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  1. #31
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    interesting. i will definitely look into it. i spend forehand after forehand consciously hitting with a straight(er) arm. twenty minutes later i notice im hitting bent again

  2. #32
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    Just lost to the guy for the third straight time. {6-3, 2-6, 6-2} The first set was tight unlike what the score indicates. The second set, I was able to control the points. The third set, he pushed every ball back. He made two unforced errors in the third. Not even one winner came off his racquet in the entire match. That should explain how patheticly I handle these, as Tennisplayer so creatively said, "cream puffs."

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Hi everyone. Sorry I have been in la la land for the past couple of weeks. I have been housing a couple of professional tennis players at my house and it has thrown my schedule off completely. 7.0 is the highest rating the USTA gives. It is reserved for those who make a complete living playing tennis. I was a 6.5 as I played pro tournaments, but did not get paid enough to actually say that my bills were paid solely through tennis tournaments, so therefore I was a 6.5. When playing someone who moonballs and retrieves, don't change your game. You can change the amount of topspin and such, but don't completely abandon the game that makes you who you are. How can you expect to hit super heavy topspin and charge the net when you practice totally different? It just isn't feasible. First, play your game and see if it works to draw errors out of them. If not, be patient and make them run, run, run, run. They will tire out, I assure you. There is no time limit in the game of tennis. Thirdly, work one corner until they begin to shade there and then attack the other. If you hit from corner to corner against a pusher, they will get both body and racquet rhythm and they begin to make everything. Getting them stuck in a corner until they hit a a poor shot is the key and then you attack the opposite corner and move in. Another great idea is to hit high and heavy so that they are backed up to the fence and then you can step in and hit an angle, approach, or a dropshot. Most retrievers love side to side movement, but not so much up and back movement. Throw their rhythm off with different paced shots of your own and different depths. Take their rhythm and you can take the match.
    Man, I wish I would've read your response several times before playing this guy again. He just loved the topspin balls bouncing to his chest level. The guy blocked every shot, but maybe a dozen! My slice isn't good enough just yet to really use that to mix things up consistently. But I could have easily tried the high and heavy shots and then some short and angled ones. During the match, I just felt that if I kept my cool and continued what I did, the match would end in my favor. Does anyone know if they sell a ball machine that shoots 25 mph flat cream puffs? lol

  4. #34
    LT, I emphasize heavy topspin only because it's easy to stay consistent that way. A typical 3.5-4.0 player will not be able to finish off short balls and other badly hit balls consistently and effectively enough against someone with superior movement. To give an extreme example, if someone like TK decided to just bunt every ball back in a match, with his movement, he would probably still comfortably beat 5.0 players - and someone watching him for the first time will think he's a pusher! This just shows how important movement is in tennis. TK's advice is right on the money for dealing with such guys - but I think one needs to work hard on finishing skills to be able to beat pushers consistently.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisplayer View Post
    LT, I emphasize heavy topspin only because it's easy to stay consistent that way. A typical 3.5-4.0 player will not be able to finish off short balls and other badly hit balls consistently and effectively enough against someone with superior movement. To give an extreme example, if someone like TK decided to just bunt every ball back in a match, with his movement, he would probably still comfortably beat 5.0 players - and someone watching him for the first time will think he's a pusher! This just shows how important movement is in tennis. TK's advice is right on the money for dealing with such guys - but I think one needs to work hard on finishing skills to be able to beat pushers consistently.
    ...as compared to the heavy topspin hitters?

    I honestly felt like a 2.0 playing him in the third. My footwork was atrocious hence my balance was way off. I began to feel dizzy it became so bad. I found myself playing his game by the middle of the third. I held back on every groundstroke for fear it would go long only to dump it into the net. The middle of the court was the only spot I could hit consistently.

    My usual hitting partner and I were hitting just an hour ago. Hitting a tennis ball was so enjoyable again. I wonder if I should not continue playing him so much; I've become so comfortable with heavy topspin hitters.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    ...as compared to the heavy topspin hitters?
    Actually, against anyone with superior movement. Finishing short balls is not as easy as the advanced players make it seem. One tip that has helped me a lot is this: if the ball is low (below net level) go for a deep, well placed approach shot. If it is above net level, rip it to the open court with heavy topspin. But this is easier said than done, and a lot of practice is needed. Even at pro levels, you can see players flubbing it occasionally. How many times have we seen Roddick rip a short ball cross court and get passed down the line! And there are only a handful of players in the world better than Roddick. So don't feel bad.

    I honestly felt like a 2.0 playing him in the third. My footwork was atrocious hence my balance was way off. I began to feel dizzy it became so bad. I found myself playing his game by the middle of the third. I held back on every groundstroke for fear it would go long only to dump it into the net. The middle of the court was the only spot I could hit consistently.

    My usual hitting partner and I were hitting just an hour ago. Hitting a tennis ball was so enjoyable again. I wonder if I should not continue playing him so much; I've become so comfortable with heavy topspin hitters.
    I am with you, man - I've been there many times! In addition to implementing a strategy such as the one TK has laid out, also change your mindset to practice mode. Return good balls safely, and wait for bad balls. Always expect it - no, want it! - to come back, so you can do it again. Hit very relaxed, expending as little energy as possible, so you have the physical and mental energy to deal with long rallies. And if you lose, thank the guy for letting you practice, and schedule another meeting!

