fair to classify him by watching a single short point.

2 - As Attila pointed out, your "pusher" did indeed hit a passing shot. (Pushers don't do that very often.) That guy may not qualify....

3 - Using Gilbert as an "authority" is troubling. He has both called himself a pusher ... and argued he is not one. One TT-er claims Gilbert has called Murray a pusher. (Murray isn't by any means a pusher.) But that was before he worked for the Brits and coached Murray.

Actually I now agree with gut.

He was right on. The pusher did not hit a passing shot. Rather the volleyer was out of position because he did not expect the lob or semi lob or whatever.

The volleyer was way to close to the net. So the pusher teallybdisnt hit a hard shot it just seemed that way because the volleyer was way too close and out of position. Which was all set up by a poorly handeled lob.

As far as Gilbert is concerned....I think he knows more about tennis than anyone here and I hold him in high regard. If he is a pusher himself as you contend then I would say he really has more knowledge on the topic than anyone else.

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 05:17 PM
- Using Gilbert as an "authority" is troubling. He has both called himself a pusher ... and argued he is not one. One TT-er claims Gilbert has called Murray a pusher. (Murray isn't by any means a pusher.) But that was before he worked for the Brits and coached Murray.

- KK

Hiya Kaptain,

Thanks for your comments. By the way your post had some very good points.

You are entitled to disagree with Brad Gilbert. However, he is not the only one to hold these views:

Jorge Capestany - USPTA Master Professional



THE RUNNER - PUSHER
The Runner - Pusher has great speed and endurance. They usually do not have a lot of firepower and beat most of their opponents by hustling down shots and making them miss. This player also relies on us to hurt ourselves and quite often lures us into overplaying shots because we are frustrated at our inability to put them away. They are generally very fit and are accustomed to playing long matches.

Six tactics to try:

1) Work the point. Do not try for a winner until you have made at least 4 shots over the net.

2) Look for opportunities to get to the net and finish the point. This will keep you from getting drawn into a marathon match.

3) Try to hit behind this player more than usual. These players often commit early to the open court and can be wrong-footed more than other players.

4) Use drop shots and short balls to bring them in. These players do not like to play at the net. If they retreat when they get pulled in, then consider using a drop shot and following it to the net so you can catch them as they retreat towards the baseline.

5) Hit to the middle of the court so you do not let them use their speed to their advantage. This will also reduce the angles coming back against you.

6) Use more angles and touch on your volleys as they are very good at running down shots that are deep into the corners and then lobbing them back.


Three Things to always avoid:

1) Don’t get lured into trying to hit winners. This is a common mistake against these players because we get impatient. It’s what they are banking on us to do.

2) Don’t get discouraged if they run down what would normally be a winner. I’ve seen a lot of players throw up their hands in disgust and say, “I just can’t put this guy away”.

3) Don’t rush to finish the point by trying shots that you have not mastered. No matter how bad you may want to finish the point, make sure you are making sound decisions about what to implement.

chuckmckool
10-12-2007, 05:43 PM
How do you beat a player who hardly ever gets a hit in, but when they do, it completeley owns. When you hit a soft shot to them, they hit it as hard as possible. When you hit hard they usually get it out 1 half of the time. But you never have a chance to hit it hard, because of there aggresive style.

Kaptain Karl
10-12-2007, 07:28 PM
... teallybdisnt...Huh?


As far as Gilbert is concerned....I think he knows more about tennis than anyone here and I hold him in high regard. If he is a pusher himself as you contend then I would say he really has more knowledge on the topic than anyone else.1 - I read his book, too. It's mostly a "Brad promotes Brad" book ... with some good tips in it. (I did like his "Who's doing what to whom?" tip.)

2 - "I" didn't contend he's a pusher. (Did you read my post?) He said he was ... and he claimed he wasn't a pusher. Gilbert "sits the fence" on his own playing style....

(I would say he was a Pusher / Junk baller / Counter puncher.)


You are entitled to disagree with Brad Gilbert.My point was Gilbert disagrees with Gilbert!!!


As for the rest of your last post, I cannot tell if you are arguing or agreeing with me. It looks like you think I disagree wtih your tactical advice. (I don't.)

I only disagree that your cited clip shows a definitive pusher.

- KK

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 10:03 PM
It looks like you think I disagree wtih your tactical advice. (I don't.)

- KK


hey kaptain,

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I was just pointing out that both Brad Gilbert and Jorge Capestany hold the same opinions as I do.

Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, and tatiana Golovin all thought that brad is a pretty good coach. So He does have some credibility .

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. There is no one right answer here and thats whats so great about strategy and tactics.

I respect that you you do not hold a high regard for brad Gilbert. I hope that you can respect that I on the other hand do respect him.

Have fun!!!:)

Gut Reaction
10-12-2007, 10:15 PM
How do you beat a player who hardly ever gets a hit in, but when they do, it completeley owns. When you hit a soft shot to them, they hit it as hard as possible. When you hit hard they usually get it out 1 half of the time. But you never have a chance to hit it hard, because of there aggresive style.


Thats easy....don't hit it hard.

Big Bill Tilden one of the greatest to ever play this game said that 65% of all points are won due to unforced errors!!!!

So let him go for the winners. he will miss at least 65% of the time!

This type of player is inconsisetent. Turn into a "pusher" get everything back. If he is truly is that inconsistent its only a matter of time before he makes unforced erorrs.

Don't feel the need to hit it hard at all. Don't feel macho. There are a lot of ways to win a match. Even if this guy hits a winner once in a while don't let that get you down. And if you can get one of his winners back just once then the chances of him hitting a winner again is very small.

Kaptain Karl
10-12-2007, 11:37 PM
Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, and tatiana Golovin all thought that brad is a pretty good coach.:: sigh :: I don't contradict this. I just don't think he's "authoritative" as a commentator on the game. (Just listen to his predicitons during tourneys. He's more wrong than anyone I've ever heard.)

Brad can't decide if he was a pusher ... or a counter puncher ... or..... If a guy can't decide what kind of game he played himself, how are we to consider him authoritative about other players' games?

When he's a TV commentator ... he just talks to hear himself talk, if you ask me. But I agree he is a good coach.

So He does have some credibility."As a coach."

I respect that you you do not hold a high regard for brad Gilbert.Anybody who even briefly makes the Top Ten is deserving of my regard. I have regard for Brad the Player ... and Brad the Coach. That's it.

[This is a bit frustrating for me. I think I've been pretty clear, but you keep ascribing "blanket statements" to me where you infer that I have condemned anything Gilbert says or does....]

- KK

Attila the tennis Bum
10-13-2007, 09:29 AM
great! I am glad you guys agree on almost everythin

Now can we move on?

Serve and Volley
10-13-2007, 06:42 PM
So I played this guy with an atomic forehand. I tried to hit to his backhand but he would just run around it and hit this winner monster forehand....what do I do?

Gut Reaction
10-13-2007, 06:47 PM
So I played this guy with an atomic forehand. I tried to hit to his backhand but he would just run around it and hit this winner monster forehand....what do I do?

In other words how do you defeat Jim Courier. He practically invented this style. he had a monster forehand. Watch how he runs around his backhand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv8skV38LDw

THE HUGE FOREHAND
This player has a huge forehand that his game is built around. The good news is that if you can neutralize this weapon, you can usually find a way to win the match. Advanced tactics are needed as playing wide balls to his forehand side will open up his weaker backhand. These players are common in today’s “modern” tennis.

Seven tactics to try:
1) Slice low to the corners and keep the ball out of his strike zone. Most Huge Forehanders love the ball waist high.
2) Open up his weaker backhand by hitting the ball wide to his forehand.
3) Keep the ball to the far corner when giving him backhands, these players make a living out of hitting winners from the middle or slightly backhand side of the court. They move very well towards their backhand side because they are always running around their backhands.
4) Mix up the pace of your shots. The worst thing to do is supply this player with a steady stream of similarly paced balls. They can groove too easily.
5) Serve and volley more often. This will minimize their time to run around their backhand.
6) Play drop shots to their backhand side. Having to run up and over will make it difficult for them to hit a forehand and the lowness of the ball will force them to play a more conservative shot.
7) Loop groundstrokes to their backhand side and “sneak” in behind them. If they choose to run around their backhand, you will have a wide open court in which to volley.

