Beating a Dinker/pusher

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennisfreak15347, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    A dinker or pusher cannot hit a passing shot, and hits slow groundstrokes that almost resemble a lob. They focus on slow, consistent shots and never go for winners. I recently faced one of these, and I was extremely frustrated with the match. We only played one set, and it ended at 2-6 with me losing. I knew for a fact that I was an all around better player, yet I lost?!? Can anyone help me, so this does not happen again.

    *edit* he had no proper form whatsoever
     
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  2. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

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    haha man I know the feeling so well

    We had this kid in college who had horrilbe form but beat guys by pushing it deep and just out moving his opponents. I saw the guy climb the fence to hit shots sometimes (He was crazy).

    When I played him I simply changed up my shots a lot. Throw in slice, topspin lobs (Even though he was at the baseline). I found out he had no ability to take the ball on the rise effectively. The change in pace helped and then throwing in heavy deep lobs or groundies pushed him back and eventually gave me a short ball to rip through and take the net. Pushers have weaknesses. Be patient and find them but don't try to outhit your fellow tennis pushers.
     
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  3. Serve_Ace

    Serve_Ace Professional

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  4. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    serve and volley
     
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  5. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    okay great. I'm going to try this out 2moro against my match with a pusher. Ill post the results tomorrow.
     
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  6. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    if he beat you 7-5 or 6-4, you could be an all around better player than him on another day, but he beat you 6-2 (meaning he broke your serve more than once) so I don't know about that assessment.
     
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  7. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    EXACTLY!
    Helps a lot!
    I have been in a similar situation playing a pusher last three weeks -- lost twice, then tonight played S&V and beat him
     
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  8. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    see the STICKY at the top of the page for 600000 replies on this
     
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  9. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    players who still lose against pushers mainly suck or think they are better than them when in fact they're worse. Only someone who is learning to play the game has an excuse losing against these, otherwise they just suck
     
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  10. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    This is how I was, 2 years ago when I was 16 I said the same things "I'm better than pushers!" "I have better form and know more than they do about tennis!" "Why do they beat me If I'm better than them!?" But in the end the truth was that in fact I was worse than them because I would start to push too and hit with fear, and no pace, and since I missed everything I couldn't claim I was better. Some players are just ashamed that they think they're good and lose to pushers
     
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  11. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    You aren't the better player. Tennis is a game that bases it's winner who can place his/her shots better. With that said, the winner is decided by who hits the most winners, but most errors. So, since you made more errors, you lost 6-2. Which doesn't make you hte better player.

    You only think so because you hit hard, and it looks better.

    Just volley, and make them volley. You'll win easily. Then, you could say your the better player.
     
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  12. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Hehe exactly.
     
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  13. harr

    harr Rookie

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    Isn't that your answer? A good pusher would probably have very good lobs and quite good passing shots, but since you played one without these shots, it should've been easy to win by coming to the net.
     
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  14. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    okay everyone. I won against the pusher 5-3. (It was a challenge match with 1 set, first to four, win by two) Volleys worked very well in the first game, but the pusher got smart and lobbed it over, so i stayed at baseline. I found out that high topspin lobs worked very well even though they were at baseline. Also, I started pushing a bit myself, but worked them across the court. When I had an opening, I went for the forehand winner. :] wohoo.
     
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  15. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    He should not be able to control the service return that well if he's just the pusher at that level...
    THe guy I am playing with is nothing more than 4.0, so S&V works well for me as he can rarely return a lob on my 1st or 2nd serve. Sometimes he does it, sometimes he (not purposly) puts a nice passing shot by me, but I won most of my service games at 40:15 or love.
    However, he can return any (most) base line shot with no pace and very close to base line and in the corners -- drives me nuts!
     
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  16. harr

    harr Rookie

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    If he was repeatedly lobbing, I would have tried to keep volleying, but from a slightly deeper position. Anticipating the lob combined with a good position to reach them from would hopefully result in a few easy overhead winners, especially on lobs that lack depth.

    If he was lobbing off your volleys, you might want to try a few drop volleys, which if they aren't winners, should at least test his ability at net. A pusher of the type you've described probably won't hit a non-lob winner off a short ball, so it shouldn't be as risky a strategy as it would be against a more attacking opponent.
    Good idea. A pusher would have difficulty attacking the weaker ones and the stronger ones should force some attackable balls. Well done on getting from 2-6 to 5-3 so quickly.
     
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  17. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    You basically answered your own question.
    "Slow groundstrokes and no passing shots. "

    What this reads to me is I will have sitters that I can hit hard and deep to corners, approach off those shots and expect the lob.

