For all the pushers out there...do you guys ever feel guilty?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Thepowerofchoice, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    760
    I'm a former "pusher". Today I was playing against very soilid 4.0 base liner. He hits very loopy forehands top spin...almost like moonball with a lot of actions. I knew I needed to step in and take the ball early but found myself getting tight and gave away many short balls...

    So I decided to give him no pace, slicing forehands and backhands. I completely through him off his game and he was running like a mad man. I won.

    I was not completely pushing because I finished many points at the net and had a couple of winners from the baseline.

    Happy ending but I'm feeling kinda guilty LOL
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,435
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    They call it junkballing.
    Pros Gilbert, Mecir, Rochus did it to some effect.
     
    #2
  3. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    So, where in the court did you slice your fh and bh to?

    A 4.0 cannot run there and hit (good) groundstrokes back? :confused:

    (to be honest i'm quite confused by all this rating and "styles")
     
    #3
  4. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,837
    I've never been able to junk ball an opponent as a means of reversing momentum when he was getting the better of me and my normal stuff. On the other hand, many times in matches I realized I had been overcooking my shots or donating too many points, and in those cases I quickly took pace off of my shots, resolving to see if I could simply outlast the opponent. Sometimes depriving an opponent of pace fetches me the win, but other times it does not. Usually if I am having trouble executing an attacking game--say, my timing is off, or my fitness is not where it should be--and so, I change my strategy mid-match in favor of a consistency game, yet neither of these approaches is bearing any fruit against the opponent, then my trying to junk-ball him usually will not work either--it seems I lack enough tricky spin shots for this style of play to pan out successfully.
     
    #4
  5. dhawk

    dhawk New User

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    pusher what

    everyone plays how they play- usually when someone calls another a pusher its because they just lost to one! push on
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,435
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Now that would depend on WHO you played, wouldn't it? One person's experience might not be enough to get a qualified analysis of whether junkball can or cannot work.
    It works sometimes, against some players, and not othter times, against other players.
    But if you keep executing a losing game, you probably will not go to the next round.
     
    #6
  7. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Good for you. You had a strategy that wasn't working and changed to one that did. Nothing wrong with exploiting someone's weakness.
     
    #7
  8. federer_FREAK

    federer_FREAK New User

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Yea I think a lot of people on this forum overrate their ratings.
     
    #8
  9. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
     
    #9
  10. kcmiser

    kcmiser Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    199
    Not just no, but hell, no.

    I probably play much like your opponent. Big loopy topspin. It's not so much an intentional tactic as just how I hit. Always have.

    When I was maybe ten years old, my dad (who played minor college tennis) told me that consistency and depth beats just about everyone. For all the talk about how the game has changed, for the weekend player, that's still true.
     
    #10
  11. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    i only feel guilty when i push outta laziness

    eg i was playin lower-level mixed as a favour 2 a friend the other night. initially i planned 2 use it as an opportunity 2 work on groovin a few aspects o my game that have been givin me problems - mostly my twist serve n my high topspin bh

    however halfway thru the first set i got lazy n just ended up pushin most of the match. rollin in topspin serves, slicin n dicin on both sides, loopy lobs. when ur playin ppl worse than u its easy 2 just hit junk n put the ball in, wait 4 the errors

    i didnt feel guilty about what i did 2 the other team - after all, its their fault if they cant beat pushing, not mine. but i felt guilty cos i took the easy option n didnt give myself a proper workout. in terms o improvin my own game it was a wasted 90mins
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #11
  12. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,761
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    You weren't pushing. Deciding to give no pace to someone who can't generate their own pace can be a very successful strategy. You should try it against a real pusher sometime... you'd be surprised at the results sometimes.

    The opponents I love are the ones who can't handle no-pace serves. You can serve at these people 100mph... and they get it back. If you give them a 45mph slice, they misfire the return all over the place. It's amazing.
     
    #12
  13. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    SoCal
    I'm a guy who can't handle no-pace balls. When I play women of my same rating I often lose. Running full-speed toward the net and trying to hit a touch shot is not easy for low-level players like myself. And when you're playing women or junkballers, half the time you're forced to hit shots at or in front of the service line.

    I'm pretty disheartened with 3.5 play actually. I'm taking a break from anything other than casual hitting with friends because every time I'm in a tourn I get some a-hole who junkballs and moonballs me. When my game is off, I end up losing by hitting everything out or into the net, and when it's on I end up winning but feel like a loser because I just spent an hour or two returning moonballs and junk slices. My game didn't improve, I had no fun, and I didn't even get any money for the win. Lose-lose-lose.

    I have realized that junkballers and low-level players don't work you side-to-side, they work you back and forth. They'll hit a long moonball to the baseline, then a short slice to the service line. Over and over and over. I'm constantly running to and from the net and there's so little pace on the ball that they're hard for me to handle. And I refuse to sit there and match their weak shots with weak shots of my own. That's not why I'm out there and it's no fun.