Three things to always avoid:
1) Don’t get discouraged if they hit a lot of winners, that comes with the territory and they will also hit a lot of errors.
2) Don’t get lured into a forehand slugfest. Even if you think you are hitting great forehands, they will hit more of them in the long run. Remember, this is their favorite plan.
3) Don’t underestimate how frustrated you can make them by getting a lot of their “winners” back

NLBwell
10-13-2007, 08:38 PM
In the comments on playing a pusher this point was touched on, but I don't believe emphasized enough:
You must have a solid overhead!
If your overhead punishes them for hitting lobs, you take their weapon away from them. Their instinct when you come to the net is to lob and they will lob you all day long unless you make them pay for it. To beat a pusher, work on your overhead and then work on it more.

Messarger
10-14-2007, 03:48 AM
What if they lob to the baseline? You cant overhead as the ball is too high up in the air.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 04:59 AM
What if they lob to the baseline? You cant overhead as the ball is too high up in the air.

Great question. Which also brings me to my next point. Most players do not neatly fit into one category. Someone may be a pusher and have a hybrid with another category. Most pushers are also VERY good lobbers.
So against a Pusher you need to be careful of WHEN and HOW to approach the net.


1) approach with more SLICE shots!!! Its very difficult to to lob a slice.

2) Use a drop shot and follow it to the net. They will be caught trying to retreat to the baseline where they love to be. This also gets them off of the baseline where they can hit their favorite shots.

3)Be prepared to hit a lot of overheads and do not “close” too aggressively. Repeat DO NOT CLOSE TOO AGGRESIVELY. WATCH FOR THE LOB. Do not worry about the passing shot. When volley stand farther back. closer to the T. Stand further back sort of like the net player on the receiving end of a doubles team. Be prepared for the lob. Don't even think about the passing shot. If you are standing far back enough if they try and pass you it will be a pretty slow pathetic shot.

4. SLICE the returns of serve. Pushers/lobbers hate slices. They cant do anything with them. Running them down is not the problem...rather they need to execute topspin to get the ball over the net effectively and they just don't have that shot.

Conclusion:

Slices, Drop shots, Prepare and anticiapte of lobs by not closing in too much on the volley

Kaptain Karl
10-14-2007, 05:31 AM
Excellent response, Gut Reaction. IMO, the Slice has been the most neglected weapon in tennis ... for about the last 15 years or so. It's almost a "lost art."

Slicing has been the primary way I (at 51) have been able to "keep up" with the big hitting HS and College kids on our ladder. It takes them out of their comfort zone. (I'm not a junk baller; I use slices about 20% of the time and these kids are not accustomed to it.)

P.S. Don't emulate Roddick's slice. Learn how to hit driving slices, defensive slices and side slices. (At the moment I cannot think of a current player who uses the Slice as a weapon. Help me out, fellow TT-ers.)

- KK

ananda
10-14-2007, 05:56 AM
4. SLICE the returns of serve. Pushers/lobbers hate slices. They cant do anything with them. Running them down is not the problem...rather they need to execute topspin to get the ball over the net effectively and they just don't have that shot.

i have been meaning to ask this question--its based on my old table tennis experience.
In TT when you topspin the ball, the opponent has to compensate by hitting lower than normal, else the ball goes out.
Similarly, when you backspin the ball, he has to hit higher than normal so as to clear the net.
Does this principle hold true in tennis, too ?

rosenstar
10-14-2007, 07:21 AM
When I play pushers (I'm a 4.0/4.5 all court player) The main things I focus on are variety and getting to the net.

My volleys are pretty effective so if I'm serving well enough I have no prob S&Ving alot.

If I'm in a baseline rally I'll play wardlaw directionals (a little tighter than usual). But, I still go for my shots. I'll hit just as hard as I always do, and If I get a short ball, I'll take advantage of it IMMEADIATLY.

Against a pusher you CANNOT be afraid of making errors! When the opportunity presents itself, I play the ball the same way I would against anyone else.

as far as variety goes, MIX IT UP! I'll hit a lot of off off-pace and loopy balls. This forces the pusher to create his own pace which is something this kind of player does not like to do.

Also, coming in behind slices works. by chiping and charging down the line, I'm forcing the pusher to hit the ball up, giving me a shot I'll make 99/100times. If he some how hits an amazing passing shot or a lob while I'm at the net, then he deserves the point. I don't care; I know he can't do it over and over again, and if he can, then he's obviously a better player than I am.

As far as drop shots go, If you have a good drop shot, I'd use it. I can drop a volley, or hit a short ball when my opponent is 5ft or so behind the baseline, but I'm not confident in hitting a straight drop from the baseline. I'll only go for against poor volleyers if I'm up a break or two.

I'll throw in ALOT of kick serves and slice serves, which pull him off the court and give him little pace to work with. This usually gives me a short ball or an easy ball to put in the open court. even if he does get that, I'll get another easy ball to put away and the point will be over.

when I get overheads, I always fence the ball. Some pros say hit it deep in the court. I find that that's not a shot I'm always confident in. I'll hit the ball around the service line so it bounces up over the fence or hits the back of the bubble or whatever. I know I can hit over heads back longer than he can return them. The way I see it, everytime I hit an overhead, my chances of winning the point go up by at least 10% (that's just a random number, but you get the idea)

And again, If he some how hits an amazing passing shot or a lob, I don't care; I doubt he can't do it again and again.

I guess what I'm saying is that when playing a pusher, your mindset is the most important thing. The pusher WANTS you to be afraid of missing. He WANTS you to go for shots you can't make. you just have to play your game and take advantage of your strengths. Once again, make him pass you a million times. if he can hit that good of shot, he deserves the point. Playing a pusher shouldn't be any harder than playing anyone else, and if you think about it that way you'll have no problem.

Tennis_Monk
10-14-2007, 07:59 AM
Great question. Which also brings me to my next point. Most players do not neatly fit into one category. Someone may be a pusher and have a hybrid with another category. Most pushers are also VERY good lobbers.
So against a Pusher you need to be careful of WHEN and HOW to approach the net.


1) approach with more SLICE shots!!! Its very difficult to to lob a slice.

2) Use a drop shot and follow it to the net. They will be caught trying to retreat to the baseline where they love to be. This also gets them off of the baseline where they can hit their favorite shots.

3)Be prepared to hit a lot of overheads and do not “close” too aggressively. Repeat DO NOT CLOSE TOO AGGRESIVELY. WATCH FOR THE LOB. Do not worry about the passing shot. When volley stand farther back. closer to the T. Stand further back sort of like the net player on the receiving end of a doubles team. Be prepared for the lob. Don't even think about the passing shot. If you are standing far back enough if they try and pass you it will be a pretty slow pathetic shot.

4. SLICE the returns of serve. Pushers/lobbers hate slices. They cant do anything with them. Running them down is not the problem...rather they need to execute topspin to get the ball over the net effectively and they just don't have that shot.

Conclusion:

Slices, Drop shots, Prepare and anticiapte of lobs by not closing in too much on the volley

I disagree. If you are a pusher worth your salt, you can Lob from a slice shot as well and it isnt technically any more difficult. One could argue that some slice bite so well and keep so low, but same thing happens with normal shots as well. Lobs dont have to astoundingly accurate. anywhere in the intended ball park would provide a decent result.

I "was" a pusher and i dont hate slices and i have played pushers and they didnt find slices to be difficult. The only thing that used to give me fits was my opponent hitting winners on my pushes. Yes. Drop shots are a problem because most people (not just pushers) aren't good at running north-south as much as east-west. Overheads are good counter measure provided one doesnt try to overcook them.

