Who plays attacking tennis, as oposed to defending or counterpunching?

Who plays attacking tennis, as oposed to defending or counterpunching?


  • Total voters
    56

socallefty

Legend
Aggressive Baseliner in singles, but will come to net to finish points. S&V/C&C in doubles. I think you need different poll options for singles and doubles as most players come to net in doubles above 4.0, but it is much more rare in singles.
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Difficult to answer so I put all-court. I used to play serve and volley in the 1980s and 1990s but had an all-court game during that time. In the 2000s and 2010, I moved more to a counterpunching game (some call me a pusher sometimes). In doubles, I'm at the net as much as possible including after serve returns.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Counterpuncher is also called a pusher...

Counterpuncher eh? I like that. Sounds very sporty.

Much better than pusher which always brings to my mind...

 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'd like to say all court player since I have no aversion to attacking the net on short balls. But I'm mostly aggressive baselining/counterpunching, especially on clay, until I get an opportunity that's too good to pass up.

But there's wasn't an option for "every style" depending on the circumstance.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I'd like to say all court player since I have no aversion to attacking the net on short balls. But I'm mostly aggressive baselining/counterpunching, especially on clay, until I get an opportunity that's too good to pass up.

But there's wasn't an option for "every style" depending on the circumstance.
My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting. --Bruce Lee
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I TRY to be an all court player, but probably end up being an aggressive baseliner half the time.
I think my medical training holds me back. The old saying, "one bad anecdote is worth a dozen clinical trials" is a true analogy to a doctors thinking. You always remember the patients that have a bad reaction to your treatment moreso than you remember all the times the treatment worked. So you are constantly on defence in medicine.

Similar in tennis, I'll recall the times I got passed or lobbed on a net approach and forget all the times I put away the volley or the opponent panicked and made an error. That tends to keep me back and only attacking when it's a clear and obvious opportunity.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
Used to be serve and volleyer. Now I would consider myself to be all court. I still like to finish points at the net, but I am more selective as to when I come in.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I think my medical training holds me back. The old saying, "one bad anecdote is worth a dozen clinical trials" is a true analogy to a doctors thinking. You always remember the patients that have a bad reaction to your treatment moreso than you remember all the times the treatment worked. So you are constantly on defence in medicine.

Similar in tennis, I'll recall the times I got passed or lobbed on a net approach and forget all the times I put away the volley or the opponent panicked and made an error. That tends to keep me back and only attacking when it's a clear and obvious opportunity.
I'm the opposite: I forget the lobs and passers and savor that CC half drop volley winner.

Good thing I'm not a doctor.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
You don’t have to go to the net often to be an attacking player, plenty of players play aggressive tennis from the baseline.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
I find playing S&V takes more explosive energy /footwork /movement.
Just adding the word "volley" means you've at least moved 20 or 30 feet forward, even if that's all you do before shrugging and giving up. You can be a terrible, lazy power baseliner without ever taking a step. Just say, "too good," and racquet clap a lot.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
after working tirelessly on approaches, I can successfully say I am an all courter. I love volleying now, and I S&V at least twice a game, and approach almost every point. Saves me a ton of energy in the long run. Plus against opponents who can’t handle a net guy or attacking guy, it is extremely affective. I’ve even started to dislike grinding now, I just prefer to finish at net.
 

Fintft

Legend
You can be a terrible, lazy power baseliner without ever taking a step. Just say, "too good," and racquet clap a lot.
While I agree with you that most of us, rec power baseliners, are like that, some of us are making the effort.
And it's not only about running/taking steps (be it in X, not only side to side), but that athletic, low position, the bouncing and the rhytm + reading the ball.

By contrast, moving 20 feet forward is easy (unless you want to move very fast).
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Just adding the word "volley" means you've at least moved 20 or 30 feet forward, even if that's all you do before shrugging and giving up. You can be a terrible, lazy power baseliner without ever taking a step. Just say, "too good," and racquet clap a lot.
The most energy I feel wasted is on missed serves. You still are exploding to the net whether it goes in or not, becuse you can't hang around and see.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Naturally I'm more of a counterpuncher, but it depends on my opponent. Two UTR matches last weekend:

  • First was against a serious 10 year old junior. I thought I would take my time with shot selection, maneuver them around the court, control the rally, etc.

    Didn't work. These tiny juniors come preprogrammed for moon-ball city and rarely make unforced errors. Hard to maneuver anything off that kind of ball, and I wasn't having much success beating them at their own game.

    Changed tactics to attack/approach at the soonest opportunity. Sure I made some errors, but generally things worked out in my favor. A 10 year old doesn't have the strength to hit challenging passes/dippers, and they aren't used to the constant pressure. The match ended much more more comfortably than how it started.


  • Next match was against a tall HS varsity player. He hit with way too much pace for me to constantly come in. I ended up playing my counterpunching game. This time patience was rewarded with unforced errors (rather than moonballs :-D ).
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I have no problem with coming to net, but I absolutely love to hit winners from the baseline. I will grind it out with opponents and then throw in a drop shot just for the hell of it.
 

Wurm

Semi-Pro
I like to consider myself a balanced player - my intention is to dictate play and control points, and if I'm playing someone clearly weaker than me I will play attacking tennis...

