Roddick: A Pusher?

We all know the 6 player types:
1. Retriever (Gets everything back)
2. Counterpuncher (Smooth transition from offense to defence)
3. Agressive Baseliner (Big groundstroke(s) to dictate play)
4. Pusher/Junkballer (Not pretty strokes, relies on opponent's unforced errors)
5. All-Court Player (Either prefers the net, e.g: sampras
or the baseline, e.g: federer)
6. Serve and volleyer

But where does Roddick fit into?

Most experts say he is an agressive baseliner, and whilst that might have been true in 2003, his groundstrokes are becoming more and more average these days, certainly not strokes that he can dictate with.

Forget about all-court player and serve and volleyer, as he only goes to the net to shake hands or to get passed.

So what's left is retriever, counterpuncher and pusher.

Although Roddick is VERY fast, I don't think he retrieves that well, as his placement is well.. terrible.
The same thing can be said about counterpunching, as his shots like consistently good placement.

So we're left with... The Pusher!
Roddick a professional tennis player? A pusher?
Yet as ridiculous as this this sounds, the more it begins to make sense, at least to me.

You see, Roddick hasn't got good placement, if you think of him as an agressive baseliner at least.
However, if you notice what he does, when Roddick wins against a decent opponent, let's say Djokovic, it is usually because Djokovic is making a lot of errors.

So either everyone plays like crap against Roddick to lose (except for Federer, Nadal, Murray and sometimes Djokovic), or Roddick HITS TO THE PLACES where players make the errors.
And I think it is the latter, because everyone assumes Roddick hits rubbish approach approach shots 'cos he can't think of any other alternative, but this may because he WANTS his opponent to become arrogant and MAKE THE ERRORS, which is how he wins.

Anyway enough ranting for now.
What do you guys think?
 

LeftySpin

Rookie
I dunno I can see your reasoning becuase he doesn't full fit the other catagories. But I have to say he doesn't really fit pusher either. I don't know what he is. Before he use to blast balls fromt eh baseline but now its more for consistancy. I think he's more of a counter puncher. He may not be that consistant but he definatly has better strokes then a pusher. Also I have never heard of a pusher with a powerful serve. haha but thats just me. To end it all I see him in between coutner puncher and pusher.
 
I dunno I can see your reasoning becuase he doesn't full fit the other catagories. But I have to say he doesn't really fit pusher either. I don't know what he is. Before he use to blast balls fromt eh baseline but now its more for consistancy. I think he's more of a counter puncher. He may not be that consistant but he definatly has better strokes then a pusher. Also I have never heard of a pusher with a powerful serve. haha but thats just me. To end it all I see him in between coutner puncher and pusher.
Hmmmmm..
Yeah, he is just a pusher with a powerful serve I think.
A PRO pusher though, not the pushers we face.

Like Brad Gilbert, except with a bigger serve.
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
When I was watching Indian Wells, I noticed Roddick play a range of styles. Against Kiefer, he was pretty much pushing the whole match. A smarter player would have taken advantage of that. Kiefer clearly had the tools to beat him from the back court but often went for too much too soon. Watching that much I thought, 'wow Roddick sucks. Ferrer will eat him.'

However, when he played Ferrer he hit his backhand a bit better. He was hitting the down the line shot especially well and played much more like a counter puncher. His forehand which he had been merely pushing with in the previous match was more penetrating as well. I still thought Ferrer was to blame. I felt he didn't take advantage of Roddick's forehand enough.

It's conventional wisdom to keep to Andy's backhand but he hits that shot flatter. His forehand has a lot more spin and tends to sit up more. Especially the down the line forehand that he hits to change direction. Anyway, Roddick served, sliced, counter-punched and volleyed his way to success in that match as well.

And then came the Djokovic match. I was convinced Djokovic would take him out. Now we all know how horrible Novak played that game. But Roddick had a fair share in contributing to the outcome. His forehand was bigger, his backhand was sharp and his game seemed to have come a long way since the Kiefer match. He suddenly looked like a versatile player who had a few weapons at his disposal. He could hit through the court, keep the opponent off balance with his slices, rush the net, serve bombs. He certainly wasn't playing like a pusher.
 