The definition of Pusher seems to be debatable and subject to opinion. But i am yet to see a pusher who doesnt have any weapons. majority of them had an occasional shot or two.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 08:29 AM
I disagree. If you are a pusher worth your salt, you can Lob from a slice shot as well and it isnt technically any more difficult. One could argue that some slice bite so well and keep so low, but same thing happens with normal shots as well. Lobs dont have to astoundingly accurate. anywhere in the intended ball park would provide a decent result.

I "was" a pusher and i dont hate slices and i have played pushers and they didnt find slices to be difficult. The only thing that used to give me fits was my opponent hitting winners on my pushes. Yes. Drop shots are a problem because most people (not just pushers) aren't good at running north-south as much as east-west. Overheads are good counter measure provided one doesnt try to overcook them.

The definition of Pusher seems to be debatable and subject to opinion. But i am yet to see a pusher who doesnt have any weapons. majority of them had an occasional shot or two.

You make some really good points. However there are some nuances here.

Not All Slices are created equal

There are basically three types of slices:

1- the attacking drive slice. which is a very low hard fast shot that you use to approach on.

2- The defensive slice when you are on the run

3- The junk slice which can be used on droppers or to change pace.


Lets talk first about the attacking drive slice used for approach shots.

I think we can all agree that the slice is the lowest bouncing ball of any stroke. The attacking slice is fast and bites low. Is it possible to lob that shot??? Yes of course it is...but its not easy. The ball is coming very fast and skids especially on hard court. To lob that shot one cannot merely angle the racquet face up otherwise it will be an easy put away. Rather you must use heavy topspin which a pusher does not have.

There is really not much one can do against the hard driving slice without heavy topspin. The best defense against the hard driving slice is to hit a bullet topspin shot. But to lob an attacking slice in a corner on the run is very difficult. It cannot be merely "Pushed" back or "Pushed" high for a lob.

A topspin shot will not work against a pusher as the ball is waist high and a pusher can merely angle the racquet face up and get the ball back with a very high trajectory.

If you look at this video...count till the fifth ball in the rally. You will see that the volleyer hit all topspin shots and approached on a topspin. This allowed the pusher to push back the topspin by merely angling his racquet up. This was where he actually won the point because the volleyer was then out of position for everything else. he approached way too close and was out of position. He did everything wrong. had the volleyer used slice and then approach the pusher would not have had a waist high ball to merely angle the racquet face up and "push" back for a medium lob. In fact every single shot the volleyer hit ws topspin and thats why he lost. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

the defensive slice on the run

This not an issue here. You will never need this shot against a pusher as you will be rarely on the run.

The junk slice for droppers and change of pace.

The dropping slice is a great approach shot. The pusher has only two alternatives when faced with this shot:

a) hit a drop back or
b) Get to the drop and run back to the baseline.

If he hits a drop back this will not work as I have already advised to approach the net after this shot.

Retreating to the baseline will not work either as you have already approached the net and are anticipating his lob. He has no other shot. Remember to NOT approach to close!!!!. This is crucial against all pushers. Expect the lob...wait for it...you know its coming.

The offpace slice is used in rallies. You cannot stay back with a pusher and rally because you will lose. Changing the pace of the ball will give him a hard time to merely push back. With a junk ball the pusher actually has to hit a stroke and cannot merely "Push" back. By forcing the ousher to increase his head speed and actually hit a stroke you have thereby forced him to hit the one shot he has been avoiding. You have stopped him from "pushing". He must not swing harder which will either result in an unforced error or a weak groundstroke because pushers don't have groundstrokes...that whay they are called "pushers". The startegy is to stop the "pusher" from "pushing"

Tennis_Monk
10-14-2007, 09:51 AM
You make some really good points. However there are some nuances here.

Not All Slices are created equal

There are basically three types of slices:

1- the attacking drive slice. which is a very low hard fast shot that you use to approach on.

2- The defensive slice when you are on the run

3- The junk slice which can be used on droppers or to change pace.


Lets talk first about the attacking drive slice used for approach shots.

I think we can all agree that the slice is the lowest bouncing ball of any stroke. The attacking slice is fast and bites low. Is it possible to lob that shot??? Yes of course it is...but its not easy. The ball is coming very fast and skids especially on hard court. To lob that shot one cannot merely angle the racquet face up otherwise it will be an easy put away. Rather you must use heavy topspin which a pusher does not have.

There is really not much one can do against the hard driving slice without heavy topspin. The best defense against the hard driving slice is to hit a bullet topspin shot. But to lob an attacking slice in a corner on the run is very difficult. It cannot be merely "Pushed" back or "Pushed" high for a lob.

A topspin shot will not work against a pusher as the ball is waist high and a pusher can merely angle the racquet face up and get the ball back with a very high trajectory.

If you look at this video...count till the fifth ball in the rally. You will see that the volleyer hit all topspin shots and approached on a topspin. This allowed the pusher to push back the topspin by merely angling his racquet up. This was where he actually won the point because the volleyer was then out of position for everything else. he approached way too close and was out of position. He did everything wrong. had the volleyer used slice and then approach the pusher would not have had a waist high ball to merely angle the racquet face up and "push" back for a medium lob. In fact every single shot the volleyer hit ws topspin and thats why he lost. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

the defensive slice on the run

This not an issue here. You will never need this shot against a pusher as you will be rarely on the run.

The junk slice for droppers and change of pace.

The dropping slice is a great approach shot. The pusher has only two alternatives when faced with this shot:

a) hit a drop back or
b) Get to the drop and run back to the baseline.

If he hits a drop back this will not work as I have already advised to approach the net after this shot.

Retreating to the baseline will not work either as you have already approached the net and are anticipating his lob. He has no other shot. Remember to NOT approach to close!!!!. This is crucial against all pushers. Expect the lob...wait for it...you know its coming.

The offpace slice is used in rallies. You cannot stay back with a pusher and rally because you will lose. Changing the pace of the ball will give him a hard time to merely push back. With a junk ball the pusher actually has to hit a stroke and cannot merely "Push" back. By forcing the ousher to increase his head speed and actually hit a stroke you have thereby forced him to hit the one shot he has been avoiding. You have stopped him from "pushing". He must not swing harder which will either result in an unforced error or a weak groundstroke because pushers don't have groundstrokes...that whay they are called "pushers". The startegy is to stop the "pusher" from "pushing"

All great points but i think we are stretching the point. I am not sure why you would think one cant lob against hard slice. There are variety of lobs and i know some pushers who specialize in them.

I also disagree that Topspin will only be waist high. Thats too much generalization.

If your point were to state that change of pace is a good strategy against pushers. i totally agree. That is a generally a good strategy against any opponent.

Pushers , according to definiton of this forum doesnt have ground strokes. I am yet to see one pusher that doesnt have any ground stroke whatsoever.
The more "general" pusher we see are the players who push in betwen points and occassionally hit a decent ground stroke.

tbini87
10-14-2007, 10:23 AM
What if they lob to the baseline? You cant overhead as the ball is too high up in the air.

depends on how high and deep it is. if it is too high, you can let it bounce (up over your head) and hit a shot that is pretty much like a serve. but eventually they will mishit a lob leaving it just short and low enough to put away. the point is to finish those ones, and not give them any chance to return it.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 10:30 AM
Excellent response, Gut Reaction. IMO, the Slice has been the most neglected weapon in tennis ... for about the last 15 years or so. It's almost a "lost art."

Slicing has been the primary way I (at 51) have been able to "keep up" with the big hitting HS and College kids on our ladder. It takes them out of their comfort zone. (I'm not a junk baller; I use slices about 20% of the time and these kids are not accustomed to it.)

P.S. Don't emulate Roddick's slice. Learn how to hit driving slices, defensive slices and side slices. (At the moment I cannot think of a current player who uses the Slice as a weapon. Help me out, fellow TT-ers.)

- KK

thanks!!!

I also agree that its neglected.

Its no accident that Sampras and Federer were number ones for so long. In an age of one dimensional baseline bashing it is only sampras & federer who have mastered both the topspin AND the slice. They have a "full game".

Feds slice is just scary. I saw the blake vs fed match last year at yge open.... Omg!!! Fed just took the pace off the ball and it seemed to just stop.