  7. #37
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    ok, tp. thanks for the ideas and inspiration. i value your input. you are so right about being thankful for the interactive wall, your opponent. all of you have given me something to think about and i appreciate that. i have been concentrating on footwork and seem to be making progress. i am feeling more confident despite the 0-3 record - and i'm getting closer every time. i sure will post my results in our next meeting.

  8. #38
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    I actually found that hitting the balls above net level as flat as possible to the open court worked better because topspin just gave the fast guy I had problems with more time with the high bounce.

  9. #39
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    Everyone here is correct! When using the heavy topspin, hit behind your opponent more and when flattening it out go either way. Never totally flatten the ball. Always have a little topspin on the ball due to the fact that if you are playing a retriever, you probably will hit many more balls than normal and therefore your swingspeed will diminish as you get tired and your muscles begin to tire. Topspin actually creates air that pushes down on the ball to keep it from going out and the closer you get to the net, the more you need to get that ball down. Always, always, always, like tennisplayer said, expect another ball. Always show that you are on top of the next shot, even if it is obviously out. You want to give your opponent that feeling that you will never let up and if he/she sees you stop and become nonchalant about shots that are close, they will gain some confidence and begin feeling that you may be tiring. 90% of this game is mental once you have developed all the shots and the fitness levels required to become a good player. I truly recommend learning a solid down the line drop shot that you use WHEN YOU ARE INSIDE THE COURT so that you can follow it in just like it is an approach. This works wonders against pushers. Also, WORK ON YOUR OVERHEAD! It is the "other" shots that people rarely practice that end up being the ones you need the most when you play a tricky opponent. I have a hard enough time getting all of these top juniors in the country to practice their overhead (they like drop shots though), but when they get into a tight match, what is the one shot that goes away when they get nervous? THE OVERHEAD! They will get an easy put away and fluff it because of lack of practice. You have to AT LEAST cover all the shots and bases so that when you play a thoughtful player who hits it easy and tries to make your game break down, you will be prepared. It's all about preparation and part of that is practicing the shots you don't like.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Everyone here is correct! When using the heavy topspin, hit behind your opponent more and when flattening it out go either way. Never totally flatten the ball. Always have a little topspin on the ball due to the fact that if you are playing a retriever, you probably will hit many more balls than normal and therefore your swingspeed will diminish as you get tired and your muscles begin to tire. Topspin actually creates air that pushes down on the ball to keep it from going out and the closer you get to the net, the more you need to get that ball down. Always, always, always, like tennisplayer said, expect another ball. Always show that you are on top of the next shot, even if it is obviously out. You want to give your opponent that feeling that you will never let up and if he/she sees you stop and become nonchalant about shots that are close, they will gain some confidence and begin feeling that you may be tiring. 90% of this game is mental once you have developed all the shots and the fitness levels required to become a good player. I truly recommend learning a solid down the line drop shot that you use WHEN YOU ARE INSIDE THE COURT so that you can follow it in just like it is an approach. This works wonders against pushers. Also, WORK ON YOUR OVERHEAD! It is the "other" shots that people rarely practice that end up being the ones you need the most when you play a tricky opponent. I have a hard enough time getting all of these top juniors in the country to practice their overhead (they like drop shots though), but when they get into a tight match, what is the one shot that goes away when they get nervous? THE OVERHEAD! They will get an easy put away and fluff it because of lack of practice. You have to AT LEAST cover all the shots and bases so that when you play a thoughtful player who hits it easy and tries to make your game break down, you will be prepared. It's all about preparation and part of that is practicing the shots you don't like.
    In bold are the two things I would like to thoroughly master from this post.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    In bold are the two things I would like to thoroughly master from this post.
    I recommend you thoroughly develop a style in your game and really get to know your game so that you can know what you do well and you will be able to be proactive and not reactive. Being proactive is instrumental in defeating not only pushers, but also very good players. You must go out and dictate the way you want the match to be played and you must develop as well as know yourself as a player so that you can do so. I see players who have weak backhands but pretty good forehands who will hit backhand after backhand in a match. It makes no sense whatsoever. Play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. You must continue to work on your strengths as well. Neglect no shots in practice. Example as well as case/point about to be made: When you play someone, you think about what? You think about how to beat that player by attacking their weaknesses. Now, you opponent thinks the same way. So, you must train your weaknesses in order to make them not so weak. The better they get, the better you play and the more you frustrate your opponents. If you don't work on your weaknesses, you are basically setting yourself up for defeat. Example 2: Ever seen the guy in the gym who has the upper body of Adonis and sports chicken legs as well? He doesn't work his weak areas (his legs) and therefore will always have obvious weaknesses in his build. That translates beautifully to tennis.......

  12. #42
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    Good points TK. I've noticed I play all three ways. The 2.0 way when I'm out of my territory. The passive way when somebody is clearly better than me. And the aggressive game (usually against medium to fast paced topspin balls) which clearly yields the best results. I guess I need to find a way to feel confident while playing against any style.

    Thanks TK. I will be playing the guy again soon. Now that the season is over, a victory won't be as sweet, but I will be happy regardless I'll post the results here.

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