    More important question is how is your game? Are you comfortable generating pace of no pace balls?
     
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  18. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    thanks harr. I forgot about short drop shot volleys. I might try that on monday when i face yet another pusher. I was stuck in no man's land for a long time during the set since the pusher's shots never reached too deep.
     
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  19. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    I am quite comfortable with the failed-attempt lobs that just sit up on the service line, which is a high percentage winner for me. As for ones that force me into no man's land, I'm not to well at. On these kinds of shots I hit the ball back at 3/4 speed so I know that it will stay in. After that, you can expect another lob to the baseline to push me back, so volleying isnt too much of an option.
     
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  20. (Blank)

    (Blank) Rookie

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    The great thing about playing a pusher is that as long as your shot stays in, you're still in the point. Just be patient and don't force anything. Sooner or later, you should get a sitter that you can take advantage of.
     
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  21. alcap26

    alcap26 Semi-Pro

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    If you were the better player then you would not have got your butt handed to you in a 2-6 loss.
     
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  22. Noaler

    Noaler Semi-Pro

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    ?never happened to me before. i just hit a bunch of winners and won 6-0, 6-0
     
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  23. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    aside from my 2-6 loss, the article about pushers helped alot. Turned a 2-6 loss into a 5-3 win.
     
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  24. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    actually, you didn't lose to him and he didn't lose to you because you guys played only one set.

    you have to challenge him to play a best of 3 sets match. whoever wins will be the true winner.
     
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  25. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You have to blast that ball into the court. Pushers can not handle pace well.
     
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  26. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Players who can do that would have no problems with pushers. Guy who are pushers beat people like me - people who don't have the skills to really punish pushers for their lack of pace.
     
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  27. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I understand. I matched up 2 of my friends once. One was a power player and the other was a classic pusher. The final score was 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the power player. The pusher friend was very good at getting back slow to medium pace, but when he faced 90 mph forehands, he couldn't handle them.
     
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  28. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Not true in all cases. There is a guy on this board who is a self confessed pusher who had some pretty good success against a couple of big hitters last summer using foot speed and blocking back balls with a Wilson N1 granny stick.
     
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  29. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Try pushing against Federer and see what happens.
     
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  30. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Of course. I'm talking about intermediate level players who practice bashing the hell out of the ball who end up making errors when 3 or 4 of them come right back. (This was me in the past, and sometimes still is) Any player who is truly a 4.5 or above should have no problem when facing pushers, as we've pretty much all agreed that no real "pusher" can get past 4.0 level. If you lose to a pusher..you aren't better than him. You may have more POTENTIAL than him because he's resigned to just looping the ball back. But if that style of play is beating you..you aren't better than him.

    I've had much more success against pushers myself hitting EVEN SLOWER to them, because they need something to block back.
     
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  31. Noaler

    Noaler Semi-Pro

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    Lololol, it just depends on the players speed. I played someone who acted like a pusher. He hits a humongous first serve and then just taps the ball in for his second serve. And since he's so fast, he just runs to the ball and barely slices the ball and hits near the base line. BUT, I just dropshot and volleyed.
     
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  32. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Almost all cases...at least all the ones I have ever seen.

    I am calling foul on this whole pusher thing. I am telling you EVERY case I have ever seen is not really a pusher vs. hitter thing.

    It's ALWAYS dude who pushes beats guy who hits some shots a LITTLE bit better then a pusher but can't do enough with easy pusher balls in general. Basically the whole "pusher" thing is a question of EGO. The "victim" of the pusher always overstimates his talent level..


    I give you my proof - exhibit A:

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

    Show me some example of a guy in this video beating a guy with legitimately good strokes who can really hit the ball... I don't think you will find one.

    Pete
     
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  33. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Can't watch it at work, but I will at home.
     
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  34. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    Totally. I don't come across a lot of pushers, but when I do, I tuck my flat serve away and hit high bouncing kickers with focus on tons of spin not pace.
    I love watching them fumble the returns.
     
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  35. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Absolutely true. This is the reality of things, players who can't beat pushers are simply and flat-out worst players than them, who think that they're better than them because maybe they hit with some style and good form, and cannot accept that a terrible shot maker beat them. End of story.
     
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  36. nCode747

    nCode747 Semi-Pro

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    theres like a million of these
     
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  37. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    yes, there may be, but we need alot of these to constantly remind us how to beat pushers, and eliminate this lesser breed from our society called tennis. :]
     
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  38. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    If your serve is up to it, 1st serves to the body and wide (mix it up). You should be able to effectively attack the short return a fair number of times and be in a good position to nail your opponent at the net. I hate getting sucked into playing the pusher's game.
     