When I was watching Indian Wells, I noticed Roddick play a range of styles. Against Kiefer, he was pretty much pushing the whole match. A smarter player would have taken advantage of that. Kiefer clearly had the tools to beat him from the back court but often went for too much too soon. Watching that much I thought, 'wow Roddick sucks. Ferrer will eat him.'

However, when he played Ferrer he hit his backhand a bit better. He was hitting the down the line shot especially well and played much more like a counter puncher. His forehand which he had been merely pushing with in the previous match was more penetrating as well. I still thought Ferrer was to blame. I felt he didn't take advantage of Roddick's forehand enough.

It's conventional wisdom to keep to Andy's backhand but he hits that shot flatter. His forehand has a lot more spin and tends to sit up more. Especially the down the line forehand that he hits to change direction. Anyway, Roddick served, sliced, counter-punched and volleyed his way to success in that match as well.

And then came the Djokovic match. I was convinced Djokovic would take him out. Now we all know how horrible Novak played that game. But Roddick had a fair share in contributing to the outcome. His forehand was bigger, his backhand was sharp and his game seemed to have come a long way since the Kiefer match. He suddenly looked like a versatile player who had a few weapons at his disposal. He could hit through the court, keep the opponent off balance with his slices, rush the net, serve bombs. He certainly wasn't playing like a pusher.
Hmmmmm...
Maybe an all-court pusher then?
LOL.
 

Toxicmilk

Professional
Since when does someone really need to fit into exactly one category, sure some people can I guess. some more than others.
 

Ripster

Hall of Fame
It's tough to categorize him. I kind of see him as a retriever in that he gets everything back but he also has a huge serve and he has the ability to occasionally attack with the forehand. I wouldn't call him a counter-puncher because by your definition that involves a smooth transition from offense to defense, and I rarely see this in his game.

If you take away the serve, he doesn't hit nearly enough winners to be considered an aggressive baseliner or have a solid enough net game to be an all-court player.

And as for the pusher category, I really don't think pusher's exist in the pro game.
 
It's tough to categorize him. I kind of see him as a retriever in that he gets everything back but he also has a huge serve and he has the ability to occasionally attack with the forehand. I wouldn't call him a counter-puncher because by your definition that involves a smooth transition from offense to defense, and I rarely see this in his game.

If you take away the serve, he doesn't hit nearly enough winners to be considered an aggressive baseliner or have a solid enough net game to be an all-court player.

And as for the pusher category, I really don't think pusher's exist in the pro game.
They do.
Except they're not the pushers we play as an amatuers, the ones who just get everything back and nothing else.

The pushers on the pro circuit get everything back in the backcourt but have a good/average net game and usually one decent shot.

Some examples are:
. Brad Gilbert
. Ivo Karlovic (when he is pinned to the baseline)
. Andy Roddick

Not many pushers on the pro-circuit though, you're right.
But there are some.
 

thalivest

Banned
His game is hard to define. It is a great serve mishmashed with a bit of alot of other things but nothing else that great, but enough combined with her serve to push him to alot of wins.
 

Nanshiki

Hall of Fame
The current Roddick is Serve and Punch (and occasionally volley). Old Roddick is Serve and Baseline Bash, which worked pretty well...

I think he'd do well to find a reasonable medium.
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
They do.
Except they're not the pushers we play as an amatuers, the ones who just get everything back and nothing else.

The pushers on the pro circuit get everything back in the backcourt but have a good/average net game and usually one decent shot.

Some examples are:
. Brad Gilbert
. Ivo Karlovic (when he is pinned to the baseline)
. Andy Roddick

Not many pushers on the pro-circuit though, you're right.
But there are some.
Ivo really blasts that forehand, he is not a pusher. Roddick as I explained earlier can get into pushing contests and at one time became very prone to playing that sort of game (see the match against Kohlschrieber at the Aussie last year) but he is not really a 'pusher.'
 

