My Encounter With a Pusher

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TTMR, Jan 28, 2012.

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Did I deal with a pusher the right way?

  1. Yes, you were completely right. Kudos to you.

    14 vote(s)
    8.8%
  2. Yes, but you should have finished the match regardless.

    4 vote(s)
    2.5%
  3. Yes, but you should have retired with an 'injury' at 5-6.

    4 vote(s)
    2.5%
  4. No, you were wrong. You should have finished like a man and accepted defeat.

    90 vote(s)
    56.6%
  5. No, you were completely wrong. You should quit tennis forever.

    47 vote(s)
    29.6%
  1. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    I've mentioned this incident from a few years ago in another thread before and received some flak but I'd like some opinions on how well I handled the situation and whether or not I made the right decision:

    Personally, I think that is the only way to handle pushers and junk ballers; ignore them, don't play them and ostracize them until they are willing to man up and play real tennis. When that happens, we can get down to business. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
    #1
  2. interjim

    interjim Rookie

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    Deal with it. If you cant beat him, he's the better player. In the end, points on the board matter, not how beautiful your form might be.
     
    #2
  3. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    #3
  4. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    So, basically, what you are saying is- I don't want to play you if you can find my weaknesses, force me to make errors, and remind me that I'm not such a good player as I thought.

    In my opinion, playing players like that is exactly what can make you a better player- if you are willing to admit to youself that you have things to improve- then seriously work on those things until he can no longer take advantage of you.

    The one thing I would disagree with in the other answer, above, is that good form does matter-- but if it can be so easily broken down by junkballs, then that form needs more work.

    So, if you are just playing for fun, then, sure, play only with players you enjoy hitting with. If you want to learn to compete and develop an all-round game, then you have to test yourself against players that push your limits.
     
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  5. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    It should have been "I warned you," and now I'm going to drastically increase my winner count. Post above explains it handily otherwise.
     
    #5
  6. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    I used to be in your same position: irritated by any pusher who wouldn't play real tennis.

    However, I took a step back, rebuilt my game to include consistency in power and power in consistency, and resolved that if the pusher won't play real tennis, I will.

    Now I can play my game to beat the pusher and some players I would never have been able to defeat.

    You must learn to beat the pusher.
     
    #6
  7. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    So let me get this straight...

    You're winning, good for you! high paced rallies is what you crave...and he's giving you what you want.

    So he changes his strategy because (obviously) he's losing. and it works!

    Forcing you to generate your own pace.

    Giving you a variety of pace, spin, depth, height, etc.

    Playing more consistent tennis than you.

    And because the match didn't end YOUR way, you got angry, stole his balls, and stormed off the court not even giving him the satisfaction of finishing the match.

    Yeah man...what an a$$hole...I would have not only stolen his balls, but his racket as well, and told him "You don't deserve this sport"

    (I pray to god you see the facetiousness in my conclusion)

    Go practice. There are PLENTY of ways to beat a pusher.

    Sorry, the circle-jerk you requested couldn't be completed at this time.
     
    #7
  8. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    What a baby you are. Take your balls and go home. Amazing to me.
     
    #8
  9. Kam2010

    Kam2010 Rookie

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    Sore looser in my opinion.
    I hate playing pushers especially ones that keep slicing really pisses me off, but it's not against the rules. Not cheating, you should be better than that.
     
    #9
  10. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Grow up. You got beat by a smarter player. Deal with it. You had no right to steal his balls and quit. That's just bad sportsmanship. Learn to beat them.
     
    #10
  11. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    I know how I would play you. I would drop shot, lob, drop shot, lob, slice, spin, patty cake and watch you come unglued. Ah, sweet victory.
     
    #11
  12. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    The difference is, in the past when I played this guy and things became tough for him, he would hit harder. I did the same. He and I had an implicit understanding that we would go down with the ship playing legitimate tennis, not imitating the septuagenarians with their oversized racquets and 15 MPH strokes on the next court. He couldn't stand losing the right way, so he started phoning it in, and just happened to be successful this time. He betrayed our 'tennis relationship', and that's what I call truly poor sportsmanship.

    I've played pushers before and blasted them with ease. Oddly enough, I noticed before the match the city had resurfaced the courts and I suspect they slowed them down, probably again to benefit the senior community. There's no way I would have lost that day on a real court.

