View Full Version : I played 3 very consistent pushers today. Questions.

01-14-2009, 06:23 PM
The first pusher I beat 6-4. He had a good serve that I struggled, but I ultimately came out on top because I played consistently.

The second pusher destroyed me 6-0. His kick serve was HUGE. It was a bomb that blew up in my face. It was like: Ace, ace, ace, unforced error, game. However, his second serve was a dinky one that make me run to the service box and volley, and his strokes were garbage. I lost because I was shaken up from those bombs and because I got a little too excited with moonballs. He'd literally hit the ball up to the sky.

Third pusher had a good serve as well, and I lost 6-3. I was mentally worn out and my strokes were getting lazy. In addition we were playing at night (but with stadium lights), and it was hard for me to spot the ball because of the light in my eyes. But overall my strokes were lazy.

So here's the question, how do I deal with moonballers? I don't hit too hard, but rather try to stay consistent. This however turns into looooooong dry rallies of moonballs and decent paced strokes. When I really went for it, I either hit a winner or caused the guy to create an unforced error. But more often I was the one screwed up by going for big shots that had little pace.

The biggest problem for me was taking full cuts at the ball. I always play a good first set, but my strokes become less powerful and abbreviated as I play more. I need to use fast fluid strokes, but instead I slow down a bit. In fact using fast long strokes gives me much better results than a slowed down stroke.

01-14-2009, 06:33 PM
congrats on your 1st win. sounds like too many matches in one day for me. playing moonballers and pushers can be taxing mentally more than anything. anyway suggest going for the strokes you feel confident at the time you are playing...if it's fast long strokes or otherwise. you're on the right path. ciao. :)

01-14-2009, 06:36 PM
come up to net or force them up to net

01-14-2009, 07:17 PM
Maybe work on learning how to smash moonballs that don't have a lot of pace on them. You have so much time and so many options! To me they are practically sitters and I can crush them even from the baseline unless they have tons of spin on them (which moonballers don't usually hit). Blast it down either line and most times it won't come back to you.

Steady Eddy
01-14-2009, 07:38 PM
Bring them to the net. Vic Braden says that then you can drill it at them, and since they probably don't volley well, they'll panic and lose. That might be too mean though. If they seem nice, just lob, they probably don't smash well either.

01-14-2009, 08:42 PM
That actually happened a lot today. My backhand slice was failing me, so it just dropped at the service box. The pusher ran and merely tapped the ball away from me so that I couldn't reach it. All I could really do was just scoop up the ball and they'd tap it for a winner. My net game needs work, too...

01-14-2009, 10:11 PM
for kick serves you either want to try and chip or off the rise.
from my experiences with kicks it takes alot of timing to gettin ghte off the rise, but since im like 6'2 it was easy for my to chip back.

maybe time your spilt step faster to help your reaction to kicks.

01-14-2009, 10:13 PM
and fo rplaying moonballers. all you really have to do is just keep it consistant, either try and run around it with the time you have and hit to their backhand, or wait for it to bounce then hit about at your shoulder area.

01-14-2009, 11:39 PM
If these so-called pushers have good serves, they've already got a good game going since serve is like the most important and most difficult shot to master. If they have good serves, they can dictate how the points go. I don't think you lost to lesser players than yourself, you lost to some good players at least. Just because they like to make you dizzy with moon balls doesn't diminish the effectiveness of their strategy. I typically hit heavy top-spin against moon balls, hope that my shot will bounce over my opponent's head on the other side :-)

01-15-2009, 12:56 AM
come up to the net-it scares the s**t out of them...

Jim A
01-15-2009, 06:34 AM
don't worry as much about crushing the ball with a moonballer as opposed to directing him around the court, I'll look to drive the ball deep and side to side..typically 1 of 3 things will happen

1. I'll get overanxious and hit out (first couple games)
2. I'll start to move him around, get some short balls and follow with good approaches with some pace
3. I'll hit to the backhand more and when he hits a floater come in to take advantage of it

typically with a moonballer its backhand backhand backhand, I'll hit some slice that way to keep it low and even float some slice fh's back to make him deal with some spin..

01-15-2009, 08:12 AM
when i faced a moonballer before i feel i had the need to hit a winner everytime i had a slow high paceless ball, but it didnt worked for me most of the times. now when i face high balls i just wait them to go down, and then hit them at medium pace, or maybe slice them, but i dont try to hit extremely hard like before.

01-15-2009, 08:13 AM
What works well is those swinging volleys and take out some of those moonballs with hard hit swingvolleys into the corners.

01-15-2009, 09:53 AM
everytime this topic comes up i encourage people to read this article (http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_98_7.html). it helped me tremendously when playing pushers.

In D Zone
01-15-2009, 11:56 AM
Played a guy who would change his tactic from an aggresive baseliner to a pusher especially when he is down in the match. He sticks to the pusher mode till gets his rythm back and then would go back to the baseline bashing.

I was ahead, opponent was having a tough time keeping pace to my shots.
At first I though he was disinterested in our match when he just started moonballing because he was behind. He was methodically running every ball and returning it with no pace - I was hitting too hard and eventually getting frustrated because the ball kept coming back. Then I started making errors or hit a dinker - he would then start attacking my weak shots. next thing I knew we are tied.

I decided to change my strategy - go for long corner shots. Pushed him back and then hit a soft topspin to the angle the shot short. When he comes in to retrieve I would attack the ball with a volley or hitting it from the baseline to the open court. Another trick is to pull him close to the net with a drop shot and then hit a hard passing or lob behind him.

Key is to relax and do not panic - stay focus and understand the ball will continue to come back so you need to minimized your error.
Another thing is to attack the 2nd serve. If opponent has a good kick serve - try moving in closer to the service line. You can attack the kick before it jumps too high. It is also physcological tactic to dare the opponent to serve even harder because you are telling him that you are going offensive against his favorite weapon - he may start to make errors.

01-15-2009, 12:41 PM
Don't ever let pushers get into a rhythm. They're most comfortable when they get into a rhythm. Instead, try to use variety. Perhaps, you can hit low skidding slices and make them come into the net. Some people may bash me for this, but try to play aggressive. You'll never hurt them, if you play percentage tennis with them. Trust me. I've played pushers. Hitting topspin balls crosscourt will only benefit them. So like I said, hit aggressive, hard balls down the line every once in a while and they'll get out of their comfort zone.

I'm not believer in coming into the net, when playing these pushers. If you have to come in, hit strong approach shots.

01-15-2009, 02:54 PM
Slice (low and deep) or moonball their backhands - easier said than done, but I would recommend that.