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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:08 PM   #1
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The Modern "Pusher"

This point of view has probably been stated multiple times on the board, but I think it deserves a thread of its own.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the likes of Wozniacki, Radwanska, Kerber and Errani (and to some extent Azarenka) have all risen to the top of the game in this generation. The common line of thought about Radwanska is that she is a genius with a racket who is unfortunately too underpowered to be more than a spoiler, and that she would no doubt have already reached number one and be a perennial slam contender, say in the 70s, 80s, or 90s.

I would argue that this era of tennis is in fact, uniquely suited for her (and other similar players):

- Power: Radwanska's key offensive strategy is to deflect pace and keep the ball deep. This is made possible by the immense power afforded her opponents by modern racket technology.
- Yet, she is not liable to being completely overpowered because of the slower surfaces that allow her to retrieve (her main strategy is ultimately defensive).
- The focus on power instead of control or point construction is what allows her to vulture UEs while attacking opportunistically.
- Players like Cetkovska, who were a dime a dozen in the past, routinely eat Radwanksa up for lunch.
- String technology: Easy topspin for Wozniacki and Errani.

To be added on, as we think of more.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

I want to dislike Radwanska and call her a pusher (for being better than Dani, when Dani used to beat her often), but I can't. She is not a pusher. She is crafty, intelligent, patient and tenacious. Her house is ginormous and kind of tacky, but she is young . What else, is a relatively slight (in the pro tennis world anyway) player going to do-try to be a big powerful ball-basher? She doesn't have the height/muscle/build etc. She uses her physical and mental talents quite admirably. She will also always be endearing to me because of US Open 2007. She just better not beat some of my other faves
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

- The notion that Azarenka is a pusher is ridiculous, it really only exists because she isn't as powerful as 4 other player on Tour (Serena, Kvitova, Sharapova, Li). And even when she's underpowered against these opponents, she's still not vying for their errors through just endlessly retrieving and looping up the ball. She'll use depth of shot to push them back behind the baseline to prevent them from attacking or at least increase the risk of error for their offensive gameplan, plus attacking herself whenever it's possible.

- I agree about the common line of thought about Radwanska and that it's completely wrong IMO, the variety she displayed in her early days are pretty much gone now and have made room for retrieving and like you said, the rare opportunistic FH attack plus an occasional BH DTL counter.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

all these pushers went uphill just because since 2000 WTA tennis turned into power game , where players who can hit hard are winning almost all majors and are dominating in the tour, The coaches seems to try to produce as much ballbashers as possible ,making emphasis only on "hitting hard" . These players' game is hit or miss , 34 W per 45 UE , they can hit 1 breathtaking winner, but if their opponent somehow returnes it they are out of position, can't play near the net or just it's impoosible for them to hit 3 or 4 shots not hitting it Out...... Of course with such field of aggressive but with no consistency and tactics players the likes of Radwanska or Wozniacki are becoming relevant , as they can return back more balls and it's more than enough in current ATA which consists of Top3 + pushers who are on top of slumpers,mugs, headcases and just Halls, Puchkovas and Misaki Dois .....

I just can't imagine that the likes of Aga, Errani, Kerber and even halfpusher Vika could have been in top 10 in 2002 -2008....
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
all these pushers went uphill just because since 2000 WTA tennis turned into power game , where players who can hit hard are winning almost all majors and are dominating in the tour, The coaches seems to try to produce as much ballbashers as possible ,making emphasis only on "hitting hard" . These players' game is hit or miss , 34 W per 45 UE , they can hit 1 breathtaking winner, but if their opponent somehow returnes it they are out of position, can't play near the net or just it's impoosible for them to hit 3 or 4 shots not hitting it Out...... Of course with such field of aggressive but with no consistency and tactics players the likes of Radwanska or Wozniacki are becoming relevant , as they can return back more balls and it's more than enough in current ATA which consists of Top3 + pushers who are on top of slumpers,mugs, headcases and just Halls, Puchkovas and Misaki Dois .....