    So I don't know if you should feel "guilty," but just understand that guys who hit decent topspin baseline shots get sick of playing junky moonballers and wind up only playing with other "decent" players. If you want to junkball, feel free, but realize that you'll never get any better and the guys who are there to get better will not want to play with you.

    Why do I get the feeling your fastest serve is about 45 mph? ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #13
  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    Wuppy,

    How you describe yourself is interesting though. I guess I'm a different kind of baseline player. I enjoy rallying hard from the baseline but ultimately work to get slow and short (closer to net) balls which I can put away with a very high percent win. That's the fruit of my hard rallying labor. I don't understand why you guys have trouble running to slow balls or hitting passing shots that are close to the net. Much of the point of tennis is running faster than your opponent does, and getting to hit shots close to the net which is easier than anything else.
     
    #14
  15. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    SoCal
    I don't have trouble getting to them, but for some reason I do have trouble hitting decent shots against them. Of course I've only been playing competitively for about 4 months, so that may change. But in the meantime I'm playing against people who have better strokes than I do, not just the ability to hit tons of crappy shots better than I do ;)

    I'm looking forward to a ball machine called "The Pusher" which I'll write about in another thread.

    Here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=434289
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #15
  16. sandiegoman

    sandiegoman Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    why did you do it? How could you push?
     
    #16
  17. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    i once used Nadal's strategy of hitting all the shots to this guy's backhand and bageled him. He was mighty upset that I did that but that's his problem :)
     
    #17
  18. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    i guess running away from ur weaknesses is one option
     
    #18
  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    Dude wuppy,

    Don't you find it annoying for you not to understand something? Especially when it's something that's right in front of your eyes. :)

    Just take a bucket of balls out to a court by yourself. Toss a handful of balls to every corner of your court and hit them to every corner of the other court. They're not rocket science. :shock: :)
     
    #19
  20. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    SoCal
    The way they hit I'd be better off taking a small weak 7 year old girl out on the court and letting her feed them to me. ;)
     
    #20
  21. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    i find it interestin u admit u cant beat a 7yo girl
     
    #21
  22. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    i once played this 70+ old man in a small tournament and he bageled me. I then talked to my friend and he told me don't feel bad, look at the scoreboard, he bageled everyone here :shock: :)
     
    #22
  23. Qubax

    Qubax Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    Canada
    Great post. I agree with everything. And I too - hate no pace balls!! Ugh
     
    #23
  24. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    760
    I guess that sounds more like it. I have a good backhand slice and I can do pretty funky stuff with my forehand slice being a squash player also.
     
    #24
  25. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    Unless you and everyone else are 65+, I find that very interesting.

    Man, I wish I could come across such a 70+ old man.
    :)
     
    #25
  26. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    yeah he was awesome. He bageled everyone in that tournament from ages 20 to 40.
    He won the tournament. I came in second :)

    That was 3 or 4 years ago but I don't think i could perform any better if I were to play him today. He reminded me of John McEnroe. He did not hit the ball very hard but his ball would land very deep and he was terrific at the net. He was definitely not a pusher, he would end the point at the net within 4 or 5 strokes no one could stop him from doing so. He must have been one terrific player in his younger days.
     
    #26
  27. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    Mick,

    Did he constantly serve and volley? OK, you said he volleyed well, but his serve has to be over average for him to open up the court and charge forward, right?

    If he doesn't, his rally has to be good and dictate the exchange. Hard for me to imagine a 70 years old that duke it out against a 25 years old. He could hit a couple commanding baseline shots and then charge the net, but his feet gotta be quick and his half volley skill must be very decent.

    How did you and everyone else play against him?
     
    #27
  28. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    he didn't serve and volley. however he would come in when there was an opening. His serve wasn't overpowering however, nobody could break it. I played from the baseline pretty well (compared to the guys who competed at that tournament) but he was better. If he couldn't volley well maybe i might have a chance since he's a lot older. However his superior net game took that advantage away.

    There was a younger guy who tried to take him down by power hitting but it didn't work either. He would absorb the guy's pace and direct the ball to a corner then come into the net and knock off the volley.

    oh yeah, my style was similar his, wait for the short ball and move in for the kill, however the problem was he played this style much better than me

    I've played with older guys before but this older guy was the best that I have ever played with. He's the Roger Federer of the older guys i have played :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
    #28
  29. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    SoCal
    These days I refuse to play with guys who hit forehand slices, or even backhand slices every time. IMHO a man under the age of 60 should only be hitting forehand slices when he's got to go way out wide and wants to slow down the point.

