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-   -   I give up. Can't play pushers. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=461904)

luishcorreia 04-27-2013 02:41 PM

I give up. Can't play pushers.
 
That's right. I know the problem it's mine. I'm not even one of the people that think pushers aren't real tennis players.

But I give up. I can't play against them. Don't want to. Don't know how to.

Today I had the most incredible match against a pusher I've played numerous times. I dictate the points. I am aggressive. I go for my shots. I open dome angles. I draw him in to the net. He's always defending and putting moon balls with no pace.

In today's match I was always at deuce, 30-40 or 40-30... But somehow... With all of this.. He won 6-0, 6-2. God...

This was on clay. The one time I played him on hard court I won 61, 60.

It's not the case that he's a better player. I have more strokes, fitness and power than him. The only thing he's stronger is the mental game. Never.. Not once.. I've seen this guy loose its cool or even say anything on court.

I think my game just doesn't fit. Is it just poor tactics?

Another thing: I can stay with him in most points and make him go for his shots a bit more... But it's soooo boring... It's all in slow motion. His shots just sit there.. In mid air.

It's just boring to play that way.

I give up

mikeler 04-27-2013 02:55 PM

Polish your net game and finish points up there.

Say Chi Sin Lo 04-27-2013 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7372153)
Polish your net game and finish points up there.

That, or at least camp up there to make the pusher MAKE the shots. You can draw some errors if you make them go for winners.

They're never fun to play against, but pushers reveal the flaws in one's game.

My thoughts on playing pushers: if I let the ball bounces on my end, especially if it's deep, the advantage more or less goes to the pusher.

North 04-27-2013 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7372158)
That, or at least camp up there to make the pusher MAKE the shots. You can draw some errors if you make them go for winners.

They're never fun to play against, but pushers reveal the flaws in one's game.

My thoughts on playing pushers: if I let the ball bounces on my end, especially if it's deep, the advantage more or less goes to the pusher.

This is the best succinct "Manual on How to Play Pushers"!

pvaudio 04-27-2013 03:06 PM

This is what I've found works quite well against pushers. Often times people say to develop angles. I disagree. A good retriever will scramble to that ball and hit it defensively every time leaving you with no advantage. Power also doesn't work, and usually works against you. Either your shot comes back hotter than you wanted it to, or you make an error going for something huge. What has always worked for me is depth. Put the ball deep and heavy. You're not going to force them into an error, but you will force them out of their comfort zone by having your incoming ball affect what they normally do. The opposite also holds true. Pushers are almost always TERRIBLE at the net. So, even when I'm hitting with friends, I practice hitting short balls. Whether they continue to the net or not isn't relevant. If they're stuck mid court, you've got more to work with. If they're stuck at the net, even a modest passing shot should do the trick. In short: do what mikeler said, and also be able to hit deep enough to change their preferred timing.

luishcorreia 04-27-2013 03:07 PM

I've read about taking the ball in the air. But this guy has shots that land on the baseline. With some spin. How can I get the ball in a drive volley and make it 80% of the time? It's just bad percentages.

I am thinking that at the rec level, pushers will always have the advantage.

luishcorreia 04-27-2013 03:12 PM

In fact when opening up angles I would get back an even higher ball. He puts iti up there to get back to its place....

mightyrick 04-27-2013 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luishcorreia (Post 7372128)
I think my game just doesn't fit. Is it just poor tactics?

Pushers can be beaten in a few ways. But the reason why they give people trouble is because they force players to perform shots that they aren't used to.

You can't baseline with a pusher. Pushers love to run east/west (left/right).

If you want to beat a pusher, you must make them them run north/south. That means bringing them to the net. So you have to be able to hit a shot which will do that. Either an okay dropshot or a shallow angle shot. You have to have one of these shots to beat a good pusher.

When the pusher is at net, you either pass them or lob them. If you pass them, great, the point is yours. If you lob them, they'll run back and put up a lob. Again, hit a short shot... and bring them to the net again. Keep repeating this.

Be patient and you will beat them. But you have to have patience.

TomT 04-27-2013 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luishcorreia (Post 7372128)
This was on clay. The one time I played him on hard court I won 61, 60.

Apparently you can play quite effectively against pushers, depending on the surface. So, no reason to throw in the towel. Just play him on hard court. Problem solved. :)

luishcorreia 04-27-2013 03:15 PM

I can understand, a guy in his fifties, with some lingering aches and pains, starting to push the ball. But in club tournaments, more and more o see young guys, in their twenties or thirties, pushing the ball.

Come one.... Will ya? Hit the damn ball....

luishcorreia 04-27-2013 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7372189)
Pushers can be beaten in a few ways. But the reason why they give people trouble is because they force players to perform shots that they aren't used to.

You can't baseline with a pusher. Pushers love to run east/west (left/right).

If you want to beat a pusher, you must make them them run north/south. That means bringing them to the net. So you have to be able to hit a shot which will do that. Either an okay dropshot or a shallow angle shot. You have to have one of these shots to beat a good pusher.

When the pusher is at net, you either pass them or lob them. If you pass them, great, the point is yours. If you lob them, they'll run back and put up a lob. Again, hit a short shot... and bring them to the net again. Keep repeating this.

Be patient and you will beat them. But you have to have patience.

I practice three times a week, but, have you ever seen a tennis pro do drills that address how to play a pusher? How can you practice that?

