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-   -   Got beat by a guy hitting slice forehands (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=432263)

Wuppy 07-14-2012 02:32 AM

Got beat by a guy hitting slice forehands
 
Was in a match today against a pusher who stood back and hit slice backhands and forehands. 3 set match, he hit a grand total of 5 winners, one of which was a lob. All other points he got were either my double-faults or my other UEs. Beat him 6-1 in the first set, in the middle of the second set I became exhausted and he beat me 6-3 then he won 6-1 in the final set. I was so exhausted in the third that I couldn't remember the scores and double-faulted four straight times in the last game.

He said that in his previous match his wife came to watch and she counted a 45-shot rally he apparently had with another pusher. I guess they just stood back and hit slices to each other endlessly.

The only winners I hit off him were ones where I put it in the corners. Unfortuantely at 3.5 I'm not good enough to consistently hit corners and probably half the points I lost were hitting the ball slightly wide or long.

I find myself losing to this type of player a LOT. Obviously I need consistency but it seems like if you want to beat a pusher you really need to be better than he is by 0.5 or so. Two 3.5s going at it, one who's aggressive but not consistent and the other who is consistent but not aggressive.. the non-aggressive guy will win on the other's UEs. And clearly I don't have the stamina to stand there hitting 45-shot rallys with a-holes who hit forehand slices on every shot.

I mean really, what kind of man hits forehand slices regularly? Is that really something they're proud of? Hey honey, I beat this guy who was running me all over. I hit slices to him until the eventually missed his winning shots by 3 inches.

I think to myself, "What would Federer do to this guy?" Other than ace him repeatedly, Fed would start running him back and forth and then hit a 100mph forehand to the corner. I can't do that though.

Wuppy 07-14-2012 02:59 AM

Found this article, very good, I'm not an all-court player (hate going to the net) but I guess I'm gonna have to become one..

http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_98_7.html

gamerx52986 07-14-2012 03:43 AM

I have had similar matches four times this year in my summer league. Played and lost to guys who hit slice everything including serve. I should have been able to adjust my game accordingly but I think that I became more irritated than anything. Im playing at the 3.5 level and what surprised me the most is that they hit slice everything. Ive played 3.0 players that hit with more variety and only slightly less consistency. However these guys use that slice game quite well on the har-tru courts I play on.

Failed 07-14-2012 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wuppy (Post 6725866)
Was in a match today against a pusher who stood back and hit slice backhands and forehands. 3 set match, he hit a grand total of 5 winners, one of which was a lob. All other points he got were either my double-faults or my other UEs. Beat him 6-1 in the first set, in the middle of the second set I became exhausted and he beat me 6-3 then he won 6-1 in the final set. I was so exhausted in the third that I couldn't remember the scores and double-faulted four straight times in the last game.

He said that in his previous match his wife came to watch and she counted a 45-shot rally he apparently had with another pusher. I guess they just stood back and hit slices to each other endlessly.

The only winners I hit off him were ones where I put it in the corners. Unfortuantely at 3.5 I'm not good enough to consistently hit corners and probably half the points I lost were hitting the ball slightly wide or long.

I find myself losing to this type of player a LOT. Obviously I need consistency but it seems like if you want to beat a pusher you really need to be better than he is by 0.5 or so. Two 3.5s going at it, one who's aggressive but not consistent and the other who is consistent but not aggressive.. the non-aggressive guy will win on the other's UEs. And clearly I don't have the stamina to stand there hitting 45-shot rallys with a-holes who hit forehand slices on every shot.

I mean really, what kind of man hits forehand slices regularly? Is that really something they're proud of? Hey honey, I beat this guy who was running me all over. I hit slices to him until the eventually missed his winning shots by 3 inches.

I think to myself, "What would Federer do to this guy?" Other than ace him repeatedly, Fed would start running him back and forth and then hit a 100mph forehand to the corner. I can't do that though.

If it was just slices that he hit from both sides I wonder why you simply did not hit a high moon ball either to his forehand or backhand and get to the net. If you do not know how to perform a nice high topspin ball, then you better should start learning.