    How often do you see pros hitting forehand slices? Maybe once a match? :evil:
     
    #29
  30. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    the reason pros dont hit fh slices is that their opponents r too good to let them get away with it. it's not because they're not 'proper' strokes and are beneath them

    if fh slices were as effective against their opponents as they clearly are against u, then u can bet they'd be hittin them all day

    u seem 2 be whining about stuff that is mostly a result of u being a poor player. htfu and learn 2 beat the players u dont like playing. then it won't be a problem
     
    #30
  31. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    Location:
    At Large
    You'd be surprised. It's a common defensive shot. Unorthodox, but not unheard of as rally stroke - Santoro used to use it a rally stroke when he played and currently guys like Tomic and Dologpolov regularly hit slice forehands. Sliced forehand approach used to be a common shot, but not so much anymore because players don't approach the net as much.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
    #31
  32. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    760
    Yes he can but I'm very fit and can chase everything down so he started to go for it a little too much ended up making bunch of mistakes. I can hang with him on the baseline but his high bounces big loopy forehand topspin got better of me.

    He has weaker backhands compare to his forehands and likes to camp out on his backhand wing. His net game is also questionable so I slice/dropshot him to his forehand to pull him to the net and lob(or pass) him depending on my/his positions. He also did not like my deep low backhand slice DTL to his forehand. May be because of his extreme grip? I also have a pretty decent forehand slices from playing squash for many years.

    I'm not saying I'm a better player than him but my strategy worked against him this time. I don't really feel guilty about what I did to my opponent but I felt little disappointed that I took the easy option and did not try to improve upon my own weaknesses.
     
    #32
  33. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    760
    Santoro is one of my favorite player. :)
     
    #33
  34. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,397
    Do you have people submit a resume before playing you so you can evaluate whether or not you want to hit with them?

    Good grief, you must have like a whole...2 people to hit with regularly. Improvement by avoidance. I think you've stumbled on a whole new approach to learning tennis! Or uh, stagnating at tennis.
     
    #34
  35. sandiegoman

    sandiegoman Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Someone should make a list of pushers so that we don't have to play with them.... lol

    But seriously, if someone slices or than a couple times, I cut them off the list to hit with.
     
    #35
  36. sandiegoman

    sandiegoman Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    I totally agree.
     
    #36
  37. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    I wanna be this guy in a few decades... :)
     
    #37
  38. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    this comparison is not fair. pushers are at the bottom and pros at the top. Of course pros don't hit too many forehand slices, they have much better shots to use whereas, for most pushers that's all they could produce. I am sure any pusher would love to hit the ball like the pros do, if they had the talent and ability .
     
    #38
  39. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    Location:
    At Large
    On the other side of the spectrum, you have those guys who come over everything but can't keep the ball in the court. I'd rather spend time hitting with someone who hits consistent slice backhands (and even forehans) than picking up balls every 2 minutes. I really can't say I'd refuse to play with anyone based on style of play. If I refuse to play with someone it's more because they are unreliable or a jerk.
     
    #39
  40. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    Location:
    At Large
    There's a guy like that at my club. Was a really good player back in the day but age and injuries have taken their toll on his body over the years. He's just a smart player though and has great hands. He knows he won't outhit or outrun anyone so he just never gives you a ball in your strike zone. He hits a driven slice off both wings that stays low, comes in behind everything, and has a lethal drop volley. He can make 3.5s and some 4.0s at the club look stupid and can hang with the 4.5s, especially in doubles.
     
    #40
  41. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    359
    You shouldn't feel guilty about winning the way you did. You found your opponent's weakness and exploited it. It's not your fault he had the weakness so you shouldn't feel guily about exploiting it. If anything, your opponent should feel bad. He almost certainly knew that he was weak at hitting no pace balls but refused to work on that aspect of his game. Serves him right.
     
    #41
  42. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    952
    Pros prefer not to hit the baxkhand slice cuz it gives the opponent time to run it around and hit it with the forehand.

    Federer has an awesome slice but even then he prefers to go for the backhand drive.
     
    #42
  43. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    What a bad question. I respect pushers! I respect any tennis player out to make the opponent have a bad day. If he world were pushers would we ask: who is the dude hitting the ball so hard?
     
    #43
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    good luck running around a well hit slice to hit a Fh.
    you would be lucky to get a good hit on it from the Bh side.
     
    #44
  45. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Playing against a pusher, I usually employ a method that Agassi described in his book Open: Make your opponent run. Hit from side to side, and mix it with some shots behind your opponent. In the 1999 French Open, against Carlos Moya, Agassi won the match with this method: Run, Moya, run.

    You don't want to over-hit the balls and make errors. You don't try to paint the lines. You just take a commanding position, use good footwork, dictate where the next shot is going, and make your opponent run more and more.

    You will feel tired from all the back and forth. But you must have confidence in this method because you know that your opponent is totally passive to your placement selections and he is much more tired than you are.

    An all-court game with some chipping-and-charging and net finishes will help a lot, too.
     
    #45

Share This Page