Played a "very consistent player" today...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by luishcorreia, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Well.... A pusher really. Great guy.. Bit his game is boring as hell.

    Played him last week and lost 2-6, 6-4,6-2... Almost had him after winning the first set and at 4-4 in the second. When he feels things are getting bad he starts with the moonballs. He attacks nothing. Sometimes I leave balls in the middle of the court... And he just rolls them in.

    Today I lost 6-4.6-4 with a different tactic. Tried to open up the court a bit more with angles. Serve wide to the deuce court. That as somewhat successful.

    But in the end I think its more of a mental thing. I just do not have the patience ..lat week we played the 3 sets in 3 hours... Point after point I am taking all the risks, moving him side to side... For him just to get everything back. I eventually got for too much and end up making an error. When I stick with him, the point lasts like 30 shots...

    So frustrating.

    We are both 3.5 or 4.0

    Some months ago I beat him 61. 60 in a fast court. Also sometime ago I had 5 match points against him but lost the match.

    Whats a good tactic against him?
     
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  2. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    The least amount of points that someone has to get in order to win a set is 24. If he's being a pusher, then he's not hitting winners (unless you're at the net and he hits a defensive lob and you can't get to it). This means that his points are the result of your errors.

    Are you saying that he just keeps the ball in play long enough for you to make a mistake?

    Obviously his strength therefore is to keep the ball in play, which is not your strength. Your strength is less a rally with less than 3 shots. So you have to figure out how to make most of the points end in less than 3 shots.

    This will not be done by playing a baseline game. You're going to have to incorporate more drop shots, more slices, spin, and other tactics to get you to the net and put away the shot easily.

    If you hang back at the baseline the whole time, then the only way you'll beat him is if you become more consistent than he is.
     
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  3. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    If your match last 3 hrs and a point last 30 shots, you played like a pusher too, sorry. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  4. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Thats actually a good point. Sometimes i try to stick with baseline exchanges untill I get an opening. The problem is that he rolls the ball in.. But almost always with depth... And its hard to go on the offensive from there.

    i know that more dropshots work well... And I do that when playing him. I also try to get to the net .. But my game at net is not very good....well... I guess hes just the better player...
     
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  5. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    well 6-4, 6-4 loss means that you had a chance of winning.
    imo, you either have to develop bigger weapons and/or become more consistent than this guy. When playing against such players, it is important not to donate any points.

    It's easy to give advices on a forum but out on the tennis courts, it's not easy to execute them successfully against players close to your level. Good luck next time :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Nice tough, evenly matched match! Great workout, and mental challenge, playing close sets like that.
    Pushing does work, no doubt about it, so it's kudos to you for trying different strategies that will help make you better to overcome that opponent, while he stays the same, using his determination and legs to do his winning.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Coming into net is the key to beating pushers.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The lob is the pusher's best friend, especially on the sliced backhand side deep CC, using the longest court.
     
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  9. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Thats actually a good point. Sometimes i try to stick with baseline exchanges untill I get an opening. The problem is that he rolls the ball in.. But almost always with depth... And its hard to go on the offensive from there.

    i know that more dropshots work well... And I do that when playing him. I also try to get to the net .. But my game at net is not very good....well... I guess hes just the better player...
     
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  10. the cat petter

    the cat petter New User

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    Mix up your shots. After 2 shots with top spin, maybe slice the ball or hit it flat, hit with top spin, slice, slice, topspin, you get the idea.
    Another good way to beat a pusher is to go to the net. If your net game isn't good then you must improve it. Since a pusher usually doesn't hit hard, you have a chance of putting away the overhead or volley if your approach shot is good enough.
     
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  11. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    I am an agressive baseliner. My game os based around getting a short ball where I can attack and do an aproach shot and go up to the net. Most of the times I force my opponent to commit an error or win the point directly. I maybe win 5 to 8 points a match at the net.

    So, my quesiton is, how do I beat this guy playing at the baseline?
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    You won't beat this guy from the baseline. Listen to me now believe me later.
     
