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precision2b
06-19-2009, 06:58 AM
I played a guy that we call the human back board… He gets to every ball you hit and just blocks it back or chips with a lot of back spin. He doesn’t hit with a lot of pace but he is very good at getting to the ball and putting it back in play. He is no bigger then a minute and quick as a cat. Plus I out weigh him about 50lbs. We started the match after it had rained (Had to dry the court) and at game time it was 87 degrees with high humidity. We went at it for 3.5 hrs. The first set I lost 6-3 he would take my power and chip/block/lob and had me running all over the court. He is very good at his game. In addition to the chip/blocking he can volley and lob very well. Most of his lobs would land just inside the baseline. In the 2nd set I started to change up my shots hit slice then a topspin moon ball, hit flat, then hit with heavy topspin. I did win the 2nd set 7 – 5 but I started to run out of gas!!! And I lost the 3rd set 6-4. After being up 3 games to love. It took 3.5 hrs to finish the match. Other then taking a gun with me the next time we play. Can any of you recommend any tactics for this type of player? Thanks :oops:

DownTheLine
06-19-2009, 07:05 AM
You have to paint the lines make him run, then go up to the net.

saeta119
06-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I've played against human backboards before and here's what I can tell you.

The riskier plan and the one that you can try and do right now, is keep the points short, what that means is that you need to take more risks and try to hit more winners (by passing shots or volleys) good luck.

The one method I use is basically accept the fact that they are going to run all day long and return every ball. So what I did was improve on my serve, you cannot lose your serve! improve it by hitting harder or with more spin, get some free points off that.
Second, use a lot of topspin, the guy likes to do slices, it's really easy to do slices on a low ball, but on a ball that bounces so high, not so easy.

One thing I do can tell you, do not spend all your energy hitting every shot so hard, this guy feeds off your shots, the harder they come he will manage. Somehow make him go to one corner and then hit hard to the other side, but a plan of hitting hard every ball, he will win.

GPG
06-19-2009, 07:18 AM
You have to paint the lines make him run, then go up to the net.

QFT. Also, try to make him run from side to side and then hit a ball close to his body (but not at him) and he'll be standing on the court becasue he was with the idea of running to one side to an other

mikeler
06-19-2009, 07:23 AM
Yep, you have to beat these players by shortening the points and coming to net. Since it sounds like he has a good lob, try a couple of short approach shots or even a drop shot to expedite the point.

precision2b
06-19-2009, 08:29 AM
QFT. Also, try to make him run from side to side and then hit a ball close to his body (but not at him) and he'll be standing on the court becasue he was with the idea of running to one side to an other

I did run him corner to corner with some success. He moves so well it is hard to hit behind him and I did have success at net but he did a lot of damage with that darn lob! I would run them down and it was like starting the point all over. And I could feel it draining me. He did have trouble when I kicked my serve in to his body. So I may try hitting more ground strokes at his body and feet. By the way he called me earlier and we are playing tonight. My head hurts!

jgn1013
06-19-2009, 08:53 AM
you basically won that match, next time be in better condition.

kimbahpnam
06-19-2009, 08:54 AM
don't let him use your pace against you...try taking it off a bit and go for better placement

sboo
06-19-2009, 08:55 AM
Really take care of your serve. Try to get a high % of first serves in and be aggressive from there. If you can comfortably hold at least the pressure will be on him to make something happen.

coloskier
06-19-2009, 08:59 AM
Guys like that LOVE pace. Give him some of his own medicine. The only reason he wins is from your unforced errors. I hate those kind of players, too. The one shot that they hate is a heavy, high bouncing topspin shot to their backhand. You cannot hit a slice backhand with any penetration when the ball is above the shoulders. When you hit the shot, wait until he is about to swing, then rush the net like a madman. He has to hit a defensive shot that is usually a floater that you should be able to put away easily. The reason you wait is so that he will not lob if he sees you coming.

vagabondma
06-19-2009, 09:19 AM
We have a guy like that who plays a lot of open tournaments. He usually can make it to the semis, or sometimes even the finals, because everything comes back and the opponent gets worn down. But the players that beat are the serve and follow players. They have a big serve which forces the "backboard" to hit a weak return, which makes for an easy put away at the net. Same thing on the "backboard's" serve. Hit a deep return with lots of pace and force the server to scramble for a shot, then put it away at the net.

