The Six Playing Styles Described

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

  1. TennisTech

    TennisTech New User

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    Hi I've been a long time tennis player since I was 7 years old, and I've gone through the juniors as a top #3 national player in age groups until the 18's. I also played on tour for 6 years and now I am a private coach of 2 kids.
    Going through tennis life and playing with only the best of the best and the best coach's, even though I'm not old enough to get respect from the parents I know a little bit more than an average tennis parent.

    The point to is I'm having trouble explaining the counter-punching style of tennis. I completely agree with your post and I said the same thing to the parent of my student and they disagreed with me.

    They came to me and showed me the book Maximum Tennis by Nick Saviano(Which I've met and been coached by him once before). I can't remember exactly what it says but basically it said that a counter-puncher is considered a defensive player and they are called "pushers". And in professional tennis there are no counter-punchers since the balls are hit hard and with fast pace.

    When I saw this in the book I was dumbstruck... I've never in my tennis life heard one coach saying that a counter puncher is a pusher. There are some counter punching baseliners in pros that I am thinking. One player I can think on top of my head would be Davydenko. Also in the book it said that Arantxa Sánchez Vicario is a counter puncher... I've always heard and thought that she was a retriever...

    I know you've written it in your first post but in my word and knowledge, "pushers" do not generate spin on their ball and it just floats rather than generating their own pace and cutting through the air like a "grinders" ball which has a lot of topspin, which is the same thing you said...

    Are counter punchers, pushers in your opinions? Am I wrong about this?

    I am getting a lot of stress going through everything with me on what is right and wrong...

    Thanks for reading the post and thanks again for all the future replies.
     
  2. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    People are probably going to disagree with me... but I speak as a former pusher.

    I think counter-puncher is the highest step in the pusher evolutionary ladder. The evolutionary path is: Pusher => Junk-Baller => Counter-Puncher.

    2.5 to 3.5) A pusher just gets the ball back. Zero weapons.
    3.5 to 4.0) A junk-baller gets the ball back with varying spin and placement.
    4.0+) A counter-puncher can get the ball back by hitting a strong forehand stroke.

    To me, it is all pushing. It is a mindset. All three archetypes focus on trying to make the opponent take bad shots. All three feed on the frustration of their opponents. All three like their opponents to bring the game to them... as opposed to vice versa.

    Right now, I'd classify myself as a junk-baller/spin doctor/chopper. I have a decent serve. I have great placement, varying depth, lots of crazy spins, mad defense. Once I get a big forehand topspin shot, I'll be a counter puncher.
     
  3. taffymoon

    taffymoon Semi-Pro

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    Thank you so much for clarifying all these types - really helpful for me.
     
  4. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Sorry folks. I haven't been on TT for over four months. Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you like this breakdown.


    Since I have NO idea how you play, I cannot answer this question. Too much of the answer depends on your strengths and weaknesses.



    Don't sweat it. You cannot win everyone over to your way of thinking. Stick to sound principles and let those doubters believe what they want.

    Even the "experts" can be wrong. Listen to all the idiotic comments Gilbert blathers about during matches. (Assume a long rant about the dopey remarks from Gilbert, Fowler, Enberg and both MJ Fernandez and Shriver when they are commenting on the play of the girls....)

    "Oh well...!"

    No and no.

    Those who call counter punchers "pushers" are really just frustrated with their own inadequacies. We humans find a reason to belittle what we cannot understand. "They" don't understand counter punching. IMO, you are not mistaken.

    ___________

    Tennis is not as complicated as many people try to make it seem. (I tell my players "Singles is checkers; doubles is chess." Most Singles players don't like hearing this, but IMO it's easy to demonstrate.)

    Keep teaching and coaching with good principles. Over time you'll gain the respect of the more ... experienced ... folks. Your results will come.

    - KK
     
  5. jester911

    jester911 Rookie

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    In boxing a counter puncher is dangerous even to top fighters.
    This is also true in tennis.

    This definition of the term in boxing could easily fit a tennis player and it would not fit as a definition of a pusher.

    Counter punchers are tactical, defensive fighters who rely on opponent mistakes in order to gain an attacking advantage to get score cards or the chance of a knockout. They use their well-rounded defensive skills to avoid or block shots in order to immediately place well-timed punches on opponents who have lost their guard.
     