You say you did not have the stamina. That makes him the fitter player, which means that he has worked more on his physique than you have. 5.0+ players have no shame in hitting slice shots if it works for them. Basically what you are saying that you can't win a match unless your opponent makes more UEs than you, which basically makes you a pusher in his eyes.

I am a fan of the forehand and backhand slice myself and I like to hit them against players who
A. Can't produce their own pace
B. Have an extreme grip
C. Who try to blast winners from the baseline

I can't obviously use it against players who build up their points wisely and finish the point at the net. On those occasions I usually keep the ball in play with heavy topspin and get to the net if such an opportunity arises. Trust me, you will see forehand and backhand slices at all levels. Good players will quickly figure out what your weakness is, and they are not afraid to play a "pushy" style if it wins them more points.

Ramon 07-14-2012 03:54 AM

You need to develop a reliable offense where you are moving him around. You don't necessarily have to hit the ball really hard. Placement is the key. Work on your net game, and especially your overhead. In fact, you'll probably need to stand further behind the net than usual because there's a really good chance that the next shot you'll get will be an overhead. If you learn to execute this strategy, you'll look forward to playing pushers.

TennisFan1337 07-14-2012 03:54 AM

As you're 3.5 you might be in a not-so-good situation. I don't know about your country's rating system and how you play, but I can give a few hints.

Slices are low powered and if not executed correctly very easy to attack them. When you get the chance, run around to the forehand and attack. Shorten the points as you can't withstand the long rallies physically.

So shorten the points - attack his serve, his weaker slices, run around to the forehand and what's very important: get to the net. He can't get good passing shots with slices, so after an attacking shot at the service line area, transfer to the net for an easy volley or overhead.

Move him to side to side, put him on the defensive. Avoid long rallies that can exhaust you: if you see the opportunity, close the point out. If you get him moving, you can get him exhausted, thus he will make more UEs and the match will be easier for you to win.

And for the last thing I'd say is the serve - hit in solid first serves: flat, but vary it from backhand to forehand and body. If you get a good 1st serve, attack the return and if possible get to the net. Get your 1st serve percentage up.

I wish you luck!

mightyrick 07-14-2012 04:24 AM

I'm also a 3.5. I've become very good at beating these people. In my area, these people play what we call "old man tennis".

You cannot hit through these players. It is impossible. They are master of pace absorption and redirection. So don't even try it.

First, a slice is only optimally effective if the incoming ball has pace and spin. So give him NO pace. Force him to generate his own pace and his own spin. This alone will draw floaters and sitters. You simply take a very slow, very easy stroke.

Second, you need to make a choice as to what his weaker side is. Which side is he able to most direct and control? Which side is the most predictable and yields the most floaters or sitters? All you do the entire game is rally to his weaker side. You don't RUN a pusher left to right. They *like* it. It brings out the best in them.

Lastly, you need one weapon. A dropshot / lob (rope-a-dope) combo or a net putaway, or hitting a short sitter into a corner. You must have one of those. If you don't have one of these weapons, you'll lose. So pick a weapon and develop it. For me, hitting the short sitter into a corner was the weapon I chose.

Here's an example of how my rallies with the people go:

mightyrick: Serve
slicer: slice forehand return
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice a few feet from baseline
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice a few feet from baseline
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice short-sitter to no man's land
mightyrick: medium-pace flat forehand to slicer's forehand corner
(if he gets it back, repeat the process)

Eventually I gassed him out after a set and all of these corner shots were outright winners or unforced errors on his part. Yes, it is boring, slow tennis. But it is very high-percentage tennis. And this is what you need to play against "old man tennis".

Develop one of those weapons, if you don't have any! Good luck!

Nostradamus 07-14-2012 04:25 AM

i even know a 4.0 guy that plays only slices. but he hits the slice fairly hard but still not enough to hit clean winners. he can hit passing shots with slices too and can run all day long.

Only bad thing with this is that he cheats. He often cheats on the service calls. he will call Aces and close serves that he can't return OUT. I guess that is only way he can win matches but it is pretty bush league.