    In my defense, I forgot they were his balls in the heat of the moment and gathered them without thinking. It was not done deliberately. Had I been willing to see him again, I would have happily returned them.
     
    #12
  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    You shouldn't even call yourself a competitor. You were winning, of course all is well. Then the opponent was smart enough to realize his/her current strategy isn't working and decides to change it. It works, throws you off the game, the minute you start losing, you b**** about it. What did you think would accomplish by "warning" him? Not only is that unsportsmanlike, but he's already won by getting into your fragile head.

    Now that you're down by a game, you decide to walk off. A true competitor would try to extend the set, if not then move onto the second set and start fresh, or accept defeat and learn from it.

    This is like me walking off because my opponent keeps hitting high to my one-hander.

    There are always ways to go around whatever strategy your opponent has. Against a pusher, you can't let him/her dictate the points with those no-pace, junkballs rallies. The pusher will never give you that perfect ball to strike, literally forcing you to create something out of nothing from the baseline. Come into the net, take time away from the pusher, make him react, make him play a high risk shot such as a lob/short angles/ankles shot, the ball is less likely to do funky stuff if you don't let it bounce.

    I have a horrible record against pushers, definitely lost more than I have won against pushers. Until I changed my strategy, figured out a way to beat them if I could execute it. I played the pusher of all pushers a while ago. Intentional or not, he had some gamesmanship going on with his gazillion ball tosses, freezing me out on every return. The rallies consisted of junkballs galore. I was down a break and I just said to myself:

    "He can't create winners, his junkballs are killing me and throwing off my timing. Screw this, I need to change it up, I'm just not going to let the ball bounce and force him to be uncomfortable. He can either pass me with a winner, or it's going to be a putaway for me at the net."

    Since you're such a poor sportsman, I'm going to be mean and say the above statements, as well as everyone else's probably made no sense to you. You probably only know of one method to play tennis, which is the bash-till-you-cave method. I could be wrong, but you sound like an one-dimensional player, a sore one I may add. The notion of changing your strategy come crutch time is probably beyond your amateur skills.

    And just so you know, being smart and using his head doesn't mean he's an amateur. That's real tennis.

    Stop playing tennis, this sport, or any other sports don't welcome your kind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
    #13
  14. fRa

    fRa Rookie

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    I can really picture Federer storming off the court after playing Nadal for about an hour...

    ...



    Yeah I can really picture that.
     
    #14
  15. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Sounds like your friend is a much smarter fellow than you are. It's like trying to run through a steel door. Running harder and faster won't get the job done. And he was smart enough to fashion a key instead to open the door.

    Slow courts are not real courts?! Well then, French Open is definitely not a real grand slam. And Guga must not be a legend then. I mean, he's only won on slow courts, and those aren't real tennis courts.

    And about running off with the balls. Doesn't matter if it was his or yours, it was the gesture, by taking away the balls, you're saying he's not fit to play tennis, therefore he had no use for the balls. When really, you running off like a little b**** means you shouldn't be playing sports, period.
     
    #15
  16. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    Hahahahaha, sure.....
     
    #16
  17. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    This whole post is a con job. No one can be this stupid.
     
    #17
  18. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    okay...

    so were you just hitting with a friend for fun, or a serious match?

    If it was just for fun with a friend, then y'all should just hit the bar, have some shots and fight it out mano a mano. Or...smoke a j and forget it ever happened. Do you. However being that it happened a while back, i'd assume its probably all water under the bridge.

    If it was a serious match, then all is far in love and war, meaning your "tennis relationship" is null and void.

    There is no "right way" to play tennis, if the ball goes over the net and lands in, then it's legal, i don't care if you hold the racket in your mouth and hit drop shots all day.

    But the lesson to learn is that patty cake tennis is as real as it gets, and obviously kryptonite to your game. Get practicing before a 60 yr old patty cakes you off the court while you're red with anger. Trust me, i've been there it IS frustrating, but the ONLY way to get over it is practice with players of all styles.

    Sorry bro, you just ended up a poor sport in this one, it happens. Get over it and move on.
     
