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Old 10-01-2012, 06:15 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,491

Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
So I've given in and decided that at my level (3.5 to 4.0) pushing is the best strategy. So I play this style for the last set of a match 2 weekends ago and a full match last weekend.

I win the match last weekend fairly easily against someone who I've played competetively against many times but probably have a 40% winning percentage against. This is a guy with smooth strokes, ok fitness and movement. It was really simple...when in doubt, hit a moonball. My intention on every rally shot was the clear the net by 3 feet and have it land within 3 feet of the baseline, 4 feet inside the sideline.

Do not attempt even a forcing shot unless the ball is near the service line. This strategy worked very well. He ended up making errors 3 to 4 shots into rallies generally, or I was able to come to the net behind something he hit weakly. I made a few errors also even trying to push, but far fewer than I did playing more aggresively.

Wednesday in my league I play another guy who I've played quite often with about a 40-45% winning percentage against. His stokes are not as solid as the previous guy but he is much more fit and quicker.

I go up 5-2 in the first set and I'm playing well, and again the strategy is working, but damn is this hard work against a counter puncher!! Every rally is long, and we have some that are upwards of 20 strokes. I win more of them than I lose, but they are taking their toll.

Then I run out of gas and end up losing 7-5 and the next set 6-2 or something.

So, this game plan works if you have the fitness to keep at it. I obviously don't. But I start running more this weekend. A pusher is born.
The problem is that with play style it is harder and harder to maintain as you get older unless you drop down play lower levels. I suggest you develop into a counter puncher rather than a pusher.
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