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.
...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.
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!
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?