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View Full Version : Is it good these days to be a "pusher"?


Anabelcroft
Feb 25th, 2012, 08:30 PM
Wozniacki was number 1 for a long time and now that Radwanska secured top 5 spot I wonder is these days better to be a pusher and gaining points or a hard hitter whose form can go from hot to cold?Consistent in pushing the ball back and waiting for a mistake or aggressive hitting which means bigger margin for error?

hobahobaspirit
Feb 25th, 2012, 08:38 PM
Pushing doesn't win slams

Sammo
Feb 25th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Yes, even in Top Spin 4.

marineblue
Feb 25th, 2012, 08:41 PM
Pushers are not on WTA level but in small local clubs. It's pretty obvious from the examples of Wozniacki or Radwanska that hard hitting is not the only way of achieving success.

Linguae^
Feb 25th, 2012, 10:33 PM
Absolutely.

Stonerpova
Feb 25th, 2012, 10:41 PM
In past eras it was enough to win slams. Sanchez Vicario won 4 of them.

Smitten
Feb 25th, 2012, 10:49 PM
Arantxa would wipe the floor with these girls of today. She could shamelessly moonball, but Sanchez-Vicario was exceptional tactically and could play some very aggressive counterpunching.

Turnip
Feb 25th, 2012, 10:49 PM
Yes. W/UE ratios are negative most of the time. Push to win.

Chris 84
Feb 25th, 2012, 10:52 PM
caro is a pusher, aga is not. aga's style is far more intelligent and hingis-esque than that of a pusher. caro tries to get the ball in play and doesn't seem to care about angles, etc, whereas aga is all about angles, drop shots, lobs, etc. just cos she doesn't have much power to her game and doesn't go for big power-strokes doesn't mean that she doesn't go for winners. she just does it in a style which is more suited to her physical make-up. to me, aga and caro are players with very different styles.

(ok, if everyone is split into either 1/ pusher or 2/ ballbasher, then aga is a pusher, but there aren't 2 styles of play, there are several)

Jerem
Feb 25th, 2012, 11:01 PM
First of all, why, why always this opposition only between pushing and hard hitting? Shades exist, ignoring them is really a lack of knowledge in terms of tennis.

To answer to the question, I think that "pushers" take advantage of a game their opponents can't control... And there are so many players nowadays who try to hit as hard as they can without real security in their shots, unfortunately. In my opinion, that's the main reason which explains how Wozniacki became No.1 : she was consistent and master of her game like nearly no one most of the time; she lost when she wasn't.

Aryman3
Feb 25th, 2012, 11:06 PM
Julia lost today because Aga plays differently than Caro
She's not a pusher in any meaning. That's all.

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:42 AM
Pushing doesn't win slams

But obviously can give you number 1 spot for 67 weeks...

It's 6X more than Venus Williams has ever been number 1,6 X more than Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario has ever been,4X more than Sharapova,3X more than Clijsters and many other great names in women's tennis such as Amelie Mauresmo,Jenifer Capriati,Tracy Austin...

Wiggly
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:56 AM
Wozniacki stated not so long ago that she put more time on her fitness than her tennis. Tells it all really.

Don McGurcock
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:58 AM
What is a pusher? Someone who hits the ball out less than 'big-hitters'?

In any other sport, someone who whacked the ball as hard as possible and made loads of mistakes would be regarded as completely crap - I don't get why accurate players get so much stick on this forum?

dsanders06
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:03 AM
Arantxa would wipe the floor with these girls of today. She could shamelessly moonball, but Sanchez-Vicario was exceptional tactically and could play some very aggressive counterpunching.

I pretty much agree with this. Tbh, I would put Sanchez Vicario in the same defensive-grinder bracket as Wozniacki in terms of strategy, but the difference is that ASV did it much better than Wozniacki could ever dream of -- she had better raw footspeed, better court sense, and most importantly, she had much more heart.

binky-GOAT
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:04 AM
What is a pusher? Someone who hits the ball out less than 'big-hitters'?

In any other sport, someone who whacked the ball as hard as possible and made loads of mistakes would be regarded as completely crap - I don't get why accurate players get so much stick on this forum?

It's not like ballbashers aren't criticized for playing hit and miss tennis.

But the problem with pushers is that they can be more aggressive whilst keeping the errors down.

I'm sure for fans what the most frustrating thing is seeing a pusher gets on top of a rally and fail to finish off the point and let her opponent get back in.

