How to play a slice pusher

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dharmaboy, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

    Jun 22, 2011
    Hey guys,
    i hit with a couple of ladies who are pretty decent. I think the biggest issue that I come down to their level of play is because they are pushers and I have issues still with hitting consistent topspin backhands (gone to the slice more now) and powerful quick topspin forehands.

    Now they are decent players, not taking anything away. but one of them who I just started hitting with, hits only slice forehands and deep lobs pretty much all her other shots.

    So I know some people on this site say to just dish out exactly what they give but, i find that slice forehand a real pain as it leaves me very defensive on the backhand ie I have to slice it back to get back into play. and the pushy forehand lobs become a pain as it backs you up against the fence.
  2. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

    Jul 4, 2011
    If all they do is feed you no pace and/or lob they have plenty of time to recover their position if you hit a good shot, so you'll have to move them around. Hit wide and take the next ball as early as possible (as you comfortably can) to take their time away.
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    They hit that way to be consistent.
    So to beat a consistent player, you have to take them out of their game.
    You can try to out-consistent them, but that's a tough row to hoe.
    Maybe better to drop shot them, planning to lob over them when they retrieve the ball right at the net. Don't rally with them, either dropshot or go for winners.
    Unfortunately, that might take more varied skills than you already possess.
    They hit that way to be consistent.
  4. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

    Apr 1, 2008
    1. Randomly take a ball on the fly.
    2. Hit, approach shots when the slice is in your comfort zone.
    3. It the ball is a true push and not a slice, relax, run around to your better "low pace high ball side" and freaken clobber it. (Honestly I think mastering the no fear slow ball clobber shot is the easiest way to reach 4.0)
    4. If you are on the tall side playing a good slice pusher will wear you out FAST. I like to use it against people who have better quickness then fitness.
    5. Those opponents who back it up with wheels, passing shots and fitness are good players. (Santoro) Don't become demoralized. I watched a 35+ y.o. slice pusher duke it out with an NCAA player at a local money ($15k) tourney. When the NCAA'er got tight he began losing.
  5. vitas77remembered

    vitas77remembered New User

    Sep 14, 2011
    You cannot let the pusher dictate the pace. You need to step inside the baseline as much as possible and hit on the rise, giving yourself more angles and punishing him/her for hitting such weak shots. by pushing back and letting the ball drop, you are just falling into their trap. They push for a reason, they cannot hit with pace nor can they handle it.
  6. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

    Jun 11, 2007
    For that kind of game you must be able to hit on the rise. If you cannot do it your chances are slim to none. You cannot out-push the push-master.
  7. Logan71

    Logan71 Rookie

    Jul 29, 2011
    I play a guy who falls under this description.At first my thinking was look to hit winners,but that got me embroiled in too many 3 setters.
    Now I go in with mindset that I'm the one with the more complete game,I can rally with pace or change up with slice or approach the net.
    Now I'm constructing points rather than blasting.Basically I create pressure,I like playing up on the baseline anyway and a pusher won't take that away from you.You may not need to hit on the rise at all.I find a simple cross court rally hitting something firm,after a few shots or less it may cough up a weaker reply and look to come in either by controlling the mid court where you now have an angle by changing direction on the ball or a slice approach in for the volley.

    In my matches this guy tends to try and lob as he can't hit a topspin passing shot.I know this so I don't crowd the net,smashing is a secure shot for me,it's the only shot which I will really punish.It's sends out a clear message to him that I'm going to dictate.

    Playing this way against him means I have to be patient,because of the pace of the rallies but I gain confidence that I can play against different styles
  8. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Nov 19, 2010
    The biggest mistake most people make against this type of player
    is they stop moving there feet.

    Move your feet at all times when the ball is in play.
  9. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

    Sep 14, 2011
    Trying to outplay a defensive player/junkballer at their own game is suicide if you're going out of your the guy changing your game. They are too good at it and will beat you all day long if you play that style.

    Against defensive players it's about comming to the net. If you don't have the power to hit through them (most rec-players I know don't some retrievers more too well ) then 'pushers' struggle with passing shots and some do struggle moving up to the net.
  10. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2010
    LeeD is exactly right. For many players, consistency is the name of the game. If you're frustrated playing such a player, it means one thing - you are not as consistent as he is. Whose fault is that?

    Most players (myself included) mostly practice hitting against moderate paced topspin shots from near the baseline. When was the last time you had a practice session where you hit 200 low sliced shots in no man's land? If you haven't practiced hitting such shots and miss them in a match situation, whose fault is that?

    If you haven't practiced hitting such shots and you are playing a match against a player who hits low sliced shots and lobs, realize that you are a little out of your comfort zone and try to play the ball a little bit safer. Set up the winner, don't force it. Position yourself a few feet in front of the baseline when rallying so you can pick off a weak lob in the air and guard against the low short slice. If your opponent doesn't run well, run him around. If he runs well, try putting every ball right at him until he pops up a sitter you can put away. If nothing else works, try the easiest set up in tennis - hit a deep, high, topspin shot to his backhand and run up to just behind the service T and await the weak return.
  11. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Sep 2, 2008
    On my iPhone
    Slice pushers are everywhere. You need to be able to hit on the rise or use heavy top. The heavy top usually does the trick. I just hammer high bouncing heavy top to their backhand over and over and finish the point off the weak return.

    If they hit slices that die near the service line, attack and "throw" your shot into the corner with heavy topspin, then stay at net for the put away.

    You can definitely drop shot as well..that is a tougher shot to nail every time, but it will work.
  12. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

    Nov 25, 2009

    Another way to say this is: don't try to "show" the pusher how much "better" you are at playing tennis. Just play the right way and rack up the points.
  13. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Sep 4, 2011
    I'm an all-court player who's more comfortable at the net than most players at my level. I deal with pushers by rushing the net. I'm careful not to move up too close because I know there's a good chance I'll be hitting on overhead on the next shot. If I get a volley, I'll hit a conservative angled shot away from him. He might be able to get it if he's fast, but if this cat and mouse game continues, he's going to get tired at some point. Once you see him start to move ever so slowly between points, taking extra time to catch his breath before his serve, you got him! If you have a little bit of a sadistic streak in you, this strategy is very motivational when it works! :)

    Pushers are usually uncomfortable having to hit passing shots against a good net player. Obviously, you need a solid overhead for this to work.

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