As far as using it as weapon mcenroe criticized fed for not slicing more against nadal. Topspin had no affect against nadal.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 10:46 AM
All great points but i think we are stretching the point. I am not sure why you would think one cant lob against hard slice. There are variety of lobs and i know some pushers who specialize in them.

I also disagree that Topspin will only be waist high. Thats too much generalization.

If your point were to state that change of pace is a good strategy against pushers. i totally agree. That is a generally a good strategy against any opponent.

Pushers , according to definiton of this forum doesnt have ground strokes. I am yet to see one pusher that doesnt have any ground stroke whatsoever.
The more "general" pusher we see are the players who push in betwen points and occassionally hit a decent ground stroke.


Yes not ALL topspin is waste high...but all topspin bounces upward, while slices stay low. Logically a bill is that stays low is harder to hit up for a lob because you have a longer distance to go. With topspin however the ball is already traveling upward. All one has ti do to retrn a topspin is touch the ball and have the racquet face up. But against slice you must "Pick the ball up" so to speak. It is virtually impossible to merely push it.

Secondly watch the video of the Pusher I cited earlier. he did not have ground strokes. Those were not passing shots.....anyone can get passed when standing that close to the net. The ball seemd to go by him fast becayse if where he was standing but in actuality the old man did not hit it very hard at all. Heres the video again....I don't see any real ground strokes at all. Rather he is pushing back topspin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

rosenstar
10-14-2007, 10:46 AM
At the moment I cannot think of a current player who uses the Slice as a weapon. Help me out, fellow TT-ers.


Fed does. Henman did.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 10:50 AM
Fed does. Henman did.

Roddick thinks he does.;)

Kaptain Karl
10-14-2007, 11:25 AM
[Answering "Who currently uses slice as a weapon?"]

Fed does.Oh yeah. That guy....! (I keep forgetting about him.)


Roddick thinks he does.;)"Hope springs eternal"

- KK

VaBeachTennis
10-14-2007, 12:25 PM
Excellent response, Gut Reaction. IMO, the Slice has been the most neglected weapon in tennis ... for about the last 15 years or so. It's almost a "lost art."
- KK

I agree 100%! When used properly, slices work well in the pros and amateurs.
My backhand slice is one of my best weapons. I also use "side spin slice" as a weapon as well. I am a lefty , so when I play a righty , I'll use the side spin to;
a: Jam the rightie's forehand/leftie's backhand when I hit a hard angular slice and he has to run to it. (duece court)
b: Use it to get away from the rightie's backhand as an approach shot on the ad court side.
As KK stated these are "driving slices" not "junk balls". I'll use a forehand slice and side spin if someone tries to moonball me and again it's a driving type of slice that penetrates the court but stays low and skids. This is also a nice approach shot or a set up for an approach shot/winner. I even think flat hitting is under rated and another "lost art". Top spin is great, but people need to diversify their strokes more. It seems and has been my experience, that more of your modern players, albiet at a certain level, have a problem lifting up the low balls with out either hitting it into the net or httingit to the fence.

VaBeachTennis
10-14-2007, 12:30 PM
i have been meaning to ask this question--its based on my old table tennis experience.
In TT when you topspin the ball, the opponent has to compensate by hitting lower than normal, else the ball goes out.
Similarly, when you backspin the ball, he has to hit higher than normal so as to clear the net.
Does this principle hold true in tennis, too ?

Yes, it's all about spins. This video here Table Tennis Video (http://totalvid.com/Table-Tennis-Videos/Success-in-Table-Tennis-2nd-Ed/) , really explains the theories behind spin and has helped my tennis game considerably. I think you can preview the video and/or sign up for a free trial and watch the whole video. There are also excellent tennis videos on that site as well.

VaBeachTennis
10-14-2007, 12:32 PM
When I play pushers (I'm a 4.0/4.5 all court player) The main things I focus on are variety and getting to the net.

My volleys are pretty effective so if I'm serving well enough I have no prob S&Ving alot.

If I'm in a baseline rally I'll play wardlaw directionals (a little tighter than usual). But, I still go for my shots. I'll hit just as hard as I always do, and If I get a short ball, I'll take advantage of it IMMEADIATLY.

Against a pusher you CANNOT be afraid of making errors! When the opportunity presents itself, I play the ball the same way I would against anyone else.

as far as variety goes, MIX IT UP! I'll hit a lot of off off-pace and loopy balls. This forces the pusher to create his own pace which is something this kind of player does not like to do.

Also, coming in behind slices works. by chiping and charging down the line, I'm forcing the pusher to hit the ball up, giving me a shot I'll make 99/100times. If he some how hits an amazing passing shot or a lob while I'm at the net, then he deserves the point. I don't care; I know he can't do it over and over again, and if he can, then he's obviously a better player than I am.

As far as drop shots go, If you have a good drop shot, I'd use it. I can drop a volley, or hit a short ball when my opponent is 5ft or so behind the baseline, but I'm not confident in hitting a straight drop from the baseline. I'll only go for against poor volleyers if I'm up a break or two.

I'll throw in ALOT of kick serves and slice serves, which pull him off the court and give him little pace to work with. This usually gives me a short ball or an easy ball to put in the open court. even if he does get that, I'll get another easy ball to put away and the point will be over.

when I get overheads, I always fence the ball. Some pros say hit it deep in the court. I find that that's not a shot I'm always confident in. I'll hit the ball around the service line so it bounces up over the fence or hits the back of the bubble or whatever. I know I can hit over heads back longer than he can return them. The way I see it, everytime I hit an overhead, my chances of winning the point go up by at least 10% (that's just a random number, but you get the idea)

And again, If he some how hits an amazing passing shot or a lob, I don't care; I doubt he can't do it again and again.

I guess what I'm saying is that when playing a pusher, your mindset is the most important thing. The pusher WANTS you to be afraid of missing. He WANTS you to go for shots you can't make. you just have to play your game and take advantage of your strengths. Once again, make him pass you a million times. if he can hit that good of shot, he deserves the point. Playing a pusher shouldn't be any harder than playing anyone else, and if you think about it that way you'll have no problem.
Great points, right on the money.

Tennis_Monk
10-14-2007, 01:27 PM
Yes not ALL topspin is waste high...but all topspin bounces upward, while slices stay low. Logically a bill is that stays low is harder to hit up for a lob because you have a longer distance to go. With topspin however the ball is already traveling upward. All one has ti do to retrn a topspin is touch the ball and have the racquet face up. But against slice you must "Pick the ball up" so to speak. It is virtually impossible to merely push it.

Secondly watch the video of the Pusher I cited earlier. he did not have ground strokes. Those were not passing shots.....anyone can get passed when standing that close to the net. The ball seemd to go by him fast becayse if where he was standing but in actuality the old man did not hit it very hard at all. Heres the video again....I don't see any real ground strokes at all. Rather he is pushing back topspin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YxD3xyfuEQ

I am not sure what to say other than saying that Generalization isnt a good thing in some cases. If anything i (as an ex-pusher) find that Lobbing a Hard hit topspin much tougher than Hard hit slice.

We all know pushers can get upto 4.0. A 4.0 pusher knows how to "Push" against Slice and Topspin at that levels.

I will make it really simple. Pushers beat others because they are more 'consistent' than opponent. In order to beat a pusher, the opponent needs to be more "consistent" with their strokes.

Gut Reaction
10-14-2007, 01:38 PM
In order to beat a pusher, the opponent needs to be more "consistent" with their strokes.

I respect what you say and it seems quite logical.....but I must respectfully disagree.

In Brad Gilberts winning Ugly he proposes the exact opposite to what you are saying.

You cannot beat a pusher by being more consistent, That is exactly what they are trying to get you to do.

According to Gilbert if you try that you are trying to beat the pusher at his own game....and you cannot. The pusher has been doing it a lot longer than you and is way more patient. If you stand toe to toe with a pusher from the baseline it will not only be a long frustrating day but you will also lose. he knows how to push better than you do.

