The Six Playing Styles Described

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Kaptain Karl, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    Li Na crushes the ball. I mean destroys it. No soft-baller.
     
  2. topspin_17

    topspin_17 Rookie

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    what about moonballers?
     
  3. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    what type of style does nadal play? his style seems to be all of them other than s&v or net attacker. he plays well from the baseline (both aggresive and defensive at times) and he can run down just about everything. sometimes he even seems like a counterpuncher. anyone care to fill me in? thanks!
     
  4. Omisoshiru

    Omisoshiru New User

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    dang this was so interesting to read
     
  5. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Okay. This is one reason some TT-ers have suggested it's a bad idea to use particular Pros' playing styles as "types" for these styles. The Pros sometimes change their games.

    When I put Na up as a type it was certainly descriptive. (But I haven't seen her play in many months.)


    Depending on what you mean by "moonballer," they are probably covered by one of the other styles. (Moonballer is a label I don't see a lot of agreement on, so how can it be its own style?)


    Nadal is a good example of a Pro who is still adapting his game. I think it used to be legit to say he was almost exclusively an Aggressive Baseliner. But he is certainly Counter Punching and even playing All Court tennis (depending on the surface / opponent.)

    I'd say he's moving into the All Court category. (If his serve improved a bit more I think fewer people would think to argue.)


    Yeah. I'm still enjoying peoples' comments and questions. (And "Welcome to TT.")

    - KK
     
  6. I don't get where, people are saying that Rafa Nadal is an aggressive baseliner. At times, he might resemble an aggresive baseliner, but he doesn't play that kind of game all the time. He adapts that style of play when he plays counter-punchers himself, i.e. Hewitt and adapts an all-court game when he plays Federer, but his typical style is a counter-punching game. He doesn't make big returns of serves, which is a classic characteristic of an aggresive baseliner. Blake is an aggresive baseliner, staying at the baseline and trying to win the point from the baseline. Really any American player is that style...big serve, big forehand, typically slices the backhand.
    Aggressive Baseliners don't really do well on clay, which as we all know is quite the opposite for Nadal. Nadal is a grinder
     
  7. guygee

    guygee New User

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    Interesting post, thank you! Perhaps Emilie Loit (current rank 39), is the closest thing to a WTA example of "Spin Doctor".
     
  8. Lloyd Barcenilla

    Lloyd Barcenilla Professional

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    Whats murray?
     
  9. troytennisbum

    troytennisbum Rookie

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    These are the six "playing styles" that I saw predominate at the US Open.
    1. Baseliner*
    2. Baseliner*
    3. Baseliner*
    4. Baseliner*
    5. Baseliner*
    6. Baseliner* who "sometimes" goes to the net

    *Please don't misunderstand what I mean by baseliner. All of these guys/gals would go the
    net to finish a point off IF they had their opponent on the defensive. But rarely would they
    go in if their opponent was not in a defensive position.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  10. 757tennis

    757tennis Rookie

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    what is nadal? he comes across as a retriever/baseliner/sometimes net rusher
     
  11. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Murray's a Scot.
     
  12. stav_babolat

    stav_babolat Rookie

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    i like to consider myself as an aggressive baseliner, yet when im playing stronger people or fellow even harder-hitters, i seem to switch to defensive. Also, recently, ive been hesitating and getting a bit cautious with my forehand cross court (my biggest weapon), i know i shoudnt do this, but ill have to work on mentally blocking that fear out, and just going for it.
     
  13. stav_babolat

    stav_babolat Rookie

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    hahaha, good one.
     
  14. 757tennis

    757tennis Rookie

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    anybody have anymore examples of machine baseliners besides nalbandian?
     
  15. rec2000

    rec2000 New User

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    I couldn't agree more. The more baseliners there are, the more net players will be successful (after all, the all these baseliners won't be used to hitting so many passing shots).

    I hope there will be a resurgence of the exclusive net player now that henman is gone.
     
  16. stav_babolat

    stav_babolat Rookie

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    ive never really experienced these styles before in person. The fellow teens at my club are pretty much all baseliners.
    Either counter punchers or bashers.
    Im probably in between a basher and a counter punccher baseliner myself. (but i do make lots of errors.) I like to defend and retrieve when i have to but like to hit hard myslef when i get the chance.
    I really hate net players because i seem to have some sub consious fear when playing them and i usually have trouble with them. Apart from that , i havnt really played pushers/ junk ballers/ variious s+v's etc.lol
     
  17. xnarek

    xnarek Rookie

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    Very nice list. I read most of them and the opponent i played has like 4 different names lol. He wins in different ways almost every points
     
  18. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Would you consider Nadal a spin doctor, soft baller, or retriever?

    And I like what you did w/ the Attack the Net. It gives the defintion for both an offensive and defensive Net game, like Sampras did with his chip & charge when returning serve
     
  19. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I'd say Nadal's predominant style is Baseline Blaster. But he is versatile and has shown us Machine Baselining ... Retrieving ... Counter-punching. Some might even say "All Court," but that's stretching it, IMO.

    - KK
     
  20. greekfire

    greekfire New User

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    Im impressed with the research kk, a good reference point, but in theory tennis and one's game is affected by what your opponent does and vice versa, therefore, in my opinion, one has to be willing to adapt to one's opponent. The trick is, while you've drifted from your comfort zone to compensate for their strengths, they should adapt to you, and if there is a weakness in their adaptation, exploit it. Much like a good boxing match, we have to work on our weaknesses to exploit our opponents strengths. So, by putting a label on our style of play, I believe that we actually box ourselves in and have already conceited defeat. Still though, great job.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Can anyone see Federer as an "all court" counter puncher?
    A counter puncher is working off what you do and I see Fed doing that all the time. He usually only attacks net after setting it up by working the point or by not coming in for 5-10 points and then using it to surprise.

