How to beat a DAMN PUSHER????

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dan007, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    That's not necessarily true. A lot of players who hit hard, hit fine when facing pace of an equal level, but it's when they have to create their own pace they run into issues. This is why pushers win against these players. They stay consistent and throw off big hitters' rhythm by mixing up spins and pace. Trying to outhit or outpush a pusher usually just results in a loss.

    Players don't lose to pushers because their games aren't threatening. That's far from the correct answer. They lose because they aren't consistent enough to endure the long rallies with a pusher or lack the net game to serve and volley.
     
  2. fishuuuuu

    fishuuuuu Hall of Fame

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    Pusher, puncher, all the same names for someone who is better than you.

    As with any legitimate opponent who utilizes a consistent strategy throughout the match, you have to bring a greater level of consistency and and capitalize on any potential openings.

    At the net, behind the line, or after your serve.
     
  3. Lefty5

    Lefty5 Hall of Fame

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    Granted almost everybody pushes at some time during a close match. To do it as a primary strategy is not legitamate, in fact is more like a shortcut. It only works up through the age 16 and under then its useless. As pushers grow older and less willing to chase down thousands of balls, they will lose to some bad bad players just because pushers never really learn the variety of shots necessary for a complete game and your oppenents have learned how to volley over the years, thus rendering your legitimate strategy useless. You will also be totally ineffective in doubles for your whole life even at the club level - again - good volleys kill pushers. Pushers eventually feel cheated that they decided to take the shortcut at a young age for a few wins in the Juniors. They get frustrated that they are no longer winning anything even at low levels and they soon quit tennis forever because they realize its too late to try and change their game that was learned at a young age. All swingers will rejoice. Ahh, the life of a pusher.
     
  4. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'm criticizing the player who thinks he, (unfairly), loses to a pusher, not the pusher himself. For anyone to have a tennis style that deserves to be called a game, they must have mathematics on their side. If you try shots that are a low percentage for you, you're going to lose, unless your opponent decides to be even more foolish than you are.

    A pusher has math on his side. He doesn't attempt many low percentage shots hoping to just be lucky some day. Some players use a more aggressive style, but they still don't go for shots they can't make. If you play an aggressive style and you think that pushers give you trouble just because they are pushers, the problem is really that you try to hit shots you can't make. If your game makes sense then there's no reason to make special adjustments for the pusher.
     
  5. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Who could their game be threatening to? They go for shots they can't make, (this must be true, or they'd beat the pusher). They believe they play well against players of an equal level, but somehow they lose to pushers, (who they think are inferior to them). First of all, if they lose, isn't that a good reason to believe that they aren't really better?

    What happens is alot of players believe they hit more winners than they do. The pusher shows them that they aren't as good as they think they are. Really, this means that they should be pushers as well, and only try for power when they've learned to control the ball. Until you can control your shots your game can't threaten anyone except a beginner.
     
  6. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    to beat a pusher, you have to reduce your unforced errors. If you cannot then he is a better player than you are and he deserves to win.
     
  7. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    Just because a player can't beat a pusher doesn't mean his game isn't threatening, it just means he wasn't consistent enough to beat the pusher. By no means does it not mean he doesn't have a threatening game. Every player has their strengths and weaknesses. Look at Federer, the majority of his losses are to "pusher-like" players: Canas, Nalbadian, Nadal, etc. Why do all these players beat Federer? Because they are consistent and make Federer hit a lot of balls. Does that mean Federer's game isn't threatening because most of his losses are against consistent "pusher-like" players?

    You do have some valid points in regards to consistency, but I'm sure there is a large group of players who find themselves more consistent against a faster pace rather than a slow one.
     
  8. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    All court playing style or net rushing always works for me. Sadly, I start rushing the net for like the first set or half a set, then I always forget about my plan and blast the ball again.
     
  9. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I would also describe Nadal's game as "pusher-like". He's not a pusher, because he does have offense. But what makes him so successful is his very low rate of errors, and how he gets to almost everything.

    Federer has trouble with him because Nadal gets to balls that would be winners against almost anyone else. The club level pusher doesn't so much have great court coverage as steadiness. He doesn't need great speed because his opponent doesn't hit enough balls hard and into the corners to make much of a difference. If ones game is sound, you shouldn't have to play differently against a pusher than anyone else. If you have control, your power works in your favor.
     
  10. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    Out of curiosity what level of player are you? I do agree with a lot of what you have to say for the most part, but you make it sound a lot easier to beat a pusher than it is. I've rarely ever heard anyone (regardless of skill level) brag about having an easy match with a pusher whether they won or loss.

