Are pushers bad for tennis? - Page 2 - TennisForum.com
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post #16 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:38 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

This isn't ice skating or gymnastics, so you don't get extra points for style and artistry. It's a fair and objective racquet and ball sport.

A sport with set rules and equipment....the end. It's the players job to secure a win by ANY means within the rules. This includes under-hand serves, ball bashing, counter punching, winning ugly...and so on.

It's true some people have a preference for the kinds of players they like and the kinds of tennis they like, but every one has their own view on the subject.

We should collectively thank God that there aren't any subjective elements in our sport. Speaking as an ice skating and gymnastics fan it's nice that people with agendas can't influence the outcome. Can you imagine if artistry was a part of getting points...like I said, thank god it's not.

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post #17 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:42 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

Are you suggesting that "pushers" are lacking technique? When I play, I don't employ a lot of power, usually. For me, consistency is the key to winning tennis. It is much easier to be consistent when you're not trying to crush a ball. And most of my spectacular shots come out of necessity: making up for being out of position or trying t get a racquet on a great shot by my opponent. It's extremely hard to string together spectacular shots on a regular basis. So, unless one has a special knack for hitting with amazing power, spin, or placement, it is better to rely on the consistent, "safe" shot. Obviously, combing extraordinary talent with flawless technique is the way to go. But folks who can do that get PAID to play tennis. The rest of us? Well, we just have to learn how to fish by going to the market, lol.
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post #18 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:53 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit View Post
This isn't ice skating or gymnastics, so you don't get extra points for style and artistry. It's a fair and objective racquet and ball sport.

A sport with set rules and equipment....the end. It's the players job to secure a win by ANY means within the rules. This includes under-hand serves, ball bashing, counter punching, winning ugly...and so on.

It's true some people have a preference for the kinds of players they like and the kinds of tennis they like, but every one has their own view on the subject.

We should collectively thank God that there aren't any subjective elements in our sport. Speaking as an ice skating and gymnastics fan it's nice that people with agendas can't influence the outcome. Can you imagine if artistry was a part of getting points...like I said, thank god it's not.
Mostly agreed. Only one thing, winning ugly or nicely earn equal points, that's for sure, and it makes no difference for players. But for audience and sports marketing, I'm afraid it's not exactly the same thing.

May I jump to the judgement out of commonsense that the majority of the fans prefer the gameplay to be rather positive than negative?


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Last edited by Boxuan; Jan 22nd, 2013 at 03:59 AM.
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post #19 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 04:54 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

It really makes me angry when posters on TF or MTF and even announcers on tv attack players who are mainly defensive players or "pushers". These players are often the ones that work the hardest, make the most out of their ability, and give the greatest effort on the court. We should be celebrating these players, not attacking them. If a player in American football or basketball or whatever sport is scrappy, they are cheered as the model player but in tennis they are denigrated. In contrast, players that are out of shape and don't work hard but can bash winners are celebrated.

However, I do think there's a difference between avid tennis fans and casual fans. Avid tennis fans seem to hate long rallies and defensive styles of play but when you go to majors, fans seem to love the long points and epic matches regardless of the style of play.

I personally like to watch a variety of different styles and think that's what makes tennis so great.

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post #20 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 05:19 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

This is an important question that not enough people ask
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post #21 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:05 AM
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post #22 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptkten View Post
It really makes me angry when posters on TF or MTF and even announcers on tv attack players who are mainly defensive players or "pushers". These players are often the ones that work the hardest, make the most out of their ability, and give the greatest effort on the court.

However, I do think there's a difference between avid tennis fans and casual fans. Avid tennis fans seem to hate long rallies and defensive styles of play but when you go to majors, fans seem to love the long points and epic matches regardless of the style of play.

I personally like to watch a variety of different styles and think that's what makes tennis so great.
What I think gets more criticized than even boring tennis or pushers is 'ball bashing'. Notice I'm making the distinction between "ball bashing" and aggressive tennis. If I use positive and negative terms, 'ball bashing' would be negative and aggressive tennis would be positive. When you have players constantly hitting the ball way long, into the net, and go for extremely low percentage shots from bad positions the crowds pull away and seemingly become disinterested. The commentators then start talking about the "low" quality of the match, that's when they throw out those dubious error to winners ratios. Spectators love dynamic plays that showcase something spectacular, they don't want a hot mess.

More than anything I think live spectators appreciate and want a battle. They like to get into a match and when the scoreline is close and when the match is hard fought they could care less about styles of play. Intensity, fight, and and heart outweighs everything- as it should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake Ramoray View Post
...it makes no difference for players. But for audience and sports marketing, I'm afraid it's not exactly the same thing.?
That's true the quality of tennis does make a difference to spectators, but I'm not sure I agree that there is a universally agreed upon preference, if there were, no doubt about it- it would be for more aggressive play so I can concede that point for arguments sake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moby View Post
It lacks weaknesses because it is afraid of the risk that comes with exhibiting strengths.
I don't think that is to be appreciated. At best that bit is neutral.
Bare in mind pushers play with the biggest risk of all; they don't control the outcome of their matches. If I'm committed to relying on errors, then I'm taking a risk that my opponent might stop missing.

i do agree with you though- there's something admirable about a player who has the balls to trust their training and hard work and 'go for it'! There's a lot to appreciate about that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by moby View Post
Positive tennis celebrates human perfection and technical mastery. Negative tennis preys on human weakness.

