Winning ugly or pretty?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Strategy I like for both myself and opponent to play well but I been playing matches where I can see glaring weakness in my opponents at the start of the match
    For example I played a tennis match with someone who got nervous and stroke the ball into the net every time I rushed to volley
    I started chip and charge and serve and volley to get some"easy" points as the other player couldnt lob or make any descent passing shots
    I rather play a baseline game but won so many points at the net that every chance I could I rushed to the net
    I felt I was winning "ugly"
    I rather try to outlast opponent by prolonging a rally or going for high percentage winners
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
    #1
  2. slymule

    slymule New User

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    There is no such thing as winning ugly unless your cheating. Would you of felt better if you won by playing with your racquet in the opposite hand? Winning is playing however and whatever works to get the job done. Sure you don't have to completely demolish someone if you're a much stronger player, but a win is a win if its only by one point. If you're running over somebody thats a much weaker opponent, if it makes you feel better then ease up a little and enjoy the game.
     
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  3. shazbot

    shazbot Semi-Pro

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    I got news for you, almost everyone who plays below 4.5, does not win by playing "pretty".

    3.5's and 4.0's don't smack winners every ball. Almost all points are won off unforced errors. You will win by being more consistent, not by trying to blast winners and look good.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'd find better competition where you have to use all your physical abilities just to stay even, and most of your mental/strategic skills to hang.
    Totally forget about that player who hit the net on every one of your approaches, he's not worthy of your memory.
     
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  5. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I play with my shirt off, so there is never a question on this issue for me.........
     
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  6. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    In practice work on the shots you need to improve. If you are playing in a league match (with teammates) then win however you can. Singles leagues then its a coinflip. Some seasons I'll try and win ugly. Some seasons I'll work on my game and not care about the results.
     
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  7. North

    North Professional

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    Lol. Don't worry about it. There are plenty of people who would describe this as wining ugly.
    Just have fun and keep trying to improve.
     
    #7
  8. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    My preferences:

    1) win pretty
    2) win ugly
    3) lose pretty
    4) lose ugly
     
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  9. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    I think this could apply to a lot of things in life's competitions. I agree with the order aforementioned.
     
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  10. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Let me impart some words of wisdom on you.

    Winning ugly is a whole lot better than losing pretty.

    And a bad day of tennis beats a good day of work.
     
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  11. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    So which is it...?
     
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  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If you're a chick please post a video.
     
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  13. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    So the best stragety is to

    during the match is to play into the opponents weakness rather than setting up for your own bread / butter power stroke?
     
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  14. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    It really depends on your opponent's game and your game. If your opponent is well-balanced, then it would probably work best if you set up your own bread and butter shot. If your opponent has a glaring weakness, then hit to that weakness, almost exclusively. My game is well-balanced, so I usually just ruthlessly go after opponent's weaknesses. A few weeks ago I was playing a decent player who hit a good ball. It was 2-2, and I discovered that he couldn't handle slices very well at all, he would hit them into the net or shank them. So I gave him nothing but slices the rest of the match, literally nothing else, didn't go for a single winner, just waited for the shank. Final score: 6-2, 6-0. He was beyond frustrated. It's not my problem if there is a shot that my opponent can't handle :).
     
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  15. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    This is an odd perspective. I feel that if I am playing to an opponents weakness, it leads to me being able to use my strengths. If I were not able to use my strengths, I'd have to reconsider whether I accurately identified a weakness.
     
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  16. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Thanks
    This makes a whole lotta of sense
    Improving your strokes with another player can be done at practice
    Next time I play a match I will be exploiting weakness as my only strategy
    Ending the point by forcing error on my opponents part may not fun for the other player but your right it not my problem that the other player can't play a certain shot
     
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  17. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    I agree w/ the last statement... but if there isn't any sort of tangible reward for winning (tournament or league match), I feel I get more of a reward from hitting my strokes. This doesn't exclude using drop shots, lobs, and angles as a part of the strategy. But if I have a ball I can hit a good FH, I'm going to take it. So I guess it depends on how you define "ugly"...
     
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  18. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Just get the W. You're not doing your opponent any favors if you don't expose their weaknesses either. They've gotta know what to work on.
     
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  19. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    I don't consider exposing your opponent's weakness winning ugly. It's like saying that if your opponent can't handle your best serve that you should back off so the ball can be returned back into play. No. What I consider winning ugly is the hack and slash pusher ****. If all you're going to do is put the ball back into play with nothing but defensive shots and wait on unforced errors from your opponent, GTFO!

    Bottom line, expose weaknesses and hammer on them when possible, but do it offensively. Playing pusher tennis and winning on unforced errors is ******** in my book. It's boring and it just becomes a marathon match with 20+ rally points which no one wants to play. There's a reason why 4.5 players don't want to play lower ranked players who cannot play with pace and offensive shotmaking.
     
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  20. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    A player that can win by playing offensive tennis shouldn't have a problem with a pusher. The pusher exposes that the person doesn't have the skill to win by playing offensive tennis.