  6. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    Exactly! As a former boxer and boxing coach I can tell you that most ppl dont get this because most ppl really dont understand boxing. A counter puncher doesnt take the fight to you, but hes a smart guy waiting to destroy you as soon as you make a mistake. Not the most fancy style but VERY effective if you are good at it. Same applies for tennis, wait for the opponent to attack and turn his aggresion against him, it takes more skill than ppl think!
     
  7. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    I aspire to be an all courter.

    Here's a theory i guess i could have.

    In the recreational level, I'd see it as a jack of all trades style, with perhaps one or 2 serious weapons.

    Ideally the All Courter has to be a mental beast, with a strategy and variety and the ability to know when to adjust, know when to S&V, when to come into the net and when to stay back and play defense.

    I could be completely wrong though.
     
  8. TennisTech

    TennisTech New User

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    Thank you everyone for the replies.

    So I was right. Counter punching is not pushing.

    I love the analogy between boxing and tennis. I think they are very similar too in mentality and strategy.

    Even though you said it's not a fancy style, the last shot to go on the offensive and win the point can be very fancy in my opinion. Just like knocking someone out by when they make a mistake and leave an opening in boxing.
     
  9. TennisTech

    TennisTech New User

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    When I hear mental beast. I tend to think of a grinder who can stay out on the court all day and make your life miserable while you're playing them.

    All court players are very smart and cunning. They can hit every shot in the book and can return any kind of shot back. They also know when to attack, be neutral, and be defensive. I've never really met a recreational players who can be an all court player.
     
  10. catcher

    catcher New User

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    how do you describe a big guy with a big first serve and a shockingly weak second serve, big and well placed forehand, slices 90% of all backhand except for passing shots (which he does pretty well) and the odd return (and in doubles)? anyone played such a person, i saw one playing, was surprisingly effective
     
  11. Enter The CHICKEN!!!!

    Enter The CHICKEN!!!! Banned

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    You can't, not in one word anyway. Just seems like a hybrid player. Big serve + likes to counterpunch by junkballing and seems like he lures people to the net.
     
  12. SeriousSummer

    SeriousSummer New User

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    Styles make fights is the old boxing axiom, and I had an interesting experience with how changing styles can completely change the course of a tennis match.

    I play more than 90% of the time against one partner. We're both over 50, learned to play decades ago and use only limited topspin. Other than that (and that we're old), our games are pretty sound, in an old-fashioned way.

    My style has always been Attack the Net, but I don't serve and volley anymore, since I'm too slow and it's too physically exhausting. He's got a trememdously big serve and after that is strickly a counterpuncher. So I'm a 1b and he's a 3 under the classification system.

    We play about even, although I've had a slight edge the last couple of months. But yesterday he was getting the better of me. He was keeping the ball deep, I was forcing my approach shots and when I came to the net, I was either watching an offense lob just clear my reach to land on the baseline, a sharply angled (but soft) passing shot clip the sideline (and if I got to one, then the next one beat me on the opposite side of the court) or was forced to volley from below the net. If we hadn't played hundreds of sets then I would have sworn it was luck--nobody could be that accurate--but we've played so much that I know that if I don't make him hit a backhand on the run, then the best shot I'm likely to get is an overhead from the service line or deeper. In short "Opponents playing both Attack the Net and Baseline tennis are fooled into thinking “He can’t keep that up the whole match.” When do these opponents realize their error? Unfortunately, when -- befuddled -- they are shaking hands at the net and congratulating the Counter Puncher on a 6-3, 6-3 victory."

    Well I realized it after he'd won two sets at 5-7, 2-6 and we were getting ready to play a third set.

    For the third set, I decided I had to me more patient and wait for a short ball to come in. So after we each held serve, he got up forty-love in the third game. I managed to slice his serve into the backhand corner. The ball came back deep so I sliced it into the forehand corner and he made an unforced error.

    That started a trend. No matter what he hit, I just sliced it deep to one corner of the court. I was tired and low on energy anyway so standing at the baseline floating the ball back deep seemed ok. We had some very long (and soft) rallies but almost all of them ended with my opponent making an unforced error. I won the set 6-2, and I'm not sure I hit a winner.

