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View Full Version : Isn't Moonballing A B*tch


Marcus10
03-06-2005, 07:06 AM
What's the deal with moonballing. For all of you who read this article and don't know what moonballing is well listen up. Moonballing is a cheap way of playing tennis. Moonballing is consistently lobbing the ball in the air for no apparent reason. It's one thing to lob the ball while someone is at the net trying to volley but it's another thing to constantly doing it. I was playing a Provincial qualifying match today and I wanted to be challenged. I was playing the number one seed and the only balls that he could hit were moonballs. I would drive the ball and he would respond with a moonball. I think that this is a very unsportsmanlike way of playing tennis. Aswell, my opponent kept telling me when to serve the ball. I would be collecting my tennis balls and he would say "Okay, lets go!". If anyone agrees with me can you please tell me. I had a perfect oppurtunity to make the Main Draw of the Provincials but this guy ruined it for me with his moonball rallies. My coaches say when I receive a moonball to counter the shot with another moonball. So, throughout my match I was remembering what they said but since this boy was so much taller than me he would just smash the ball right back in my face. And to top this all off, this guy was a lefty. Not ever playing a lefty before, this was a real experience for me but at the same time it was a real dissapointment because I didn't make the Provincials but I learned a lesson. NO MATTER A MOONBALL PLAYER OR A HARD DRIVING PLAYER, GO HARD AND NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!
If anyone has anything to say about this please reply. If any tennis players or coached have something to say, please do. I enjoy taking constructive critiscm and taking any tips from anyone!!

Thanx

danniflava
03-06-2005, 07:22 AM
Moonballing is not a cheap way of playing tennis. This guy that you were playing needs to play inside the rules of tennis, not the rules that YOU want him to play.

ibemadskillzz
03-06-2005, 07:29 AM
he moonballed you because he knew that you sucked much more, he basically toyed with you. It's sad that you couldn't handle moonballs. Handling moonballs are the easiest thing in tennis. If he decided not to moonball you, he would've trashed you 6-0 in less than 10 minutes. He saw that your skills were soo inferior that he took the match as a joke.

gmlasam
03-06-2005, 07:57 AM
Nothing wrong with someone moon balling you. Just smash it or hit it on the raise. No big deal there. If you cant smash or hit on the raise, then you need to practice ;)

bee
03-06-2005, 10:26 AM
Obviously, there's nothing illegal or unethical about moonballing, but I don't like it either. If you're playing against a moonballer and you're not as consistent and patient as he is you have to do something other than just hit typical groundstrokes back to him. Move forward, take some of them out of the air, and go for short angled strokes on both groundstrokes and vollies. If the guy is really fast you have to tell yourself that going from corner to corner is not good enough. You've got to move him off the court with sharp angles and then put the ball away with a volley or aggressive groundstroke. I've become angry with and cursed at a moonballer and felt badly about it afterwards. I've had to remind myself that's just the way he plays. It can be a test of more than your tennis skills, if you know what I mean.

Exile
03-06-2005, 10:51 AM
That was you dude? I'm sorry!!!
If I had known then I would have played differently.


Actually I'm not that guy, but I could have been.

The thing is, if you dont really feel like playing hard, play smart, if you know lobs are going to put your opponent in the mentality to make an error more often than not, then do it.

If you get a moonballer again just stay calm and say, "Is that all he's going to do? That's fine with me, I'm just going to beat the crap out of it."

You shouldn't get angry at such irrelavent things, just the ignorant people behind it.
As far as his telling you when to serve, you have almost half a minute to start the point, if you want to take your time, do it, games are at the servers pace remember?

Throw him off by tossing the ball up and catching it, get his rhythm off a little bit.
Then just toy with his mind by making him wait. You know he's angry about it so just use it to help you.

(Type B Player)

Phil
03-06-2005, 09:37 PM
What's the deal with moonballing. For all of you who read this article and don't know what moonballing is well listen up. Moonballing is a cheap way of playing tennis

Moonballing is consistently lobbing the ball in the air for no apparent reason. It's one thing to lob the ball while someone is at the net trying to volley but it's another thing to constantly doing it. I was playing a Provincial qualifying match today and I wanted to be challenged. I was playing the number one seed and the only balls that he could hit were moonballs. I would drive the ball and he would respond with a moonball. I think that this is a very unsportsmanlike way of playing tennis. Aswell, my opponent kept telling me when to serve the ball. I would be collecting my tennis balls and he would say "Okay, lets go!". If anyone agrees with me can you please tell me. I had a perfect oppurtunity to make the Main Draw of the Provincials but this guy ruined it for me with his moonball rallies. My coaches say when I receive a moonball to counter the shot with another moonball. So, throughout my match I was remembering what they said but since this boy was so much taller than me he would just smash the ball right back in my face. And to top this all off, this guy was a lefty. Not ever playing a lefty before, this was a real experience for me but at the same time it was a real dissapointment because I didn't make the Provincials but I learned a lesson. NO MATTER A MOONBALL PLAYER OR A HARD DRIVING PLAYER, GO HARD AND NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!
If anyone has anything to say about this please reply. If any tennis players or coached have something to say, please do. I enjoy taking constructive critiscm and taking any tips from anyone!! Thanx

Although you didn't post the scores, I'm willing to bet that you had your butt handed to you. Otherwise, you wouldnn't have come whinning on this board about how "cheap" moonballing is. You guys are all the same-"Oh me, oh my, I got beat by a pusher/moonballer/retriever, and I'M THE BETTER PLAYER." No, my friend, the better player just beat YOU. IT'S NOT A "CHEAP" TACTIC IF IT WINS ITS PRACTITIONERS MOST MATCHES!!!!

Until you learn how to couter this tactic, you aren't going anywhere in your respective sectionals or league. It's not unethical and it's not illegal-it IS a practical way of destroying jokers like yourself. It's not my game, and I only put up the occasional moonball, but I got beat by more than a few of them until I learned how to beat them. And I didn't come crying on the Internet how much better my "strokes" were (even if they WERE usually "better"-it's my GAME that was lacking).

