Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   I thought it would never happen again, but... (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=262885)

origmarm 05-23-2009 09:36 AM

I thought it would never happen again, but...
 
This afternoon I lost to a pusher for the first time in years. I never thought it was going to happen again but it did. The guy just moonballed me to death. The worst thing was the short balls, I was actually playing ok and kept forcing the short ball or the very weak serve return and then just kept hitting errors off them. I'm not in the best of shape at the moment and he also kept hitting moonballs followed by a drop shots. I would get to the drops but hit an error off them again.

I feel like I beat myself. It was all mental on my part, the frustration built and I know that's why I lost.

I thought I had passed through this phase but I guess one gets to revisit it once in a while :(. In the end he was the better player on the day and deserves the credit but it was very humbling as an experience.

The moral of the story? Always be prepared for every type of player, even once you think you've "passed the level"

Mick 05-23-2009 09:44 AM

the moral of the story, as i see it, is there are pushers and then there are "super" pushers :)

Cindysphinx 05-23-2009 04:05 PM

I was talking to my No. 1 singles player (3.5). She lost recently, and a particular shot from her opponent was giving her fits.

Opponent would hit a deep moonball to the center of the baseline. My friend said she didn't know what to do with these balls. She said the option of an overhead wasn't workable because the ball was too low. Hitting on the rise would likely cough up a weak shot. Backing way up for a groundstroke left her not hitting anything offensive, and the next shot would be yet another moonball.

My thought (as a non-singles player who really doesn't know the answer) was to step in and take it as a swinging volley. The idea would be that you wouldn't necessarily look to win the point off of the swinging volley, but it would take time away and perhaps give you a better angle.

What options does she have? She is all ears, 'cause this keeps happening to her and she thinks it is costing her the matches.

jwr1972 05-23-2009 04:26 PM

Option 1. Bring them closer to the net. I don't see many moonballers that play the net. You may have to try a few risky drop shots to do this or some wicked forehand slice. Once they come in make sure you are atleast halfway between the service line and baseline so you have the option of an overhead or a swinging volley.

Option 2. Pound the living crap out of the ball. They will eventually hit one short and you should take the ball off the court with a short quick angled shot.

plasma 05-23-2009 05:34 PM

come to net against a pusher, don't play their game. Tennis is so complex and tactics are no exception. Create pressure from the baseline, don't play their style of game or you'll loose.

Steady Eddy 05-23-2009 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by origmarm (Post 3455770)
The moral of the story? Always be prepared for every type of player, even once you think you've "passed the level"

There's no level past the pusher, IMO. Bobby Riggs was undisputedly a pusher. More controversial is whether or not he was one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But consider that he eventually came to dominate his rival, Don Budge. His favorite weapon when Budge came to the net? The lob. And his groundstrokes were actually softly hit moonballs. No doubt, he was a pusher. If he could beat Don Budge, does that mean you think you could have beat Riggs? In fact, if all the greatest players could be assembled in an after-life, I don't know who would win. I don't think it would be a pusher, but I do think the GOAT would be a defensive player like Borg or Nadal. We admire offensive players but they're winning the hard way.

charliefedererer 05-23-2009 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 3456753)
I was talking to my No. 1 singles player (3.5). She lost recently, and a particular shot from her opponent was giving her fits.

Opponent would hit a deep moonball to the center of the baseline. My friend said she didn't know what to do with these balls. She said the option of an overhead wasn't workable because the ball was too low. Hitting on the rise would likely cough up a weak shot. Backing way up for a groundstroke left her not hitting anything offensive, and the next shot would be yet another moonball.

My thought (as a non-singles player who really doesn't know the answer) was to step in and take it as a swinging volley. The idea would be that you wouldn't necessarily look to win the point off of the swinging volley, but it would take time away and perhaps give you a better angle.

What options does she have? She is all ears, 'cause this keeps happening to her and she thinks it is costing her the matches.