    I don't see him hitting that big (for him) that often except when he is addressing a weakness that he has first exposed. For him that can even be on the 1st shot of a point, as he may have set up a certain serve of return with what he did on the last five points.
     
  22. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Is Canas a good example of a machine baseliner?

    I once saw him go about a set and a half with only 1 unforced error. :shock:
     
  23. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    i would think so.
     
  24. JacKKyKung

    JacKKyKung Semi-Pro

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    What's different between All-courter & All-arounder?
     
  25. GeorgeLucas

    GeorgeLucas Banned

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    By god, all-courters and all-arounders are like apples and oranges!! But really, they are one and the same =/
     
  26. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    KK, what tips do you have on facing a guy that hits with no power what so ever? I can't stand that at all. I fair better when given pace.
     
  27. x5150

    x5150 Rookie

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    how do you beat the machine baseliner? I can't figure out how to beat this guy. I think I have the tools. I have a better serve, way more power from both sides, I'm quicker but he does have more endurance than me though. He will place the ball from side to side and wear me down. I try to wait for short balls to approach on but he doesn't give me too many. By the time I do get an approach shot I'm too tired to setup for a proper shot and prob hit it out or give him something weak he can just lob or angle back.
     
  28. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    This brings to mind my question ... my coach says a great serve and volley player / chip & charger will always beat a great baseliner.

    I watched one of the Men's Open in Arizona recently and the man who beat everyone fairly handily did move to the net more often than the people he beat. Beat people much younger who played the baseline with powerful strokes.

    What do you all think?
     
  29. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    bump to this Q
     
  30. Rafael_Nadal_6257

    Rafael_Nadal_6257 Semi-Pro

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    Well...not necessarily. Its more like really good/great serve and volley style tennis players are less common than really good/great baseline type players.

    This means that the serve and volleyers are used to playing good baseliners, while the baseliners aren't that used to playing good serve and volley/chip & charge style tennis players.

    Kind of the same thing with some righties finding it harder to beat a lefty than a righty.

    Also, the players who are really good at serving and volleying are as you said quite a bit older than those with just powerful groundstrokes, so they have a lot more experience, play a more varied game, and have a better mental/court sense.
     
  31. Rafael_Nadal_6257

    Rafael_Nadal_6257 Semi-Pro

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    Your opponent is called a pusher. Lots of tips and strategies on this...at the second sticky called "Pusher" ... Playing This (Dreaded) Opponent at the top of the Tennis Tips/Instruction sub-forum.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=126199

    Pages and pages of strategies, tips, and pointers.
     
  32. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Great clarifying answer ! Thanks so much ... makes sense that it takes a few years of experience to play a more varied game ... really fun to watch!
     
  33. Gyrik

    Gyrik New User

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    KK, if I can comfortably play all of those positions, what does that make me...?
     
  34. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps this sticky could be replaced with a FAQ sticky?
     
  35. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    a bisexual?
     
  36. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    You would fit the very definition of an All Court player.

    - KK
     
  37. RanchDressing

    RanchDressing Semi-Pro

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    counter puncher add Andy Murray. excellent example of counter puncher...
     
  38. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Of course there are professional tennis players who are pushers. What would you call Gilles Simon?
     
  39. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Nonsense!

    - KK
     
  40. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Hello Josh,

    Hard for me to agree with this after seeing so many video clips and reviewing their strokes so that they can be broken down into instruction.

    Do you have a player in mind? The true definition of a pusher type player do not make it beyond the advanced level of play. There may be a few floundering around, but they are few and far between.

    Now, I will agree that a pro may push a ball in a point or rally in order to do something. However, they are not considered pushers.

    An example of a pro pushing a ball is like when they are sprinting to the net and they "bump" the ball to the other side. Or they can "push" the ball when they are out of balance or position just to stay in the point. However, once they get their bearings, they will take a full swing.

    Perhaps you are getting a counter-punchers style mixed up with a player that pushes the ball?
     
  41. Squall Leonheart

    Squall Leonheart Rookie

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    I thought this thread was stickied already? Well, since it apparently was not, I recommend that it is.
     
  42. oest10

    oest10 Semi-Pro

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    I think the best example of a machine baseliner is Davydenko... Besides that you did great Kaptain Karl !
     
  43. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    very nice read, thanks
     
  44. SHRIEK

    SHRIEK Rookie

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    GILLES SIMON IS NOT A PUSHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HE WOULDN'T BE ON THE PRO TOUR IF HE WAS A PUSHER
     
  45. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    I agree with this analysis ... players who get into the top 3 or 4 will adjust their game to whomever they are playing. I take exceptions with the idea though that all Americans are this way ... there are tons of serve and volley people, who can play an all court game ... McEnroe, Samprass, etc., etc.

    Any really good player will adjust from point to point!
     
  46. djoko4thewin

    djoko4thewin Professional

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    SO, what style of play is DJOKOVIC?
     
  47. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    except for Roddick, IMHO, the top 5 must be all court players to beat many different types of styles.

    others opinions welcome

    (I adore Roddick so please don't flame me)
     
  48. itisgregory

    itisgregory Rookie

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    Karl,
    I like your saying PUT-OFF. Several days ago I wrote a quick piece about that subject! You should read some of the immature/lazy comments. I was shocked at how many players had a "no big deal attitude" about foot faulting.
     
  49. JakeHCoker

    JakeHCoker Rookie

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    Best I've seen so far. I guess I'm a spin doctor. Never heard that one before.
     
  50. Liv3 For It

    Liv3 For It Guest

    which is best besides all court?
     

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