Topspin logically is easier to lob as well. I think that everyone agrees that when topspin bounces its is bouncing up high while a driving line drive attacking slice stays low.

Since topspin alreay is traveling upward all one need to do is "touch" or "push" the ball with the racquet facing upward and the ball will land safely over the net.

On the other hand a hard low slice is traveling low and stays even lower. The ball must be picked up to make it over the net. You cannot merely "touch" it or "push" it back otherwise it will just go into the net. The slice pust be literally spun upward to counter the slice downward. In order to do that you cannot push it....it literally must be lifted over the net as opposed to the topspin which can simply be touched.

Think about it this way.....ever return a kick serve? This is nothing more than topspin. All one need to do is touch it and the ball goes flying. Its just Phsyics:

a ball already traveling upward is easier to hit upward but a ball traveling upward must be lifted.

NLBwell
10-14-2007, 07:13 PM
I agree that slice is an important weapon, but the slice being inherently more difficult to lob is overdone (maybe a bit, but a good lobber can hit either). The more important thing (that the slice often accomplishes) is to get the pusher out of his comfort zone. If you are hitting the ball to him waist high, he is comfortable with that shot. One thing my father emphasized to his high school teams was the "plop shot." It is a short, semi-drop shot, on a short angle. It gets the pusher out of his comfort zone, forcing him to run forward and sideways. You are not necessarily going for a winner like on a true drop shot, but getting the opponent in an uncomfortable position while you get in a good position. A low hard deep slice or a sidespin approach shot can also accomplish this.

dennis10is
10-14-2007, 07:58 PM
I'm playing this guy next weekend and need your help.

Since you say, you can help anyone beat any type of player here goes:

He's 6'6", ambidexterous and can hit lefty and right on all strokes. He serve around 150 mph on his first, and 125 kicker or slicer on the second. Most of the time his serves hit one of the lines.

His vertical is 44 inches, he sprints 10.2 second for the 100 meters. Pretty athletic, soccer player, swimmer, ballet dancer, yoga master, martial arts master. The usual average player. His strokes is similar to Federer in far as the path that it takes, but it has heavier spin more like Nadal but the hortizontal velocity is more like Sampras or Blakes. He takes the ball early like Agassi, can hit powerful shots way above his shoulders like Guga. First forehand slice is like Graf's backhand slice and the backhand slice bounces like 3 inches high. HIs volleys is hard like Edberg but the angle is like Mac. Again, your typical park player.

So, in the past this is what happens. He serves, I would gracefully pick up the serve early, and flick it low to one of the outer service corners because he serves and volleys, and he would slide over and knifes an angle volley to the oppositive service corner. I would have course, powerfully sprint to the ball, and hit it while outside the doubles alley. Of course, the ball is only 1.5 incles of the ground, with heavy slice, and I'm moving and stretched out hence all I can do is hit an 80 mph topspin passing shot around the post, or sharp reverse angle. He would read that and it to the open court.

I can not break him.

Fortunately, I do the same to him on my serves so we always end up winning like 45-43 in the tie-break.

Sometimes we would switch gears and hit heavy topspin and slices corner to corner to minutes on end but we are both so fast, so fit, so patient that it would take two hours to complete a set, again decided in tie breakers.

Last July, in 100 plus degress we played our longest match 15 hours to complete a 5 setters. I lost that one 34-32 in the fifth set, those are games played not tie breaker (we don't decide the fifth with tie-breaks)

Any how, it took so long that I was tired and slept late. Missed my flight to Brussels, I needed to secure and extra 10 billion Euros for a business deal that I was working on. The deal fell thru and we had to laid off about ten thousand people worldwide.

Please tell me how to beat him say 7-4 or 6-4?

Much thanks

Dennis10is

PS. We play with Jack Krammer Autograph, strung with Poly at 85 lbs. We decided that 150 mph first serves was slow enough for us to be able to return it. Our estates all have four courts, clay, grass, hard court, and carpet.

Also, do not suggest that I tire him out. Last winter, we both summited Everest and then K2 the followig month without oxygen. I beat him to Everest but he beat me to K2.

We tried not allowing any food or water during matches but we would just throw rocks at birds and squirrels, kill them and eat them raw during changeovers.

Tennis_Monk
10-14-2007, 08:12 PM
I respect what you say and it seems quite logical.....but I must respectfully disagree.

In Brad Gilberts winning Ugly he proposes the exact opposite to what you are saying.

You cannot beat a pusher by being more consistent, That is exactly what they are trying to get you to do.

According to Gilbert if you try that you are trying to beat the pusher at his own game....and you cannot. The pusher has been doing it a lot longer than you and is way more patient. If you stand toe to toe with a pusher from the baseline it will not only be a long frustrating day but you will also lose. he knows how to push better than you do.

Topspin logically is easier to lob as well. I think that everyone agrees that when topspin bounces its is bouncing up high while a driving line drive attacking slice stays low.

Since topspin alreay is traveling upward all one need to do is "touch" or "push" the ball with the racquet facing upward and the ball will land safely over the net.

On the other hand a hard low slice is traveling low and stays even lower. The ball must be picked up to make it over the net. You cannot merely "touch" it or "push" it back otherwise it will just go into the net. The slice pust be literally spun upward to counter the slice downward. In order to do that you cannot push it....it literally must be lifted over the net as opposed to the topspin which can simply be touched.

Think about it this way.....ever return a kick serve? This is nothing more than topspin. All one need to do is touch it and the ball goes flying. Its just Phsyics:

a ball already traveling upward is easier to hit upward but a ball traveling upward must be lifted.

I am seeing 3 points. Tell me if i misunderstood.

1) You cannot beat a pusher by being more consistent.
2) You can return a Kick Serve by touching the ball.
3) You cant sustain a baseline rally with a Pusher.


They are totally False. I will elaborate if you feel those are valid.

I will add this. Pushers are great way to learn the game. They give you so many oppurtunities to groove and hone your strokes. The last thing you want to do against them is having some self imposed restrictions. Use them to learn to hit the ball better, place better and gain confidence. Dont restrict to some Slices or drop shots. Pushers dont exist beyond 4.5 level. At that level and above one needs all sorts of shots and best way to test the consistency of your strokes at <4.0 levels is to play a pusher.

Gut Reaction
10-15-2007, 02:14 AM
I am seeing 3 points. Tell me if i misunderstood.

1) You cannot beat a pusher by being more consistent.
2) You can return a Kick Serve by touching the ball.
3) You cant sustain a baseline rally with a Pusher.


They are totally False. I will elaborate if you feel those are valid.

I will add this. Pushers are great way to learn the game. They give you so many oppurtunities to groove and hone your strokes. The last thing you want to do against them is having some self imposed restrictions. Use them to learn to hit the ball better, place better and gain confidence. Dont restrict to some Slices or drop shots. Pushers dont exist beyond 4.5 level. At that level and above one needs all sorts of shots and best way to test the consistency of your strokes at <4.0 levels is to play a pusher.

Well I would say they are mischarchterizations of my opinions. You are perfectly entitled to disagree with them. I will respond to each:

1- It is Brad Gilberts opinion in his famous book "Winning Ugly" that you cannot out push a pusher. Please understand that this is merely Brad Gilberts opinion and you are perfectly entitled to disagree with it. In fact I have seen others who do disagree with Brad Gilbert.
"Unless your better at their kind of game than they are you have to figure out another way to beat them." They keep retrieving, knowing you'll eventually make an unforced error. Or possibly start pushing the ball back too. You'll lose. They are better at pushing than you are. Brad Gilbert winning Ugly .


2- Topspin is easier to "Push" back than a hard driving slice.
This is not actually an opinion it is a fact of physics. At least i am told it is fact from the scientific studies that I have read. You may have another study to disagree with my authorities:

"Keeping the ball low has two immediate and obvious advantages. A low shot, such as slice, because of its trajectory, gives your opponent less time to get to the ball compared to a higher topspin shot. The higher the ball is when your opponent hits it, the better are the chances that his return will go in. Computer analysis shows that your opponent can hit a high bouncing ball with far less effort than a low skimming ball, and have the same chance of the ball going in. When a ball is hit while it is quite low, there is much less margin for error , particularly if the ball is being hit hard. You have twice the chance of getting a 70 mile per hour groundstrokes to go in if you hit it when it is 4 feet off the ground as opposed to 1 foot off the ground." Howard Brody The Physics of tennis.