    #18
  19. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Maybe today there's no right way to play tennis today, but there once was. The right way was to use a one-handed backhand, eastern grips, flat forehand (or maybe a just a touch of natural unforced topspin), and a touch of under-spin on your mostly-flat backhand. Steady and conservative from the baseline, and not trying to put the ball away until and unless you get to the net. Wearing white clothes.
     
    #19
  20. Roddick33

    Roddick33 Rookie

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    Dude, you are just immature.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
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  21. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I really hope you are joking. That's one of the most childish things I have EVER heard.

    You refuse to play because he plays a different game style then you? So let's say a serve and volley player whipped you 6-0, would you leave because he's spinning in serves and hitting volleys?

    This is just ridiculous.

    -Fuji
     
    #21
  22. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    I laugh when i finish reading your post, he is beating you and you think you are too good to play him.

    What is real tennis? There is no right or wrong way to hit a tennis ball, but there is a better way.
     
    #22
  23. mkv

    mkv New User

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    Maybe you should read "Winning Ugly" by Brad Gilbert.

    I'm quite sure your opponent has read that.

    I deal with pushers by making them run till they can't retrieve, cut short points by being aggressive and volleying, or give them a taste of their own medicine.

    I find playing pushers not fun, but I think playing them can improve my game because it forces me to be consistent.
     
    #23
  24. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    How dare he do things like that! He kept the ball out of your wheel house, he chased after shots, he used the whole court. Doesn't sound like he was pushing to me. Sounds like he was the one playing real tennis.

    Next time hit with the ball machine and so the other guy is free to play against people who don't melt down and storm off the court because they can't close out a set.
     
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  25. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    Agreed. Most likely another one of those weirdo attention-starved "look at me" threads....
     
    #25
  26. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    And likewise, today the right way to play is to hit huge serves and huge forehands. It's a power game these days. These pushers don't seem to get that, and the more they play and beat superior tennis players, the less inclined they will be to learn proper technique and form.

    I may have lost the match had I carried on, but in no way did my opponent 'win' by playing tennis. I played tennis, he played pusher-ball. It's cliche, but I was beating myself because he doesn't have the game when he plays like that to beat me.


    That kind of S&V is not my cup of tea, but it is the old school equivalent to today's power tennis, and it has to be respected. That being said, I doubt any S&Ver could handle my heat from the baseline. He'd have to pray for the error, much like the pusher does.

    You obviously don't understand tennis if you seriously believe there isn't a right and wrong way to play. We pay coaches to teach us the right way to play so we can leave the junk-balling lob jockeys to each other. Real players don't resort to bush-league soft-balling when things get rough. Sure, they change strategy. They hit more down the line rather than cross court, they work the angles, they increase pace, spin and velocity, and they step inside the baseline. They don't capitulate to granny tactics for the sake of the empty win.

    The goal of tennis is to hit as hard as possible in between the boundaries on a rectangular court, not to clown around with dinks and chip shots. Play badminton if you want low pace lobfests. All I ask is you don't waste my time by telling me you are a hitter, and then when you can't hack it, start throwing in lucky patty cakes so you can call yourself a winner. You aren't a winner in my mind; rather, a scared nancy boy afraid to go all out.
     
    #26
  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ah, you forgot the green crockodile.
     
    #27
  28. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

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    Let's be honest here. If you had any "heat", you wouldn't be struggling against pushers.
     
    #28
  29. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I just hope he is pulling your chains with the 'hitter cliche'

    Very successful troll or complete idiot, I can't decide!
     
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  30. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    "the goal of tennis is to hit as hard as possible in between the boundaries".

    Are you on crack or just plain stupid?
     
    #30
  31. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    ....and few could handle your heat?

    Ha, the little jr high kid seemed to have no problem with it. You couldn't handle soft slices. Pathetic.
     
    #31
  32. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Bwahahahaha!

    This thread had me in tears.

    @TTMR: Great parody of TWs "big hitters". The fact that the majority didn't get it makes it even more hilarious.
     
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  33. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    I don't know whether the OP is serious or not, but a couple pro matches come to mind when I think about this idea of "the right way to play" and blasting your way to victory.

    When Arthur Ashe beat Jimmy Connors to win Wimbledon he did it by abandoning his usual power game. Knowing that Connors thrived on pace, he decided that the way to beat Connors was to give him a steady diet of junk and came away with the victory.