Consider this your "constructive critiscm": Learn how to come off the baseline and hit a swinging volley, learn how to volley, work on your overhead, take SOME pace off the ball and mix it up-do NOT continue to hit flat whingers-this is like Batting Practice-all they have to do is feed off of your power. Mix up the pace. DO NOT do what your coach said-if you play their game, they will BEAT you, because that IS their game-they've been doing it for longer than you have. Hit balls down the middle-that way, you take away their angle and their reliance on movement-they have fewer options with these types of balls. Hit drop volleys and short angles to force them to the net and take them out of their comfort zone on the baseline-most pushers are not volleyers. If you find one that IS, then, well, you're on your own, bud...

sambapati
03-06-2005, 11:00 PM
I remember one year at the French Open, ASV (who everyone thought was going to win the title) was playing Karina Habsudova in one of the earlier rounds. ASV was being beaten and well on her way to being an upset victim when she decided to start moonballing. The crowd booed and whistled, Habsudova, got thrown off her rhythm, -and ASV WON THE MATCH!

Draw your own conclusions...

Deuce
03-07-2005, 01:03 AM
As much as I like and respect what Andrea Jaeger has done since quitting tennis (www.silverliningfoundation.org), 'moonballing' is a cheap, BS way to play tennis.

That said, it is also a tactic which must be dealt with, since, for the most part, we do not get to pick and choose how our opponents 'should' play against us.

A few years ago, a kid I knew - a good enough player, I think he was 17 at the time - ran into a 'pusher' type of player in a tournament. During the match, this kid was so absolutely frustrated by the 'pusher' that he began yelling at him on the court. "You're terrible." "You don't know how to play tennis." Yes - DURING the match. The pusher kid simply ignored the taunts, and continued to win the majority of the points while the other kid continued to self-destruct. At one point, the kid I knew came over to me and complained about how terrible a player his opponent was. "This guy's terrible. He doesn't know how to play. He's not a tennis player..." My only reply, over and over, was "So, beat him." I just kept repeating that to everything the kid said to me about the 'pusher'.

Needless to say, the 'pusher' won the match easily. Also, needless to say, the whining kid and I had several discussions about sportsmanship after that match. I told him that I had never before seen any player yelling at his opponent during a match, telling him how terrible he is - and that it was the worst display of sportsmanship I'd ever witnissed. I also told him that, as far as physical tennis ability is concerned, he is better than the 'pusher' - but tennis involves more than mere physical ability. I told him that as bad as the 'pusher' was - HE was even worse, because the 'pusher' beat him.

aj_m2009
03-07-2005, 01:16 AM
Is it still 'cheap' if your opp. isn't physically strong enough to pound away? Did either of you who said it was cheap ever take into account that that might be true? I bet you didn't did you? And why is it so 'cheap'? Tell me this. Is it cheap for you to pound away at the baseline because you found that it works? No, it isn't. Then why is it cheap to moonball if your opp. found that it works? It's not, you guys probably just say that it is because you guys don't know how to deal with it. Am I right?

Deuce
03-07-2005, 02:05 AM
Am I right?

No.

"Is it still 'cheap' if your opp. isn't physically strong enough to pound away?"

I have no idea what you meant by this.

As far as 'moonballing' is concerned - I find it 'cheap' in the same way that I find the underhanded serve to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I found McEnroe & Connors using their 'outbursts' to deliberately change the momentum of the match to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I find 'the neutral zone trap' in hockey to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I find stealing second base with an 8-0 lead in the 8th inning to be 'cheap'...

Moonballing takes much of the skill out of the match. It makes it a game purely of patience. Tennis ability doesn't matter in a match with a 'pusher', or 'moonballer' - and I find that lowering a match to the level where tennis skill is irrelevant to be both 'cheap' and very unfortunate.

aj_m2009
03-07-2005, 02:16 AM
"Is it still 'cheap' if your opp. isn't physically strong enough to pound away?"

I have no idea what you meant by this.


I meant that your opp. isn't strong enough to really do anything with the ball and that is the only way he/she is able to get the ball over the net.

As far as 'moonballing' is concerned - I find it 'cheap' in the same way that I find the underhanded serve to be 'cheap'

Was I cheap when I had to serve underhanded when I had a broken arm?

in the same way that McEnroe & Connors would use their 'outbursts' to deliberately change the momentum of the match to be 'cheap'

Now this I do find cheap

It makes it a game purely of patience.

Well tennis shouldn't really be just going for everything. You do need to have patience and playing a moonballer is a good way to get some patience.

Cypo
03-07-2005, 02:21 AM
Well - I'll confess - I love to moonball against players who will consistently smash them into to permanent fixtures - sorry.

Actually - it's quite pleasant and relaxing on a nice day to just hit nice clean deep shots with good net clearance. Especially in a tournament, I'm glad if I can moonball because it settles me so well (I tend to get nervous and do stoopid things in tournaments).

I don't consider moonballing lobbing, though. Moonballs are lower - you can't hit an overhead on them, unless you're at net. You can move in and take them out of the air (drive-volley) or take them on the rise, or moonball back - now that can be unnerving !

I hope I'm not public enemy number one now :-)

---- added later:
Moonballing is not as easy as it looks - It is a heavy topspin ball and you have to hit out very relaxed for it too work. Maybe that's why it looks easy - because you have to be relaxed to do it. And, of course, it's high percentage play.

But I don't think it's any cheaper to exploit someone's inability to hit outside of their comfort zone, than it is to hit to a inconsistent backhand.

aj_m2009
03-07-2005, 02:29 AM
I hope I'm not public enemy number one now :-)

Trust me, if anyone would be public enemy number one for moonballing it would be my dad. He tends to do that a lot and it makes me mad 'cause I know there aren't a whole big lot of kids that play that way. But I learn to deal with it.

peter
03-07-2005, 02:31 AM
A few years ago, a kid I knew - a good enough player, I think he was 17 at the time - ran into a 'pusher' type of player in a tournament. During the match, this kid was so absolutely frustrated by the 'pusher' that he began yelling at him on the court. "You're terrible." "You don't know how to play tennis." Yes - DURING the match. The pusher kid simply ignored the taunts, and continued to win the majority of the points while the other kid continued to self-destruct. At one point, the kid I knew came over to me and complained about how terrible a player his opponent was. "This guy's terrible. He doesn't know how to play. He's not a tennis player..." My only reply, over and over, was "So, beat him." I just kept repeating that to everything the kid said to me about the 'pusher'.


I bet the pusher must have been laughing his *** off inside his head all the match - I know I would have - knowing that his opponent was breaking down mentally. Actually I would have had a hard time *not* walking around the court with a BIG HUGE *GRIN* all over my face... :-)

That said - I hate playing pushers too and are having big problems with them. But I wouldn't never say that I lost to a worse player just because he's a pusher. I mean - who's the worse player?