3- Please see #1


***** again, I truly mean no offense. I am simply stating positions by authorites that I agree with. For example you may not be convinced by Gilbert and you may actually be right! As far as the Brody study is concerned you may have another scientific study that holds otherwise....lords know I am no scientist! Thanks for your input! Now go and kick the crap out of the ball. :)

Gut Reaction
10-15-2007, 03:51 AM
I agree that slice is an important weapon, but the slice being inherently more difficult to lob is overdone (maybe a bit, but a good lobber can hit either). The more important thing (that the slice often accomplishes) is to get the pusher out of his comfort zone. If you are hitting the ball to him waist high, he is comfortable with that shot. One thing my father emphasized to his high school teams was the "plop shot." It is a short, semi-drop shot, on a short angle. It gets the pusher out of his comfort zone, forcing him to run forward and sideways. You are not necessarily going for a winner like on a true drop shot, but getting the opponent in an uncomfortable position while you get in a good position. A low hard deep slice or a sidespin approach shot can also accomplish this.


I completely agree! great points!

Gut Reaction
10-15-2007, 03:59 AM
I'm playing this guy next weekend and need your help.

Since you say, you can help anyone beat any type of player here goes:

He's 6'6", ambidexterous and can hit lefty and right on all strokes. He serve around 150 mph on his first, and 125 kicker or slicer on the second. Most of the time his serves hit one of the lines.

His vertical is 44 inches, he sprints 10.2 second for the 100 meters. Pretty athletic, soccer player, swimmer, ballet dancer, yoga master, martial arts master. The usual average player. His strokes is similar to Federer in far as the path that it takes, but it has heavier spin more like Nadal but the hortizontal velocity is more like Sampras or Blakes. He takes the ball early like Agassi, can hit powerful shots way above his shoulders like Guga. First forehand slice is like Graf's backhand slice and the backhand slice bounces like 3 inches high. HIs volleys is hard like Edberg but the angle is like Mac. Again, your typical park player.

So, in the past this is what happens. He serves, I would gracefully pick up the serve early, and flick it low to one of the outer service corners because he serves and volleys, and he would slide over and knifes an angle volley to the oppositive service corner. I would have course, powerfully sprint to the ball, and hit it while outside the doubles alley. Of course, the ball is only 1.5 incles of the ground, with heavy slice, and I'm moving and stretched out hence all I can do is hit an 80 mph topspin passing shot around the post, or sharp reverse angle. He would read that and it to the open court.

I can not break him.

Fortunately, I do the same to him on my serves so we always end up winning like 45-43 in the tie-break.

Sometimes we would switch gears and hit heavy topspin and slices corner to corner to minutes on end but we are both so fast, so fit, so patient that it would take two hours to complete a set, again decided in tie breakers.

Last July, in 100 plus degress we played our longest match 15 hours to complete a 5 setters. I lost that one 34-32 in the fifth set, those are games played not tie breaker (we don't decide the fifth with tie-breaks)

Any how, it took so long that I was tired and slept late. Missed my flight to Brussels, I needed to secure and extra 10 billion Euros for a business deal that I was working on. The deal fell thru and we had to laid off about ten thousand people worldwide.

Please tell me how to beat him say 7-4 or 6-4?

Much thanks

Dennis10is

PS. We play with Jack Krammer Autograph, strung with Poly at 85 lbs. We decided that 150 mph first serves was slow enough for us to be able to return it. Our estates all have four courts, clay, grass, hard court, and carpet.

Also, do not suggest that I tire him out. Last winter, we both summited Everest and then K2 the followig month without oxygen. I beat him to Everest but he beat me to K2.

We tried not allowing any food or water during matches but we would just throw rocks at birds and squirrels, kill them and eat them raw during changeovers.

Considering that Roddick can only hit his fastest serve at 157 with a baolat Graphite racquet I find it hard to believe that your ambidextrous friend can hit a serve at 150 mph with a wodden Jack Kramer.

In any event I appreciate the challenge and I think I have the answer. The next time you play this guy act like the racquet slipped out of your hand and hit him in the head.

Make sure however that you do not miss as anything else will guarantee that you will lose the match.

As you throw the racquet use a chopping slice motion rather than a topspin one as the trajectory for your intended target is better with slice.;)

Gut Reaction
10-15-2007, 05:44 AM
Pushers dont exist beyond 4.5 level.

No insult intended from Brad Gilbert winning Ugly

"Let me clear one thing up you may have thought about when I said that Borg, evert, Chang, Krickstein, and some others would generally be classified as retrievers. Obviously, players of their caliber don't just push the ball or block it back. I mean no disrespect when I call them retrievers. They have taken that style of play to its highest level. Having someone come to the net doesn't bother them like it would the retrievers you play against.

When I come to the net against Michael Chang, believe me, he's got 10 ways he can beat me. The problem is if I don't come to the net he'll retrieve me to death. I played him recently in the semis of the tournament and lost the first set 6-0. I started coming to the net in the second set and came close to winning ! Why didn't I start coming in sooner? That's what I'm asking myself. In Any case, unless you're better at their kind of game than they are you have to figure out on another way to beat them." Brad Gilbert winning Ugly

Kaptain Karl
10-15-2007, 08:21 AM
This thread is already making me appreciate Tilden even more. His strategy was to attack whatever his opponent's strength was. (Cuz Big Bill thought he was better than all the others ... at ANY style of play.)

His rationale? "That way, all they have to fall back on is their weaknesses."

P.S. dennis10is - I've played that guy. He also makes some pretty shady line calls. (As if he needed to...!)

- KK

smoothtennis
10-15-2007, 09:37 AM
This discussion has gone every direction regarding what works and what doesn't against a pusher.

The real truth, is that pushers can be beat many different ways, using many different approaches. Most of it, depends on the person's skill level trying to beat any given style of pusher.

Can you beat one being more consistent? Sure, more consistent at playing your game, and making them less consistent at their game. Variations are pretty endless.

Can you beat them moving them side to side? You can beat anybody moving them side to side, if you know what to do once they are on the move and off balance. So yes you can.

See...there is no one shot that beats them. You can't beat any decent player with just a net game. You have to have a mid-court game and an approach game to go with it.

Gilbert generalizes and he has to to keep the book readable. But he expects us to do our homework too. And that is what makes and keeps tennis fun. No one thing works for every type of player or his would be a boring sport, and people wouldn't have threads on 'how to beat a pusher' every week on this forum right?

I am 4.0-4.5, and I beat pushers reguarly with ground strokes, pushing back, and with a net game. They all work if you know how to work and structure your points. Can I lose to them? Of course. If I am not playing well that day, then you know...I'll lose. But usually, I put things together and make my plays.

The guy in the youtube on the first post? He didn't volley deep, end of story. That isn't going to cut it against 99% of any good player, pusher or not.

Mountain Ghost
10-15-2007, 10:05 AM
All this talk about Brad Gilbert and using his “Ugly” advice to beat pushers, when his ACTUAL on-court experience is NOT with pushers. On this subject he has no more credibility than any other knowledgeable observer of the game.

To the point, those who say you can’t out-steady a pusher may be marginally correct, but they have probably never been clued-in enough to see the value of working on steadiness as a goal unto itself. A match with a pusher is like having a Ball Machine that is capable of steadily delivering pure unadulterated Junk, so the best approach would be to take full advantage of it and to at first work on keeping every point going as long as possible. This will help to detach the ego from the throat, and provide an opportunity to focus on basics . . . endless footwork and technique. Then, during the second half of your 2-hour session with a pusher, remove the concept of “safety” altogether and use the same “steadiness” you developed in the first hour to aim for the lines . . . NOT inside them, but right ON them.