    In regards to changing game plans to play against a pusher, I don't see why a player wouldn't want to maximize their chances of winning. If they aren't consistent enough, they can't simply hang their head and admit loss. Even for players who are consistent enough, might not want to go through the trials and tribulations of playing a pusher and change game plans to get the W. I know for me exchanging 20 stroke paceless rallies aren't my idea of fun, so I serve and volley to decrease my unforced errors and end points faster.
     
  11. SocalTennis

    SocalTennis Rookie

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  12. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    It was in 1979 that I decided to play every day, take lessons, enter tournaments, and all that. Sometimes I've stayed away from playing for about a year, but I've always returned. I'm a mathematician so I'm always very aware of the probabilities involved. I feel my concentration is better than my athleticism, so my own game is quite pusher like in singles. However, in doubles, I think both players should be up at the net as much as possible. The shot I practice the most is the overhead. Most players have trouble with it simply because they don't practice it enough.

    I don't think beating a pusher is an easy thing to execute. But the strategy isn't complicated. If someone thinks that they have a "great game" but that it somehow falls apart against a pusher, that's probably not the truth. The truth is most likely that they make lots of errors, the pusher minimizes his own errors, and this weakness becomes exposed. If one's offense really does help, and isn't about showing off, then your regular game should work against a pusher as much as against any other opponent.
     
  13. tennisfreak3

    tennisfreak3 New User

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    I really hate pushers. There is 2 pushers as I know and they are...professionals at it. First, they have a huge racquet to never miss a ball and they have athletic shape to rally for hours. They need to be very fast to get every ball. I played a game once against a fast pusher, I was at the net doing a smash on the other side of my opponent and he... returned the shot... After 3 beautiful shots, the pusher will surely win the point !

    What pisses me off the most is that these players have NO technique at all, the only thing they can do is put the racquet in front of the ball and take your energy from the ball to do the shot. I took lessons and play a lot and I'm losing in front of someone who doesn't know how to hold a racquet !

    Great forum to help me, next time it will be easy. And I guess the quote from the other guy is right, the more you do unwanted errors and the most difficult will be the pusher because you are the opposite of the pusher.
     
  14. GuyClinch

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    I think the plague of pushers is just exaggerated by poor players.

    They might think so and so is pusher - they just think you are a weak player. You shouldn't have to change anything to beat a pusher. These guys (as shown in the video) are not "fast" they have decent anticipation and are not impressed with your "hard" shot. And they can actually hit shots back without screwing up. They don't try to hit winners off of neutral balls.

    The guys that get called pushers are usually older guys who are very experienced IMHO. I don't call them "pushers" though - I can admit they are just better then me sometimes.

    Because these players don't use that many attacking shots if your GOOD you should be able to set up your points perfectly. I try to pound balls to their backhand or forehand ) - cross court. And then just hit it to the open court when I pull them out wide enough. Hit with enough pace in the right spot their is absolutely no defense for that. Ideally you want to do better then corner to corner and hit the sharper angle - so you have to wait for a shorter ball. If they can recover and return that shot - clearly my shots aren't really that hard..

    Going into the net will work too - but I am not that skilled at it. Actually my net game is okay it's returning lobs I suck at. these kind of older players often hit good lobs. My points is that you shouldn't have to change your fundamental strategy. If it is a solid one it will work fine on so called "pushers." Guys like the above poster (and this buddy I play with) think a few "hard" shots (which usually aren't all that hard) should just overpower you and leave you crumpled on the ground. When this doesn't happen they freak out and start whining about "pushers."

    If a pusher returns your "smash" either your didn't place it well or it wasn't very 'smashing." It's not his "poor technique" but your not so stellar play that's the problem.

    Pete
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  15. babolatisduhbomb

    babolatisduhbomb Banned

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    pushers without much topspin i can prety much beat 6-1 on a normal day but i beat them like this


    hit winners off there serves...
    wait to he gives you a easy shot (which ever one is your better shot) hit a winner....
    big serve...
    come in to the net alot... =)
     
  16. Quasar

    Quasar Rookie

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    This is exactly what I do and it works every time. They can't hit a passing shot especially from their weak side and even more especially if the ball has topspin and they have to hit it at head level behind the baseline. Most of those shots result in overheads, or really easy volleys. Sometimes you have to wait a couple balls to get a nice opportunity to hit the power approach to the weak side. I wouldn't even truly call it and approach since you can hit it like any other groundstroke and have all day to follow it in. This will win you the match easily right there if you have pretty good groundstrokes and volleys, but to make it even worse when they start to adjust and move deeper mix in a drop shot and come to net after that too.
     