1. A hard-hitter who can't handle a pusher but only other hard-hitters?
2. A pusher who can handle a hard-hitter and other pushers?

Camilio Pascual
03-07-2005, 07:32 AM
Moonballing is consistently lobbing the ball in the air for no apparent reason.

The reason is to win the match. Apparently, it works quite well against you. Bee, amongst others, gave some good advice on how to play against "moonballers." I hit heaps of topspin lobs, it is a skill that few possess, many resent (see signature below!). If my opponent lacks the skills and physical ability to return these balls effectively, he is not as good a player as I am and he is going to see a LOT of TS lobs. You might also try hitting shots to your opponent that are difficult to lob, such as short slices.
Your pity party about how it is a cheap way to play will lead to many more defeats for you. Not a smart play on your part. You have several reasons (he's tall, he's a lefty) for losing, which is it? You seem to not want to take responsibility for yourself (The other player ruined it for me). Your attitude reveals that you are not well suited for match play yet. Acquire the physical skills and the mental attitude to allow you to defeat these players. Then, and only then, will you become the superior player.

Ace
03-07-2005, 08:06 AM
The reason is to win the match. Apparently, it works quite well against you. Bee, amongst others, gave some good advice on how to play against "moonballers." I hit heaps of topspin lobs, it is a skill that few possess, many resent (see signature below!). If my opponent lacks the skills and physical ability to return these balls effectively, he is not as good a player as I am and he is going to see a LOT of TS lobs. You might also try hitting shots to your opponent that are difficult to lob, such as short slices.
Your pity party about how it is a cheap way to play will lead to many more defeats for you. Not a smart play on your part. You have several reasons (he's tall, he's a lefty) for losing, which is it? You seem to not want to take responsibility for yourself (The other player ruined it for me). Your attitude reveals that you are not well suited for match play yet. Acquire the physical skills and the mental attitude to allow you to defeat these players. Then, and only then, will you become the superior player.

I was going to respond....but then I read what Camilio said, and I couldn't have put it any better.

You should get this kids number and he should become your new practice partner until you learn how to kick his rear.

Brian Purdie
03-07-2005, 01:01 PM
Just smash it or hit it on the raise. No big deal there. If you cant smash or hit on the raise, then you need to practice ;)

I agree. You can do something with a moonball if you want to. You can use the opportunity to rapidly change the pace of the point with a good straight shot. Otherwise, move them back and forth with a drop shot, then moonball, then repeat. unfortauntely others here are correct in the sense that a moonball is a easy way to play the game and it should be within your skill to handle them on a repetitive basis for a 30 shot rally.

Also, add a lot of topspin to your shot to bounce that sucka over the fence!

MegacedU
03-07-2005, 01:18 PM
Omg that would **** me off like no effing other. If that guy said that to me while I was getting ready to serve, I'd yell at the top of my lungs "If you knew anything about tennis you'd know that I can take my time serving and that you're just making a fool of yourself by being ignorant to the correct way to hit a tennis ball." Then he'd get one of my winning smiles and a good hard serve. :)

ohplease
03-07-2005, 02:53 PM
I can't believe how inconsiderate some people can be. There are actually people out there who play LEFT HANDED! When the vast majority of people are so obviously not. There are people who serve and volley, when most people do not. There are people who refuse to rally nicely with you until you're all set up to hit the ball you want to!

/sarcasm off

Tennis is sometimes about exploiting your opponent's weakness. This is sometimes considered "cheap." Tennis can also sometimes be about exposing the deficiencies in someone's alleged strengths. This can be considered one of two things:

a) Your opponent is both proud and stupid, sort of like Boris Becker when he played Andre Agassi.
b) Your opponent is both lots better than you and a big enough jerk to draw attention to just how much.

Tennis is a mano y mano, zero sum sport - you honestly expect someone to play in such a way as to make you feel comfortable? Um, no.

tennis-n-sc
03-07-2005, 04:07 PM
Cypo, you always say what I want to post. It's beginning to pi** me off! LOL

NoBadMojo
03-07-2005, 05:06 PM
the deal is to get better and then you dont run into moonballers anymore..moonballing just doesnt pay dividends anymore once you get to a certain level....advanced players can take moon balls out of the air at times, and would have several other ways to dismantle a moonballer, who is most often moonballing because they cant do anything else very well..so you learn to make them do stuff they dont like, like bringing them into net...ditto for pushers...gone at more advanced levels because of the technology in large part.....one good thing about technology, because even pushers dont even enjoy playing pushers...

Phil
03-07-2005, 07:22 PM
I can't believe how inconsiderate some people can be. There are actually people out there who play LEFT HANDED! When the vast majority of people are so obviously not. There are people who serve and volley, when most people do not. There are people who refuse to rally nicely with you until you're all set up to hit the ball you want to!

/sarcasm off

Tennis is sometimes about exploiting your opponent's weakness. This is sometimes considered "cheap." Tennis can also sometimes be about exposing the deficiencies in someone's alleged strengths. This can be considered one of two things:

a) Your opponent is both proud and stupid, sort of like Boris Becker when he played Andre Agassi.
b) Your opponent is both lots better than you and a big enough jerk to draw attention to just how much.

Tennis is a mano y mano, zero sum sport - you honestly expect someone to play in such a way as to make you feel comfortable? Um, no.

Are you drinking? Or am I? This post makes perfect sense-I totally agree, and declare additional arguments or comments to be superfluous. OP says it all here, but I'll add, anyway, the following:

If you can't beat a moonballer, you aren't "better" than him/her. It's only considered a "cheap" tactic if you can't beat them. That simple.

Cypo
03-08-2005, 12:16 AM
Tennis-n-sc - that's only because I have a six hour jump on you - but if I were smarter, I'd wait and let you say it better.

Are you drinking (again ?) Phil ? A little afternoon Sake ? Or some of that deleterious whiskey one can only get from Japan ?
My husband is in Sapporo at the moment - if he contacts you professionally let me know (so I can have the rolling pin ready when he comes home :-))


And to TENNIS - Do you guys really think moonballing is easy ? Maybe it's just me, but it took me a long time to learn, and I still can't play it very well - the shots tend to get shorter and shorter and then they're easy put-aways. If the opponent isn't nice enough to wail on one of the first two, then I know I need to re-evaluate.