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  13. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Yea come into at net, I agree with the people who said that here. Thats the best way to throw off a pusher unless you're a big hitter, I wouldn't try hitting him off the court.
     
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  14. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    This is the problem. If you are 3.5-4.0, your aggressive baseline game isn't going to be aggressive enough. Probably your only chance with this approach is will be to step in and take the ball super early. Not an easy game plan at 3.5.

    If you don't have good approach shots, volleys and overheads, you are in for a long day and very likely a loss against this person.
     
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  15. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I agree. below 4.0 some players can hit relatively hard but usually they don't have the consistency to bash away the opponent. they will hit some winners but make many more errors.

    so if you have any kind of overhead (doesn't even need to be deadly) you should be fine by hitting a deep approach and then charge the net.
     
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  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    There is no such thing as an aggressive baseliner at 3.5. You need to stop trying to hit hard and through a guy who gives you no pace.

    I just played a pusher last week and barely lost a point. I play baseline tennis too. You need to hit very relaxed and just focus on making clean contact. Hit at 60% of your power and move the guy around.

    Notice how when you dont get pace, you tend to make errors? He will too. Pushers love pace, so dont give it to them.

    Hit relaxed balls that are placed well. Keep them safely in the court but attack his weak side and hit that corner. As soon as he starts running to get one, you need to move in. Take the next ball just as relaxed and put it to the other side. Move in some more. Take the next shot as a volley and put it away.


    Thats how you beat a pusher.
     
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  17. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Have you tried hitting massive topspin moonballs into his backhand corner?

    Usually these kinds of players don't have the technique to handle these kind of shots and will give you a short ball.
     
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  18. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    if the pusher is just playing lobs you could also stop in NML (what you usually shouldn't do). that way you can smash easier and if he does hit a soft passing shot you go 3 steps forward and volley it.


    that of couse only works against that typical 3.0 pusher and not against a solid defensive player.
     
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  19. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I'm not one to give advice, but sounds like you were playing his game to some extent. This is precisely the reason why we all should be all court players, progressively move to the net, finish off points quick, but you can't do that if you are trained solely as a baseliner, he'll give you headaches.

    I use alot of boxing analogies as I think they are appropriate, don't sit back and see what your opponent will do to you, but force your will upon them, learn the net, learn to play in no mans land, tear him apart bit by bit, make him pay for a stupid lob.

    Viva De Serve and Volley:) Bring it back:)
     
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  20. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    i agree with power player's strategy above.

    I'd add chipping/charging his 2nd serve if it's weak.
     
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  21. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The proper way to beat someone like that is to come to the net. You don't necessarily need great volleys (he's not hitting screaming passing shots) but you MUST have a very solid overhead. If he lobs a lot, stop a little further from the net in anticipation. Chipping and charging should work well and you really don't have to do much other than move your feet. The "plop" shot, as my Dad called it, is very useful to get the other guy out of rhythm. It's not really a drop shot, but a short, soft, angled slice - Federer makes good use of it. It brings the guy forward where he really doesn't want to be. He can continue into the net on your terms, or bunt it back and try to run backwards.

    However, if you are losing 6-4, 6-4 and you are just trying to be more consistent than him, you are doing a pretty good job at that game, too. Another thing to try would be to tone your game back more and see if you can beat him at his own game. Sometimes, it is pretty satisfying to do that.
     
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  22. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    So I get the theory..8 understand that giving little pace and coming to the net works against pushers.

    But hitting at 60% is compatible with coming to the net.?

    One the one hand I see that I would be better finishing the point in 2/3 shots... Is that possible at 60%?
     
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  23. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes,it is all about ball placement. And dont worry about how many shots it will take to finish the point. Just hit relaxed and move him around.
     
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  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    you don't need to hit soft. hit at a pace that you can produce over and over again without making errors. over time tht pace will increase as you get better.

    what you should not do is swinging as hard as you can because you want to end it. that is what the pusher wants he doesn't care if you hit a few winners as long he is winning.

