Originally Posted by Ripper014
Beating a pusher is not an easy task until you reach a certain skill level in tennis... because a pushers strategy is predicated on the fact that errors are what loses you tennis matches. And without question this is true at lower levels of tennis. As much as you would like to believe you hit more winners than the errors you make... it simply is not true. The pusher knows this... and their whole strategy is to make less errors than you... NO... they are not trying to beat you... they are going to let you beat yourself.
Well, you know you're playing solid tennis for a baseline basher if your unforced errors are roughly at the same count as your winners on a very consistent basis. And you know you're playing very high level tennis when your winners outnumber your errors consistently. Obviously this is only against players of even skill level. If I play people below me, I'm going to bust out +10 on winners over errors. If I play people at my level, I'm going to be around even, maybe even down a bit simply because missing a crosscourt shot on the full run is still an unforced error for us.
There are even occasions where top pros come out down in their winners to errors ratio. It's rather difficult to hit a winner against someone on your level, and you're going to be hitting a rather steady amount of errors regardless of what level you play, but your level and play style determine your average count. A pro counterpuncher like Nadal and Murray are usually under 5 a set. An aggressive player on Federer's level hovers around 5-10, even though 10 is a lot. And throughout all that, they'll hit around 10 winners a set playing well
I mean, if you can keep your unforced errors in the single digits, and still hit 5 winners per set, then you're doing well against someone on your level. The instant you're in the double digit zone, then you're in a bad position, especially against pushers.
The numbers simply dictate that you will make errors. The good players keep those numbers in the single digits and hit roughly the same amount of winners, if not a few more winners than errors. Pushers realize this when most 3.0-4.0 players don't, and thrive on the fact that those players will try to look good by playing shots they don't own or trying to blow the pusher off the court. Now, if you can put a real, thought-out purpose to each stroke you hit, it doesn't really matter how you hit it as long as it achieves that purpose. The purpose can vary from making them bend, put them on the full run, drag them forward, push them back, or going over their heads. Real tennis comes from being able to use your shots with a specific goal in mind for each shot. If you can set a goal for what each shot is supposed to do, and have that shot accomplish that goal, then it doesn't matter how great the shot is. As you progress though, your shots will have more on them. But if they do end up having less on them (due to age), then you'll still be able to control the ball, which is the most important thing to winning.