Re: How to play against pushers?
Learning how to beat pushers is a rite of passage to higher levels of tennis play. I could write a book on the subject.
The most important thing to know is you will NOT overpower a pusher. Not at recreational level. At that level, you don't have consistently controlled power to have a favourable winners:error ratio.
You have to be patient, consistent and play your strength to your opponent weakness. There is no one way to beat a pusher as there is no standard pusher. They all come in different varieties but the one thing they will all do is allow you to play your game. They will not overpower you or rob you of time to set up for your shots.
The match is in your hands. Each loss to a pusher lets you know what you need to work on. If I were you, I would keep playing your friend until you beat him of your own merit. He will make you a better player.