0.2RatedPlayer
03-08-2005, 01:35 AM
for me, i just throw in a variety of spins and some high looping top spin shots

tennisadict
03-08-2005, 01:40 AM
i agree, moonball sucks. just get better on your footwork and be qwik, get close to the ball and half volley or over head , belive me it will work

Phil
03-08-2005, 02:35 AM
Are you drinking (again ?) Phil ? A little afternoon Sake ? Or some of that deleterious whiskey one can only get from Japan ?
My husband is in Sapporo at the moment - if he contacts you professionally let me know (so I can have the rolling pin ready when he comes home :-))


Of COURSE not, Cypo. I'm a pro-fessional-al! It's much too early. I'll get to the sake later this evening. Japanese whiskey-like Suntory? Deleterious isn't the word for that! Nasty stuff, and WE introduced it to Japan...

Your husband is probably freezing up there-or else he's skiing.

goober
03-08-2005, 09:25 PM
Hmm glad I read this thread.

I have to play a moonballer in one of the 4.0 leagues I play next week. He is one of the few people who reputation precedes him. The call him the "mobber" cuz all he does is moonball and lob. He actually finished #3 in the league out of 12 people last season so his style is obviously working. The thing is he is very quick and in good shape so he runs everything down. He is also in his early 20's so he is youngest guy in the league. I am a baseliner and only average at the net. I think I am going to have a very long hard game against this guy that will test my patience. :D

Geezer Guy
03-09-2005, 09:27 AM
Goober - You from Kansas City? We've got a moon-baller that's tearing up our league as well. I hadn't played him yet, but everyone kept talking about how great he is - saying stuff just like they say about your guy. Well, I played him last Monday, and crushed him - I even surprised myself! I had two tactics that worked really well. My first tactic was to exchange a couple of stokes with him down the middle, then to come in and take an overhead from mid-court. Don't come in too far, or he'll just lob over you pretty easily. I came into just behind the service line, and that worked pretty well. My second tactic was to get into cross-court forehand rallys with him, waiting for him to hit a short ball which I hit down-the-line. Some were winners, and some I used as approach shots. These usually came back pretty weak, and I could easily volley the shot for a winner. Also, several times I hit short to pull him into the net, where he would either muff a volley or an overhead. The thing I really liked about playing this guy is that he has no weapons. He didn't hit ANY winners! His whole game is about getting the other guy to make unforced errors, and that I could control pretty well that day. I beat him 6-2, 6-2. At one point he made us stop so he could measure the net (it WAS about an inch too high). At another point he stopped to drink some water and towel off (we usually play straight through). And by the end of the match he was stalling between points and yelling at himself. I LOVED IT!!

goober
03-10-2005, 09:38 PM
not from kansas city, but good to hear your story. :D
People in my league were not raving about how great he was. Most in fact disliked his style of play and were more like smirking that I had to play him next.

Fatmike
03-11-2005, 09:18 AM
I played against a lobber this week.... I served him his own medecine and lobbed too.... I lobbed higher and mostly on the baseline and while he could handle my topspin and retunred it in a lob, he couldn't handle the lob.... haha well done for me

bee
03-11-2005, 11:27 AM
NoBadMojo said it well. Don't see moonballers on the men's pro tour. Let's get good enough so these guys aren't a threat.

Fatmike
03-11-2005, 11:33 AM
the deal is to get better and then you dont run into moonballers anymore..moonballing just doesnt pay dividends anymore once you get to a certain level....advanced players can take moon balls out of the air at times, and would have several other ways to dismantle a moonballer, who is most often moonballing because they cant do anything else very well..so you learn to make them do stuff they dont like, like bringing them into net...ditto for pushers...gone at more advanced levels because of the technology in large part.....one good thing about technology, because even pushers dont even enjoy playing pushers...

What is a pusher?

Geezer Guy
03-11-2005, 02:10 PM
What is a pusher?

A "pusher" is someone who's main tactic is to just return every ball until the other person makes a mistake. Often (not always) the pusher doesn't have a lot of power, doesn't attack, plays everything from the baseline, and just goes on and on. If two pushers were to play each other, each point could to 10, 15, 20 shots before one of them would make a mistake. Pushing is very effective at the lower levels, when their opponents are prone to unforced errors, and have not yet developed their "put away" shots. As players advance in skill, they learn how to deal with pushers - but it's a painful process.

Fatmike
03-12-2005, 08:25 AM
A "pusher" is someone who's main tactic is to just return every ball until the other person makes a mistake. Often (not always) the pusher doesn't have a lot of power, doesn't attack, plays everything from the baseline, and just goes on and on. If two pushers were to play each other, each point could to 10, 15, 20 shots before one of them would make a mistake. Pushing is very effective at the lower levels, when their opponents are prone to unforced errors, and have not yet developed their "put away" shots. As players advance in skill, they learn how to deal with pushers - but it's a painful process.

I see....

I play often against these types of players... I'm the complete opposite of this... alwys trying the winner... cost me lots of points though

need2paint
03-12-2005, 03:14 PM
sounds to me like hewitt and nalbandian are pushers.

alan-n
03-12-2005, 04:05 PM
sounds to me like hewitt and nalbandian are pushers.

Not really, that hit the ball pretty hard about as well as they can... just isn't very hard compared to the hardest hitters. They are refered to as counter punchers. Nothing to disrepect with this style of play, Federer himself plays the counter punching game early on a match if you want to stretch it that far.... but thats to get a feel for hit opponents shots and spin.

Datacipher
03-12-2005, 04:05 PM
NoBadMojo said it well. Don't see moonballers on the men's pro tour. Let's get good enough so these guys aren't a threat.

You don't even have to reach the tour. Once you get to 5.0+ open tournament tennis, the moonballers start getting very sparse. Defensive counterpunchers, yes, but outright moonball pushers, usually not too successful.

Datacipher
03-12-2005, 04:22 PM
No.
As far as 'moonballing' is concerned - I find it 'cheap' in the same way that I find the underhanded serve to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I found McEnroe & Connors using their 'outbursts' to deliberately change the momentum of the match to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I find 'the neutral zone trap' in hockey to be 'cheap'; in the same way that I find stealing second base with an 8-0 lead in the 8th inning to be 'cheap'...[/color]

Moonballing takes much of the skill out of the match. It makes it a game purely of patience. Tennis ability doesn't matter in a match with a 'pusher', or 'moonballer' - and I find that lowering a match to the level where tennis skill is irrelevant to be both 'cheap' and very unfortunate.