David_Is_Right

Semi-Pro
So we're left with... The Pusher!
You have concluded that, because you don't think Roddick doesn't fits well into any of the 5 strict categories you defined, he must deductively fit into the 6th, which you also defined.

This is like me saying the following:

"I think there are four fundamental types of solid: rock, metal, wood and mud. I don't think this pool ball fits into the rock, wood or mud categories, but it is shiny, so it must be a metal!"

Is it not possible that tennis is not limited to those categories of player you defined? Or that there is a continuum which encompasses many of those, and perhaps other categories?
 

6rump

Rookie
I don't if he's a pusher or what, but i'm very dissapointed with his forehand now, his forehand only keep him for not making many unforced errors, but that is not Roddick signature forehand which is so penetrating and hard.... and the worst thing is he used that loopy forehand for an approach shot...OMG! i don't know what to say but it's very annoying watch him playing like that...!!!
 

JeMar

Legend
Roddick plays largely the part of a pusher when he plays anyone not in the top 5. His preferred way of playing is by pushing the ball unless he plays someone that can easily hit winners .
 

deltox

Hall of Fame
Roddick as a pusher is one ive never heard any say. not even roddick haters. His inside out forehand, his flat forehand, his looping topspin forehand, none of these are pushing. now his backhand can be considered pushing alot of the time but not always there either.

other than his weak backhand push i cannot see where your coming up with this thought process.

Roddick is and will always be an agressive baseliner trying to become all court which he cant do but is still to this day trying to build..
 

JeMar

Legend
Those shots may not be considered pushing, but he doesn't use them often enough for them to be considered his normal shots. Watch him play anyone outside of the top 5, and you'll see that Roddick is content to just get the ball deep and keep it in play and not really go for many winners off the ground.

Remember that we're speaking in relative terms, so a pro pusher still hits much more aggressively than that 3.5 at your club that no one likes to play.
 

deltox

Hall of Fame
do you not take something off your game when you play someone you know you can easily beat?

i take alot of my game for consistancy and allow them to make UEs or the not so deep shot that i can attack.. attacking every shot will be you UEs coming out your skin.
 

JeMar

Legend
Right.

This is why I said we're speaking in relative terms here. You could make the same argument for every player that could be considered a "pusher" in the top 50. A pusher in the professional tour is still a very attack-minded player, but there is something to be said about varying degrees.

A player like Simon usually does the same thing off the ground as Roddick, but we label him a pusher because he lacks the huge serve that sets Roddick apart. I'm arguing that Roddick, once the serve is over and done with, plays the role of a pusher in the rallies when he has a choice of style to play. Pushing off the ground is his comfort zone.
 

tsongafan

New User
Roddick is no where near a pusher. A pusher also means they
NEVER go for anything. This is obvioulsy not true. Roddick for sure doesn't push his serve in, and for sure doesnt push his forehand. Maybe his backhand is a little weaker but he still goes for things once in awhile. Also, Roddik's volleys are definitley not that bad, they are actually decently good. An example of a pusher would be a player like Santoro. So therefore, Roddick is NOT a pusher.
 

P_Agony

Banned
Roddick is not a pusher. I agree he's not as agressive as he used to be, but pushers don't play like Roddick, hence he's not one. Don't mistake good defense play with being a pusher.
 

RoddickAce

Hall of Fame
We all know the 6 player types:
1. Retriever (Gets everything back)
2. Counterpuncher (Smooth transition from offense to defence)
3. Agressive Baseliner (Big groundstroke(s) to dictate play)
4. Pusher/Junkballer (Not pretty strokes, relies on opponent's unforced errors)
5. All-Court Player (Either prefers the net, e.g: sampras
or the baseline, e.g: federer)
6. Serve and volleyer
Just a quick question, according to that list, are Federer and Nadal counterpunchers?:confused: Since they rely on their transition game and changing from offense to defense rather than dictating play all the time.
 

deltox

Hall of Fame
Just a quick question, according to that list, are Federer and Nadal counterpunchers?:confused: Since they rely on their transition game and changing from offense to defense rather than dictating play all the time.
nadal yes, fed would be all court
 

Beasty54

Rookie
Ivo really blasts that forehand, he is not a pusher. Roddick as I explained earlier can get into pushing contests and at one time became very prone to playing that sort of game (see the match against Kohlschrieber at the Aussie last year) but he is not really a 'pusher.'
From this year watch the match with Stepanek in Memphis. Great match. Not alot of pushing.
 