    I had accidentally transformed myself into a Junkballer Chop Shotter (4b) and without anything to counterpunch against, my opponent didn't have any idea how to win a point. I turned out to be more consistent than he was (a surprise since I usually don't like to play more than 5 or 6 shots before coming to the net).

    So I learned that the style I like to play is exactly what my opponent likes to play against, while a style I don't like to play gives him fits. Same players, same skills, different result.

    This doesn't mean I'm going to change styles. I enjoy putting the pressure on my opponent and love to hit big volleys and overheads. There's nothing at stake except bragging rights, so I'm going to play the style that's fun, rather than the style that was effective.

    I thought, though that it was an interesting experiment.
     
  13. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Well, I know of what you speak. I have had different tennis coaches tell me different things over the last couple of years, and I often hear: "Don't hit the ball any harder than you have to to get it in."

    My temperament is to like to spank the ball. Then I ran across an article on one of the tennis sites I subscribe to describing temperaments and styles of playing tennis.

    Personally I find it more effective to go with your own style that is comfortable and build ones own game around it. People who are cautious in general will play cautious, more calculating style. Those more extroverted "red" types will play an aggressive style.

    I think to be true to my temperament style, and then play using my natural assets first, and gradually bring up the liabilities in my game with practice and lessons is what I have found the MOST ENJOYABLE way for me to learn to play the game.

    For myself I would rather go down in flames hitting full out than trying to craftily place the ball. My husband plays the opposite game and we make good doubles partners because we each deliver a different style.

    I'm all for having fun and doing what comes more naturally as far as styles.
     
  14. eliza

    eliza Guest

    KK, great thread. I laughed hard. Please forward my compliments to your 74yrs old.....and simpathy for his opponents. Another proof that in tennis age is not always the most relevant factor...............

    May I suggest, once you coaches are happy with a final classification, that you continue with the thread "how to become an effective baseliner, counterpuncher etc.?
     
  15. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Andy Roddick?

    -Fuji
     
  16. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    LOL!!!!

    You, sir, are made of win!
     
  17. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    LOL!!!

    Thank you Timbo! I couldn't resist posting that.

    -Fuji
     
  18. Qubax

    Qubax Professional

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    The problem is Roddick doesn't have a "big and well placed FH"

    he has a consistent, and reasonably well placed FH, but nothing about his FH is BIG
     
  19. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    Every time I watch Roddick, I can't believe how weak his FH is, especially when you see the kind of leverage he gets on his serve. If he could just take his serve and make it horizontal...voila!
     
  20. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Roddick has a fine forehand. He just has no real confidence and always plays it too safe. No where near enough aggression while baselining. Which is shocking given his amazing serve. I'd love to see more unforced errors (while on the offensive) from Roddick.

    While Djokovic has always been a great returner, the real reason why he finally started winning majors is because he started going for those tough, low-margin shots.

    The top people on the tour go for their shots.
     
  21. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Is there anywhere in this long thread where KK or anyone lists effective counter styles to the six styles? E.g If I see a baseline machine, how should I play?
     
  22. KHSOLO

    KHSOLO Semi-Pro

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    Best thread in these forums so far
     
  23. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I don't believe KK posted it, but I think I could attempt this myself, and maybe with some help and revisions make it! :)

    Attack the Net:

    Both Counter Punching and Blasters I think cause the most trouble to Attack the Net players. Counter Punchers often cause a lot of problems to ATN players because they often have a few shots that can thread the needle/hit at the net players feet quite easily, from their consistency. Blasters also can cause quite a bit of damage because of their ability to hit straight "through" the net player! All being equal, a blast at the same level as an ATN player, the blaster will quite often hit big enough shots to either discourage the net player.

    Blasters:

    Machine base liners and Counter Punchers are the bane for Blasters. Often these types of players are impossible to hit through because of their speed, consistency and stamina, with their consistent strokes. It's different then a pusher, because both Machines and CP's can create their own pace, and tire out the Blasters who USUALLY have less then perfect stamina. Pushers / Retrievers also may have an advantage because of foot speed, but all being equal, Blasters usually are able to dismantle and hit through the Pusher. Also, skilled Junk Ballers are going to cause a lot of damage to blasters, if the Blaster is not very quick on their feet, and they are not able to adjust their strokes accordingly. Most Blasters I have seen, take a long time to set up their shots, (Long, loopy strokes), so messing with their timing is key.

