played a pusher on Tuesday!

blakesq

Hall of Fame
He is 25 years older than me! And just about every ball he got a racket on, came floating back to me. I had to play in "no man's land" because his balls had no power. In fact I lost a few points because I expected his balls that bounced past the service line would get to me, standing a couple of feet inside of the baseline, yet the balls died on me and bounced twice before I got to it.

I won, 6-4, 6-2, but it quite a slog, and not particularly fun. If i did hit a short ball, this guy could place a droopy slice right in the corners (which because I was playing in no man's land, were behind me, and hard to get).

What changed the tide was I started coming in behind my first serves, and I continued to move him from corner to corner then would adjust my shot so that as he was anticipating a shot to one corner, I would hit to the other corner. I found it very hard to keep my balls in, because I had to generate all the power from his dinky shots.

However this guy is in his 70's, and if I play nearly as good as him in my 70's, I will be very very happy!
 
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Turbo-87

G.O.A.T.
It is definitely an adjustment. I tend to play down to the level until I get something figured out. I also find I get into trouble when trying to generate my own power because I will end up launching them more times then not. I usually just make them move around and let them make the unforced error, which ends up being some work on its own. :) I haven't developed enough shots to be diverse, which is holding my game back right now. I REALLY need to develop a drop shot.

There are guys like that at every club. I think it is great that people play well into their 70's and have fun. There is a guy in our 3.5+ doubles league that I am guessing is 72 and he has a bag of tricks he reaches into every now and then. He isn't a textbook pusher, moves better than you'd expect and his shots go where he wants them to. You can tell he was a good player when he was younger. If I can play like that if I make it to my 50's, I will be happy as a clam as well!
 
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Torres

Banned
What changed the tide was I started coming in behind my first serves, and I continued to move him from corner to corner then would adjust my shot so that as he was anticipating a shot to one corner, I would hit to the other corner. I found it very hard to keep my balls in, because I had to generate all the power from his dinky shots

There are loads of these guys at low to middle tier club level. Another useful play against these sort of guys is playing a long and short game. Hit deep into one of the corners with pressure, pushing him out of the court, and drop his return in the opposite corner just over the net. Rinse and repeat. The key is setting up the drop.
 

michael_1265

Professional
It's nice you kept your wits about you and prevailed. I have had some tough matches against pushers. To me, the toughest kind of pusher is the one who uses it as a tactic, and if it isn't working, he shifts to another hitting style. I played one guy last year who would slice everything back to the center until I would hit an approach, at which point he would launch laser-guided bombs that were either easy passing shot winners or center mass, knee level screamers. Very frustrating.
 

TeflonTom

Banned
I won, 6-4, 6-2, but it quite a slog, and not particularly fun.
yeh story of playing pushers

never play in nml. if u are hitting in nml u can hit a penetrating approach. get to net, close the angles. look for the pass... pushers who slice n dice cannae lob for shite

will make these games much quicker and less painful
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
What is this thing about "pushers"? Borg, Murray, Chang, Canas and sometimes Djokovic are all pushers too. Just getting one more ball back than your opponent is very effective if you are fast.

Then you hear "they're not pushers because they're pro's", which is stupid. It's like me saying you aren't aggressive baseliners because your shots are so weak and inconsistent compared to Agassi. Or you aren't a serve and volleyer because you can't serve or volley like Sampras.

And I'm not a pusher by the way, I just think it's a weird attitude.
 

TeflonTom

Banned
dood not all retrievers r pushers

a pusher is someone with no weapons n no strategic variation so they just play human backboard. if u shut that down they got nothin to fall back on

obv that definition doesnt apply to atp pros u listed
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
dood not all retrievers r pushers

a pusher is someone with no weapons n no strategic variation so they just play human backboard. if u shut that down they got nothin to fall back on

obv that definition doesnt apply to atp pros u listed

So they're 3.5 retriever's? Just like a 3.5 serve and volleyer is a tall guy with a serve and nothing else, you shut that down they've no ground strokes and no movement.
 

Mick

Legend
What is this thing about "pushers"? Borg, Murray, Chang, Canas and sometimes Djokovic are all pushers too. Just getting one more ball back than your opponent is very effective if you are fast.

Then you hear "they're not pushers because they're pro's", which is stupid. It's like me saying you aren't aggressive baseliners because your shots are so weak and inconsistent compared to Agassi. Or you aren't a serve and volleyer because you can't serve or volley like Sampras.

And I'm not a pusher by the way, I just think it's a weird attitude.

yeah some people here say they don't like to play against pushers because they would return all the balls. But then if they play against a power hitters or a serve and volleyer, these players not only would return the balls but they would attempt to put them away at the same time.

In term of tennis skills, pushers are at the bottom since their main weapon is consistency. the other types of player have more lethal weapons. So, imo, if they have a tough time playing against pushers, they should have a tougher time playing against players who have more weapons than just consistency.
 