...but ultimately I'm not a natural big hitter (I've got a decently big first serve, most days, but it's down to a lot of effort going into solid technique rather than a live arm), I am naturally pretty quick on the ground and I tend to play my best tennis when I'm reacting.

It's partly a personality/natural skill set thing, though: my best position as a football (soccer) player was playing defensive midfield and when I played a certain FPS game online, many years ago, I ended up gravitating towards playing in a defensive midfield capacity there too.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
If you were to plot energy output over time, BLers would have a much steadier graph with lower highs whereas a SnVer would have lower lows but huge spikes.
If you are playing someone not very good - baseliner is way easier energy wise, IMHO. I can't speak for being a great S&V guys play other great guys like a Dustin Brown..

But I suspect S&V guys like playing it - so maybe it feels easier to them - but if we counted steps and heart rate - I'd wager its much much harder. I mean just on the serve alone you have to hustle up on every single one. But if you stay back you can just try to smack your first serve and hopefully get a free point. No hustling behind it needed..

Compare that to baseline play - if you are tall we are talking about only a few steps back and forth. Jeff Salzenstein does some cool demos where he covers like the whole half of the court in 3 steps. But sometimes its only one step!

Maybe the S&V guys are imagining that all baseliners are defensive players - but in reality most points are very short even at the rec level. Lots of the MEP points are short and he is the most famous pusher of all.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
If you are playing someone not very good - baseliner is way easier energy wise, IMHO. I can't speak for being a great S&V guys play other great guys like a Dustin Brown..

But I suspect S&V guys like playing it - so maybe it feels easier to them - but if we counted steps and heart rate - I'd wager its much much harder. I mean just on the serve alone you have to hustle up on every single one. But if you stay back you can just try to smack your first serve and hopefully get a free point. No hustling behind it needed..
The highs for a S&Ver will be higher than the highs for a BLer for this reason. But the points are shorter [the S&Ver benefits from more return errors than the BLer because the returner has to worry about not offering up a sitter that would otherwise be fine if the server stayed back]. That's why I believe that the total energy output of the BLer is greater than the S&Ver.

Compare that to baseline play - if you are tall we are talking about only a few steps back and forth. Jeff Salzenstein does some cool demos where he covers like the whole half of the court in 3 steps. But sometimes its only one step!
If you're tall, it takes more energy to get down low so that might be a factor, not just how many strides you take.

Maybe the S&V guys are imagining that all baseliners are defensive players - but in reality most points are very short even at the rec level. Lots of the MEP points are short and he is the most famous pusher of all.
I am not assuming all BLers are defensive players.

I think the average S&V point is shorter than the average BL point. if you get winded easily, S&V probably isn't for you. But if you have plenty of fast twitch muscle but not so much slow twitch, then maybe BL grinding isn't for you either.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I play mostly from the baseline but when I have played net rushing tennis I found it much easier physically than staying back. I have never understood some players saying that SnV style tennis is more tiring than backcourt grinding.
 

Fintft

Legend
I play mostly from the baseline but when I have played net rushing tennis I found it much easier physically than staying back. I have never understood some players saying that SnV style tennis is more tiring than backcourt grinding.
Especially if you try to use that low, athletic position and bounce all the time like the pros...

Basides who wants to move in an X? Anyone?
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I'm more of the kind of guy who runs to the net to hit a sitter with a hammer grip and hit it off the frame for a drop shot that no one could possibly anticipate (including me)
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Hard to tell in this video, who is attacking, who defending, who is the counterpuncher!
I guess at the top 10 level you have to do all three instantaneous!
 
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socallefty

Legend
Sometimes, my opponent and I don’t even agree on what style I played to beat them…so, who really knows. There are days where I feel like I hit out very well, served big etc. and opponents will make comments like I just outlasted them. There are other days where I feel like struggled with timing, racquet head speed, windy conditions etc. and opponents will say that they have never seen me hit out so freely. I‘ve asked some of my regular opponents what style they think I play and I get every description you can think of - it is like the parable about several blind people describing an elephant.

That‘s why it is good to have a scoreboard in sports - there is no dispute about who is the winner and who is the loser in every contest. Even in this case, there are opponents who can lose to you ten times in a row and still have an excuse for every single loss.
 

Fintft

Legend
Sometimes, my opponent and I don’t even agree on what style I played to beat them…so, who really knows. There are days where I feel like I hit out very well, served big etc. and opponents will make comments like I just outlasted them. There are other days where I feel like struggled with timing, racquet head speed, windy conditions etc. and opponents will say that they have never seen me hit out so freely. I‘ve asked some of my regular opponents what style they think I play and I get every description you can think of - it is like the parable about several blind people describing an elephant.
Are your opponents weak or unsincere?
 

socallefty

Legend
Are your opponents weak or unsincere?
They are at my level and some of them beat me or play me close - so, they are not all weak. But their perception of what happened on court often seems to vary from mine, maybe because my expectations for my performance might depend on how I grade myself against what I was trying to do tactically and they only see the result of how I played. Some might be insincere just to mess with my head for future matches, but I would think that would be a small minority.
 
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