Pushing serves.legit strategy?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    I don't think they give out style points in tennis. The first step to winning is getting the ball in the court. If you can't do that, you're just running around looking awesome, while you hand your opponents a free match.
     
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, your username pretty much defines you stance, doesn't it.
     
  3. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    It's weird how LeeD has managed to define "good tennis" and "percentage tennis" like they are two different things.
     
  4. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    flash over substance.

     
  5. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I read it as one may have to play lower percentage tennis if committing to long term improvement. At best, true. At worst, just another excuse for losing.
     
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course, you have to lose NOW in order to learn the shots that will allow you to WIN later.
    PeteSampras's 1hbh is a prime example.
    AndreAgassi was learning to stand in and hit hard, lose a bunch, until it worked for him.
    Hitting soft might win NOW, but will surely inhibit any chance of progress later on.
    If if you're over the hill, like I am, then pushing is the most boring style of play. I might as well go jogging. Where's the rush in pushing one more ball back than your opponent?
     
  7. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    I really dont get what is a "pusher" as everyone has their own meaning.
    but doesnt everyone start out "pushing?" when they start playing matches and learn tennis?

    Doesn't the 'dink shot 'becomes a well executed drop shot that has so much underspin it goes back to the net?
    Doen't the 'moonball 'becomes a lower trajectory penetrating topspin deep shot that keeps opponents well behind the baseline?

    Doesnt everyone have to start somewhere?
    Isnt it better to play high percentage tennis and develop better skills rather than play gung-ho hall hitting , with no regards for the lines/net that you can do in practice sessions and but in matches?
     
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You might have nailed it on the head, Dlam.
    Everyone STARTS OUT playing safe, don't miss tennis to win.
    But hopefully, some evolution takes place as you get better. Like hit good shots, forcing shots, winners even.
    But you can't have forcing shots and winners if you're not using them in match play.
    And when you first start using them, you will lose your fair percentage of matches before you learn to incorporate the higher level of play into you match tennis.
     
  9. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    No, some people start by taking full swings and heavily manipulating the racket face. That came natural to me actually. In the beginning, I never used continental for anything. I had to learn how to use it for volleys and to some extent, serves.

    If they work hard enough to improve it.

    More peoples "dink shots" will just become "more consistent dink shots" which is why a lot of people have forehand slices. It doesnt naturally evolve into topspin strokes off both sides, with droppers from the baseline.

    Same thing with moonballs. More people will end up pushing that ball up into the air as some form of rally ball than trying to use it as a passing shot.

    Yes and no.

    If you have poor strokes, then you cannot play high percentage tennis in any case. It doesnt matter what your strokes "look" like.

    If you have good strokes, you can still play "low percentage" tennis by choosing poor shots.

    "high percentage tennis" is using a good stroke for a good shot.
     
  10. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Where's the rush in slapping another shot into the backstop? I play to win. That's the rush.

    My definition is someone who wins most of their points through an opponent's unforced errors.

    So is it working? Are you advancing rapidly with your ranking? I ask, because I see some of the same guys overhitting at 3.0 & 3.5 who have been overhitting at that level for years. Hitting the ball hard doesn't guarantee an improvement in your game. I think smart rec players will focus on their strengths and not everyone excels at hitting it hard. Court coverage and consistency are important skills - why not to use them if you have them?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  11. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hmmm, it'd be interesting to see, but I would imagine by your definition I would be a pusher then. Just from recent match memory I've definitely won more points off UE's then I have hit winners.

    -Fuji
     
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, the advantage of pushing...you win now, stay there, and no good player ever asks you to play.
    The advantage of hitting decently...you lose more than you win NOW, and lots of good player's are willing to hit and play with you.
    Your choice. King of your little world or... a newbie in a whole lot better world.
     
  13. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I see people do it a lot, and I'm a pretty inexperienced 3.0 player. Of course it's legit. At least in my opinion. It's part of what makes competitive tennis interesting. Vary pace, vary spin, vary location. If you do it well enough then you win games. If not, then you don't.
     
  14. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Good point, imo. I agree with this.
     
  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    that is part of the problem that we have with Lee here, that when he talks about a pusher he sees a timid little fellow who runs all over the court trying to retrieve balls and then´pushes´them back the middle with no pace or placement, fearful of mistakes:)
    i´m exaggerating here, as you might guess.
    whereas lots of people for example think of David Ferrer as the best pusher in the world at the moment.
    your initial question was about pushing as a legitimate tactic in a match, particularly regarding the serve. the answer to the question is of course yes,
    use it if it works.
    tennis is a game where the aim is to win and that means also you need the ability to figure out which tactic to use against different opponents.
     
  16. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    I will occasionally throw in an off speed serve to throw off an opponent, especially the inconsistent ball basher types. But I would not alter my technique or else they will see it coming. I also suggest a few extra hard second serves to really keep them guessing.
     
  17. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    of course the thread has deviated, as do most threads, and it´s about developing players now as well. what´s the best way to improve.
    first, not everybody starts out playing safe as Lee suggests. people bring their character on court and their preconceptions on how the game should be played. lots of people who hit out with power and no control to begin with
    i highly recommend going to the tennis tips section and check out the sticky about different playing styles.

    what you do is you work on improving all parts of your game, be it technique, anticipation, footwork, strategy, shot selection. and on the way you get a feeling about what your preferred game is, what fits your personality.
     
  18. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    I notice you ignored my question about whether your Agassi-like power strokes have actually been advancing your rating. That makes me think, "probably not". Anyhow, you sound like a social player. Very concerned that your buddies on the court won't think you wear Big Boy Pants if you aren't trying to rip an 80mph ground stroke. I just don't care about that stuff.

    Shhhh. Don't out yourself like that. Everyone on the TT message boards is on a grand Tennis Improvement Journey that ends at the feet of Roger Federer. Being willing to hit a dink shot for the win is Not Bueno.
     
  19. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    25 yrs ago asked a guy who won every tourney he entered at 4.0 what was the secret formula. He said most players are unwilling to work hard and keep the ball in play. He was bumped up and grew old.
     
  20. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    A pusher is anyone who beats LeeD.

     
  21. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hahaha! I guess my game is most similar to a counter puncher as I get a lot back but I'm able to overpower people at the same time. I guess it's just called being consistent? :razz:

    As for LeeD, I don't get your point of having higher level partners hit with you? If you are a consistent hitter, that's what high level players are looking for to practice with.

    -Fuji
     
  22. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    that´s what i look for in a training partner, and i´m sure most others who want to improve as well
     
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    consistent HITTER, not consistent dinker....up to 4.5.
    then, consistent HITTER, with some bigger shots, not just a rally king..
     
  24. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    CONSISTENT hitter, with CONSISTENT good placement and at higher levels the ability to change pace and spin as well
     
  25. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    change up serves against players with problems with return of serve then this might work , but I think higher levels like 4.5 or higher who have proficient abilities , it is might be too passive of a stroke and likely setting winners for the opponent to return off especially if it bounces up high and sits up.
     
  26. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i´ve seen Federer today hitting (for him) slow slice serves wide and winning points with that tactic against Ferrer, who expected big first serves
    changing pace and spin and direction works at all levels depending on the quality of the shot
     

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