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mhj202

Rookie
There are loads of these guys at low to middle tier club level. Another useful play against these sort of guys is playing a long and short game. Hit deep into one of the corners with pressure, pushing him out of the court, and drop his return in the opposite corner just over the net. Rinse and repeat. The key is setting up the drop.

So true. I think it's also important to be aware that not every long/short attempt will be successful, especially early on in the match when the guy is fresh, but it still has value because over time you'll be wearing him out-- particularly if he's older.
 

TeflonTom

Banned
So they're 3.5 retriever's? Just like a 3.5 serve and volleyer is a tall guy with a serve and nothing else, you shut that down they've no ground strokes and no movement.
nah brah. by no weapons i mean no weapons that can hurt players at same level. u can have pushers up to i rekon 4.5. ie 4.5 rally strokes but passing, volleys, etc are not up to 4.5 level

lots of 4.5s out there who arent tactically aware enough (or game is too unbalanced) to adapt n beat a pusher. have seen pushers at that level who win at that level

high 4.5s and 5.0s pretty much all are smart enough to adapt tactically n good enough to execute against any1 with a 1-dimension game.

so, if ur a pusher u prolly arent gunna get any higher than 4.5. u gotta diversify ur game, yo.
 
There was once a player I saw who was similar to the OP's pusher. Except that whenever the other guy came to the net, pusher mode would shut off and super power shots really close to the net turned on. It prevented pretty much every TT'ers strategy of closing off the net from being effective, unless you can handle a zillion body shots with massive pace. Just a funny story how not all pushers are the same (like the OP's pusher).
 

TeflonTom

Banned
dood that aint a pusher. thats a lazy counterpuncher

but any half decent volleyer should eat up power body shots at the net
 
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I struggle like hell with pushers. When I realize I'm playing a pusher I try to get into net as soon as possible, but the majority of pushers I play are good lobbers and More often than not i end up running back to retrieve the ball ( and usually get dropped by the pusher to bring me back in) and start over...doesn't help that I'm short and easy to lob. Then I tend to get ticked off and start over-hitting my approach shots which leads to more frustration and in no time flat my brains slowly start to leak out of my ears... Pushers are the bane of my tennis life.
 

Govnor

Professional
I recently played my first ever legit pusher. It wasn't very much fun and it made me think a lot about my game. Why wasn't I putting points away? Why wasn't I trying different things to put him off.

I should have hit a lot more drop shots, I think that was a big error. He was willing to do plenty of running side to side and I just let him.

I need to learn to get more comfortable at the net too, my volleying isn't great and I know that would have helped a lot in this situation.
 

jc4.0

Professional
There are pushers and there are pushers - it's all a matter of degree. First, playing against someone with excellent consistency is a great work out, and a challenge. If you're more of an aggressive shot-maker you can hit them off the court every time - if you can control your frustration and not try to kill every shot. Otherwise you'll have to take your medicine and out-last them, stamina-wise.

I think part of your frustration is "I should be able to crush this old guy". But I say - us "young whipper-snappers" could learn a few things from them - they don't move well anymore, but they make up for that with craftiness and shot placement. He's achieved the ultimate consistency - he's still be out there playing the likes of you...

Try not to gloat too much when you beat one of these "fossils" - if you're lucky, the tables will one day be turned - and you'll be the annoying old pusher.
 
I can respect a 70 yr old pusher - obviously at that age they aren't going to want to hit anything with pace even if they could because they won't be able to move back to a reasonable position to return the next shot. Got to hit the moonball and meander back to the middle. Whatever they need to do to continue to compete is fine with me. Absolutly HATE playing against them, but can't say I blame them.

But I played against a guy this year who hit nothing but moonballs, dropshots, and lobs who was in his early 20's. Made it a point to give ZERO pace back. Most frustrating and torturous match I have ever played. I was blown away that someone would CHOOSE to play that style, and not play that way out of necessity.
 
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TennisDawg

Hall of Fame
It's nice you kept your wits about you and prevailed. I have had some tough matches against pushers. To me, the toughest kind of pusher is the one who uses it as a tactic, and if it isn't working, he shifts to another hitting style. I played one guy last year who would slice everything back to the center until I would hit an approach, at which point he would launch laser-guided bombs that were either easy passing shot winners or center mass, knee level screamers. Very frustrating.

If you played somebody like that he is no pusher. He has a lot variety and shots and tricks in his bag. A pusher doesn't have any variety. The guy you just described could fall back on power with passing shots. A pusher would just lob it and let you make the error. A pusher is also not the same as a retriever. In fact any good player is a retriever, just the really good players can also be agressive when they have to.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
If i did hit a short ball, this guy could place a droopy slice right in the corners (which because I was playing in no man's land, were behind me, and hard to get).
:confused:
So you let a ball get behind you, but you could still race it down? Wouldn't it have been easier to take it BEFORE it landed, or are you really uncomfortable with volleying?
 
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