The problem with negative tennis is that it mainly wins by default.

Notice that I make the distinction between positive/negative vs aggressive/defensive. It is possible to play positive tennis as a defensive player. Usually such players are called counter-punchers.

And this is before going into aesthetics.
It's cool that you make the distinction between a counter-pounced and a pusher, I've never seen anyone do that. The pusher relies on errors from their opponent while the counter-puncher absorbs pace and redirects.

I'm intrigued with the concepts of positive and negative tennis. I'm still fuzzy on what falls into negative vs positive though. With regards to the counter puncher I get the negative reference (waiting for mistakes) and I get the counter-puncher as positive dealing with the aggression from the opponent and in turn using that to their advantage.

What I don't get is whether or not execution is factored in. Are we calling a match where someone hits 30 UEs and hits 5 winners positive tennis?

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post #23 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:50 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

Players like Willie Renshaw, Suzanne Lenglen and Bill Tilden didn't make tennis popular by pushing that's for sure. If a pusher wins, tennis dies.
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post #24 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Re: What is tennis?

This board only knows pushers and ballbashers

Totally agree with you!

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post #25 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Re: What is tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptkten View Post
It really makes me angry when posters on TF or MTF and even announcers on tv attack players who are mainly defensive players or "pushers". These players are often the ones that work the hardest, make the most out of their ability, and give the greatest effort on the court.
This isn't necessarily true. Some players are naturally better suited to playing aggressive, some not. If you're not particularly agile or quick around the court, you should probably be trying end the point early. That would be making the most of your ability. Vice versa, if you aren't a natural powerful player trying to blast winners will more than likely just leave the court open for your opponent.

There's no right or wrong way to play the sport. It's a competition and every player should be doing what they think is most likely to win matches, whether that's trying to hit winners every shot or looping everything down the middle. Entertainment is secondary, but even then one of the strengths of the sport as a spectacle is that there are different ways to win matches.

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post #26 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Re: What is tennis?

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
Well, I agree with that, although I think it is ultimately a technical issue.
I mean, clearly everyone is trying to play the best strategy that works for their physical and technical abilities.
But you also hope that players evolve better technical abilities with time, and change their strategy accordingly so that their tennis improves.

Look at Henin.

Now look at Wozniacki, even Radwanska.
The problem with negative tennis is that it is static and unchanging instead of dynamic.
Yes let's look at Henin. She had the most incredible armoury of shots of any player of recent times. She could hit with any spin off either wing cross court or down the line, all with aggressive intent. In order to do that she needed incredible technique and footwork. That's what it takes to be a successful aggressive player in the modern game if you are as small as Justine was. You need quality and variety of skills that the likes of Sharapova, Azarenka, Kvitova, even Williams can only dream of.

That is why Henin was one of a kind and why other small players hit fewer winners. For a small player to be successful they either have to be a tennis genius or they need to outwit their opponents and draw errors out of them. And that is what many of them are doing. Players like Radwanska and Errani are not "pushers" waiting for their opponent to make an error. They are tactical players, inducing those errors. They do what their opponent least wants them to do.

Perhaps part of the problem is the black and white definition tennis has of "forced" and "unforced" errors. When players hit what are listed as "unforced errors" against players like Radwanska or Errani, those errors have been induced by clever play. The player is often off balance when playing the shot or cramped for room because of a cleverly placed ball or perhaps thrown by a change of pace or spin. In that instance the error may not have been "forced" by the opponent but it has certainly been earned.

Personally I love watching crafty players. Last year I sat grinding my teeth whenever some idiot posted a thread entitled "Sluggerova saves WTA, def Errani/Radwanska". Saved the WTA from what? From skill, tactical nous and variety?

Last edited by bobito; Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Typos - Qwerty keyboard not designed for chimp fingers
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post #27 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:18 PM
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Re: What is tennis?

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Originally Posted by Lachy View Post
You know those awful quality matches where the BBB ends up losing to the pusher with 10000 unforced errors, the pusher wins, does tennis win? I'm not really sure.
Tennis definitely wins.

There is nothing worse than stupid ballbashing.
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post #28 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Re: What is tennis?

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Originally Posted by bjurra View Post
Tennis definitely wins.

There is nothing worse than stupid ballbashing.
But is a spectator more likely to walk away from the match thinking 'wow player A really imploded, she couldn't find the court' or 'wow player B just kept getting the ball back.'?

I'm not sure tennis wins when a spectator walks away talking more about the loser of the match than the winner. Naturally, the attention is on the aggressor because they are the ones making the plays.

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post #29 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:30 PM
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Re: What is tennis?

I don't hate any players, just to say that.

However, I see why so many people dislike counterpunchers as well as myself. They are just not interesting to watch in my opinion I know it takes great tennis skills to retrieve as many balls as Radwanska does, however, it's not appealing to the eye

Congrats to her and fighting and all, but I just can't sit through any of her matches, she bores me to death.
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post #30 of 157 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:37 PM
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Re: Are pushers bad for tennis?

pushers are good for the sport.....they let the arrogant attacking ones beat themselves......it is fun to watch......
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