    The other match was a Lendl match against someone whose name I can't remember, some young up and comer who was giving Lendl a tough match. After the match (which Lendl won), an interviewer remarked to Lendl how it seemed the better Lendl played the better the kid played. Lendl agreed and added frankly: "So I decided to play worse and beat him."
     
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  34. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    There's enough stupidity and arrogance in this thread to get us through to the French Open. Oh way, scratch that, cause the French Open with its slow courts aren't real tennis court, so it's not a real tennis championship, let alone a grand slam.

    Let me rephrase the first sentence:

    There's enough stupidity and arrogance in this thread to get us through to the US Open. I skipped over Wimbledon because it may be too fast for OP to enjoy.
     
    #34
  35. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I honestly can't comprehend this thread anymore. With your mentality, back when Serve and Volley was popular, would you have simply served and volleyed, and called anyone who doesn't come to the net "afraid and not playing real tennis?"

    -Fuji
     
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  36. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Sorry, we were missing it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    #37
  38. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Hahaha please don't go away, we need some entertainment until the next major.

    Just so you know, you can't beat a superior tennis player, otherwise he/she is not the superior tennis player, but inferior. Tennis is not just about proper form and technique. You can beam the ball down the middle with said proper form and technique all you want, but you won't be winning against a "superior" player. It's the complete package, physical and mental. But clearly you and your idiot ego don't have the mental. Doesn't sound like a superior tennis player or a sportsman.

    Also, in case you didn't know already. The goal of tennis, and sports in general is to better yourself and win. That's it. If you want to "hit as hard as possible in between the boundaries on a rectangular court", then stop playing matches and just rally. Just make sure the hitting partner feel your so-called "heat".
     
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  39. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Cmon folks. The thread is a dig at Fred.

    Quite funny, OP.
     
    #39
  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I keep looking for the "right" way to play tennis in the rules and I just can't find any discussion of it. Kinda weird because you hear about it so much on the boards.
     
    #40
  41. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    Let's say you are an accountant, and the bookkeeper sends you a sudoku puzzle rather than a general ledger, and you can't understand it when doing your report. Does that mean you are not a good accountant? No. It means the bookkeeper is doing something wrong, messing with your head to try and make you look bad to your superiors, or just plain insane or incompetent.

    Just like in tennis. The pusher is utilizing failed tactics to try and make you look bad, to make you doubt your abilities as a tennis player. Most of the time you can brush them off like the gnats they are, but occasionally they get under your skin.

    Make no mistake though. The pusher does not beat you. You beat yourself. That's their modus operandi: psychological warfare. The goal is to make you become hotheaded and unglued. That kind of tactic to me is cheap. It is indicative of someone with a big ego who simply can't stand losing. So he ditches tennis and starts pushing, floating, slicing and dropping, using his legs rather than racquet to win points. In other words, he is a coward who just can't cut it on the tennis court.

    Look, with all due respect to the all time greats, the game has changed. You can't play that way and be successful anymore. Modern technique has rendered so-called 'creative' tennis into the ground. It can always be overcome by a big guy with power executing his shots. The only way to neutralize their technique is to slow down the courts to benefit guys who just can't hack it outside of their boring retriever game.

    No, a player is superior if he has proper form and can execute his shots on a consistent basis. A pusher doesn't utilize proper technique, and therefore isn't really a tennis player. He can put up some points on the scoreboard, but that doesn't mean he can play. The scoreline isn't the whole story.

    A guy who resorts to pushing and junk balling is a lot like some shyster playing three card monte in the alley.

    I don't know. That kind of play is obsolete, so it is irrelevant to the discussion. Hopefully, had I played in those days, I would have been one of the forerunners embarking on the new age of power baselining.
     
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  42. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    A pusher may not utilize proper technique and have athleticism that is out of this world. But he was winning right? Doesn't that make you even more sad? You, with your proper technique and the "heat" was getting beaten by someone with no heat and flawed technique in the same game, obeying the same rules. You're right, the scoreline isn't the whole story as you weren't classy enough to finish the match, let alone the set, and walked away as a sore loser. You're right, the scoreline isn't the whole story, he just broke your spirit.

