Define 'pusher'

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Danny_G13, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Rookie

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    I hear this term a lot related to Murray, and it seems anything but complimentary.

    I think I grasp what it means but I would appreciate a formal explanation from one of you good folk.
     
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  2. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    To me, it means their first goal is to wait for the other player to make a mistake. Wear them down, basically.
     
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  3. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    A pusher is someone who does not generate a lot of pace when they hit the ball, and wins off of other people's unforced errors. Generally a pusher has very limited offensive weapons but is very fast and forces their opponents to earn each point by getting to multiple shots that might be winners against other people.

    Here, pusher seems to be an adjective to describe a player that one hates who's name is not Roger Federer, or does not hit tree winners all the time.
     
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  4. Hawkeye7

    Hawkeye7 Professional

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    #4
  5. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    A pusher is any tennis player who is not a ballbasher.
     
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  6. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Someone whose only aim is to push the ball back in, not go for winners.
     
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  7. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Naw that's a Grinder......
     
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  8. librarysteg

    librarysteg Hall of Fame

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    So what is the difference between a pusher and a grinder?
     
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  9. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    A Pusher is a person who gets the ball back in play with no added pace and no real direction.

    A Counterpuncher is a person who takes the pace of an oncoming ball and redirects it wherever.

    A Grinder is someone who has attributes of both a pusher and a counterpuncher, basically they like to keep themselves in the point until their opponent makes a mistake.

    Those are my definitions.
     
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  10. SharkysMV1

    SharkysMV1 New User

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    I have always thought of an example of a pusher as being someone who utilizes drop shots and lobs ad nauseum
     
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  11. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    There are no real pushers on the tour......guys like Simon and Tomic are close but both can and do hit a big winner when needed. Back in the day they would have been called crocodiles or grinders in ref to the way Lacoste played.

    Murray is no pusher....and on these boards you have folks who claim that Rafa is a pusher. Pushers use no pace and really just try to push the ball back in play - all off speed and lots of movement.
     
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  12. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Murray is a bit of a junk baller and not a pusher but since working with Lendl he's ripping more offensive forehands. Generally junk ballers get more respect than pushers because they can hit a variety of shots.
     
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  13. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Nice.......grinders are like bulldogs - they can tough it out and do have "bite".
     
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  14. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I'm not a Murray fan but I wouldn't say he's a junkballer......the dude strikes the ball very very well and hits with pace.......he does seem to try and not hit two consecutive shots the same and keep his opponents off kilter. But he does hit a pretty heavy ball.
     
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  15. JohnnyCracker

    JohnnyCracker Semi-Pro

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    [​IMG]

    and according to Wikipedia

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    He said it himself in some interview and seemed proud of it. Don't get me wrong, he's building points out there not just junking for junking's sake but it's part of his game for sure.

    Sometimes he builds points like Hingis used to (M. Navr pointed this out) but his strokes don't have the same beauty to them.

    He does do a pusher trick though. On shots where he's taken way to the side of the court he whacks his racquet on the ground making a sound hindrance as the opponent is about to hit the ball.

     
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  17. Hawkeye7

    Hawkeye7 Professional

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    It's called variety.
     
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  18. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Exactly. As I said in my first post.

     
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  19. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    List players in order on number of winners hit most to least. On the bottom of the list will reside your pushers, your grinders, your counter punchers, your defense first types. Never understood why it used derogatorily to put down a player. Whatever works ...
     
    #19
  20. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    Really interesting discussion here. Agree with all of you but then I don't think this is the crux of the matter that the OP is getting at.

    If I'm right, the OP is really asking why is Murray's game style not liked more (or defined in negative terms), however you define it.

    I think we need to separate two things here -

    1. A player's game style as a valid, effective way of playing the sport and winning matches

    2. Game style as appreciated by the viewer, regardless of effectiveness or validity.

    IMO, a comparison to two other sports might make this difference clear.

    For the Brits, take Cricket for example. I see the difference between Federer and Murray (on style of play points only) as the difference between a flamboyant opening batsman and a middle-order batsman known for consistency. Both are necessary in a good cricket team. A middle order batsman may not always take the most aggressive cut because it's in their mentality to score runs without too many risks. Both are valid, effective ways of scoring runs and winning matches and in fact a team needs both (Fed needs to defend too/Murray hits winners as wel). But most viewers will prefer watching a good opener simply because it's a more exciting, visually appealing way of batting. Indians will appreciate this difference most if they consider Tendulkar vs Dravid.