There is no comparison between a Connors outburst breaking an opponents concentration and moonballing. One is an extraneous, outside the game, ploy, the other a perfectly legitimate tactic and shot which you are free to choose. The only thing those 2 have in common is that you should learn to deal with both. Your statement is akin to a time in history when people who were startled by the new tactic of rushing the net, called serve and volleying cheap. Ridiculous.

Also silly that you would say it takes skill out of the match. For one thing, patience is a skill. Moonballing certainly can be a low risk shot, but if you think it requires no skill, why not just outmoonball the moonballer? Could it be that he is better/more skilled at it than you? I believe that playing the moonballer is actually a real test of skill and development, once you reach a certain very high level(generally around 5.0), the moonballers won't bother you much anymore(unless they also have 5.0 skills to back it up).

"Takes skill out of the match"....do you really think this guy could beat Federer, because he is more patient and has nullified the difference in skills? Does Fed stay up at night, sweating, worried that someone will start using this cheap tactic against him? Well if you ever hope to beat Fed moonballing, I hope you have other 7.0 shots to back it up or you're toast.

When I was young and just starting out in the game, I hated moonballers/pushers, they forced too many errors in my power game. I thought it was cheap. Eventually I grew up and realized, the problem was not them, it was me. They can hit the ball any way they want, just as I can, that's the beauty of tennis, there is no "right" shot. Many styles and shots can work in many situations. Accepting that helped a lot. Eventually, I grew to love playing them, my power became more consistent, my arsenal more versatile, now those guys are a chance for me to dictate the match any way I want. I sympathize with the frustration they can cause, but don't be a poor sport, accept the loss and the challenge they present, with a good attitude and hard work, one day you'll own those moonballers.

Deuce
03-13-2005, 01:37 AM
It's not a question of 'owning' the moonballers...

Playing a moonballer, or a 'pusher' is simply extremely boring. It's not a match of skilled shots - it's a match of safe shots. Like a boxing match where one guy throws no punches - just defends against his opponent's punches. It's like if a football team simply punts the ball away on first down for the entire game. It's boring and cheap.

aj_m2009
03-13-2005, 01:58 AM
I still don't get how it is cheap and you never answered my question, was I cheap when I had a broken arm and had to serve underhanded? Wait, I said that wrong. Was I cheap when I had a broken arm and served underhanded even though I could have served an overhead serve? And punting the ball all of the time is stupid, not cheap. And if playing a moonballer or pusher is boring than I guess the French is boring too 'casue that is really all that they do there is have looong rallies. And I still think the only reason you find moonballing cheap is because you don't know how to beat a moonballer.

Deuce
03-13-2005, 02:24 AM
I didn't answer your 'questions' simply because those 'questions' are entirely irrelevant and rather dumb.

aj_m2009
03-13-2005, 02:31 AM
Well I still want to know if I was cheap. And it was only one question, not questions. And are you sure your not answering my question becasue you know serving underhanded and moonballing isn't cheap?

tennisadict
03-13-2005, 01:36 PM
it`s cheap cause don`t have to take a lesson to hit moonballing,they dont teach moonballing at the academy

aj_m2009
03-14-2005, 12:45 AM
You don't have to take lessons to learn anything else either, I'm walking proof of that.

Datacipher
03-14-2005, 01:13 AM
It's not a question of 'owning' the moonballers...

Playing a moonballer, or a 'pusher' is simply extremely boring. It's not a match of skilled shots - it's a match of safe shots. Like a boxing match where one guy throws no punches - just defends against his opponent's punches. It's like if a football team simply punts the ball away on first down for the entire game. It's boring and cheap.

Boring yes, cheap NO.

In addition, unlike many other sports, you cannot simply run out a lead in tennis until the time limit is reached, each point must be played until the end. Whether you moonball or not, your opponent has the chance to play each and every point. If one is not good enough to change the type of points being played, then it's your own fault. Opponent is not obligated in any way to help you play the way you would like.

You seem to imply here that the only way to respond to a moonballer or pusher it to do the same in kind back, this is not true. You have an equal chance to create the type of points you would like to play. You simply have to be good enough to pull it off.

You can go into a boxing match and if the other guy throws no punches, you're free to do whatever you please. A great boxer will beat the stuffings out of a guy who throws no punches. Unless the other guy counterpunches, in which case, he is doing something and you blame him for that. Nothing cheap about being a counterpuncher.

Cypo
03-14-2005, 01:30 AM
it`s cheap cause don`t have to take a lesson to hit moonballing,they dont teach moonballing at the academy

Can you moonball ? Personally, I don't find it easy, and I suspect that people who can moonball don't complain about playing moonballers. If I play a monnballer, I'll try two or three points to see if by chance, they aren't as consistent at it as I, but since I'm probably as bad at moonballing as you can be and still get away with it, I don't usually find moonballers I could beat that way.

It's a strategy - same as any other, but probably only effective up to the 4.0 (most points lost due to impatience) level.

Deuce
03-14-2005, 01:55 AM
Data, I'm not addressing the issue of 'moonballing' or 'pushing' from the perspective of 'how to beat them'.

Nor did I say that one is obligated to play using a style that is agreeable to his/her opponent. But everyone certainly maintains the right to consider certain 'styles' or tactics cheap.

Nor am I implying anything.

I am simply stating, flat out, that I find this particular 'style' to be both boring and cheap - an easy way out. Rather than make the effort to better their play, moonballers are content to lull their opponents to sleep. I thus consider 'moonballing' as a chosen style of play to be cheap and lazy.

Just as I would advise the boxer who does nothing but defend himself against his opponent's blows to learn how to become a better boxer, I would advise the pusher/moonballer to learn to play better tennis. Taking this advice will lead to everyone involved having a more enjoyable experience on the court.

Datacipher
03-14-2005, 02:05 AM
Data, I'm not addressing the issue of 'moonballing' or 'pushing' from the perspective of 'how to beat them'.

Nor did I say that one is obligated to play using a style that is agreeable to his/her opponent. But everyone certainly maintains the right to consider certain 'styles' or tactics cheap.

Nor am I implying anything.
.

