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View Full Version : Pusher but not a Pusher?


BaboFan
10-12-2011, 06:40 PM
I was watching 2 players at a tournament and one basically pushed every ball (slicing everything, junkballing). But then out of nowhere he hits a extremely powerful drive that surprises the other player and then he goes back to the retrieval game. He has a huge serve, groundstrokes when he wants but he resorts to pushing. Pusher or not?

Also I've seen a player to who is not pushing but he basically retrieves every shot. His shots aren't weak but they're not strong either. I think he hits 60-70% every ball no matter what but breaks more often than holds. Small skinny kid though. Pusher or not?

thug the bunny
10-12-2011, 06:53 PM
One of my playing buddies is that guy (the first). He is really a pusher/counter-puncher. He will push for an entire game, even against my mediocre shots, and then all of a sudden, a zipped CC forehand on the line. Sometimes he will play hard rallies with me for 2 or 3 games, and then, back to pushing. He has actually just started hitting with autority in the last few months, so I think he is still reluctant to leave the comfort of the push.

autumn_leaf
10-12-2011, 07:03 PM
I saw a guy like the first during a college match. This guy even pushed his smashes, it was bizarre because we all saw him pummel passing shots, but he just seems to push to infuriate his opponents.

I would consider them a pusher, because to me it's a style of play a person implements, even if they are capable of harder hitting shots.

asked_answered
10-12-2011, 07:15 PM
The first guy is exactly the type of opponent I faced on Monday. Push, push, push, and then, if I kept the ball in play long enough, WHAM! So, I think he's a pusher who can counter-punch, whenever he likes. The second guy sounds more like a developing counter-puncher.

Tennis_Monk
10-12-2011, 07:15 PM
I was watching 2 players at a tournament and one basically pushed every ball (slicing everything, junkballing). But then out of nowhere he hits a extremely powerful drive that surprises the other player and then he goes back to the retrieval game. He has a huge serve, groundstrokes when he wants but he resorts to pushing. Pusher or not?

Also I've seen a player to who is not pushing but he basically retrieves every shot. His shots aren't weak but they're not strong either. I think he hits 60-70% every ball no matter what but breaks more often than holds. Small skinny kid though. Pusher or not?

If a guy pushes majority of the time, he is a pusher in my book and his occassional powerful drives will not change my definition.

The second guy is more a counter puncher and isnt a pusher (again per my definition)

That said, it hardly matters what we call their playing style. Once on court, it is all about winning the last point. if a guy (even Roger/Djoker/etc) makes a weak push, it needs to be punished. Conversely if a Pusher plays a great shot then you may have to defend.

Xizel
10-12-2011, 07:21 PM
The #2 seed in my team plays exactly like that. Forget if he's a pusher or not, but it's an effective play style. Pushing is very energy efficient (especially if the other guy condemns it and tries to hit typical modern topspin rally shots) and for experienced players, it's very consistent and doesn't expose weaknesses when placed well. Once you give him a moderately deep and bouncing ball, he'll winner it DTL from the baseline. It's scary stuff.

BaboFan
10-12-2011, 07:22 PM
That's exactly the type of opponent I faced on Monday. Push, push, push, and then, if I kept the ball in play long enough, WHAM!

Was it you that lost? jk LOLS :)
I didn't know what to make of the player because he could have blown the other player off the court but he didn't. I'd say waste of energy.

asked_answered
10-12-2011, 07:26 PM
Was it you that lost? jk LOLS

Yeah. He destroyed me. *grin* I think there may be feline blood flowing in his veins. His 3.5 opponents are mice to toy with. (Except one guy who blew him away last fall but moved up to 4.0 at year-end and some strong 3.5s who gave him decent matches, unlike me.)

bhallic24
10-12-2011, 08:10 PM
I was watching 2 players at a tournament and one basically pushed every ball (slicing everything, junkballing). But then out of nowhere he hits a extremely powerful drive that surprises the other player and then he goes back to the retrieval game. He has a huge serve, groundstrokes when he wants but he resorts to pushing. Pusher or not?

Also I've seen a player to who is not pushing but he basically retrieves every shot. His shots aren't weak but they're not strong either. I think he hits 60-70% every ball no matter what but breaks more often than holds. Small skinny kid though. Pusher or not?

man second guys playing style sounds like mine. if only i could hold serve more often i'd be money.

1st guy is a pa-pa-pa-pa-pusher. if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, acts like a duck, it is a duck.

UCSF2012
10-12-2011, 08:33 PM
There is a difference between playing defense and pushing. You play defense until you find your opening to attack.

When you push, you just get it back in. When you play defense, you get it back while preventing your opponent from making better attacks.