  17. TBanh12

    TBanh12 New User

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    I love playing as the "pusher". I have decent groundstrokes on both sides, but it's A LOT more fun to hit underspin on every shot. Surely every one of you could tear me apart... :twisted: but I play in Wisconsin. :shock: I love seeing people crumble against my weak version of tennis. If you don't mind, I call it "p*$$y ball" and I always win!
     
  18. mdjenders

    mdjenders Professional

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    where do you play in WI? If you are around Milwaukee, send me an email.
     
  19. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    this is good advice. i used to play varsity in HS and a couple of schools had pushers in their 2nd singles spot. i beat both of them by doing the exact same thing: bring them to net with a short ball, and aim for their chest/face or just lob if you're a nice guy. but going right at them really pushes them out of their element. even when you give them a short ball, they don't have the courage to finish it off, unless you've given them a totally killable shot.

    and repeat.
     
  20. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I actually played a pusher with a decent serve which was odd. I won the first set and a lot of points at the net. And then I started stroking moon balls which is fun until you lose your legs. Once I lost my legs I was pretty much toast. The pusher I played was very fit and never got tired.

    I don't think many coaches or drill and teach how to play a pusher or how be aggressive in the correct way and at the right time. How many times are you fed bloopers and moonballs during practice? :) I play a pusher about once a year or less but I learn something new every time.
     
  21. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    why exactly did you bring back this thread?

    btw: most pushers I know have a good serve.
     
  22. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

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    I just keep on playing them even though I lost to them. The only reason that they can beat me is because I am not consistent enough, not because they are good or bad, or trickery. In fact. the situation has been improving over the last year or so. One day I will beat them, my style!

    The problem about pusher's serve is that their serve is REALLY difficult to predict. They don't just vary from left to right and flat to kick. Somehow they can serve very close to the net and the ball is so low and short that you need to run the heck out of it just to chase it down.
     
  23. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    In singles? LMAO. Just stand closer all the time (assuming the regular serve doesn't have much pace) and angle drop shot that junk. In doubles its more of an issue.
     
  24. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

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    nah... sometimes they serve sometimes they serve slow... just drove me crazy!!!
     
  25. stanfordtennis alum

    stanfordtennis alum Hall of Fame

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    serve and volley against them.. play smart and with your head
     
  26. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Might work, but if you don't ever play serve and volley, it's probably won't be too effective. Really, you want to bring the pusher to the net. Lob him. Even if he chases it down, repeat. You can make someone run more by alternating short and deep than by left to right.
     
  27. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    There's no magic pill... if a pusher is consistently beating you easily then it just means he's one level ahead of you, and in order to beat him you're gonna have to improve your game. Become more consistent through better technique, maybe improve your fitness (often overlooked but crucial against pushers), etc.

    However if you are losing tight matches then strategy alone can turn things around, and you have to be especially careful with shot selection to avoid useless UEs. Useless UEs = big flat shots with little angle that, even had they gone in, wouldn't have achieved anything tactically as the pusher would have just returned the ball deep.

    Unless you're clearly a much better player and can overwhelm him with braindead power alone (but in this case you wouldn't have much trouble winning), each of your shots has to have a specific purpose against a pusher, and bring you one step closer to winning the point.

    Sometimes just upping your focus and intensity level on the court is enough.

    I don't get why so many people hate pushers. At the same 3.0-4.0 club level, I'd much rather play a pusher than his equally common nemesis the "I just lost to a 3.5 pusher but have 5.0 technique, no, really" type who thinks he's great but cannot hit 3 consecutive shots inside the court during a point.

    Even when he's clearly below your level, the pusher will at least make you win, whereas with the "5.0 shots" guy there is nothing to do except watch him self-destruct, which is a little boring and provides less of a workout.
     
  28. jmoneyh

    jmoneyh New User

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    i used to be considered a pusher, until i decided to work on attacking, and finding more interesting way to play a point. but i honestly think that in the end of the day, a great player will have a great defensive game, and that is why u cannot look down on pushers that much. and that is because we all do it sometimes. i use to hate pushers until i realized that my game falls back on that when im introuble. we usually dont complain about pushers until we find a person that pushes even better than you do. and that what i did, i complained about a guy i knew who could return all my shots. then i saw him play a guy that pushed even better than he did, one that could push with precision shots. my only advice is that you should not think of urself soo high that u dont go back to your defensive game. when it comes to pushers, u must push a little yourself, but you want to do it with strategy. try to make them run more than you do. if u can tire out the pusher, and keep ur self fresh, then you have basically won against them. if u still dont believe me, how do we explain nadals former succuess on clay. and yes, u can overwhelm a pusher with aggressive playing, but we're not all federer and even when he does its a risky style. ive played pushers with great passing shot. if u go to net, u are playing into thier game. sometimes u just have to out push them, make them re evaluate thier game. force them to want to be more agressive , and ultimately get them out of thier comfort zone.
     