Yes, well I agree with most of this and realize you aren't addressing the issue of how to beat them. My only grievance is with the label "cheap". To me, "cheap" connotes something underhanded or illegal or undeserved. I don't think moonballing is any of these things.

But you're right, you're certainly entitled to call it that and perhaps your usage of the word is a bit different than mine.

Usually the only tactics I tend to call cheap are cheating or gamesmanship. If wer're talking physical strokes and they're not illegal, I say it's open game and if you can pull it off, good for you.

Phil
03-14-2005, 05:32 PM
Datacipher - I wouldn't sweat it. What you said is absolutely correct. Moonballing is a legitimate tactic.

If it were cheap, then I suppose, too, bunting and playing hit-and-run baseball rather than going deep, are cheap tactics in baseball. I don't know much about hockey, but when the team that is trying to kill a penalty sends the puck the length of the ice to give their goalie some respite, I guess that's cheap too. Punting the ball in football is WAY cheap, rather than toughing it out and risking giving up field position to the opposing team. In hoops, PASSING is cheap. Yeah, these days in the NBA, ANYONE who passes the ball is just a punk.

Deuce is just some testosterone-juiced stud, who goes for each and every shot for a winner-he has said as much in other posts, as I recall. So it's no wonder he would call this tactic "cheap". I think he's lost to a lot of moonballers and pushers, and either STILL loses to them or is very bitter about the experience of having been schooled by them. I lost to a lot of them too- at least at the 3.5/4.0 level and below. Eventually, as you said, you learn how to put away short balls and hit a swinging volley...Deuce obviously has not, and curses the pushers who continue to plague him to this day. So what's the defense mechanism? Call them "cheap"...question their integrity and manhood.

Fine. To me this phrase comes to mind: "Show me a pusher and I'll show you a room full of trophies." What makes tennis a great game, is it accomodates many, many playing styles-not just bashers, and the challenge is adjusting (not changing) your own style to deal with contrasing styles. Some people are too immature to understand this.

Deuce
03-14-2005, 10:46 PM
Below.....

Deuce
03-14-2005, 10:54 PM
Yes, well I agree with most of this and realize you aren't addressing the issue of how to beat them. My only grievance is with the label "cheap". To me, "cheap" connotes something underhanded or illegal or undeserved. I don't think moonballing is any of these things.

But you're right, you're certainly entitled to call it that and perhaps your usage of the word is a bit different than mine.

Usually the only tactics I tend to call cheap are cheating or gamesmanship. If wer're talking physical strokes and they're not illegal, I say it's open game and if you can pull it off, good for you.

Fair enough.

By 'cheap', I mean mostly lazy - but with the element of manipulation, as well. My main problem whenever I've encountered 'moonballers' is that I find it incredibly boring. I prefer being challenged to being lulled to sleep.

The moonballer's motto seems to be "I can't beat you with my best, because I'm not willing to make any effort to improve - so I'll just play my worst and hope to bore you to death." To me, that's cheap.

Moonballers tend to hit moonbals on just about every shot. Mixing one in from time to time to change the pace is a totally different thing. Ergo, my analogy of a football team punting the ball away on first down for the entire game - which Phil deliberately 'misunderstood' in order to suit his tired agenda.

One would think that Phil would tire of being wrong so often...

Phil
03-14-2005, 10:57 PM
Fair enough.

By 'cheap', I mean mostly lazy - but with the element of manipulation, as well. My main problem whenever I've encountered 'moonballers' is that I find it incredibly boring. I prefer being challenged to being lulled to sleep.

The moonballer's motto seems to be "I can't beat you with my best, because I'm not willing to make any effort to improve - so I'll just play my worst and hope to bore you to death." To me, that's cheap.

Moonballers tend to hit moonbals on just about every shot. Mixing one in from time to time to change the pace is a totally different thing. Ergo, my analogy of a football team punting the ball away on first down for the entire game - which Phil deliberately 'misunderstood' in order to suit his tired agenda.

One would think that Phil would tire of being wrong so often...

Deuce - This isn't a "right" or "wrong" issue. You label something "cheap" and that is your opinion, but it is a personal opinion based on your failure to understand the wider aspects of the game. Datacipher, a number of others in this thread and I have pretty much OWNED you here. So go away now.

Surprising that you have this attitude after, alledgedly, following and playing the game for so long.

aj_m2009
03-14-2005, 11:00 PM
Deuce, would you at least answer this question since you wont answer my other one? Can you beat moonballers? All I want is a simple yes or no(plus a few other letters, numbers, etc... because of the stupid 10 letter minimum thing).

Deuce
03-14-2005, 11:42 PM
Due to your excessive insecurity, Phil, you NEED to feel that you 'own' other persons; that you are somehow 'better'... Just a slight variation of the schoolyard p!ssing contests. Go ahead and feel it, if it increases your self-worth (albeit temporarily).

aj - I've not played many moonballers, really. But there was a time where I had problems playing the few pushers and moonballers I met. Because I was enjoying these matches so little, I would try to end every point on the first shot - just to get off the court as quickly as possible so that I could do something more enjoyable. Since that time, however, I've realized that I encounter them so rarely that I can afford to take the time and patience to beat them, and haven't had a problem with them since then. As I said, though - it is quite a rarity for me to play them - not even once a year.

aj_m2009
03-14-2005, 11:45 PM
Deuce, thank you for clearing that up or me.

Phil
03-14-2005, 11:54 PM
No, Deuce, I don't have any desire to "own" anyone, but I seem to do it to you quite a bit. Just pointing that out. It's no more of a pis-s!ing contest than your "right" vs "wrong" nonsense. And I figured you had lost to a few pushers in your time, and resented that style of play. That's why you don't play them anymore.

Personally, I like playing tennis. I just play my game, regardless of my opponent. I don't always get to pick who I want to play-sometimes, yes, but not always. If someone chooses to moonball me, I adjust until I have the opportunity to make the moonballer pay for his choice of playing style. That's all it is. It's like a chess game-patience is part of it. You don't have it, and you lose-unless you play on a very fast surface. You can whine all you want about this style of play-it doesn't really affect more advanced players, and at the lower levels, it is sometimes the ONLY way that a lesser player can stay on the court. The game is for there for EVERYONE to enjoy, not just elitist a-holes like yourself.

Deuce
03-15-2005, 12:05 AM
Yeah, well... my dad can beat up your dad.

It's quite humorous how my perspective on pushers - and many other things - is so threatening to you that you repeatedly respond in such a defensive manner.

