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Old 12-29-2009, 05:59 AM   #37
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx View Post
Well... Then clearly you aren't good enough to beat him.

Beating pushers requires a mental strength that most players just don't have. It requires patience, confidence, and intelligence. The more flexible you are in your game, the more you can do to hurt them. The problem is, few people choose to work on their second serves, their transition game, or their net game. So all the pusher has to do is out-rally you, which is easy against most people they play.

One great option already mentioned before is to shorten the points. If you don't like the junk they're giving you, then don't take it. I remember a pusher who had less than half a swing, but could still beat most high school players he faced. Why? They tried to out-rally him, blow him off the court, and all sorts of stupid things that played right into his plan. Though when he faced a 4.5+ player, he got blown off the court.

First thing is to find the first ball you can consistently crank on. For me against the pusher I just mentioned, that was his second serve. It was short, and it sat up, which made it great hitting practice for my forehand. Would that finish the point right away? Not always, so I follow it to the net and volley to the other side of the court at an angle, just outside his court coverage (and I mean JUST OUTSIDE; the fat guy is deceivingly quick). Wasn't even hard to do. The ball was at the perfect height with no pace, so I just bunted it to the side. The other chance I had at a first strike was off my serve. He stood so far back to return it, that I didn't really need to bomb it. Second serve or first serve, I just followed it to the net and finished with an open court volley. Obviously, you want to swing them wide, otherwise they can cover more court. You can serve down the middle if you want, but then you might need to hit a second volley to win the point.

I never rallied with him. I just didn't see any point in it. It took too long, and it didn't get the job done effectively. Off the first serve I had to chip and charge since I couldn't blow the ball off the first serve consistently, but it worked well anyways.

The concept is the same no matter what. Find the shot you can consistently attack and attack it. Put them on the move and finish at the net. If you let them back into the point, that's completely your own fault if you lose the point. You had a wide open window to close out the point but you failed to take it. You don't want to rally with them if it's not necessary. Sometimes, you need to be patient to get the shot you can attack. If you have to wait a REALLY long time for it, either you need a LOT of work on your consistency and aggressive game, or they're a counterpuncher and on a level far above you.

For dealing with counterpunchers, the idea remains more or less the same, though you have to be more patient. You may not be able to attack off every serve, and maybe not every second serve either. You'll have to rally until you get the short ball to attack and finish at the net. However, there's always multiple ways to finish the point easily, based off the opponent.

These players can't hurt you (well... good counterpunchers can given the right opportunities based on their level) and rely on you to hurt yourself. Once you realize that, you have to accept that you are your own worst enemy out there and play through it using easily repeatable shots that will give you the upper hand in the point, both in terms of positioning and consistency. This is why consistency is so important, as is a complete game. If you own every shot, then you always have another shot to fall back on to save your *** that might drive the other guy crazy.
X: I found your strategies and feedbacks really helpful. I actually tried your tactics this passed weekend and it worked great for me. I played with more confidence, intelligence, and patience! I normally rally the ball and try to hit winners all the time so basically my shots are pretty much predictable. After reading your post, I realized that I need to add more dimension in my game and play more tactiful to throw my opponent off with the timing. There's no reason for me to keep rallying and feeding the ball to my opponent's comfort zone. I started to slice the ball while rallying short, long, corners, so on and so forth. Like you said, "If you don't like the junk they're giving you, then don't take it." So I did drop shots, slices, lops, as opposed to force myself into rallying the ball back. This really ****ed him off cuz he can't go up to the net because then i will lop the ball or if he stands on the baseline then i occassionaly drop shots the ball. He was so frustrated and exhausted from running. He didn't know how to counter my game plan. I also found that my strokes got alot better too because I was relax and controlling the game as opposed to running all over the court. Anyways, thanks for the valuable tips and it really helped developing my game.
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