    The pusher may not have the technique and played within his limits, but he was smart enough to figure out what makes you uncomfortable.

    I hate pushers, I never look forward to playing them. But you can bring the heat and look pretty all you want, at the end of the day, a win is a win.

    Also, if you can't putaway balls near the net or handle slices, I doubt you have good technique and good footwork. So you resort to "hit as hard as you can within the boundaries...".
     
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  43. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    LOL! Alright man, whatever helps you sleep at night.

    If you could have been a forerunner of anything tennis related, you wouldn't be crying a river here.
     
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  44. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I actually respect the OP here. I go out of my way to avoid pushers, and only play them in tournaments where I have no choice.

    I usually beat them, but I've taken some frustrating beatings from them, though nowadays I usually have too much pace and smarts...but not always, sometimes they get me.

    A couple of months ago I played a former 4.0 who got bumped to 4.5 in a friendly tourney and he had the pusher/retriever/lobbing/dropshot, thing going on. I was out late the previous night, exhausted and he got me in straights, I've never been so frustrated with myself.

    But at the end I congratulated him. He was used to getting a lot of derision from vanquished opponents and I said "hey, at least your winning your matches."

    But I enjoy hard hitting matches, and hate pushers, so I can sympathize with the OP who was playing a friendly match.
     
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  45. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    You are correct that one of you was utilizing failed tactics (the one who was losing) and one of you was a coward (the one who quit). It just wasn't the person you think it was.

    edited to add: If this whole thread was an attempt at sarcasm to make fun of those posters who believe they are really good and then lose to pushers, I apologize. I looked for the sarcasm and didn't see it.
     
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  46. SeriousSummer

    SeriousSummer New User

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    That's still the right way to play. But I have such trouble getting my whites white enough! I'd allow wearing colored clothing, but only on public courts of course.
     
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  47. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    TTMR, you are completely correct, everything you say/do makes you awesome and the rest of us terrible...real tennis players hit the fuzz off the ball all the time. Old people and little kids need to step down so the real 3.5's of this world can come in and play....

    Sorry, i couldn't help but laugh at it all. I'll keep feeding into this thread.
     
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  48. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I'm trying to imagine how you play a point... And it goes like this:

    Since you've got so much "heat" (LOL! heat, frontrunner of power baseline, whatever helps you want to call yourself) from the baseline, of course whoever you play will be pinned against the fence. Eventually you get a short ball, so you have to come into the net, I wonder what would you do:

    1) I'm not running up there, this fool isn't playing real tennis if the ball can't land behind the service line. If it doesn't get to me in one bounce, I'm walking.

    2) Be predictable and blast another one back to the person pinned against the fence. Then look up at the sky: "is it a bird? is it a plane?" No, it's another lob winner because your dumba$$ decides to blast another one back to the opponent.

    3) A simple drop shot.

    I'm pulling for the 2nd option. Since he refuses to accept the existence of junk/short balls. And there'll be no drop shot, cause it's not real tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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  49. Squall Leonheart

    Squall Leonheart Rookie

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    This is a bit of a flawed analogy. One very similar example to your situation is early Federer vs Hewitt. In their early meetings, Federer would try to rush the net in order to attack Hewitt's defense. As he became more comfortable from the back court, he became more patient. From there, he learned that Hewitt didn't really have the firepower to hurt him from there, while he himself had enough defense to stay with Hewitt until his offense was able to end the point. Does this make Hewitt the better player? Then again, you also claim that powerful shots make the better player.

    It is generally accepted that pushers do not exist above the 4.0 level, simply due to how other players adapt at that level. More so, the OP describes this guy as having no technique, while a supposed 4.5 is judged based exactly on his technique. Maybe there are defensively minded players or counter punchers, but pushers, by definition of technique, do not exist at this level.

    Now that that is out of the way, you claim that you played out the loss and congratulated the defensive player. This was a much more mature response, especially considering that you claim to have been very frustrated. For what it's worth, I think that you handled the situation well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
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    Regardless of playing level, style, technique, basically you don't like to adapt and especially, don't like to lose.
    Well, better quit tennis now or maybe become one of those "hitters" who hit great in practice with their favorite partner, but never play any matches because it might mean playing someone who's also trying to beat you.
     
    #50

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