JeMar

Legend
I guess no one's really getting what I meant.

There are no pushers on the professional tour. Not Simon, not Santoro, not anybody.

There are, however, varying degrees of aggression. Roddick used to hit one of the biggest forehands in the game, and he used to go for it pretty often. As his game has evolved, he's begun to be less aggressive off the ground and has become one of the less aggressive players in the top 20 after the ball is served.

Even here we see he doesn't really play like the "pusher" that we're all familiar with, as he goes to net on a frequent basis.

There are no real pushers in the pro tour.
 

tenniko

Semi-Pro
There are, however, varying degrees of aggression. Roddick used to hit one of the biggest forehands in the game, and he used to go for it pretty often. As his game has evolved, he's begun to be less aggressive off the ground and has become one of the less aggressive players in the top 20 after the ball is served.
I think he used to hit those forehands because it worked. However, we now see great defense from even the aggressive players and more solid defense, and Roddick's response resulted in his current forehand. It's not that Roddick is a pusher, but nowadays compared to other people with huge strokes (his serve is still a huge weapon), Roddick looks like a pusher.
 

Ripster

Hall of Fame
They do.
Except they're not the pushers we play as an amatuers, the ones who just get everything back and nothing else.

The pushers on the pro circuit get everything back in the backcourt but have a good/average net game and usually one decent shot.

Some examples are:
. Brad Gilbert
. Ivo Karlovic (when he is pinned to the baseline)
. Andy Roddick

Not many pushers on the pro-circuit though, you're right.
But there are some.
By definition a pusher is a player whose goal is to hit the ball back over the net and into the court. That is all. You can't seriously believe that this is all Roddick does during rallies. Sure he isn't the most aggressive player in the world but he hits the ball with pace at times and usually with purpose (ie. he's aiming somewhere in the court to set up the next shot). Roddick cannot be considered a pusher. Pusher's, by definition, play at a level so low that one wouldn't be able to make a future's event with this style of play, much less the pro circuit.
 
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Ripster

Hall of Fame
Roddick plays largely the part of a pusher when he plays anyone not in the top 5. His preferred way of playing is by pushing the ball unless he plays someone that can easily hit winners .
Roddick beat Novak twice this year by playing a retrieving style.
 

grafrules

Banned
Roddick beat Novak twice this year by playing a retrieving style.
Roddick has been competitive with Djokovic and Federer this year playing that way only since both of them are playing poorly for their standards and lacking confidence right now. When he plays any of the top 4, even top 5 if you include Davydenko, he will not do well playing that way unless they underperform. Otherwise he has to hit his forehand much more agressively and make things happen outside the serve more than he is now, and forget the crazy kamikozees to the net.
 
By definition a pusher is a player whose goal is to hit the ball back over the net and into the court. That is all. You can't seriously believe that this is all Roddick does during rallies. Sure he isn't the most aggressive player in the world but he hits the ball with pace at times and usually with purpose (ie. he's aiming somewhere in the court to set up the next shot). Roddick cannot be considered a pusher. Pusher's, by definition, play at a level so low that one wouldn't be able to make a future's event with this style of play, much less the pro circuit.
That is an AMATUER PUSHER.
A PRO PUSHER is someone who, yes gets the ball back in play. But he hits his/her shots in a certain way to initiate the unforced errors.

They are not fast enough, or do not posses enough placement to be considered a retriever or a counterpuncher. Pro pusher's groundstrokes are also not good enough to dictate play, and their volleys can be decent, but they DO NOT GO TO THE NET ENOUGH to be considered an all-court player/s&volleyer.

