Originally Posted by Power Player
There is no such thing as an aggressive baseliner at 3.5. You need to stop trying to hit hard and through a guy who gives you no pace.
I just played a pusher last week and barely lost a point. I play baseline tennis too. You need to hit very relaxed and just focus on making clean contact. Hit at 60% of your power and move the guy around.
Notice how when you dont get pace, you tend to make errors? He will too. Pushers love pace, so dont give it to them.
Hit relaxed balls that are placed well. Keep them safely in the court but attack his weak side and hit that corner. As soon as he starts running to get one, you need to move in. Take the next ball just as relaxed and put it to the other side. Move in some more. Take the next shot as a volley and put it away.
Thats how you beat a pusher.
Nicely put ^^^. I beat a fantastic pusher last week 6-2,6-2. It was little tricky because I couldn't come to the net. I strained my abdominals several weeks ago so wanted to avoid overhead shots from the lob. I did use the same strategy as above and pulled him in with some drop shot and either pass him or lop. I'm a formal pusher (4.0) and am in great shape so being consistent and junking him is pretty natural to me. I can hit with pretty good pace but about 60% did the trick for me.
Another magic formula that really improving my game is my 2 hitting partners. One of them is a aggressive base liner, loopy forehand, spin freak with flatter backhands. The other is a really good pusher with a huge serve. I definitely like hitting with a player #1 more but a pusher really helps my game. It is like I now have more tools in my game to deal with other players and most importantly...more patient.
Bottom line "pushers can be awesome teacher but only if you have an open mind"