    A true 4.5 should easily beat a pusher and do so without the need for 20+ shot rallies. Yes, they will need to have good overheads / volleys / drop shots, etc. If they are 1-dimensional and can only play an aggressive baseline game, the pusher will probably expose this weakness.

    Many pushers do exactly what you advocate - expose weaknesses and hammer on them when possible.
     
    #20
  21. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    I've seen plenty of 4.0 and some 4.5 get stressed out by 4.0 pushers. Usually the games are won by small margines, but ones where the higher ranked player tried too hard for a winner and blew it long or wide. It can happen...

    BTW, when I say expose weaknesses and hammer on them, I don't mean via the means that pushers do. There's offensive hammering and then there's pusher hammering. After a while, pusher tennis gets annoying. I guess my viewpoints are may be slightly different than others when it comes to pushers, but I can usually tell if you're going to be one of those players within a game or two. If I don't see you be offensive with shots and focus mostly on just getting the ball back over the net one more time, you're a pusher in my book. I'm sorry, but I've never been one to like to win by unforced errors from my opponent. I like to see players go for their shots and I like to do the same myself. When all you're doing is just popping serve and groundstroke returns back, you're not a good player. Absorbing pace is not about deflecting a shot into a moonball.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
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  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Depends on your definition of pusher. Some define a pusher as a purely defensive player.

    Using this definition, there are some decent 4.5s who are pushers. They rely on the opponent's errors to win the match, but they themselves do not make errors, can consistently keep the ball deep, can run most shots down, and have an effective lob as a defense to the opponent attacking the net.

    Basically they keep it difficult / lower-percentage for the opponent to attack.
     
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  23. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Typically I like your posts but at least on this one I have to disagree. We have differences. For me there are NO qualifications on how you win or lose. If you play someone 100 times knowing you're the "better" player but you don't win 51 or more, something is incongruent between the mind and reality.

    Blaming opponent for losing
    • He didn't give me enough pace to work with (I don't like doing all the work)
    • He hit those darn drop shots (I suck at digging them out)
    • He hit 2-story moon balls to my baseline all day (I don't practice returning those)
    • He hit so flat (I can't adjust to the ball)
    • He hit so spinny (I can't adjust to the ball)
    • He did not hit to me (I'm too lazy to run)
    • He did not hit to my forehand all day (I'm a FH diety but he found my BH)

    My excuse for losing
    • I kept hitting long, short, or wide (I hit hard and look pretty but the ball just would not stay down)
    • I got tense with long points (Don't want people know I lost to a pusher)
    • I got tense with short points (Don't want people know I lost to a pusher)
    • I was caught watching when he returned my "winners" (I'm enamored at my glorious 80mph SW FH forgot to move when he hit it back)
    • My arm, leg, eye...was sore that day (I gotta find some excuse why I lost to an "inferior" player -- the pusher)

    Bottom line

    If a pusher, one who has no offense but wins by you screwing up, beats you note that YOU made the loss happen NOT him. You may have prettier strokes and be "far superior" but you made more unforced errors than him. The ball kept coming back and you had the power many times to put the ball away for good. But it's all very simple...you failed.

    If you can't beat a pusher you are not all that you think you are. You have weaknesses he exploited so work on them. Practice against pushers and learn to win. If you make too many UE you need to dial back the caveman shots! If you play an animal who has incredible, monster spin/pace/placement and you win -- how did you win? He hit more out than you going for the gorilla shots. Or you lunged for a ton of balls got them back and he crushed them for what should have been easy put ways but landed out. You win against the ape.

    No matter the type of player you play, no matter the excuses, who usually wins the tennis match at the rec level? Generally the guy who is more consistent. There are 4.5 players who win exclusively by retrieving every ball until the opponent goes too big. Granted, I'd MUCH prefer to win by hitting winners off my shots than to lose by hitting weak shots the opponent hungrily crushes. We'd all love to win on our own accord by hitting hard, spinny shots. Feeling like WE won the match.

    Percentage wins

    If you look at the percentages, going for big shots all the time means you're gonna make too many UE. I'll concede that it may actually be a g good thing for a young guy to (maybe a year into tennis) to transition to an aggressive game and expect to lose 90% of his matches. He will lose by hitting big UE. Yet with much practice he'll continue to improve. At some point he will be so good that he'll just destroy a pusher -- and have fun with it! But the average rec player won't put in enough practice time to hit big most of the time and win. The guys who do move far above rec level and compete way beyond normal.

    Flashback

    Recently I watched a video of an entire NCAA D1 match and both were great players. I was just floored at how damn hard one kid was hitting (opponent was Steve Johnson). Just crazy. He'd hit with such power and spin that I figured the other guy was doomed. In fact the other guy (not flashy really) ended up winning. I was disappointed really as the gorilla kid seemed like a "better" player. Pace. Spin. Aggression. But at the end of the day the guy who was more consistent won.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    #23

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