Roddick is a PRO pusher (most of the time), because, he does not possess groundstrokes that dictate play, at least in the top 20 or so. His serve is his only shot which is not of a pusher's, but that does not change anything, because it can only be used at a certain time, not ALL THE TIME.
 

imalil2gangsta4u

Hall of Fame
whenever i watch roddick play, i always think to myself about how he never really gets the ball past people besides on his serve. i think he needs to go for more but idk if ide say hes a pusher.
 

TennisNinja

Hall of Fame
I kind of think his game has developed the way Hewitt's did. Where when they were first on tour they had some of the most aggressive and penetrating groundstrokes, but as time passed, they stopped being so impressive, and more of the norm. Thus, they then had to adjust their playing style.
 

nhat8121

Semi-Pro
i thought counter puncher is from defense to offense...

in that case, I would classify roddick as a counter puncher.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
i thought counter puncher is from defense to offense...

in that case, I would classify roddick as a counter puncher.
Actually, Roddick is not very good on that department. His defensive game is decent due to his strong will attitude to fight every point, but he can't come up with spectacular shot on defense as well as top guys like Nadal or even Federer. This is the reason why Federer always own him from the baseline. He is able to go from defense to offense MUCH better than Roddick.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Right.

This is why I said we're speaking in relative terms here. You could make the same argument for every player that could be considered a "pusher" in the top 50. A pusher in the professional tour is still a very attack-minded player, but there is something to be said about varying degrees.

A player like Simon usually does the same thing off the ground as Roddick, but we label him a pusher because he lacks the huge serve that sets Roddick apart. I'm arguing that Roddick, once the serve is over and done with, plays the role of a pusher in the rallies when he has a choice of style to play. Pushing off the ground is his comfort zone.
This guy is the only one who understands a relative term of a pusher here. A PUSHER in pros level can't be compared to 3.5 pusher you guys play after school. Pushers on professional level can still hit the sh*t out of the ball given a chance, but they will tend to just hit a loopy deep ball during normal rallies, and this is EXACTLY what Roddick does nowadays. So professionally speaking, he is actually a pusher.
 
Actually, Roddick is not very good on that department. His defensive game is decent due to his strong will attitude to fight every point, but he can't come up with spectacular shot on defense as well as top guys like Nadal or even Federer. This is the reason why Federer always own him from the baseline. He is able to go from defense to offense MUCH better than Roddick.
I think that was actually a good analysis, unlike some other people on here.
 
This guy is the only one who understands a relative term of a pusher here. A PUSHER in pros level can't be compared to 3.5 pusher you guys play after school. Pushers on professional level can still hit the sh*t out of the ball given a chance, but they will tend to just hit a loopy deep ball during normal rallies, and this is EXACTLY what Roddick does nowadays. So professionally speaking, he is actually a pusher.
Exactly right.
 

kungfusmkim

Professional
Please stop sharing crack or coke with Hingis. first of all, If you knew more about roddick you would not call him a pusher. If you dont know about roddick, i suggest you look at 2003 plays from him pronto. WHO ON EARTH CALLS SAMPRAS AN ALL COURT PLAYER. HIS OBVIOUSLY A S&V. thats all. And once again, Hingis's crack gone bad. REAL BAD.
 

kungfusmkim

Professional
RODDICK: a ball bashing, Meat head. He has a powerful serve and a big forehand but doesn't have the brains to use them in the field today. Makes a **** load of UE.
 

coloskier

Legend
Please stop sharing crack or coke with Hingis. first of all, If you knew more about roddick you would not call him a pusher. If you dont know about roddick, i suggest you look at 2003 plays from him pronto. WHO ON EARTH CALLS SAMPRAS AN ALL COURT PLAYER. HIS OBVIOUSLY A S&V. thats all. And once again, Hingis's crack gone bad. REAL BAD.
I guess you weren't alive when Sampras played because he also had the most feared forehand in the game during his prime and his backhand was pretty good too.
 
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