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  39. Serve_Ace

    Serve_Ace Professional

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    Yet we all still respond to the thread, just to raise our post count =]
     
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  40. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    I liked the video. Those guys are a pain in the *** to beat. Did you see how relaxed he was compared to the loser of the point? That is how I try to stay as I play those guys. I walk after the ball and keep creeping in slowly taking half-volleys, hitting short, etc. until they get out of position from running too much. I love to get into volley matches w/ these guys because they are out of sorts at the net.

    I find that they are also best when they move to hit the ball. I try to hit there serves back at their feet as I creep in. These guys don't hit it as well for placement when it is right at them. They get more defensive rather than offensive with their control.

    I played one last night. He was up 2-1 and serving when I quit getting frustrated and started walking more calmly to the slow balls and made him come to the net. It didn't help that I was double faulting either. I ended up winning 6-2 but I believe those 2 games were a moral victory for this guy. He shouldn't have won a point.
     
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  41. Noaler

    Noaler Semi-Pro

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    Anger is also a key factor. Whenever I'm angry, I over hit shots way to much and lose quite easily.
     
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  42. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    you make it sound easy. haha.:)
     
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  43. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    it's not that easy. They constantly throw a lob in just so I can't move to the net.
     
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  44. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    umm, that's even better. Serve and overhead.
     
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  45. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Try some (or all) of these things:

    This is based on the pusher thread, How to Play the Pusher article and personal experience... after losing to many pushers/dinkers.

    1. Regardless of what happens or how you're feeling... show no emotion. Most people self-destruct against pushers/dinkers due to frustration.

    2. Don't start dinking the ball back to them. Play your game but take some juice off the ball... otherwise you'll overhit long/wide.

    3. Serve and volley... but look for the lob. I like to serve and volley... then when they are about to strike the ball... I've reached the service line and have set my body (not still moving forward). Try to identify a lob early so you can start moving backward.

    4. Move them corner to corner.

    5. Move them forward and backward (this works great).

    6. Change up your shots with topspin and slice. If you lob it to them, expect a lob back... unless you lob it to their comfort zone. Then you can expect a flat winnner from them. If you must... lob it high (but safely in the court) over their backhand side. Dinkers are horrible when hitting high backhand overheads.

    7. Whatever you do, keep it away from their comfort zone. They become amazingly adept at hitting flat winners when the ball is in their strike zone. Also, if you mishit a lob short to their forehand... be prepared for them to hit an overhead winner (show no emotion when the winner is hit).

    8. Again, DON'T SHOW YOUR FRUSTRATION! They thrive on your negative emotions.

    I enjoy playing pushers/dinkers, now... as it allows me to practice shots that require thinking and finesse, as opposed to primarily pace.
     
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  46. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I just alternate heavy topspin crosscourt with slice dropshots. Against no pace, I can dropshot even from behind the baseline.
     
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  47. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    i also say: serve and volley. there is a guy i play that is horrible. but he can run, and he gets everything back. i'm kind of a machine baseliner, so it takes alot of strokes for me to get the point. i'm much better than him, and i always win. but not from winners, normally. so i thought: if i could serve and volley....

    so i practiced the S&V. man...it was AMAZING. i served and volleyed this guy into a 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 match in about...an hour! points that took 8 or 12 shots, now just took 2 or 3! a pusher can't hit a reliable passing shot, lob, or accurate service return. if you don't screw up the first volley, the point is more often going to be yours even if your volleys suck! soon he'll be trying too much on the returns and start missing most of them anyway. S&V at the 3.5 - 4.0 level is like bringing a gun to a fist fight. try it.
     
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  48. harr

    harr Rookie

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    No one handles pace well if it's more than they are used to, but you don't go and hit all your shots as hard as you can because of this. Powerful and deep shots are actually quite easy for a pusher to return because they can just run back and forth along the baseline. (If they're really powerful than it isn't easy for the pusher, but if you could hit really powerful shots with any consistency, you wouldn't be wondering how to beat a pusher in the first place.) They will produce a short ball eventually, but if you're trying to hit beyond your limit, the chances are that you'll make the error first. When playing an opponent who can't harm you, why harm yourself? By hitting within your limits, you can patiently construct each point and force an error before you make one yourself. I'd try an aggressive but controlled game with the aim of coming to the net rather than an aggressive uncontrolled game where you hit the ball into the net.
     
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