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-   -   Pushing serves.legit strategy? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=444388)

dlam 10-30-2012 11:08 AM

Pushing serves.legit strategy?
 
I was playing the other day and serving normally, the pace of my serve usually hits close to the line and bounce and reach the back fence.
By the third set I was getting tired and double faulting.
So I took off a LOT of pace , by justing serving with arm motion and not letting my feet leave the ground or have any forward momentum.
Essentially I was pushing my serves and letting gravity fall the ball in the middle of the service court and barely bouncing it to the back line, no where close to my normal pace.
This seem to work really well.
My opponent usually feeds of the pace of my serve ,
This time he trouble and hit some returns into the net.
Now I thinking this might be a way to conserve energy and throw some unexpected change ups serves.
So I serve mostly weak slices, reverse slices, I even thought about underhanded serving
To mix it up, I served a few fast pace serves.
He couldnt hit a winner of the returns plus made a lot of unforced error into the net.

I never seen anyone do this.
Legit strategy?

Govnor 10-30-2012 11:11 AM

that is pretty extreme, but in long matches (at the typical recreational level), it's pretty standard to have serves slow up as it goes on.

what level are we talking about here?

NLBwell 10-30-2012 11:17 AM

Of course it is legit. In mixed doubles, men will often make more errors off the lower-level women's serves than the higher-level men's serves. They just aren't used to them. Some guys don't like to generate their own pace and struggle more off of slow balls.
Of course, if you used it all the time, your opponents would catch on and start beating you, but mixing in variety (as you did with putting in a few fast serves) is almost always a smart play. Find out what your specific opponent does or does not like.
You have learned an important lesson.

Mike Y 10-30-2012 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dlam (Post 6984045)
I was playing the other day and serving normally, the pace of my serve usually hits close to the line and bounce and reach the back fence.
By the third set I was getting tired and double faulting.
So I took off a LOT of pace , by justing serving with arm motion and not letting my feet leave the ground or have any forward momentum.
Essentially I was pushing my serves and letting gravity fall the ball in the middle of the service court and barely bouncing it to the back line, no where close to my normal pace.
This seem to work really well.
My opponent usually feeds of the pace of my serve ,
This time he trouble and hit some returns into the net.
Now I thinking this might be a way to conserve energy and throw some unexpected change ups serves.
So I serve mostly weak slices, reverse slices, I even thought about underhanded serving
To mix it up, I served a few fast pace serves.
He couldnt hit a winner of the returns plus made a lot of unforced error into the net.

I never seen anyone do this.
Legit strategy?

Of course it is legit. First serve percentage is very important, and if you are hitting 110 mph serves, but it is going in 20-30 percent of the time, then it is useless. My first serve is usually flat, and fairly hard, but if I am missing it, I will take a little off just to make sure I get it in. I also will not go with the flat serve 100% of the time, even if it is going in. I'll throw in some kick serves and slice serve occasionally, all across the box just to keep them guessing. Sometimes, I will find that an opponent will be able to return my hard flat serve fairly easily, but when I hit spinny serves, they handle those much worse, and I will end up hitting 90% spinny serves for the rest of the match. Whatever works, wins!

Tennishacker 10-30-2012 11:46 AM

Is it legit, yes, but IMO not within the, "spirit of sportsmanship".

Sounds like your ability to control your serve places you in the 4-4.5 range, your opponent seems to be a lower rated player.

Your strategy will work against lower rated players, but will not work with 4.0 and higher rated players.

When I play matches (match pressure), I always try to play my best, always looking for ways to improve my game.

IA-SteveB 10-30-2012 12:03 PM

I think it is fine to play that way since you are just doing what you can to win points. I don't think I would go as extreme as you did, but that's me. I know my serve slows down as the match progresses, but I do not consciously slow it down ... fatigue does it for me. If I think too much about my serve, that's exactly when it fails me. The mind can do funny things. "Hey I haven't double faulted in this match yet. Ooops."

woodrow1029 10-30-2012 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6984106)
IMO not within the, "spirit of sportsmanship".

What does this even mean?

blakesq 10-30-2012 01:04 PM

Sounds like Tennishacker is saying if you vary your serve during a match, it is not sporting. I totally disagree. Hitting shots that your oponent cannot return, or force weak shots from your opponent is a GREAT TENNIS SHOT.

I suppose tennishacker thinks that a Major League Pitcher should only pitch one type of ball, because if he changes from a fastball to a curve ball, that would be unsportsmanlike, right?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6984106)
Is it legit, yes, but IMO not within the, "spirit of sportsmanship".

Sounds like your ability to control your serve places you in the 4-4.5 range, your opponent seems to be a lower rated player.