    Soft Baller:

    The Soft Baller is an odd one to play against, because they are able to neutralize pace. The best strategy against them is to Attack the Net and really punish their low powered shots. Blasters, if they are able to keep their cool, should also have little problems with this type of player.

    Retrievers:

    Retrievers are especially difficult to play against, if you play a similar style. There are a few ways of taking down a Retriever! You can... A) Not let them use their stamina. Attack the net and really try to take them down before they can wear you out. Angles are your friend with volleys to try and get them to waste THEIR energy, instead of yours. B) Machine Base Line! If you are able to dictate the pace and direction of the ball, and make the Retriever run, while you yourself are able to more or less sit back and relax, it's an easy day in the park for you! C) Counter Punch. This will be the longest game in history, but I believe it is one way to take down a solid Retriever. They are able to slowly wear down the Retriever while making some offensive shots to win points. Expect it to be a long day with a true Counter Puncher VS a Retriever.

    Counter Puncher:

    Counter Punchers in my opinion, are some of the hardest players to play against at equal levels. Their ability to switch between defense and offense usually will leave you dazed and confused, not to mention flat footed. Spin Doctors and Machine Base Liners could possibly have the best chance. SD's MAY be able to fool the CP's with their drop shots and lobs, but CP's are also masters in those types of shot's themselves. It's an interesting match up, and I think it is a good match up, but depending on the SD's stamina, it might be tough. Machine Base Liners are really the anti Counter Puncher in my mind. They are able to outlast CP's in my mind, and plus they are steady. If they are able to neutralize the CP's winners, then they will do well against them.

    Machine Base Liner:

    Attack the Net is one of the only strategies I can think that can truly defeat the Machinist. Only if you are able to angle them off the court, and wrong foot them are you going to win. Machine base liners are the steadiest opponent for any play style to come up against in my mind. (I think of Sampras VS Agassi, a very even match up!)

    Now onto the bane of life for most Recreation Players....

    Junk Ballers:

    JB's are tough to play against, until you can learn to read their game. Machine base liners, Attack the Net, Pushers, Counter Punchers and Soft ballers have the greatest chance of victory against them. While JB's don't have the strongest play style, they do often evolve into Counter Punchers. Basically if you are able to read the stroke timing, and attack their weaknesses such as power it's going to be a good day. ATN can put way more pressure on their shots, it's going to be favorable. Junk Ballers really can cause damage to Blasters I find, but that is about it.

    Spin Doctors:

    Treat them as junk ballers. The main strategy against this type of player is to ATN, or Outlast them as a Counter Puncher. Hitting through them is difficult, so this play style may cause trouble for any type of base liner, other then the Counter Puncher!

    Chop Shotters:

    These guys are difficult to play against. The best strategy is to Attack the Net. They cause A LOT of problems for any type of base line player, which includes Blasters, Machinists, Pushers, Counter Punchers, and every thing else. Name it, and Chop Shotters can cause some of the ugliest games possible. They live off your pace. Soft Ballers may have a chance of beating them, but it's going to take a long time. (See your local Granny Match between 2 soft ballers.)

    Pushers:

    Pushers in my mind, are the easiest player to beat with a bit of confidence in your game. All you need to do is be willing to step in and let it rip! Attack the Net, Blasters, and Counter Punchers will have the easiest time with the Pusher. Topspin is your friend and so are angles. Attack the net in my mind is the easiest, but if Blasters are willing to step in the court and start hitting some sharp angles, it's going to be a good day. Blasters I find have an easy time hitting angles and really hitting through the Pusher. Counter Punchers are also able to play "Puppet Master" with them and drag them side to side with angled Top Spin shots until they are able to blow them off the court with a good winner.

    Last but not least....

    All Courters:

    All Couters are unique because they are rare, and they are jack of all trades. The best strategy against an AC is to find what they do "worst" of their skills and attack that. It also means being stronger in your game, then they are in theirs. Any "Pure" style should be able to beat an AC assuming that they have confidence and skill to do so. A Blaster should try and exchange the AC in Base line rallies, and hit through them, because they are better at it then the AC. Counter Punchers should try and outlast, and wear down the AC, while drawing them into the net to pass them. Machines should try and just keep them steadily back and wear them down. I've noticed that AC's don't normally have the worlds greatest stamina, so wearing them down is a good strategy. Adjust accordingly however! They are truly tough opponents. Also, an AC is an AC's worst enemy. It's the best tennis to watch IMO, and the hardest to play.