You bring insecurity and immaturity to new levels with each successive post, Phil.

Phil
03-15-2005, 12:21 AM
Deuce - Learn how to beat a pusher, instead of whinning about them. They aren't going away-not at the club level, at least, no matter how much you whine about them.

I am quite secure. You don't "threaten" me, or even anger me. You provide me with amusement. That is what you are good for, as far as I'm concerned.

Datacipher
03-15-2005, 02:45 AM
Fair enough.

By 'cheap', I mean mostly lazy - but with the element of manipulation, as well. My main problem whenever I've encountered 'moonballers' is that I find it incredibly boring. I prefer being challenged to being lulled to sleep.

But right there you HAVE the challenge. Can I defeat this moonballer, playing aggressively? Are my weapons consistent enough to win more of the points doing this? If not, can I be consistent and patient and focused enough to beat him at his own style of game? Now if the mental manipulation were a result of verbal remarks or illegal tactics, I'd be inclined to agree, but we're talking about mental manipulation stemming purely from strokes....now that, is part of the game! This is basically what players like Borg, Vilas, Bruguera and others did I'm going to return all your shots with safety, most of the time, I won't do anything special and even though you can get to and return almost all my shots, eventually you'll miss or get tired or sick of this. Surely you wouldn't call them cheap.


The moonballer's motto seems to be "I can't beat you with my best, because I'm not willing to make any effort to improve - so I'll just play my worst and hope to bore you to death." To me, that's cheap.


Moonballing may be his best/most winning style. So the question becomes "is your best better than his best?". Again, I don't think this is cheap, in fact, he has laid down a challenge for you, yes, a big part can be mental, you may need much more patience and the ability to keep focused for long rallies and a long match. I'm actually a little surprised that you who seem to pride yourself on being philosophical cannot see it in this way.

I sympathize with anti-moonballers as it's the opposite of my game and the game I like to teach, however, the truth is that unless you aspire to go to 5.0 and beyond, it can be a very smart style to adopt. For the player who faces the pusher, it doesn't have to be boring at all, if you accept the challenge and realize that while this opponent is not flashy and not pretty, he is one of the biggest obstacles you will face in tennis.

Actually if a person plays for fun, then absolutely, I say, play with those you enjoy playing with. Many people will avoid pushers and other styles as well, players who hit too hard, players who serve and volley all the time, players with huge serves, players who take the game too seriously..... etc. but these styles are all valid options.

For those who aspire to competitive tennis, you must learn to play these guys and it's a great benchmark for your game. Solving the puzzle of these opponents will make you better eventually.

Datacipher
03-15-2005, 03:26 AM
To me this phrase comes to mind: "Show me a pusher and I'll show you a room full of trophies." What makes tennis a great game, is it accomodates many, many playing styles-not just bashers, and the challenge is adjusting (not changing) your own style to deal with contrasing styles. Some people are too immature to understand this.

Very true, Phil. It sounded like a quote from my old friend V. Braden. Looking in one of his books I find:

"We all know that dinkers are despised around the world. I mean, they play the game like sissies, right? They try nothing new, they never drive a ball hard, and they go up to the net once every spring. But while you're making fun of them, they're winning another trophy. Dinkers are succesful because they just keep the ball in play with a minimum of speed and fanfare, and a maximum of high bounces and patience....waiting for you to miss. In fact, instead of scorning dinkers, you should realize that they are simply capitalizing on basic physical priniciples and a keen understanding of psychology. "

"At the pro level, Spain'sArantxa Sanchez Vicario is my favorite example of a baseline specialist who prefers to rally and use whatever defensive tactic is necessary to win. One year after defeating Jennifer Capriati.......Vicario said, "I knew if I won the 2nd set, the match was in my hands; mentally I'm much more strong." In the 1996 FO, after being jeered by the crowd for her successful strategy of hitting high lobs to Katrina Habsudova, her quarterfinal opponent, Vicario told.....New York Times "I don't care what the crowd says. You always try to do what the other player doesn't like to play. She hates high lobs- I win the point. I am not going to play the way she likes to play."

Braden goes on and on. Basically, as well, when I'm coaching, especially competitive juniors, I don't like the mindset that comes with complaining about other people's strategies, styles and strokes. Yes, there will be many annoying opponents who play in ways you don't appreciate. But respect the challenge, it's not their problem, it's YOURS! They can hit the ball any way they want, you need to deal with it.

The big problem is that when you start using cop-outs like saying "the guy just pushed the ball back and dragged me down, but his game sucks, he's not in my league!"....or "I don't like playing that guy because his strokes are so ugly they're hard to play against, that's the only reason he beat me." you often don't evaluate the situation objectively....how are you doing to plan strategy and set game improvement goals if you live in your own sheltered world? So, I get on these kids and make sure they understand that you can't always play the people who play into your style and make you look good. That if you play somebody who "sucks" but they beat you....you better think about what that means! ;-) I don't want my kids to be pushers/moonballers(although if it's an important match and pushing is the only way to get the job done, do it gleefully!), but I do need them to realize that they will face them and they will be tough, smart opponents that you should respect...and THEN kick their arses.

ohplease
03-15-2005, 08:23 AM
...I don't like the mindset that comes with complaining about other people's strategies, styles and strokes. Yes, there will be many annoying opponents who play in ways you don't appreciate. But respect the challenge, it's not their problem, it's YOURS! They can hit the ball any way they want, you need to deal with it...

Absolutely. Tennis has its rules - for both play and equipment. Everyone is free to operate within those boundaries. Can't hang? Don't like the way the game is being played? How do you respond to that?

a) you can get to work. no one ever said that winning matches, solving problems, was going to be easy, pleasurable, or aesthetically appealing
b) you can try and change the rules

Talk about taking the easy way out.

Deuce's problem - tennis or otherwise - is that his answer is always option B (ie. "crying to mommy"). People don't play the right way. People don't use the right rackets. People don't behave the right way. Etc. If all his favorite causes were truly the "right" way to go - shouldn't they stand on their own merits? Shouldn't people choose those "right" options on their own, without the need for legislation?

I forget, does Thoreau cover this stuff? I haven't read him since junior high.

Cue longwinded deuce response in 3, 2, 1....

Deuce
03-16-2005, 01:23 AM
Data, I surely wouldnt make the error of comparing Borg, Vilas, etc. to moonballers or pushers. That's simply absurd.