Magnetite 07-14-2012 04:56 AM

To be honest, you need to work on your fitness.

If you trashed him in the first set, it means you already know how to beat him, except your level of fitness is not what it should be.

TTMR 07-14-2012 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wuppy (Post 6725866)
Was in a match today against a pusher who stood back and hit slice backhands and forehands. 3 set match, he hit a grand total of 5 winners, one of which was a lob. All other points he got were either my double-faults or my other UEs. Beat him 6-1 in the first set, in the middle of the second set I became exhausted and he beat me 6-3 then he won 6-1 in the final set. I was so exhausted in the third that I couldn't remember the scores and double-faulted four straight times in the last game.

He said that in his previous match his wife came to watch and she counted a 45-shot rally he apparently had with another pusher. I guess they just stood back and hit slices to each other endlessly.

The only winners I hit off him were ones where I put it in the corners. Unfortuantely at 3.5 I'm not good enough to consistently hit corners and probably half the points I lost were hitting the ball slightly wide or long.

I find myself losing to this type of player a LOT. Obviously I need consistency but it seems like if you want to beat a pusher you really need to be better than he is by 0.5 or so. Two 3.5s going at it, one who's aggressive but not consistent and the other who is consistent but not aggressive.. the non-aggressive guy will win on the other's UEs. And clearly I don't have the stamina to stand there hitting 45-shot rallys with a-holes who hit forehand slices on every shot.

I mean really, what kind of man hits forehand slices regularly? Is that really something they're proud of? Hey honey, I beat this guy who was running me all over. I hit slices to him until the eventually missed his winning shots by 3 inches.

I think to myself, "What would Federer do to this guy?" Other than ace him repeatedly, Fed would start running him back and forth and then hit a 100mph forehand to the corner. I can't do that though.

I love this. What kind of man starts gasping for air from hitting low paced balls back and forth?

Power Player 07-14-2012 06:45 AM

Start with the basics. Your feet. Each shot you should step more into the court when dealing with no pace slicers. He is not going to hit through you, so you know that wont be an issue. So after each shot make sure to step in closer by a few feet. This will take his time away and makes winning the points a lot easier. You very well may end up at the net this way sometimes, but that needs to happen anyway against these players.

1HBH Rocks 07-14-2012 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wuppy (Post 6725866)
The only winners I hit off him were ones where I put it in the corners. Unfortuantely at 3.5 I'm not good enough to consistently hit corners and probably half the points I lost were hitting the ball slightly wide or long.

I find myself losing to this type of player a LOT. Obviously I need consistency but it seems like if you want to beat a pusher you really need to be better than he is by 0.5 or so. Two 3.5s going at it, one who's aggressive but not consistent and the other who is consistent but not aggressive.. the non-aggressive guy will win on the other's UEs.

Your biggest issue lies in your head, not in your hands. A good offensive player is first and foremost a smart guy and that can work, even at the lower levels of the game. I thought you'd knew it, but you define a player as offensive when his game plan -- or at least playing style if he doesn't have any sort of plan -- revolves mainly around hitting above average quality shot with some consistency. In short, he just needs to reliably hit a little better than the usual player of his playing level; he's basically called offensive because he tries to optimize his winning chances mainly by lowering his opponent's efficiency and because his best playing abilities lies in hitting quality shots relative to his playing level. Note what's the important part: lowering his opponent's efficiency.

If you can't draw weak replies, affect his ball placement, force him into certain playing patterns he tries to avoid, or get him out of position, you're not being offensive properly -- i.e. something's wrong!

So, let's change a little how you understand tennis so that you try something else the following time. Tennis is about your feet, not your hands; you should be thinking about figuring out a way to get one step ahead of your opponent during every rally. You need to be in good position when your opponent isn't fully recovered -- the next shot you will strike typically leads to a poor reply, a mistake or downright winner, but even if the last two are preferable, the first one will do the job any day. That's what you should be trying to do. Varying trajectories, forcing your opponent to adapt to greater differences in contact point and footwork is a good idea, but that's accessory to your main goal: getting ahead of him in positioning. You use these tactics just so you can help yourself move the ball better -- tennis isn't just about striking the ball and your opponent showed it to you in the last two sets.