    I have even heard of defensive players (not really low level pushers) that would intentionally feed "assists" for you to hit a winner and then compliment you to feed your ego and make you swing away more.
     
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  25. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Yup. This is really good advice on cooking the pushers. Listen to PP. Don't imagine you can hit like Delpo or Djoker. Blasting off 60% errors and 40% winners is good enough for any pusher to beat you.

    And the 30 shots exchange means you are also playing his game. You are doing exactly what he wants.

    Upgrade your volley, and your overhead. Next time have a ball machine do moonballs that lands deep, see if you can take it early and redirect them at will. Then move in to NML, play those balls with a slice volley or a straight up overhead. You don't have to aim at the lines, just to a different corner. Then step in by the T and hit volley put away shots, practice if you get a short lob you can step back to NML and overhead it.

    If you can do all these I think the pusher would have a very hard time beating you even you don't have the touch for a drop shot. They will panic when running and give you a short ball or a lob too long and out.

    Never get pushed back and stand 5' behind the baseline trying to hit power shots. They love that and they got plenty of time to recover. You will end up trying to hit closer and closer to the corner and end up getting an UE.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
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  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Good advice above. Don't let a pusher "reset" the point with their defensive shots. If you pull him off the court, sneak into net and take the next ball out of the air. At higher levels, a swinging forehand volley is very effective.
     
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  27. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Sometimes I do that to him. I assist him a ball knowing that we will place it at a particular place in the court and I know I can pass him or hit behind him. It works.

    When I draw him to the net however... most of the times he rushes back to the baseline :)
     
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  28. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    yeap..that what s hapennign when i play him...
     
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  29. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    Pushers can be fun imo. It really allows you to see what your game is lacking and for you to think about a strategy that would work. Powerplayer's strat is pretty much what I do. I close the net a lot and tend to win those points.
     
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  30. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I like your attitude towards pushers. Many times we were so caught up in losing to somebody that cannot hit with any pace. Now I am seeing more like taking the opportunity to learn the control game and the execution game. To me playing with a strong S&V guy is harder to control because there is no rally. The point is over in 3-4 strokes, and it all depends on if I can return the ball at all. Pushers are much easier because they like to wait for the point to be over, never attack on anything.
     
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  31. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    Playing pushers lets me work on one of my weaker aspects of my tennis. The metal part. The pusher is one style that will test your patience, strategical thinking, and your faith in your shots.

    Now that I am able to topple down pushers on a regular basis, I know my game has improved quite a bit.
     
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  32. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Ditto.

    You need an overhead to deal with the constant lobbing, but just come to the net. By definition nothing is going to have much pace. You'll have lots of time to hit volleys, and when you know he's going to lob set-up back at the service line. Generally a bad tactic against a player with strokes, but against a pusher it's effective because even if he "drives" the ball instead of lobbing you'll have time to close and take the volley. You don't need monster volleys either, just stick the racquet out and angle it off.
     
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  33. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    Nicely put ^^^. I beat a fantastic pusher last week 6-2,6-2. It was little tricky because I couldn't come to the net. I strained my abdominals several weeks ago so wanted to avoid overhead shots from the lob. I did use the same strategy as above and pulled him in with some drop shot and either pass him or lop. I'm a formal pusher (4.0) and am in great shape so being consistent and junking him is pretty natural to me. I can hit with pretty good pace but about 60% did the trick for me.

    Another magic formula that really improving my game is my 2 hitting partners. One of them is a aggressive base liner, loopy forehand, spin freak with flatter backhands. The other is a really good pusher with a huge serve. I definitely like hitting with a player #1 more but a pusher really helps my game. It is like I now have more tools in my game to deal with other players and most importantly...more patient.

    Bottom line "pushers can be awesome teacher but only if you have an open mind" :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
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  34. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Be honest, how far behind the baseline are you?
     
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  35. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    I do not play very far behinf the baseline.. i'm normally on the baseline or 1 meter behind.
     