  29. LeftSHBH

    LeftSHBH New User

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    I was so disappointed after losing my match yesterday to a pusher. I really like the quote that someone said here in the first few pages: "the question that pushers are asking is: Is your game really good enough?"
    That is the ultimate test. If you can beat a pusher, you are good enough to be in the level you are or higher. If you can't, go back to the drawing board and see how you can overcome what you've been doing wrong. Me, for example, is my serves and UEs. The guy I played yesterday, even though he's 20 yrs older than I, beat me in 3 sets out of 2, and the set I won went to 7 when my serves and passing shots were more confident. It's a trend that I've been noticing lately. If I take it to the 3rd set, I usually fail and lose 6-0 or barely get a few games in. I have to say that my double-faults are really frustrating. If I can only get my serves in, I may have a better chance at winning. Then again, I think the most important thing is the mind game. I tried changing strategies during the match, and while some of it worked, some didn't. Trying to play their game only gets you more rallies. I noticed that using drop shots are a very useful tool. Not many players have the ability to use them so I tried it and it works. It definitely puts them out of their place.
    So now I'm really going to get down to trying to figure out why my serve has been so sh1tty lately, especially my 1st serves, it just isn't what it used to be, a few weeks ago I was able to bomb them but now I can't seem to find it. Gotta go practice some serves now :)
     
  30. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I watched yesterday a match between a Pusher and a good hitter yesterday. Pusher won 7-5 7-5. it was very clear what happened. you have to come to net when you see the pusher stretched out wide. Occasionally he will hit a spectacular shot but you have to accept that.
    when you see the pusher stretched out wide in trouble, you have to come in and volley with conviction.
     
  31. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    You pretty much hit the nail on the head. I've played 2 fairly high-level pushers lately and the key is to stretch them wide and volley anything that resembles a short ball.

    There are a ton of 4.0-4.5 level pushers, contrary to popular belief. Their court coverage and their defense is phenomenal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  32. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Especially true with Swinging volley available in your arsenal. You use that whenever possible. But you must have good footwork and movement to beat a pusher. if not, you will make too many errors and come out on the short end...:(
     
  33. LeftSHBH

    LeftSHBH New User

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    My biggest downfall (other than my serve) is when they change the pace of the game, making it slower than what I'm used to. I found that hitting drop volleys are very useful.
     
  34. LeftSHBH

    LeftSHBH New User

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    I've used swinging volleys several times before during matches but it is hard to control where you want the ball to go. If you're playing a pusher, they'll just lob the ball. Half of my overheads were errors so I definitely need to practice those too.
     
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I just beat a pusher and what I did was hit loopy shots into the corner than made it tough for them to slice or dice or lob back. If you hit deep in the corners and then come to net, you will get a lot of easy putways on weak returns.

    Also, I just showed him that I had as much patience as he had and lobbed him right back. I also tried moving him around by drop shot-ing a lot.

    Pushers want u to get impatient and they count on you making unforced errors. Play within yourself and only go for winners when they present themselves.
     
  36. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I never see mention in these pusher rant threads that people should PRACTICE for pushers. We mostly go out and slug it out with our practice partners. Spend a little time with one of you as the designated pusher, sending back floaters, lobs and slices,
     
  37. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Develop a simple good techniq on the overheads. and half the time you don't have to crush the ball like the pros do to hit a winner. Good Technique + think of overheads as Serves. would you not hit a ACE most of the time if you had the Entire court to hit your serves into ??:)
     
  38. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    [​IMG]

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    -SF
     
  39. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

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    I just recently beat a pusher in a tournament 1 and 2, probably one of the better matches I've had against one.
    I did everything I do in my usual matches but with a lot more swinging volleys and coming to the net more. But the biggest difference was drop shots. I've been practicing them a lot this last month and they killed the guy because he couldn't do anything but push them back slowly on the off chance he got to them. And once he realized I was dropshotting a lot, he started running in whenever I was about to hit a slice, so when I saw that I just hit a deep slice and jammed him. When he got to the net, he was toast because I'm much better at dippers than he was at volleys. I was choking really badly just because pushers scare me though. I even started serving underhand. I've never had that happen, my serve is usually pretty consistent. It was about 130 on the courts though, and it was my fourth match of the day so that probably played into stuff.