Danstevens
06-19-2009, 09:25 AM
Serve volley on him. He's probably not gonna hit hard, just bump it back in to play so go for all out attack. You'll find it's actually more economical to go to the net and kill points off early as you won't have to play the vast amount of shots he'll make you play if you stay on the baseline. Look for angles and maybe play a drop or two to bring him in to the net. Chances are, he won't know what to do and you'll just be able to put away a passing shot.

As said above, look for a good first serve percentage but you shouldn't have any trouble S&Ving on your second serve as he won't punish it, just bump it back. Pin him so far off the court that he's got no chance of hitting an even half decent lob. If you're gonna stay back, hit with topspin and lots of angle or keeping it deep. Serve-volleying is definitely the way to go though.

Good luck and beat that pusher!

precision2b
06-19-2009, 09:39 AM
[QUOTE=jgn1013;3576810]you basically won that match, next time be in better condition.[/QUOTE

Am in pretty good shape but this guy is not much bigger then a fart! 3.5 hrs of high impact tennis and carrying 50lbs more can make a deference. Am not over weight he is just smaller then I am. We play again tonight and it will still be in the high 80’s but less humidity. See how it goes

precision2b
06-19-2009, 10:35 AM
Serve volley on him. He's probably not gonna hit hard, just bump it back in to play so go for all out attack. You'll find it's actually more economical to go to the net and kill points off early as you won't have to play the vast amount of shots he'll make you play if you stay on the baseline. Look for angles and maybe play a drop or two to bring him in to the net. Chances are, he won't know what to do and you'll just be able to put away a passing shot.

As said above, look for a good first serve percentage but you shouldn't have any trouble S&Ving on your second serve as he won't punish it, just bump it back. Pin him so far off the court that he's got no chance of hitting an even half decent lob. If you're gonna stay back, hit with topspin and lots of angle or keeping it deep. Serve-volleying is definitely the way to go though.

Good luck and beat that pusher!

Your write he does bump back a lot but he can hit very good lice shots. But he was hitting lobs (good ones) from all over the court. At first I was thinking LUCK! But he did it over and over. It’s not a heavy top spin lob, he hits it just over your head out of reach and lands 6 to 12 in. from the baseline. I ran them down all-night, but it was very draining. I like what you said “Beat that pusher!” that will be my battle cry for tonight!!!

coloskier
06-19-2009, 11:13 AM
Your write he does bump back a lot but he can hit very good lice shots. But he was hitting lobs (good ones) from all over the court. At first I was thinking LUCK! But he did it over and over. It’s not a heavy top spin lob, he hits it just over your head out of reach and lands 6 to 12 in. from the baseline. I ran them down all-night, but it was very draining. I like what you said “Beat that pusher!” that will be my battle cry for tonight!!!

Don't give him a chance to lob. Wait until he is about to bunt the ball back, THEN come in and put it away. OR, approach the net, but only come in as far as the service line. Force him to try a passing shot.

VivalaVida
06-19-2009, 11:20 AM
I hate playing players like those. What I like to do is hit approach shots and finish points at the net. I know it is easier said then done but thats the only thing that works for me.

precision2b
06-19-2009, 11:23 AM
Don't give him a chance to lob. Wait until he is about to bunt the ball back, THEN come in and put it away. OR, approach the net, but only come in as far as the service line. Force him to try a passing shot.