As far as being challenged is concerned, I prefer being challenged with regards to tennis ability when I'm playing tennis. There are enough challenges to my patience in the other aspects of life - to where I don't appreciate them on the tennis court. I fully realize that psychology is an element of the game - but it should not come at the expense of challenge on the level of tennis ability, which is what occurs with pushers.

Ohplease, you whine far more about me than I whine about any of the subjects you mention in your post. It's rather amusing how, by simply posting my perspectives - which have nothing to do with you -, I manage to p!ss you off to such a degree that causes such behavior. Meanwhile, your posts do nothing for me one way or another - notice how I never feel the need to make 'peanut gallery' comments of your posts - 'cept when you come at me directly, in which case I might respond to a low percentage of them. (Who's zoomin' who, huh?)

Seems that you've been searching for my posts again...

*yawn*

Happy hunting...

goober
03-16-2005, 05:21 PM
Goober - You from Kansas City? We've got a moon-baller that's tearing up our league as well. I hadn't played him yet, but everyone kept talking about how great he is - saying stuff just like they say about your guy. Well, I played him last Monday, and crushed him - I even surprised myself! I had two tactics that worked really well. My first tactic was to exchange a couple of stokes with him down the middle, then to come in and take an overhead from mid-court. Don't come in too far, or he'll just lob over you pretty easily. I came into just behind the service line, and that worked pretty well. My second tactic was to get into cross-court forehand rallys with him, waiting for him to hit a short ball which I hit down-the-line. Some were winners, and some I used as approach shots. These usually came back pretty weak, and I could easily volley the shot for a winner. Also, several times I hit short to pull him into the net, where he would either muff a volley or an overhead. The thing I really liked about playing this guy is that he has no weapons. He didn't hit ANY winners! His whole game is about getting the other guy to make unforced errors, and that I could control pretty well that day. I beat him 6-2, 6-2. At one point he made us stop so he could measure the net (it WAS about an inch too high). At another point he stopped to drink some water and towel off (we usually play straight through). And by the end of the match he was stalling between points and yelling at himself. I LOVED IT!!


Well I finally played that moonballer/lobber last night. I won and it was one of the most unsatisfying matches ever. It took like 2.5 hours to win 6-3, 6-4. 90% of his shot were moonballs or lobs that landed within 3 feet of the baseline. I pretty much just rallied with him until he hit a shortball and than I would come in and angle an approach shot or even do a drop shot. I followed your tatic of just hanging out at the service line when I came to the net because this guy had absolutely no passing shot. All he could do was moonball and lob that was it. Yeah I made a bunch of unforced errors but I hit more winners and forced errors upon him.

The sad thing was that this guy was pretty arrogant too. He told me before we even started playing that he should be playing in the 4.5s instead of the 4.0s. LOL

Geezer Guy
03-17-2005, 10:28 AM
Glad you won. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more. Good Job!

aj_m2009
03-17-2005, 10:37 AM
Good job goob. Glad to see that you overcame the moonballer.

Rickson
03-17-2005, 01:57 PM
Maybe he mooned you because he wanted to get back into position and needed the extra few seconds. Why don't you just hit a good smash off the high bounce? If the ball doesn't bounce high enough for an overhead, it wasn't a true moonball. You could still hit a high forehand if the ball's not high enough for an overhead, which gives you a better winner opportunity than a low forehand. You shouldn't complain about moonballs, you should take advantage of them coming your way.

goober
03-22-2005, 09:13 PM
Heh- well I played this moonballer/lobber again. He was ****ed that I beat him and he challenged me to a rematch. This time I didn't get into long rallies with him waiting for him to hit a ball I could attack. I attacked and pressed on every point that I could. I really attacked his weak second serve and he didn't hold serve once. I came to the net as much as possible. I hit like 40 overheads that match and won probably 30-35 of them and made errors on the rest. I won easily 6-3 6-1. This match was much more satisfying :D

nViATi
03-22-2005, 09:18 PM
as my coach says " play to your level not their's"

Geezer Guy
03-23-2005, 07:47 AM
EXCELLENT!! Great job! Once you know how to beat a Moonballer - they're really no problem. I would MUCH rather face a "good" Moonballer than a "halfway decent" Serve and Volleyer. Glad you won AND glad you enjoyed it this time.

aj_m2009
03-23-2005, 07:58 AM
...I would MUCH rather face a "good" Moonballer than a "halfway decent" Serve and Volleyer...

Why, because you don't know how to beat a half-way decent S&Ver? No, I am just kidding, I couldn't help but say it.:) But really, why?

And good job goob. But now you can't come back and complain to us if you lose too another one.:)

Camilio Pascual
03-23-2005, 08:41 AM
I really attacked his weak second serve and he didn't hold serve once. I won easily 6-3 6-1. This match was much more satisfying :D

Even in victory, lessons can be learned. With 12 breaks of serve in 16 games, there are 2 things to look at here:

1. How was he able to break you 4 out of 8 of your service games? Anytime anybody breaks you half the time, that is something to look at.

2. Anticipate how it will be to play a similar opponent who has a better serve, you may not get close to 8 for 8 next time.

Congratulations on your persistence in overcoming the pusher, they are tough players.

Geezer Guy
03-23-2005, 09:36 AM
Why, because you don't know how to beat a half-way decent S&Ver? No, I am just kidding, I couldn't help but say it.:) But really, why?

Exactly, I don't mind admiting that a half-way decent Serve & Volleyer gives me fits. And if they're tall, that's even worse.

I can win points off a S&V, and sometimes I'll win ENOUGH to make them change to another tactic. But if they hang in there and S&V every point, I know I have to play my best tennis to get a chance at a win.

I guess I should play S&V's more often.

Bionic slice
07-26-2014, 09:46 PM
I played a guy yesterday and he lost 6-1 1st set and started moonballing, lobbing and I started to let his change in style hurt me. Then, I realize I didn't want to lose to this style which is like rallying with an super senior, the pace is slow, the style is in my opinion, boring, no pace, I decided to hit drop shots, go for lines and hit shorter angles but I could tell he wanted me to make mistakes. If I hit low slices, short balls , I kept him out of his comfort zone, don't like that style, his shots that make it hard for him to lob , junk or moonballing.
I admit, I get bored stylistically playing them..., I love having a war, chess match, going for some high risk winners, it's good practice to play them.