Spin Doctor
10-12-2011, 10:02 PM
To me, a slicer and junkballer is not a pusher. He's a "junkballer". By my definition, a pusher is someone who just floats the ball back into play without pace or spin and just tries to "get it back" without doing proper strokes.

Hitting the ball at 60-70% of maximum effort is probably just smart play. Really you shouldn't go all out on most shots.

Mick
10-12-2011, 10:35 PM
I am not sure why some tennis players dislike pushers so much. they play their games and you play your game and the better player will win. if their games frustrate you, that's your problem not theirs and if you are better than them, you would frustrate them too.

BaboFan
10-12-2011, 10:54 PM
I don't dislike them I think that they're smart. The second won the tournament while 1 got to semis

Larrysümmers
10-12-2011, 11:07 PM
my friend plays like that due to an arm injury. he can hack the ball bAck and it doesnt hurt his arm, but bigger shots do;so, unless hes almost positive the shot will be a winner, he will not go for it. take advantage of hitting partners like him.

user92626
10-13-2011, 12:16 AM
Does youtube have an example of such pushers? If not clarified, I'm afraid you're all talking about different things or pushers simply those who beat you guys!!!! Give some youtube examples.:)

Bacterio
10-13-2011, 02:15 AM
I've always tried to keep the definition of "pusher" at its purest sense, which would be someone that just makes contact because they lack the skill set to do anything else. And yes, these people can beat players as high as low end 4.0s.

However, once someone has the skill set to hit topspin, pace, depth, direction, any one of those things but they choose to give no pace and only hit a forcing shot when they can win the point, then they're no longer pushers. Counterpuncher, junkballer, slicer, cheesefeeder, what have you, but not a pusher.

BaboFan
10-13-2011, 08:03 AM
Does youtube have an example of such pushers? If not clarified, I'm afraid you're all talking about different things or pushers simply those who beat you guys!!!! Give some youtube examples.:)

1 I cant find on YouTube but I've seen 2

TTMR
10-13-2011, 08:34 AM
If a player has a "huge serve" and "huge groundstrokes" "when he wants", then he is not a pusher. A recreational pusher pushes all the time because he can't do anything else with confidence. The guy you are describing is a counter puncher and a tactician who refuses to play your game.

It seems that according to TW logic, anyone who does not hit as hard as possible on every single point is a 'pusher'. Which would mean well over the majority of people who play club tennis in the world are pushers, and a significant number of pros.

Let's be honest, we call anyone a 'pusher' if they beat us without blowing us off the court.

BMC9670
10-13-2011, 09:25 AM
He's just patient, not a pusher. Nothing wrong with hitting a much higher ratio of rally balls to winners. Consistency gives you two opportunities - the chance your opponent is inconsistent and will hit many UE's, or the opportunity to hit a clean winner when the time is right.

sphinx780
10-13-2011, 10:37 AM
If a player has a "huge serve" and "huge groundstrokes" "when he wants", then he is not a pusher. A recreational pusher pushes all the time because he can't do anything else with confidence. The guy you are describing is a counter puncher and a tactician who refuses to play your game.



Quoted for truth.

Without seeing the player, my guess is he sticks to this style as long as it's working for the match-up he's given. When it comes down to it, he has the arsenal for a firefight and will employ when necessary. That's just effective strategy for both a single match and for the tournament as a whole to reduce the wear and tear on the body and keep fresh for later matches.

jk816
10-14-2011, 07:52 AM
Quoted for truth.

Without seeing the player, my guess is he sticks to this style as long as it's working for the match-up he's given. When it comes down to it, he has the arsenal for a firefight and will employ when necessary. That's just effective strategy for both a single match and for the tournament as a whole to reduce the wear and tear on the body and keep fresh for later matches.

I agree, if someone has all the shots and is choosing to use what he feels is most effective against a particular opponent, that's just smart tennis. A pusher will usually have a much more limited shot selection.

I'd bet that this player you describe, if the "pushing/ patient" style you describe was not working, he'd use his more agressive strokes more often. It would be interesting to just rally with the guy, when "winning" is not the goal, to see what he can really do.

olliess
10-14-2011, 08:53 AM
The argument about what makes a "pusher" never dies. :grin:

Why can't a person be a hotshot winner machine one day and a pusher the next? Nadal can hit 100 mph winners corner-to-corner when he's being aggressive, but he also plays (and wins) lots of matches where all he seems to do is retrieve and hit high, safe shots up the middle. Looks like pushing to me. It's all about what you bring to the court that day.

sportsfan1
10-14-2011, 09:10 AM
I was watching 2 players at a tournament and one basically pushed every ball (slicing everything, junkballing). But then out of nowhere he hits a extremely powerful drive that surprises the other player and then he goes back to the retrieval game. He has a huge serve, groundstrokes when he wants but he resorts to pushing. Pusher or not?


Let me take a guess, you were playing Andy Murray? :)