    For those stateside like me, take the NFL. Some teams run the ball to death and others with good quarterbacks and receivers like to pass. Running the ball is a valid, effective and even necessary part of playing the sport offensively, but if folks are honest, it's not the most appealing form of earning a W. I'd rather see an awesome pass and catch than 20 rushes slowly inching up the field.

    This is what is at the bottom of the name calling both ways. I'm not saying there aren't fans of a more defensive style, but a clear majority likes more offensive play as viewers.

    Anyone agree with me?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
    #20
  21. Djokodal Fan

    Djokodal Fan Professional

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    Any one apart from Roger in top 4 is considered pusher.

    there you go.....
     
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  22. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Why is there always an undercurrent that being a pusher is a bad thing..??
     
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  23. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    Federer
    federer=pusher
     
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  24. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    #24
  25. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    ****s definition of pusher:

    "Player who transforms Federer in ********".
     
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  26. BHud

    BHud Professional

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    Ughh...that video is heinous to watch...
     
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  27. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I agree. While I don't think any true "Pusher" exists in the top 50 or even 100, most counter punching styles are reviled on here.

    To me, there is no difference between a player determined to keep the ball in play at all costs (Simon) and a player who will smash at the first relatively attackable ball (Tsonga).

    Both can put on spectacular displays (one with foot speed and redirection; the other with power and placement) and horror shows (one with mind numbingly long rallies and retreats from net; the other with heaps of unforced errors and terrible shot selection).

    Again, I don't think pushers exist on tour. A pusher has no weapon. Simon is an excellent counter puncher who can flatten out and crush ground strokes from either side, on the run or in place. And if Simon is not a pusher, no one is.
     
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  28. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    The author Martin Amis called it craven retrieval. Basically you try to get the ball back and play shots that have a very high percentage of not going out while still keeping some pressure on your opponent.

    The current number 5 (4?) in the world David Ferrer is pretty much the pinnacle of what a pro pusher's game can look like. Check out his match against Nishikori or Almagro during this Australian Open for an example of how it can put extreme pressure on your opponent.
     
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  29. Danny_G13

    Danny_G13 Rookie

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    First off thank you all for a very interesting bunch of replies - some variety in how you all define it but my initial suspicions seem fairly sure now, that it's a defensive method of waiting for an opponent to make an unforced error by continually keeping the ball in play and not going for winners yourself.

    Secondly to Nik here, no, not strictly - there was a slight hint at that perhaps but that wasn't the primary reason - I genuinely was curious at what such a widely-used term was actually being used to mean - it's all very well everyone calling this player or that player a 'pusher' but it's interesting if many of them disagree on what that means.

    I was with you all the way till you mentioned cricket and NFL! One is barely-glorified rounders with convoluted scoring, the other is chess with shoulder pads and cheerleaders.
     
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  30. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Because it is. It is boring, and has no flair. However, after watching tonight, Murray is no longer a pusher. Lendl finally got through to him.
     
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  31. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Well Monfils-Simon, Djokovic-Nadal, any matches between great defensive player can be some pushing fest. Sure you will see some nice highlights, but you will also see whole minutes of nothing. It can be slow ball in the middle in the case of Monfils-Simon, or aggressive ball in the middle, it still the same. Nobody dare to take the risk to pull the trigger, except when in a excellent position. But when these defensive players play an offensive one, then it become really interesting.

    Ferrer is disliked because he can beat the lesser player by simply defending well and by waiting patiently the opportunity. But against top player he really go for his shot and try to construct the point in an aggressive manner.
     
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  32. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    The top 20 are all pushers. The only player in the world who isn't a pusher is Rosol.
     
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  33. Slimshady53

    Slimshady53 New User

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    #33
  34. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    I believe even the most defensive of pros should be considered counterpunchers since they still have to hit it hard enough so the other guy dont smack it for a winner or come to the net for an easy volley. I've always believed the term pusher should be used to describe recreational players who dink the balls back waiting for the error (no topspin, hence pushing the ball). Counterpunchers draw the error while pushers wait for the error.
     
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