    I think that's it for now!

    -Fuji
     
  24. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    This will seem like a very "political" answer, but ... I think YOUR style is the best one against any of the six styles. My hope is, by understanding the six styles, you'll know how your preferred style matches up against your opponents.

    If you're up against a Machine Baseliner and YOUR style is Junk Ball, play your game. The Junk Baller *can* drive the Machine Baseliner nuts by not giving him any rhythm. If he can't get "grooved" you already have an advantage.

    If your style is Attack The Net ... do it! You and your opponent will be in one of the "classic" battles of wits. Assuming your ability levels are comparable, whomever is mentally toughest will probably prevail.

    If you're another Machine Baseliner, it's going to be one LOOooong match to see who prevails. (But why -- unless you really ARE an All Courter -- would you change away from your strong suit?)


    Glad you enjoyed it.

    - KK
     
  25. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Wow! Fuji, you put a lot of work into this. I really enjoyed this analysis. Nice job!

    ___________

    I consider myself to be an Attack The Net player with "elements" of All Courter. (I can switch to Counter Puncher, Soft Baller, Junk Ball, Baseliner or Retriever for a few points to confuse or add variety.)

    I don't have the patience to Soft Ball for games-in-a-row. I don't have the stamina to Retrieve more than three or four points in a row. I don't have the psychological stamina to keep Junk Balling very long. (I don't feel like a "real" tennis player if I'm Junk Balling. BUT ... if JUNK will bring me a victory, you're gonna see a lot of junk against me!)

    If my opponent is a true Baseliner, I will not attempt to out-Baseline him. That's my weakest style. (I'm 55 and play at altitude [over 6,000 ft], where the thin air IS an important consideration. Most players of my generation are either Attack The Net, Counter Punchers or Junk Ballers. Guys my age (generally) see a 6-8 shot point as a long point. Most of these guys consider themselves Baseliners if they can hit the ball back with depth four times in-a-row. Surely I can out-steady THAT. But today's Baseliner can hit with depth and pace for 12-20 shots consistently. (This is what I mean by "true Baseliner.") I cannot hang with these guys and I know it.

    [I played on the East Coast last year and was *amazed* at how easy it was to sustain a rally in thicker air. And my kick serve really KICKS down there! I suspect I'd be better at Baselining as a Flat-Lander.]

    - KK
     
  26. KHSOLO

    KHSOLO Semi-Pro

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    :) i c plenty of friends i play with in those sentences

    It would be awesome if for every style there could a counter style as well, that would help me a lot i think
     
  27. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Check out my ridiculously long and detailed post on defeating certain styles! :)

    -Fuji
     
  28. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Thanks a lot KK! I've actually been mulling this over for MONTHS on end. Pretty much since I started taking up a higher level of tennis. To me, it's probably the closest I've come to a completed list of it.

    From the sounds of it, we play similar games! I started out as a pure serve and volley player, but as I progressed with my game, I learned to how to counter punch quite effectively! So I have quite an bizzaro all court style, where I am able to attack from anywhere, and I have the foot speed of gazelle.

    Honestly, I have a hard time playing a true "baseliner" game, I just don't have the patience to bash my forehand the same 20 times in a row, during a game! When I counter punch, I get it back until I can strike a winner! :D

    -Fuji
     
  29. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    I've been following this thread for a while, and watching what the pros do ... It seems one must change their style/plan depending upon who one is playing.

    If a player prefers to hit big top spin shots and comes across someone who loves these as well, should she or he not use what the other person doesn't relish more?

    A lot of the people I play like low hard balls, so of course I try to get balls to bounce up on them as much as I can. Not always possible being out of position of course.

    Then the occasional person will love hitting big high shots themselves, so I don't give them that. Doesn't a person need to change depending upon who they are playing?

    Don't the pros work on various things to become more well rounded only to have their opponent find their weakness and exploit it until the most well rounded player with the best conditioning wins?
     