That is going to be part of the battle for tonight… :wink:

harleywilson
06-19-2009, 11:24 AM
I must disagree with most people. Take away his strength, speed. Don't give him a ton of pace, hit medium paced ball with topsin directly at him. Follow it up with drop shots. I think you want to bring him into the net and force him to hit winners. Being impatient and attacking is exactly what he wants you to do, he knows you will make mistakes. Get him into the middle of the net and pass him on the backhand side. Drink plenty of water and resign yourself to a long night. Good luck!

Mick
06-19-2009, 11:25 AM
you have three choices: out grind him, go for more winners, or doing both.

if it were me, i would go for the 3rd choice, doing both :)

good luck

GPG
06-19-2009, 01:19 PM
I did run him corner to corner with some success. He moves so well it is hard to hit behind him and I did have success at net but he did a lot of damage with that darn lob! I would run them down and it was like starting the point all over. And I could feel it draining me. He did have trouble when I kicked my serve in to his body. So I may try hitting more ground strokes at his body and feet. By the way he called me earlier and we are playing tonight. My head hurts!

if he relays so badly to lobs, try to use my strategy to avoid them:

When I hit the ball close to the net, I run a few steps back to the service line so my oponent won't hit lobs ofently and then I ran back to the net to volley again. If he does hit a lob anyway, you'll be able to hit it on time.

I know it requires some stamina, but it'll be less demanding and more succesful than running from the net to the baseline to probably hit a forced error (which will be energy wasted for nothing and more frustation)

GeoffB
06-19-2009, 02:20 PM
I generally try to make this type of player run a lot, and make sure he feels more pressure each point than I do. It's frustrating to deal with a slow-paced, gutless ball, but he has handed you an advantage as well: you will be able to get to each of his shots more easily than he'll be able to get to yours.

I remember reading Andre Agassi's thoughts on playing Michael Change (from Brad Gilbert's "winning ugly"). He said while Chang had an unreal ability to chase down balls, even the fittest retriever can't do it forever. So Agassi would run him down. Agassi figured he could hit move the ball around the court longer than Chang could run around the court. Agassi said he actually started to hope Chang *would* make it to the shot, because it just gave him the opportunity to tire Chang out even more...

I take this approach to this kind of opponent. If he hits slow, gutless balls, I'll have to be careful, but I make sure he runs, runs, and then runs some more. He may be fitter than I am, but he also has to run farther and faster every point than I do. Eventually, he'll crumble... or not - but that's the battle I'll choose.

split-step
06-19-2009, 02:24 PM
The more advanced your game is, the more options you have to beat this guy.
I LOVE playing guys like this because, even though they can run it's not like on the run, he can hit a forehand down the line winner.
He is going to hit it back to the center of the court.

For players that like to 'create' on court, this player is great to play.
Their shots are like unmolded clay and you can do whatever you want with them.

One tactic I use is angles. I take some pace off my shots and move them left to right each shot a more acute angle than the previous one.
All the while I am gaining court and moving forward. Evenutally I approach and hit a deep volley winner.

Jim A
06-19-2009, 06:29 PM
I used the tactic of hitting slightly behind a similar opponent this week and with some pace with possible.

It would give me some short balls that allowed for an easy putaway

I also found 1-2 shots that didn't fit with him (slice down the line on the bh/deep topspin on the forehand)

precision2b
06-19-2009, 07:26 PM
I BEAT THE PUSHER!!!! We had another war, but I came out on top!!!! I used every thing in my arsenal. I ran his butt off!!! I used some of his tactics on him and I kept him off balance. The thing that worked the best was I took his shots early. That really did the trick. My fh was working a lot better, and I was hitting angle shots better. The key was taking the ball early and I didn’t run out of gas, he did!!! Thanks to everyone that replied to this post. Lest keep this post going so we can all get better ideas on how to beat the PUSHER!!! Thanks guys...:razz:

Ronaldo
06-19-2009, 07:37 PM
Don't this blow a hole in your overall rating? That a guy with a hand full of nothing can rock your world

Blake0
06-20-2009, 08:16 PM
I recommend these strategies

Drop-and-lob :) My favorite.
Hit angles
Hit on the rise
Move him corner to corner
Go to net
out grind (good luck with that)
Vary pace and spins
Hit short slices to bring him up to net and either lob/pass
Attack his weaker side..if he has one?
Outpace him (good luck with that too)
Sneak up to net. (Hit an offensive shot, and sneak up to net when you sense a defensive/less paced/floater coming).
Don't have much else, but some of these should work.