Your strategy will work against lower rated players, but will not work with 4.0 and higher rated players.

When I play matches (match pressure), I always try to play my best, always looking for ways to improve my game.


blakesq 10-30-2012 01:06 PM

My problem is, if i change my stroke (slow my racket speed, don't jump during the serve) because of tiredness, I will make many more faults. What I try to do with serves is change the location, i.e. sometimes i go down the T, out wide, into the body. Other times, I might throw in a spinny second serve for a first serve.

LeeD 10-30-2012 01:11 PM

If it works at your level, 3-4.0, keep using it.
Once you get into strong 4.0's, they can attack your short serves by using an approach shot into your backhand corner, or dropshot when you cover that.

Joeyg 10-30-2012 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 6984144)
What does this even mean?

I am only guessing, but I would imagine that Tennishacker has a hard time beating "pushers" and would much prefer to play someone with "clean" strokes.

sundaypunch 10-30-2012 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6984106)
Is it legit, yes, but IMO not within the, "spirit of sportsmanship".

Sounds like your ability to control your serve places you in the 4-4.5 range, your opponent seems to be a lower rated player.

Your strategy will work against lower rated players, but will not work with 4.0 and higher rated players.

When I play matches (match pressure), I always try to play my best, always looking for ways to improve my game.

For many people, "trying to play their best" means playing beyond their limits and losing. It feels great to hit hard with the idea that it will help improve your game. The reality is that this is why many people lose.

There is no shame in hitting a 50% serve that is more effective than your normal serve.

LeeD 10-30-2012 01:45 PM

Isn't there always the question of, should we try to play our BEST tennis, or should we play what is winning?
Winning, we might push and play conservative, winning more, but never getting any better at tennis.
Best tennis, we will lose lots of matches, for sure, but we also learn to hit harder and heavier shots, learn where and when to hit them, and make the attempt to ADVANCE our level of tennis, not just winning where we already are.
Should I max out my winning percentages at 3.5-4.0?
Or should I hit like a 5.0, miss like a 3.0, and play like a hard hitting 4.0?

North 10-30-2012 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 6984144)
What does this even mean?

Lol. It means I got beat by a pusher!

treblings 10-30-2012 01:54 PM

[quote=LeeD;6984326]Isn't there always the question of, should we try to play our BEST tennis, or should we play what is winning? QUOTE]

no there isnīt. your best tennis is the one that gives you the best chance of winning. if that means pushing, so be it

blakesq 10-30-2012 02:35 PM

Sounds like playing your "best tennis" means losing to pushers, and complaining about how the pushers didn't play their best tennis, and thats why you lost.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6984326)
Isn't there always the question of, should we try to play our BEST tennis, or should we play what is winning?
Winning, we might push and play conservative, winning more, but never getting any better at tennis.
Best tennis, we will lose lots of matches, for sure, but we also learn to hit harder and heavier shots, learn where and when to hit them, and make the attempt to ADVANCE our level of tennis, not just winning where we already are.
Should I max out my winning percentages at 3.5-4.0?
Or should I hit like a 5.0, miss like a 3.0, and play like a hard hitting 4.0?


LeeD 10-30-2012 02:39 PM

You pushers ever wonder how and why can Fed, Nadal, and DJ hit like they do?
I mean, you guys pushing and dinking, them hitting heavy topspin hard shots and all that.
You don't wonder?
So you're happy being a pusher at 4.0 who wins lots of matches, and never hits any good shots.

Timbo's hopeless slice 10-30-2012 02:44 PM

Leave it Lee, some folks can never hit high level shots, so why not make the most of what they have to win?

OP, sure, why not? Until he starts hitting winners off 'em, go for it!

blakesq 10-30-2012 02:54 PM

It might have a little something to do with the fact they are 20 years younger than me. duh.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6984450)
You pushers ever wonder how and why can Fed, Nadal, and DJ hit like they do?
I mean, you guys pushing and dinking, them hitting heavy topspin hard shots and all that.
You don't wonder?
So you're happy being a pusher at 4.0 who wins lots of matches, and never hits any good shots.


LeeD 10-30-2012 03:01 PM

AH, the famous defeatist attitude. I"m too old. I"m too injured. I can't see. I"m out of shape.
OK, all those are true with me too. OTOH, I can still hit my first serves as hard as I can. I can hit forehand winners given a 10' opening. I can hit any overhad for a winner if I"m near the service line. I can hit every single second serve IN, by swinging as fast as I can swing.
See the difference? I lose because I missed. YOU lost because you allowed your opponent to beat you. We both lost. Remember, I"m a 4.0, just like YOU. But I hit 5.0 level shots. You hit 3.5 level shots, but are more consistent than me.
A lion, or a sheep, your choice.


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