  30. passive_aggressive

    passive_aggressive Banned

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    Isn't there alot of needless overlap in the categories? Especially the baseliner categories...?

    Surely there is;

    All-Courter: Federer, Tsonga
    S & V: Llodra, Federer
    Ball-Basher: Soderling, Berdych, Del-Potro, Federer
    Machine Baseliner: Nadal, Djokovic, Davydenko, Federer
    Counterpuncher: Simon, Hewitt, Federer
    Junk Baller: Murray, Dolgopolov, Tomic, Federer
     
  31. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Grr! I just posted a big answer to this and it didn't work.

    "Sometimes" is my answer.

    Most of the top Pros simply impose their games on their opponents. They do what they are best at and believe they're better at the top style than playing their 2nd or 3rd best style.

    But ... Bill Tilden was known for beating *his* opponents at their best style. Asked why, his answer was, That way all they have to fall back on is their weaknesses.

    What do you think?

    - KK
     
  32. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Good strategy if you are better than everyone else. Probably not a great strategy for the rest of us. Good to see you back posting KK.
     
  33. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Thanks for your reply ~

    That is what a very good coach in PHX told me. I am able to get lessons only on occasion because of the distance, but he says "if you don't deliver, you will be punished and pay for weak shots." Impose one's game ...
     
  34. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    That is my experience. And most people I play have a lot more years of experience playing so I'm not all that "match hardy" meaning the match is half over by the time my nerves settle. I prefer to play people who hit hard (my practice partner is my hubby) and many of the people I play in matches hit soft puff shots, both for serves and other strokes, so I end up over hitting a lot under pressure.
     
  35. effortless

    effortless Rookie

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    Gotta love junk ballers.

    As a former junk baller i can safely say that they usually love base-liners, especially blasters. I used to love playing blasters with their huge shots who thought they were the best. I would then end up beating them 6-0 with my variety and spin.

    Now i'm an all-courter but resort to junk balling if i'm completely out-classed.
     
  36. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Back when Boris Becker was playing, in one match he stayed from the baseline to play Mats Wilander and his coach Ion Tiriac said that was a stupid idea :)
     
  37. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    OMGosh I love this. My hubby and I have only played about 5 years but HE is the natural athlete and is very clever and tricky. Full of junk shots and spin and placement.

    I told him to hit like a man and work on his top spin ground strokes and drives, and now I beat him much more because I can get to the balls now, LOL

    For people who like to swing out and play someone with pace, there is NOTHING worse than junk balls !

    You git'em !
     
  38. Veninga

    Veninga Rookie

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    I agree. It is about mindset. And yes a counterpunch is a really good pusher who is also able to go out on attack when possible. So he first get the ball back, ideally with a lot of spin or angled, and if he gets a powerfull ball in his wheelhouse (or a sitter), he puts it away (using the pace of his opponent, instead of creating it his self).

    Aggressive playes have a mindset to make winners. To outplay their opponents by making the shot using pace or angles or position in court.
     
  39. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Hi KK,

    I think that is very wise. Hence why it is not good to avoid someone's weakness. It might break down that day :)

    Having taken more lessons during the past year, I come to the game with a different mindset than when I was scrambling. :-/

    Instead of styles, I am playing more the geometry of the court along with the Wardlaw Directionals ... my FH is my weapon with my serve coming in 2nd, so I feel confident about OHs as well. If I am pulled wide on the deuce side, of course hitting DTL is still "back into the court" so to speak.

    This approach gives me less to think about. I'm not so worried about whether someone has a good BH or FH or whether they are R or L handed as much as getting my balls deep into the corners, getting my serves deep, and mixing the high roller with the drive.

    Having a groin injury I don't run back so fast any more for the OH but I try to take everything in the air instead of letting it bounce. And ground strokes on the rise as close to the ground as possible focusing upon placement and robbing opponent of time, rather than their style. Waiting for the short ball and getting to pick from my geometric options.

    This way I am thinking more about what is going on on my side of the net and worrying less about the opponent. If they play better, whatever style, they will win, and I go back to practicing my combination of shots and further refine my 2-H BH.

    This approach allows me to watch the ball much more closely, keep my head still, and not get so distracted with where or what my opponent is up to. I'm not saying this is right for all time, but it is what I am working on now and has brought me a lot more peace of mind when playing.
     