Dawn Marie
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:04 AM
ASV was not a pusher? What are u like 12? Go back and warch some ASV tapes. U were smarter by saying Conchita as the pusher. Although she wasnt either. Caro and Aga play nothing alike. Aga knows her way around the net. Caro stays back behind the baseline. Aga is more agressive and looks to push her opponents back.

Dawn Marie
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:05 AM
Oh and the answer is yes. if by pusher u mean gets ball over net more times than opponent then yes that is a good thing in tennis. Lmao.

binky-GOAT
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:09 AM
Oh and the answer is yes. if by pusher u mean gets ball over net more times than opponent then yes that is a good thing in tennis. Lmao.

Do you know what winners are?

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 04:21 AM
It's not like ballbashers aren't criticized for playing hit and miss tennis.


They are all criticized but ballbashers are generally much more attractive to watch and attract more crowd!

Kworb
Feb 26th, 2012, 04:24 AM
The current top players just show that any style can still be successful. Whether you're a pusher like Woz, a grinder like Vika, a hyper ballbasher like Petra, a patient ballbasher like Masha, or a defensive varied player like Aga, it doesn't matter, you can have success and win Slams.

JJ all the way
Feb 26th, 2012, 04:41 AM
I pretty much agree with this. Tbh, I would put Sanchez Vicario in the same defensive-grinder bracket as Wozniacki in terms of strategy, but the difference is that ASV did it much better than Wozniacki could ever dream of -- she had better raw footspeed, better court sense, and most importantly, she had much more heart.

Wozz has heart - Rory gifted it to her with a danish flag :p

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:58 PM
like Woz...like Aga...you can have success and win Slams.

They still haven't won any Slams...

Excelscior
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:06 PM
Variety is the spice of life. Don't knock it.

Let Radwanska have her time.

Plus, the year just started. It's the ebb and flow of the tennis season. We'll see how the rankings shake out as the season progresses.

Keep in mind, power/offensive players usually take longer to develop than defensive players. When you throw in the fact that even some of the ones with experience (the 23 old Julia Goerges for example) are still making the same mistakes and still learning, then you can understand why the likes of Radwanska (and other pusher types) can sneak in the top 5.

Ironically, Radwanska was a top 12-20 player, who always appeared on the outskirts of the top 5-10 for years. But she never came through the door.

Now that she's there, let's see how long she stays?

Congrats and good for Aga!!

delicatecutter
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:10 PM
The current top players just show that any style can still be successful. Whether you're a pusher like Woz, a grinder like Vika, a hyper ballbasher like Petra, a patient ballbasher like Masha, or a defensive varied player like Aga, it doesn't matter, you can have success and win Slams.

I don't think Caro will win any Slams and Aga is going to hope for a dream draw just to make a SF.

Excelscior
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:14 PM
I don't think Caro will win any Slams and Aga is going to hope for a dream draw just to make a SF.

I guess they counted in the "have success category, he or she mentioned?" :lol: :confused: :lol:

Excelscior
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Wozniacki stated not so long ago that she put more time on her fitness than her tennis. Tells it all really.

This (makes sense).

Burisleif
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:44 PM
Wozniacki was number 1 for a long time and now that Radwanska secured top 5 spot I wonder is these days better to be a pusher and gaining points or a hard hitter whose form can go from hot to cold?Consistent in pushing the ball back and waiting for a mistake or aggressive hitting which means bigger margin for error?

I suppose if your going to 'come out' and declare your self 'tennis Illiterati', a thread like this on TF is the way to do it...

Fear not however, because you are in ample company around here. :)

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 03:52 PM
Now that she's there, let's see how long she stays?


You mean the time will tell is that style of play good or bad...

On the other hand majority of people were bashing Woz and her game while she stayed for a long time at number 1 spot...so,don't know how to categorize this example...

StoneRose
Feb 26th, 2012, 04:09 PM
Pushing doesn't win slamsPure ballbashers usually don't win slams either.

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:13 PM
Pure ballbashers usually don't win slams either.

True,but we see that Peter Woz just keeps his daughters game the same and didn't allow Sanchez to change her game and attack more...there must be a reason for it-maybe he thinks that pushing the ball back is a key to success...

Excelscior
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:15 PM
You mean the time will tell is that style of play good or bad...

On the other hand majority of people were bashing Woz and her game while she stayed for a long time at number 1 spot...so,don't know how to categorize this example...

I don't think it's an issue whether or not this style of play will be in the top 10. Of course it will, just like several other styles that will be there as well.