Say Chi Sin Lo 04-27-2013 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7372174)
This is what I've found works quite well against pushers. Often times people say to develop angles. I disagree. A good retriever will scramble to that ball and hit it defensively every time leaving you with no advantage. Power also doesn't work, and usually works against you. Either your shot comes back hotter than you wanted it to, or you make an error going for something huge. What has always worked for me is depth. Put the ball deep and heavy. You're not going to force them into an error, but you will force them out of their comfort zone by having your incoming ball affect what they normally do. The opposite also holds true. Pushers are almost always TERRIBLE at the net. So, even when I'm hitting with friends, I practice hitting short balls. Whether they continue to the net or not isn't relevant. If they're stuck mid court, you've got more to work with. If they're stuck at the net, even a modest passing shot should do the trick. In short: do what mikeler said, and also be able to hit deep enough to change their preferred timing.

I want to piggyback off of what you were saying, add to it if I may:

1) Angles - OP, you should know that often times, in order to create the initial angle, you may end up with a horrible court position or you're essentially off of the court.

2) Short balls - Pushers don't make shots, period. You can give them short ball and reel them into no-man's land. And I agree, most pushers have no net game. However, that's not to say ALL pushers have no net game, and if you give anyone enough short balls, you'll still get killed regardless who it is. Use it every once in a while just to throw the pusher off.

pvaudio 04-27-2013 03:28 PM

Very nicely put, that is what I was intending. Use variety instead of outright power. Deep, short, rush the net, S&V, etc. If you don't give them that comfortable ball to work with, then you force them to come up with something. Pushers by definition do not come up with anything good on their own. :)

Thepowerofchoice 04-27-2013 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7372174)
This is what I've found works quite well against pushers. Often times people say to develop angles. I disagree. A good retriever will scramble to that ball and hit it defensively every time leaving you with no advantage. Power also doesn't work, and usually works against you. Either your shot comes back hotter than you wanted it to, or you make an error going for something huge. What has always worked for me is depth. Put the ball deep and heavy. You're not going to force them into an error, but you will force them out of their comfort zone by having your incoming ball affect what they normally do. The opposite also holds true. Pushers are almost always TERRIBLE at the net. So, even when I'm hitting with friends, I practice hitting short balls. Whether they continue to the net or not isn't relevant. If they're stuck mid court, you've got more to work with. If they're stuck at the net, even a modest passing shot should do the trick. In short: do what mikeler said, and also be able to hit deep enough to change their preferred timing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7372189)
Pushers can be beaten in a few ways. But the reason why they give people trouble is because they force players to perform shots that they aren't used to.

You can't baseline with a pusher. Pushers love to run east/west (left/right).

If you want to beat a pusher, you must make them them run north/south. That means bringing them to the net. So you have to be able to hit a shot which will do that. Either an okay dropshot or a shallow angle shot. You have to have one of these shots to beat a good pusher.

When the pusher is at net, you either pass them or lob them. If you pass them, great, the point is yours. If you lob them, they'll run back and put up a lob. Again, hit a short shot... and bring them to the net again. Keep repeating this.

Be patient and you will beat them. But you have to have patience.

What if a pusher is pretty solid at the net and can chase down short ball...and attack you. Now what?

pvaudio 04-27-2013 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thepowerofchoice (Post 7372234)
What if a pusher is pretty solid at the net and can chase down short ball...and attack you. Now what?

I welcome you to show me this player. This defies the definition of a pusher if they have a strong net game AND attack shots consistently. That is the ultimate in offensive ability, whereas the pusher is the ultimate in defensive ability.

pvaudio 04-27-2013 03:43 PM

Probably the best pusher out there right now is Marin Cilic. If you don't fall asleep watching this man, then you were asleep before the match came on. Look how tentatively he plays EVERY ball. Then look how absolutely nervous he looks when he does get drawn to the net. This is at the professional level even. http://youtu.be/fZg4WnYCd9I?t=56s

WildVolley 04-27-2013 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luishcorreia (Post 7372198)
I practice three times a week, but, have you ever seen a tennis pro do drills that address how to play a pusher? How can you practice that?

Actually, tennis pros do a lot of pusher drills. Almost all the Spanish hand-fed drills are applicable to a pusher, as they have you move your feet and generate your own pace again and again.

Also, most serious tennis players with coaches will spend time doing put-away drills which are also applicable to pushers.

Say Chi Sin Lo 04-27-2013 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7372254)
Probably the best pusher out there right now is Marin Cilic. If you don't fall asleep watching this man, then you were asleep before the match came on. Look how tentatively he plays EVERY ball. Then look how absolutely nervous he looks when he does get drawn to the net. This is at the professional level even. http://youtu.be/fZg4WnYCd9I?t=56s

Somewhere, Gilles Simon just woke up to a bed of cold sweat going: "Oh hell naw!"

Thepowerofchoice 04-27-2013 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7372242)
I welcome you to show me this player. This defies the definition of a pusher if they have a strong net game AND attack shots consistently. That is the ultimate in offensive ability, whereas the pusher is the ultimate in defensive ability.

Would you consider Santoro a pusher?

Say Chi Sin Lo 04-27-2013 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thepowerofchoice (Post 7372287)
Would you consider Santoro a pusher?

Stop it, he's a magician, everyone knows that.


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