The goal of this seemingly foolish drill is to starve your ego’s hunger-to-win into technical submission and to make the absolute most of your “junk-ball machine” experience. If you persist in making “the win” your primary concern in all instances, you will never raise the level of your game enough to win bigger (and sometimes even smaller) matches.

“Losing Pretty” has its virtues, if done with diligence.

MG

dennis10is
10-15-2007, 02:03 PM
Considering that Roddick can only hit his fastest serve at 157 with a baolat Graphite racquet I find it hard to believe that your ambidextrous friend can hit a serve at 150 mph with a wodden Jack Kramer.

In any event I appreciate the challenge and I think I have the answer. The next time you play this guy act like the racquet slipped out of your hand and hit him in the head.

Make sure however that you do not miss as anything else will guarantee that you will lose the match.

As you throw the racquet use a chopping slice motion rather than a topspin one as the trajectory for your intended target is better with slice.;)

I find it hard to believe that he can serve 150 mph also because all I can do is 145 with a wooden racket. I've tried hitting him with my racquet but him and I are both martial art experts so it was not effective. We both jump up to the top of the court fences and fought each other while balancing on the top of the fences. In the end we flew to Wudan mountain and our master decided the matter.

dennis10is
10-15-2007, 02:06 PM
This thread is already making me appreciate Tilden even more. His strategy was to attack whatever his opponent's strength was. (Cuz Big Bill thought he was better than all the others ... at ANY style of play.)

His rationale? "That way, all they have to fall back on is their weaknesses."

P.S. dennis10is - I've played that guy. He also makes some pretty shady line calls. (As if he needed to...!)

- KK

That's why we installed Hawk Eye on all of our courts :) We also embedded the tennis balls with a GPS tracker that uses secret Chinese military GPS satellite, with .001mm resolution.

VaBeachTennis
10-15-2007, 03:11 PM
All this talk about Brad Gilbert and using his “Ugly” advice to beat pushers, when his ACTUAL on-court experience is NOT with pushers. On this subject he has no more credibility than any other knowledgeable observer of the game.

To the point, those who say you can’t out-steady a pusher may be marginally correct, but they have probably never been clued-in enough to see the value of working on steadiness as a goal unto itself. A match with a pusher is like having a Ball Machine that is capable of steadily delivering pure unadulterated Junk, so the best approach would be to take full advantage of it and to at first work on keeping every point going as long as possible. This will help to detach the ego from the throat, and provide an opportunity to focus on basics . . . endless footwork and technique. Then, during the second half of your 2-hour session with a pusher, remove the concept of “safety” altogether and use the same “steadiness” you developed in the first hour to aim for the lines . . . NOT inside them, but right ON them.

The goal of this seemingly foolish drill is to starve your ego’s hunger-to-win into technical submission and to make the absolute most of your “junk-ball machine” experience. If you persist in making “the win” your primary concern in all instances, you will never raise the level of your game enough to win bigger (and sometimes even smaller) matches.

“Losing Pretty” has its virtues, if done with diligence.

MG
That's Right On! That's what I was trying to articulate in my post. Ego sometimes get's in the way.

My hitting partner and I have started practicing being retrievers and seeing how long we can keep the rally going with a variety of shots and spins and then after we get grooved, we start to "open it up" and go for more shots.

Something my hitting partner and I are going to implement, is starting off rallies with serves (second spin serves) and try the aforementioned drills.
The reason I want to start the rallies that way is to train in the rythm of a match and get used to the "serve=>return serve=>rally" mode. Of course we mix it up with regular rallies, match play etc. I just think that training and starting off rallies with a serve would make you "train the way you fight" in a low stress setting, not keeping points but only doing six serves a piece and rotate. What do you all think of this type of training?

Gut Reaction
10-16-2007, 06:40 AM
This thread is already making me appreciate Tilden even more. His strategy was to attack whatever his opponent's strength was. (Cuz Big Bill thought he was better than all the others ... at ANY style of play.)

His rationale? "That way, all they have to fall back on is their weaknesses."

P.S. dennis10is - I've played that guy. He also makes some pretty shady line calls. (As if he needed to...!)

- KK


Thats true!!! Actually though I can add to that. Tilden also thought by playing to a players strength he would demoralize them if he beat them. For example if someone had a big forehand , Tilden would keep pounding on it. If Tilden was able to breakdown that forehand then his opponent would "give up" because he would be completely demoralized.

Gut Reaction
10-16-2007, 06:53 AM
Gilbert generalizes and he has to to keep the book readable. But he expects us to do our homework too. And that is what makes and keeps tennis fun. No one thing works for every type of player or his would be a boring sport, and people wouldn't have threads on 'how to beat a pusher' every week on this forum right?


Absolutely true. In fact Gilbert acknowledges it:

"Next time you play a pusher try bringing some of what I've suggested into the match. Give yourself time to get used to the new tactics. Develop a sense of when to do what and what works best for you. You'll like the results. And as you get more comfortable with it you'll see match point going in your favormore often than it did before." Brad Gilbert winning Ugly

By the way I never actually gave Brads advice. Here is a summary of his advice but without the details. If you have questions let me know:

Brief Summary of Gilberts advice:

1. Prepare to suffer

mentally prepare yourself that its going to be a long hard and boring day. Expect it.

2.Get to the net

3. bring the pusher to the net

4. Softer is harder when serving.

Pushers love to work off your pace. Give them soft serves and foce them to swing, In fact think "second serve" against this kind of player,.

On the other hand I have incorporated Gilberts ideas and I have also included his ideas on a "runner" . I did this because pushers are usually a combination of both:




- Get to the net!!!!

-when Volleying use angles and touch rather than smash big bam boom put aways. The pUsher will merely run these down and push them back until you make a mistake or lobbing them back!

-Pushers can't volley. so bring the pusher to the net anyway you can. Hit a dropper. But be careful because they may try to drop back so run in. Don't worry about them hitting it hard....because they can't and if they try to they will hit it out. If they get to the drop and push it back and retreat to the baseline then you will have already been anticipating that! Again run to the net. Now you are where you want to be. But remember to use touch and angles rather than a hard hit volley.

-The temptation to hit a winner is huge. Follow this rule. Do not try for a winner until you have hit at least 4 balls over the net. this will curb your temptation to hit a winner/ unforced error.

-Try not to hit for the corner as they love to run those down. Do the opposite of what they like. Hit right in the middle of the court. As brad Gilbert says "Don't let a runner run".

-These players are always running for the open court....so hit behind them!!! Do the opposite

Tennis_Monk
10-16-2007, 06:15 PM
Absolutely true. In fact Gilbert acknowledges it:

"Next time you play a pusher try bringing some of what I've suggested into the match. Give yourself time to get used to the new tactics. Develop a sense of when to do what and what works best for you. You'll like the results. And as you get more comfortable with it you'll see match point going in your favormore often than it did before." Brad Gilbert winning Ugly

By the way I never actually gave Brads advice. Here is a summary of his advice but without the details. If you have questions let me know:

Brief Summary of Gilberts advice:

1. Prepare to suffer

mentally prepare yourself that its going to be a long hard and boring day. Expect it.

2.Get to the net

3. bring the pusher to the net

4. Softer is harder when serving.

Pushers love to work off your pace. Give them soft serves and foce them to swing, In fact think "second serve" against this kind of player,.

On the other hand I have incorporated Gilberts ideas and I have also included his ideas on a "runner" . I did this because pushers are usually a combination of both:

So much emphasis on bringing to net. I dont know which world these people that support this bring to net concept live in. One should come to net when you hit a good approach shot. Not blindly arrive at net. Thats the easy recipe for Pushers to LOB.

If you are capable of hitting a decent approach shot you are probably capable of putting some 'mustard' on your shots and probably are not pushing. If you can "consistently" hit shots like that you can win against pusher.