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  36. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    I agree 100%. When I play pushers I have to think much more on the strategy and where to place the ball. When I play other type of players I know that I will hit some winners and do some errors, but I know that they will also do errors...

    Against a pusher all bets are off. I know everything will come back.

    So for me a pusher is more of a challenge than anything else.
     
    #36
  37. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    what kind of courts did you play at when you lost to this player? Hopefully not a clay court because if so, it would be difficult to implement the strategy that forum members have recommended :)
     
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  38. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    this guy in paticular doesnt lob... but his ball comes with some spin, no pace, about shoulder height. Its not a lob, more of a drive.

    but he lobs sometimes, for sure, but not everytime.
     
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  39. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    I have to be honest.. I've known all along how to beat a pusher.. at least on paper.

    The thing is when I go out on the court two things happen.

    1) fear of losing by playing a game thats not my normal (going up to the net, hit at 60%).

    2) pride... I just want to beat him at his own game

    well.. but since I am losing... whats the diference right? ;) Might as well go for it.
     
    #39
  40. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Practice your serve and return.

    Once you can out serve and out return most of the non-traditional players it doesn't much matter what they do in rallies.

    J
     
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  41. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Dude, your mental game is not very strong. You need to get stronger and stay relaxed.

    NEVER try to beat somebody at their game just because. Watch the AO Federer Santoro game on youtube. Even Federer cannot win every point the Santoro way. He beat Santoro by playing the Fed game. Having said that, there are many variations. So your variation is not to blast every ball deep behind the baseline.

    If he doesn't moonball but hit with a low pace ts shot, it is even easier for you to change direction and take time away from him. You could be playing what people called the ball machine or the wall. They get a lot balls back with decent placement but just not aggressive enough to hit straight up winners. You need to come in to finish the point!
     
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  42. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Based on your op, should you be behind the base line at all??
     
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  43. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    this.
    if you are playing on red clay , strategy changes a lot.
     
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  44. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    This last 46, 46 game was on hard court. The one before where I won the first set 62 was also on hard court.

    On clay he usually plays better for sure.

    One time I had 4 match points against him on clay, but lost the match. On that particular game the difference was concentration. I struggle to find the patient to keep up with hat type of game...
     
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  45. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    I hate pushers. Strategy: Hit their moonballs on the rise. Try to get your finishing shots to be more consistent. I sometimes play against my dad who also is a pusher. I just take it early then approach the net and finish him off.
     
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  46. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    not sure why you and other people in the forum hate playing pushers because unlike all the other types of players, pushers give you time to set up your best shots and deliver them. If you play a good counter puncher, power hitter, or serve and volleyer, these players won't give you any time at all. You will feel rush all the time and if you hit a weak shot, they will make you pay, whereas, pushers would just block the ball back.

    I would understand if you said pushers pose no challenge because you can beat them easily but this clearly is not the case for the people who seek advices on how to play them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
    #46
  47. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Because at 3.5-4.0 (?) there are still a lot of players winning games relying on other's UE. Pushers by nature got the lowest UE possible for their level. So in a way it magnifies the player's UE. It is really easy to think anybody can easily beat a pusher because they got no weapons and they don't really hit winners.

    It goes back to the thinking of "the better player losing the game". I think we all watch too much TV. All the fancy shots and winners matter more than anything.
     
    #47
  48. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I see. Thanks.
    well, these players will get a doze of reality when they good players who don't push. They won't like playing them any better than those pushers that they hate so much :)
     
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  49. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    LOL true, but I guess when they got outclassed they would just shut up and got nothing interesting to write on TT. Who wants to rant about "This guy's fh beats mine", or "I cannot return his serve at all". :)
     
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  50. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    But I like feeling rushed :). See with pushers... they hit the ball so high. I have the ability to hit consistent winners against their high balls but... it kinda gets boring. I usually like to play against power hitters and still find myself hitting winners. It's just more comfortable to hit medium to low balls for me.
     
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