Now, as for Federer, his 100mph forehand is a wonderful shot for sure, but it's not what makes the point. What makes the point is everything that went on before he got to go airborne and demolish the ball: often, it's a combination of hard hitting and of a knifing slice that forces a reply that isn't as well struck as usual... Regardless of how he does it, what's important in the whole rally isn't really what shot he used, but why he used it. A slice for instance does quite a few things: it typically forces a lower contact point; you give your opponent less pace to work with; it lengthens the court to be covered vertically (you bring him forward). But, in itself, it's not always useful. As you get better, players are better able to attack them and as it allows them inside the court, it creates for them an offensive option (with equal striking power, they cut on time due to the shorter distance). However, if you hit a bigger shot or a loopy one and then switch for a good slice, you now force adaptation and it's this part which is the least well mastered at the amateur level.

mightyrick 07-14-2012 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1HBH Rocks (Post 6726149)
I thought you'd knew it, but you define a player as offensive when his game plan -- or at least playing style if he doesn't have any sort of plan -- revolves mainly around hitting above average quality shot with some consistency.

This is the key to the whole thing. The pusher wins through consistency. They will rarely miss if given fairly simple balls. And few people will beat a pusher at the consistency game. Only a better pusher generally does that.

To beat a pusher, you need a consistent weapon and patience. The weapon doesn't have to be a 100mph crushing forehand or a super fancy weapon. It doesn't need to do crushing damage. It just needs to be something that puts the pusher in an uncomfortable situation.

If someone has problems hitting into the corner with pace, then slow it down. There's no need to hit it hard. The pusher has no weapons he can beat you with. Just hit the weapon shot, recover, and get ready to repeat.

BMC9670 07-14-2012 08:52 AM

I've had success with serve and volley with these guys. If you have even a decent serve, I find they don't have the topspin return to put it at your feet and are not that good hitting passing shot winners. I've done it on both first and second serves and find it's often more effective on the second if you can get it to kick up a bit.

SStrikerR 07-14-2012 10:47 AM

Just for the record, I watched a d2 tennis match a few months ago, and one #1 singles player player hit slice forehands 90% of the time, with the exception of passing shots. Believe me, his topspin forehand was consistent and strong, he just stuck with the slices because his gameplan with it worked very well. The other guy tried blasting the ball all the time, and made a crazy amount of errors. Some would call it pushing I suppose, but considering that hitting the slice rewarded him with an error on most points and he won 6-1, 6-2...not so much.

SeriousSummer 07-14-2012 12:35 PM

If I had a choice between only hitting forehand slices or being afraid to come to the net, I'd choose hitting the slice.

Wallio1125 07-14-2012 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6725958)
You need to develop a reliable offense where you are moving him around. You don't necessarily have to hit the ball really hard. Placement is the key. Work on your net game, and especially your overhead. In fact, you'll probably need to stand further behind the net than usual because there's a really good chance that the next shot you'll get will be an overhead. If you learn to execute this strategy, you'll look forward to playing pushers.

I really think this is the smartest advice. A pusher cant attack you even if their life depends on it. Practice the overheads,playing a pusher you are bound to hit overheads to finish points. Good Luck!!

Larrysümmers 07-14-2012 02:24 PM

all ya gotta do is hit the ball over the net

NLBwell 07-14-2012 02:37 PM

If you aren't able to punish him for staying back and hitting slice groundstrokes, why should he quit doing it? What would it gain him to hit topspin or flat?
Slice is only a disadvantage if you are able to take the slower bounce and punish it with your groundstrokes or on passing shots where there is less margin for error hitting a ball hard and keeping it within the court.
Unless you are Jimmy Connors, able to beat Ken Rosewall decisively in the finals of Wimbledon, give the slice shot the respect it deserves. The rest is just the quality of the players themselves.

tank_job 07-14-2012 03:05 PM

If you got beat by a guy hitting slice forehands, try hitting normal forehands instead.


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