    I was pretty happy. A year ago pushers were a real challenge. I had to get a lot smarter to play them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  40. LeftSHBH

    LeftSHBH New User

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    Yes, good point. I noticed that they tend to hit the ball late, as it's dropping vs on the apex or rising (at least the guys I've played), which then in turn will give me a short ball, allowing me to approach the net. Giving them a deep, loopy topspin shot will force them way behind the baseline, thus giving you the opportunity to drop volley or drop shot.
     
  41. LeftSHBH

    LeftSHBH New User

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    I was contemplating that myself! I wasn't sure if my underhand serve would **** them off more though. It's funny because when I get frustrated with my serve I say to myself "f@#k it, I should just underhand serve to get through it", but never had the balls to do it.
     
  42. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, they hate it....but my big ego often precludes.....

    I usually s/v with placement even more critical and chip/charge a lot...but giving back a fair share of junk is a solid plan too.

    Hitting extreme angles whenever possible with varied pace helps a lot too but you need big topspin skills to achieve....
     
  43. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Great advice.

    The pusher strategy can only succeed if you're impatient. If you're more patient than the pusher, your groundstrokes, presumably with better technique than the "classic pusher"'s, shouldn't break down any faster than the pusher's.
     
  44. MaratSafin_fan

    MaratSafin_fan Rookie

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    The best way to play a pusher in my opinion is to play aggressive without making misstakes.
    Play with heaviness but not making overkills is really good. They will play back a short ball which is perfect for approach or volley!
     
  45. supertopspin

    supertopspin New User

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    BLAST, BLAST,BLAST they can't push forever!...espicially with heavy top spin!
     
  46. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    First of all start by not calling them a 'damn' pusher. The moment you start giving your opponent respect is the moment you will find yourself relaxing and playing within yourself and playing with focus.

    You should not be thinking "I should beat this guy, his strokes look like garbage"
    You shouldnt think this because then you will start to get mad if things dont come easily to you, like if you get down a break early.

    Playing pushers in my experience is mostly mental. They arent going to do anything that will really break you down they're simply going to get to almost everything if they are good and make you hit alot of shots that you probably wouldnt have to hit against most players, you have to expect this and be prepared to work hard to win points, but also be prepared to be in attack mode and take control of the points when the pushers gives you balls to attack.
     
  47. aaron_h27

    aaron_h27 Rookie

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    Lol. Simple if your strokes have good technique you should be able to move him around. In my opinion if you can't beat a pusher you need to work on your consistency.
     
  48. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,722
    Location:
    RI
    well said

    It actually is good for one's game to be forced to play these evil creatures. What you say is absolutely spot on, tho I hate to admit it.

    Dealing with pushers effectively has lifted my game like no other exercise.

    That is coupled with one of the greatest feelings in tennis....whistling a crushed forehand past the pusher that just drops on the baseline and one hops to the back fence.

    Or even better sticks in the fence.....

    Sweetness.
     
  49. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
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    Snoqualmie, WA
    So a pusher seems to be a complex and vaguely-defined concept. He or she has a lot of attributes that are hard to describe in just a few words.

    I use the following (possibly too simple) definition: a pusher is somebody who relies on gravity to keep the ball in, rather than topspin.

    Everything else follows from that. Relying on gravity caps the pace of their shots, deprives them of winners, forces them to stay on the baseline, improves their running speeds, shortens their backswings, requires them to hit with a lot of control and use higher-percentage options.

    At 4.0 and better it becomes increasingly hard to win matches by relying on gravity. That is why they become virtually extinct beyond that level. Pushers who master topspin advance into the counterpuncher category.

    I am an aggressive and impatient player, I get bored if I have to hit the same shot even twice. But if/when I get dog-tired at the end of a long match (without breaks, typically), I begin to push and immediately notice that myself. It amazes me how even dog-tired pros are still able to blast the ball at the end of their epic matches.
     
  50. darkwing_duck

    darkwing_duck New User

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    All you need are BEAST XP strings....but seriously.

    Pushers rely on you to get frustrated with the fact that you probably had a great shot planned but didn't execute it. Forget about it. Try it again.

    Don't go for too much, that's what keeps them in the game. Don't go for to little, thats not why you play the game. Play solid, and know that unless you are a pusher, you will miss shots.

    The skill set is to be confident that your last missed shot doesn't define you.

    Dr. Darkwing Duck
     

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