OTMPut
06-20-2009, 08:37 PM
There is one of such guys in the club league i play. All he does is to just deflect the ball. No f/h or b/h. Slices both sides and runs well. I have played two matches so far with completely different tactics. The first i played very aggressively - big serves, lots of net play and hit with lots of pace. I lost because i ended up committing quite a lot of UEs.

In the second one, and the most recent one, i took my revenge. I hit loopy topspin shots with very little pace and sliced a lot. I mixed it up with short slices and loopy shots - he had to run forward and back a few times in the rallies. I practiced my slice serves for both the first and the second. I won the match comfortably. He was visibly upset.

Danstevens
06-21-2009, 11:33 AM
Fantastic! It's great that you were able to beat the "human backboard".

If anyone wants to beat a pusher, there's some great advice being thrown around in this thread. I stand by what I said - try to keep the points short if you know you can't outlast him. Otherwise, make the pusher play a load of extra balls and run them in to the ground. The keep points short with S&Ving is certainly the most efficient way but if you need them, there are definitely a whole host of other options.

precision2b
06-22-2009, 07:45 AM
Don't this blow a hole in your overall rating? That a guy with a hand full of nothing can rock your world

I like that Ronaldo and true.



Now to be fair to the "human backboard" that I played, he has good shots. Just not a lot of pace. He had good passing shots, volleys well, excellent lob and tons of speed. In our first came I tried to out power him, but he was very good at putting his racquet on my shots and lobbing jusy over my head or just over the net. I turned the 1st match in the 2nd set but run out of gas in the 3rd and lost a 3-0 lead. The 2nd match I started to step into the court and take his shots on the raise and that seemed to open up my angle shots and net game. When I came to net I would just come in to the service line and that helped with the lobs. As he wore down I had several easy over heads and that seemed to let the air out of his sails… :grin:

eagle
06-22-2009, 08:59 AM
precision2b, good to hear you were able to beat the backboard.

Regarding running the life out of the pusher ... I know of someone who does this. He concedes a number of points and perhaps a game or two to the backboard during the first couple of sets. He runs him all over the place, hits drop shots, etc. He literally gets this guy running all over the place. By the 3rd set, the guy is literally out of gas. :)

Although not enjoyable, I play against pushers on a regular basis recognizing that I need to in order to improve my own game. They do test your patience. I normally win by employing a number of what has been mentioned here. No simple formula that's for sure. :)

r,
eagle

precision2b
06-22-2009, 11:54 AM
precision2b, good to hear you were able to beat the backboard.

Regarding running the life out of the pusher ... I know of someone who does this. He concedes a number of points and perhaps a game or two to the backboard during the first couple of sets. He runs him all over the place, hits drop shots, etc. He literally gets this guy running all over the place. By the 3rd set, the guy is literally out of gas. :)

Although not enjoyable, I play against pushers on a regular basis recognizing that I need to in order to improve my own game. They do test your patience. I normally win by employing a number of what has been mentioned here. No simple formula that's for sure. :)

r,
eagle
Thats a good idea!

max
06-22-2009, 12:55 PM
I absolutely LOVE players like this because they force you to be more competitive, to analyze your game, to figure out the puzzle.

You've got great advice here. I especially like the advice to work on mental toughness---just be willing to be out there on the court for hours and hours and hours. This counts for a lot!