  40. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Awesome... I would love to see a how to beat them/weakness section below each of these ;-)
     
  41. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    You should check my post on what styles match up best against each of them! :razz:

    -Fuji
     
  42. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

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    i almost beat a high school state champion being a human back board. and i beat a high school state runner up using the same style
     
  43. Tennisclint

    Tennisclint New User

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    I believe not using a polyester string puts you at a disadvantage. Every top pro in the world uses some type of monofilament string in their rackets.

    Polyester string has a very simple structure: It consists of a single polyester fiber with a thin coating. This allows you to use a thinner string and still maintain durability while keeping a bit of feel.
     
  44. Gasquet's Backhand

    Gasquet's Backhand New User

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    What are some general strategies in beating an all court player?
     
  45. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Wow! What a question.

    To review:
    Also, if you read a few pages into the thread you noticed some confusion with this Style's name. "All Courters" could be better named "All Stylers." Several players (inaccurately) presume AC describes the positions players use on the court. I didn't invent this name for this style. It's been used for decades to describe a player who is adept at many of the other five styles.

    Back to your question: In my opinion, it comes down to two things match-up of your own developed styles ... and your mental fortitude. Usually an All Courter is not AS strong in one of the styles he likes to employ. (Or he's just a bit "off" with part of his game that day.)

    Try to figure out if any of your strengths are working better than one of his not-so-strong styles that day. [Say. His passing shots are missing more than usual.] If Attack The Net is a strength of yours and you observe that his passing shots are only working 3-out-of-5 times, rather than his usual 4/5, then Attack The Net, Baby!

    But you are in for a long and difficult battle against the All Courter. If he figures out what you are doing he may switch to Drop-Shot / Lob as a counter to your Attack The Net style. (Or Retriever -- if he's determined you are only good for one or two volleys before your net game breaks down. Et Cetera.)

    The other suggestion I have is ... develop your own preferred style to the point you can impose it on almost anyone. That way (hopefully) you won't care *what* the other guy is doing. You are in the Zone and loving life...!

    - KK
     
  46. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the post OP (probably doesn't read this but). I was laughing my a** off reading some of the commentary and how true much of it is (though there is exaggeration for effect).

    Having just finished my first league matches and played some 13 players of all varying styles, I can understand better what OP is saying. In the 3.5/4.0 level I've found the toughest guy to beat is the lefty backboard master (Nadal-like). This one guy in his 50s, undefeated. Some players, I'm finding, can only be beaten if you play them a certain style (and not the one you want to play or best at). There is where the strategy comes in and that's a big part of winning tennis.

    This was the most entertaining post I've read here. Thanks.
     
  47. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks! I'm rarely on TT anymore, but I just logged-in and I thank you.

    - KK
     
  48. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Some people just hate certain styles of opponents. Back in my high school tennis days I knew there was one kid on my team that hated passing shots and lobs. Being 6'4", I learned that I could attack the net a ton against him and he'd never really settle into the match, and miss a lot of attempts at getting around me at the net.
     
  49. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    1. Serve and volleyer (this also includes chip and charge, and Attacking Style of Play). We all know, because of the slowing down of the tennis ball and playing surface and because of much improved return of serve, this style is rarely used.

    2. All court player. (a player who can serve and volley, play from the baseline, passing shots, and also attack the net behind approach shots). If one has any ambition at the top of international level he/she may work on this.

    3. Aggressive Baseline Play (like Nadal and Djokovic who can pound the balls from the baseline with aggressive topspin and put any ball away for winner that lands short either in the mid-court, in the right zone, or in the left zone).

    4. Defensive Baseliner: Who simply returns the ball via a topspin; does not go for winners, no approach shots, no net).

    5. Counter-Puncher: (Chang, Hewitt). This type of player thrives on someone else's pace. He can approach and volley if he so pleases!

    The most important thing for any aspiring player is to know himself, his opponent, to know who is doing what to whom and then bring in the type of play to counter him.
     
  50. SOY78

    SOY78 Semi-Pro

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    This is an awesome sticky. Too bad I didn't notice it until today. I guess I am a hybrid all-courter/counter-puncher LOL
     

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