Are you sure you want her to try and win with a swinging volley strategy at the 3.5 level? Swinging volleys are usually a tough shot, and I would test this out in practice to see if she really will be consistant with it.
As an alternative, how about suggesting to her to take a systematic probing strategy to find the best combination to win.
One of the frustrating things about playing a moonballer or pusher is the feeling of a loss of control over long pointless rallys.
On her serves, try serving out wide, then engaging in a side to side pattern for several shots, before attempting to wrong foot the opponent.
If the wrong footing, or lateral shotmaking results in a short ball, she should hit an aggressive approach shot and take the net.
She could try a pattern of long crosscourt forehands, followed by short backhand slices(if she has a consistant slice backhand).
As already suggested, she could hit short,bringing her opponent to the net, to test her volley and overhead skills.
She should notice if there are more errors on the forehand or backhand, and set up the exploitation of this first with a shot to the stronger side, then to the weaker side. (And by weaker, not just unforced errors, but short balls as well.)
Your player should be made to welcome the opportunity to test out all these patterns of play in an opponent who will be nice enough not to have the ability to forcefully counter attack. She should welcome taking control of the match in this way.

Cindysphinx 05-24-2009 01:19 PM

Charlie, those are excellent ideas, really. I'll pass these along. And use them myself!

I mean, you know you can't just blast your way through such an opponent. You'll miss too much, and even if you don't, they will just keep playing those moonballs.

I think I'll also pass along the idea about serving out wide. My friend has a good topspin serve, but that is her only serve. Maybe learning a slice would help open up the court?

samster 05-24-2009 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plasma (Post 3456919)
come to net against a pusher, don't play their game. Tennis is so complex and tactics are no exception. Create pressure from the baseline, don't play their style of game or you'll loose.

can't say enough about pushing against a pusher is a bad strategy since they do that all the time.

samster 05-24-2009 02:47 PM

Despite my dislike for playing against pushers, it is a benchmark for one's consistency and confidence.

My plan against pushers is fairly simple: to dish out as much pain to them as they to me. :)

OrangePower 05-24-2009 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samster (Post 3459664)
Despite my dislike for playing against pushers, it is a benchmark for one's consistency and confidence.

My plan against pushers is fairly simple: to dish out as much pain to them as they to me. :)

I love playing against pushers. My mental approach is that there is nothing they can do to hurt me (shot wise), so I can dictate points on my terms. Whereas playing against shotmakers, I am much more on edge because I know they can win the point outright if I make a weaker shot, so I feel more pressure to go for my own shots.

aceroberts13 05-25-2009 07:52 AM

I hate pushers. Mostly because they almost always beat me:oops:

origmarm 05-25-2009 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 3456753)
I was talking to my No. 1 singles player (3.5). She lost recently, and a particular shot from her opponent was giving her fits.

Opponent would hit a deep moonball to the center of the baseline. My friend said she didn't know what to do with these balls. She said the option of an overhead wasn't workable because the ball was too low. Hitting on the rise would likely cough up a weak shot. Backing way up for a groundstroke left her not hitting anything offensive, and the next shot would be yet another moonball.

My thought (as a non-singles player who really doesn't know the answer) was to step in and take it as a swinging volley. The idea would be that you wouldn't necessarily look to win the point off of the swinging volley, but it would take time away and perhaps give you a better angle.

What options does she have? She is all ears, 'cause this keeps happening to her and she thinks it is costing her the matches.

Well the way I handle these players which normally works is to hit those off the rise and try and force a short ball. I tend to put extra topspin on these to give myself a larger margin of error as the timing can be tricky. Once you get the short ball you can generally move in to hit a winner or a forcing shot and then volley.

The other option I sometimes take is to hit them very flat with a higher contact point than normal and adapt the swing so it's more like a baseball swing (if that makes sense). This allows me to take time away from the moonballer on the other side and generally again force a short ball to come in on.

I would avoid the swinging volley from the baseline if possible as it's not an easy shot to hit with any degree of consistency. Occasionally if I'm on a "shot from nowhere" ball and very out of position i.e. someone hits behind me on clay while on the run I'll occasionally hit one of these with a very open stance as I can't get into position to let it bounce. I'll just hit the hell out of it and go outright for the winning shot. Success ratio is only about 1 in 5 though. Not great but when you're out of options sometimes it just feels good, one of those "Nadal for a second" shots :)

I hit a lot of unforced errors on this occasion, particularly off the short balls and it really killed me in this match. That and the mental game was off. This guy really picked up well on all the shots I was having trouble with and played me perfectly. Strangely I'm looking forward to a rematch as it was a tricky game.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse