Originally Posted by Raul_SJ
Reading the OP, I first thought it was from a rec player complaining about pushers.
But apparently he is playing the equivalent of U.S. 5.0+ level in Australia, which is surprising because I thought the pushing players are not found at that high level...
It sounded like the OP was describing a junkballer & those can do OK at fairly high levels of play. Santoro frustrated Safin with crazy spins, short balls, drop shots, etc; it drove Safin crazy.
I can't think of any current players who make a career of junkballs, but there are certainly players who use strategic junkballing in matches. It's not playing dirty, it just takes advantage of a common weakness in a lot of hard-hitting ball bashers by messing with rhythm & timing.