I was speaking specifically about Aga herself, and whether or not she will last in the top 5 for long? Maybe she will, maybe she won't?

Remember she was knocking at the door for years, and seem stuck in that 12-20 range. This could be the start of something good, or just a temporary aberration. We'll see?

Good Luck to her!!

As far as Caro, I think many people here, feel/believe that Aga utilizes her smaller physical stature on the tennis court, better than Caro does, in a more eye pleasing way to boot. She's a pusher with some ability, intent and aggression.

Corswandt
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:20 PM
Is it good these days to be a "pusher"?

At the depleted TII tournament level, it clearly is.

For a consistent level of good overall results throughout the whole length of the season, that's mostly true as well.

To win big at the biggest of stages, empirical evidence gathered so far suggests otherwise.

StoneRose
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:26 PM
True,but we see that Peter Woz just keeps his daughters game the same and didn't allow Sanchez to change her game and attack more...there must be a reason for it-maybe he thinks that pushing the ball back is a key to success...Maybe the cooperation with Sanchez should have been continued.. But does Caro have enough talent to change her game radically? Don't know. I haven't seen many players who changed their game play radically becoming more successful afterwards, no one comes to mind actually. And Caro is successful, maybe her dad has already seen it will only get worse with big changes in game play. I think Caro needs to find that out herself but that doesn't mean Piotr is wrong.

Vikapower
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Wozniacki stated not so long ago that she put more time on her fitness than her tennis. Tells it all really.

Lol it was in her post match ITW after she beat Ana -- as Excelsior said it makes sense.

Q. You moved very well tonight; you usually do move very well. Four of the leading players are injured, and yet you probably cover more of the court than they and yet you stay fit. How do you do that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I'm not sure. I put a lot of things into my fitness. I've always done. I've always prioritized my fitness almost more than my tennis, to be honest, and my training.

Pure ballbashers usually don't win slams either.

Yeah in today's type of slow tennis it's an astute mix you gotta have. Men's tennis always had that mix for years now watch the 4 top guys while girls were content to play the same style but it's becoming more evident in the women's game that one or the other extreme doesn't suffice on themselves anymore -- anyways that's how it seems to turn out IMO.

Del Potro for example is one who plays a similar WTA like type of game, Söderling too, shot-makers (?) and these dudes are dire/clueless against any of Djokovic, Fred, Murray, Nadz etc... IMO with the emergence of girls who more and more are able to bring both of these extremes together comfortably you'll see the same phenomenon.

Anabelcroft
Feb 26th, 2012, 06:31 PM
Yeah in today's type of slow tennis it's an astute mix you gotta have. Men's tennis always had that mix for years now watch the 4 top guys while girls were content to play the same style but it's becoming more evident in the women's game that one or the other extreme doesn't suffice on themselves anymore -- anyways that's how it seems to turn out IMO.


Good point...Apart from few of them,girls seem to be more one-dimensional...

Kworb
Feb 26th, 2012, 06:42 PM
At the depleted TII tournament level, it clearly is.

For a consistent level of good overall results throughout the whole length of the season, that's mostly true as well.

To win big at the biggest of stages, empirical evidence gathered so far suggests otherwise.

Azarenka just won the AO. Djokovic and Nadal are dominating the ATP. So it works even at the biggest of stages.

Nicolás89
Feb 26th, 2012, 06:48 PM
Azarenka just won the AO. Djokovic and Nadal are dominating the ATP. So it works even at the biggest of stages.

Yep grind to win. Even Serena (AO 2005) and Cheatnin grinded their way through slams.

dsanders06
Feb 26th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Azarenka just won the AO. Djokovic and Nadal are dominating the ATP. So it works even at the biggest of stages.

Yep grind to win. Even Serena (AO 2005) and Cheatnin grinded their way through slams.

Huge difference between aggressive grinding and defensive grinding (though Justine in nearly all her Slam wins was playing proper all-out aggressive tennis anyway).

Corswandt
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:30 PM
caro is a pusher, aga is not. aga's style is far more intelligent and hingis-esque than that of a pusher.

Julia lost today because Aga plays differently than Caro
She's not a pusher in any meaning. That's all.

The only way you could have got away with this was if people hadn't watched the matches and seen the stats.

I don't think Caro will win any Slams and Aga is going to hope for a dream draw just to make a SF.

Thing is, once Agatha reaches a ranking that gives her a top 4 seeding at the Slams, her chances of reaching a Slam SF will instantly become twice as good. She'll hog herself into the ground to get there.

