Re: Tennis Thread
I played 3.5 over the summer in a league that I eventually won, and I had to beat a guy twice (once in regular season and again in playoffs) that was the biggest pusher I've ever seen.
Such a big pusher that I'd try to pull him into the net intentionally giving him short balls and he would run in, hit them, and run back to the baseline.
I actually dropped a set to him in our first meeting, because I was getting frustrated, trying to crush the ball from the baseline, approaching the net on weak approach shots, etc. He wasn't completely unskilled, he hit a nice passing shot when I was at the net, but mostly just pushed the ball back.
After that first set I decided the entire thing was ridiculous, I was a more skilled player, and if he wanted to push then I'd push too. I'm capable of returning pushed shots all day if someone wants to do that.
So from then on I:
- Only hit safe shots
- Did not try to force my way to the net. If he gave me a short ball I didn't worry too much about hitting a winner because he chased down nearly everything. With short balls, I just hit deep, hard (but safe/high percentage) shots to his backhand. Usually this produced a return that I could put away at the net. And if he hit a lob I went back and got it and reset the point. In the first set this frustrated me, but I let it go.
We had rallies that had to have been over 20 shots. It was exhausting, and it was 95+ degrees that day which added to the misery. But after dropping that set I won the next two 6-3, 6-1 and then later beat him in the playoff 6-2, 6-2.
So I guess my biggest takeaway is to stay calm, respect what they can do, completely cut down on your unforced errors, and be patient. When you play these guys you are in for the long haul.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.