I would suggest not buy into the theory of "Pushers can run all day". That isnt true . They can get pretty winded in long match. Be match fit and when you play them take 'fitness' out of equation. If you can "demonstrate" to them that you mean business and you have the "means" to sustain that performance for a long period, you cleared a big mental obstacle and probably planted some doubts in pushers mind.

A lot is being made out of Pushers mental capability blah blah. Dont buy into it. Not all pushers are alike. I know pushers who are mentally weak. When subjected to pressure they can crumble as well.

Gut Reaction
10-16-2007, 07:47 PM
The club variety retriever from brad gilberts winning ugly

"Here's how it looks at the club level. I was watching a match between a couple of 4.0 players at the San Francisco club after a workout there. One of the players is a classic retriever. His name is Mason Grigsby but his nickname is the great Grigsby because he is so steady at the baseline. I was just casually watching when the following point occurred. During the exchange his opponent hit a good drop shot and Mr. retriever, the great Grigsby, Raced toward the net. I didn't think he had any chance of getting to the ball, but he did and pushed it back to his opponent's baseline.

The great Grigsby was now at the net and positioned to close out the point. I thought. To my surprise (and before his shot had even landed) he turned and headed back to the safety of the baseline. A classic retriever. He had gone from being 3 feet away from the net back to the baseline without even bothering to see what shot his opponent was going to hit. He Wanted no part of the net. The Baseline was his security blanket. That style of play is typical of a retriever and he can drive you up the wall if you don't know what to do about it.

After he raced in close to the net and pushed the ball deep to his opponent he ran right back to his own baseline. His opponent then hit another drop shot. The great Grigsby came charging in a second time. And again he hit the ball over the net to the baseline. And again he turned and ran right back to his own baseline. This was getting interesting. His opponent then hit a third consecutive drop shot. I have never seen anyone hit three straight drop shots in my life and get away with it! Think about it. Would there be a fourth?

No. The great Grigsby ran up to the net once again. For whatever reason he finally decided it was time to take advantage of this court position and finish off the point. He hit a volley. Or at least I think he was trying to hit volley. From his stroke it was hard to tell. Not only did he hit the ball 3 feet wide, but on his follow-through his racket banged into the net. Now I was beginning to understand why he was Retreating to the security of his baseline.

Three consecutive times he was brought into the net. Twice he went back immediately to the comfort of the baseline. He was acting like it was illegal to get close to the net. Later I asked him why he didn't just stay there for the first time. He told me (and this is the key to cracking open a retriever's game), "I just feel more comfortable at the baseline." After What I had seen I can understand his thinking. Take them out of their comfort zone and you'll win."

Brad gilbert winning Ugly

Gut Reaction
10-17-2007, 06:35 AM
I played some guy who was a real challenge. He is a solid 3.5 player with the following characteristics. Both his forehand and his backhand are mostly flat and are consistent but not very powerful and he doesn't go for much with them. When I'm back at the baseline he often hits some low slice shots. If I come up to the net he can hit passing shots from both sides and will often hit effective lobs as well. When I hit aggressive shots he seems to be able to retrieve everything and just lobs them back. This was weird because I lost this match against a defensive player yet I didn't hit very many unforced errors. It seemed like his lobs, passing shots, and his short slice shots when I was back deep really won the match. He seemed unbeatable, yet he has lost to some other 3.5s that I have beaten or am capable of beating. How can I beat this guy?

Sounds like a slicer hacker. I am not sure though. Anyway here is what to do:

THE SLICER - HACKER

This player has limited weapons and wins mostly by frustrating other players. You will need to have good finishing skills to beat these players. They usually do not give anything away, so you have to be prepared to go and “take it”.

Seven tactics to try:

1) Get to the net more often so you can take their shots out of the air, before they hit the ground and take a funny bounce.

2) Stay low to the ground when you are at the baseline. Sliced balls do not come up as high and are easy to hit into the net if you don’t bend your knees.

3) Slice the ball back if it is very low to the ground. Hitting topspin on a ball below your knees is a classic mistake people make against this type of player.

4) Be prepared and willing to play ugly. Many players insist on hitting their same hard shots against these players and eventually make too many errors to overcome.

5) Use moonballs from the baseline. A slice is harder to hit when it is up out of the strike-zone.

6) Use more dropshots from the baseline. These players would prefer to stay back and hack you to death. Bringing them to the net will decrease their chances of doing so.

7) Serve and Volley more than usual. Their sliced ball will “float” and is easier to volley than a topspin ball that is dipping at your feet.

Three things to always avoid:

1) Do not rip topspin groundstrokes on a ball that is very low to the ground.

2) Beware of closing too tight at the net. These players usually have a great defensive lob and can disguise it well.

3) Don’t supply this player with a lot of power. They are naturally adept at taking power off the ball and controlling it with underspin.

Tennis_Monk
10-17-2007, 06:06 PM
Sounds like a slicer hacker. I am not sure though. Anyway here is what to do:

THE SLICER - HACKER

This player has limited weapons and wins mostly by frustrating other players. You will need to have good finishing skills to beat these players. They usually do not give anything away, so you have to be prepared to go and “take it”.

Seven tactics to try:

1) Get to the net more often so you can take their shots out of the air, before they hit the ground and take a funny bounce.

2) Stay low to the ground when you are at the baseline. Sliced balls do not come up as high and are easy to hit into the net if you don’t bend your knees.

3) Slice the ball back if it is very low to the ground. Hitting topspin on a ball below your knees is a classic mistake people make against this type of player.

4) Be prepared and willing to play ugly. Many players insist on hitting their same hard shots against these players and eventually make too many errors to overcome.

5) Use moonballs from the baseline. A slice is harder to hit when it is up out of the strike-zone.

6) Use more dropshots from the baseline. These players would prefer to stay back and hack you to death. Bringing them to the net will decrease their chances of doing so.

7) Serve and Volley more than usual. Their sliced ball will “float” and is easier to volley than a topspin ball that is dipping at your feet.

Three things to always avoid:

1) Do not rip topspin groundstrokes on a ball that is very low to the ground.

2) Beware of closing too tight at the net. These players usually have a great defensive lob and can disguise it well.

3) Don’t supply this player with a lot of power. They are naturally adept at taking power off the ball and controlling it with underspin.

Very good points.I completely agree.

Gut Reaction
10-18-2007, 03:00 PM
Very good points.I completely agree.

wow!!!! Now that is an honor! Thanks!!!!!

intense2b
10-19-2007, 04:27 PM
So I played this dude last week. He drove me nuts, he had the best drop shot that I have ever seen and the best lob I have ever seen. He would drop with incredible touch....then when i got to it he would lob over my head. lets see if you can figure out what to do against this guy?

Gut Reaction
10-20-2007, 06:29 AM
So I played this dude last week. He drove me nuts, he had the best drop shot that I have ever seen and the best lob I have ever seen. He would drop with incredible touch....then when i got to it he would lob over my head. lets see if you can figure out what to do against this guy?

THE DROP SHOT - LOBBER

This player will try to wear you out by running you up and back all day. They generally do not have a lot of offense in their game, but are experts in ball control and working the point. Their gameplan is to rely on their opponents getting tired and frustrated. This player attempts to exploit players that have a weak net game and mid-court skills.

Seven tactics to try:

1) Stand on or inside the baseline and look for the drop shot before it happens.

2) If you get dropped, play the ball back with another drop shot so they can not lob you as easily on the next shot.

3) Study their racket face when they take it back. Quite often they will let you know when they are going to hit a drop shot by opening their racket face.

4) Serve and volley more than usual so you will already be at the net.

5) Use more moonballs (high loopy groundstrokes that push the opponent back towards the fence). These shots give them no power and are very difficult to hit a drop shot off of.

6) Hit your groundstrokes harder so they will have a more difficult time using a drop shot.

7) Increase your net clearance (and consequently your depth). This will also make it more difficult for them to hit a drop shot.


Three Things to avoid:

1) Do not close in too tight after you get drawn to the net. The lob is almost a certainty.

2) Do not try a spectacular shot when you get to the drop shot.

3) Don’t show your frustration. These players thrive on seeing their opponents run and getting angry with themselves.