LCS
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:34 PM
I don't think Wozniacki quite agrees with the title of this thread :lol:

Soon the brief reign of pushers will come to and end :shrug:

postalblowfish
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:38 PM
To win big at the biggest of stages, empirical evidence gathered so far suggests otherwise.

What ratio of pushers:non-pushers do you generally get in a GS draw?

Non-rhetorical Q.

It wouldn't necessarily be an anomaly for example if the largest group of the above two were the one to win most of the tournaments. But then again, who/what defines a 'pusher'?

Chris 84
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:39 PM
The only way you could have got away with this was if people hadn't watched the matches and seen the stats.

drop shots, angles and volleys are shots that caro rarely uses, but aga does. they are not the shots of pushers. however, drop shots and angles don't always produce winners but force errors instead, which is just as good. i've watched plenty of caro and plenty of aga, and the difference between the way that they play is huge :lol:

Simugna Help
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:50 PM
The only way you could have got away with this was if people hadn't watched the matches and seen the stats.
Wozniacki hit 8 winners in 24 games + tiebreak in the match against Goerges, Radwanska hit 17 winners in 22 games against the same player. Keep in mind that Goerges was a lot more trigger happy in the match against Radwanska and the rallies were on average shorter, giving Radwanska less opportunities to attack and you have an image of an much more aggressive player than Woz.

To answer the thread's question, no, it is disadvantageous to rely on defense only, especially since the two dominant players have both aggressive, powerful game and at least decent defense skills at their disposal.

mac47
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:51 PM
The notion that pushers are only found in clubs, and not on the WTA tour or atop the rankings is clearly wrong. The definition of a pusher is someone who retrieves and doesn't do anything with the ball -- just safe, cross-court shots most of the time, little use of angles, dropshots, or other variety.

Aga is not a pusher.

Vikapower
Feb 26th, 2012, 09:41 PM
Wozniacki hit 8 winners in 24 games + tiebreak in the match against Goerges, Radwanska hit 17 winners in 22 games against the same player. Keep in mind that Goerges was a lot more trigger happy in the match against Radwanska and the rallies were on average shorter, giving Radwanska less opportunities to attack and you have an image of an much more aggressive player than Woz.

To answer the thread's question, no, it is disadvantageous to rely on defense only, especially since the two dominant players have both aggressive, powerful game and at least decent defense skills at their disposal.

These kinds of statistical comparisons are pretty useless and non-indicative of pushing just like 40+ winners doesn't specifically make you a shot-maker.

People are way to obsessed with winners, pushing is a mentality on a vast period of time though it does re-transcript into the statistics but again if Gajdosova hits 5 winners tomorrow that wouldn't make of her a pusher because the statistics say so. Wozniacki in 69 matches played in majors stroke 14.03 winners for 17.14 UE's, people judge by winners, that's not a pusher's stat, is it (?)

Technically, none of Wozniacki and Radwanska are pushers, that's pretty much an entertained fallacy but both players undeniably do adopt pushing attitudes/mentality and their fans can not deny that. (1)

Coming back to Wozniacki her opponent's stroke 31.75 unforced in average against her in the same amount of matches played, that's 25.17% of her points, yeah pushers do amass lots of opponent's UE's but she's a defensive minded counter-puncher. Radwanska has a higher offensive index so the numbers should/must/would be lower for her, I would call her an aggressive minded counter-puncher.

(1) While a player like Serena will keep going for her shots at 4-6 7-6(11) 6-6 0*-6 down in the Olympics 2012 final against Victoria, Aga in the same situation will retract, depending on the scenario of the match, -- they'll not try to create game, that's a fact -- they will rely on the player's failures = push.

If the player doesn't miss they're done (see Caroline vs. Li AO 2011 a little before match point).

C. Drone
Feb 26th, 2012, 09:43 PM
if you like moderate success, still earning millions, having a good body and attract teenage boys, yeah, definitely.

flareon
Feb 26th, 2012, 09:54 PM
Maybe for some players put I tried pushing today and I got my ass handed to me on a plate so I do not think so the game is too powerful, if you can do it well enough and by this I mean to the back all the time then it may work but not as well I do not think.

JCTennisFan
Feb 26th, 2012, 11:19 PM
If the player does not plan on winning any Slams then pushing is a great tactic. From a money standpoint pushing would more than get the job done.... but if you want to be remembered as one of the "greats" you arent gonna get very far with Chang/Gilbert/Woz playstyles.