I just can't imagine that the likes of Aga, Errani, Kerber and even halfpusher Vika could have been in top 10 in 2002 -2008....
Well that's weird considering Radwanska was in the top 10 in 2008

And how is Vika 'half-pusher'?
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

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Originally Posted by Brad[le]y. View Post
Well that's weird considering Radwanska was in the top 10 in 2008

And how is Vika 'half-pusher'?
i mean 2008 with Henin and healthy Pova in the field.....it wasn't a long period in 2008


Quote:
And how is Vika 'half-pusher'?
because unlike Woz she can be pretty agressive vs mugs and underpowered players , at the same time turnes into pusher vs hard hitters even of Cibulkova's level
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

WTF?? Who says that about Radwanska? She has way too many flaws that go further than her lack of power.

EDIT: Other than the paragraph about Radwanska, I agree with your post overall. Aga would probably not be a top 10 player in the 70s, 80s or 90s.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00 View Post
When will you learn that "pushers" never make it past the club level, let alone #1 on the WTA computer? Will it be too late?

Last edited by AcesHigh : Jan 16th, 2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:26 PM   #9
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

either way, pushers are disgusting
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by moby View Post
This point of view has probably been stated multiple times on the board, but I think it deserves a thread of its own.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the likes of Wozniacki, Radwanska, Kerber and Errani (and to some extent Azarenka) have all risen to the top of the game in this generation. The common line of thought about Radwanska is that she is a genius with a racket who is unfortunately too underpowered to be more than a spoiler, and that she would no doubt have already reached number one and be a perennial slam contender, say in the 70s, 80s, or 90s.

I would argue that this era of tennis is in fact, uniquely suited for her (and other similar players):

- Power: Radwanska's key offensive strategy is to deflect pace and keep the ball deep. This is made possible by the immense power afforded her opponents by modern racket technology.
- Yet, she is not liable to being completely overpowered because of the slower surfaces that allow her to retrieve (her main strategy is ultimately defensive).
- The focus on power instead of control or point construction is what allows her to vulture UEs while attacking opportunistically.
- Players like Cetkovska, who were a dime a dozen in the past, routinely eat Radwanksa up for lunch.
- String technology: Easy topspin for Wozniacki and Errani.

To be added on, as we think of more.
All sounds very easy. Why aren't more players having the results that Radwanska is?
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

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Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
because unlike Woz she can be pretty agressive vs mugs and underpowered players , at the same time turnes into pusher vs hard hitters even of Cibulkova's level
What a nonsense is that? Is Sharapova a three-quarter-pusher because she "can be prety aggressive vs mugs and underpowered players" but turnes into a pusher vs not even hard hitters with half the power of Cibulkova, like Li Na??
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

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What a nonsense is that? Is Sharapova a three-quarter-pusher because she "can be prety aggressive vs mugs and underpowered players" but turnes into a pusher vs not even hard hitters with half the power of Cibulkova, like Li Na??
she played only one such match in Miami , and Li Na has twice of power of Cibulkova and can outhit even Serena
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #13
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

Why can't we just accept she's a great player with a different game?

We need someone like her on Tour with her genious shots. Her soft hands are unmatched and you never know what's going off her racket. She's such an inspired player on court.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #14
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

What Cetkovska does that makes her so special against Radwanska???
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that is so disrespectful.... so disrespectful!
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #15
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Re: The Modern "Pusher"

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Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
she played only one such match in Miami , and Li Na has twice of power of Cibulkova and can outhit even Serena
I seriously doubt that. Li used to hit constantly flat, but not overly hard, compared with the many real hard hitters. I think there are easily 12 players in the top 50 who hit harder than her. No surprise, she is relatively small and uses 30kg tension strings.

When she "outhits" S.Williams, in fact, she outrallies her. And outhitting Williams is not that difficult, Zheng Jie can do that. I think even Sharapova could do that if she just could stop shaking from the cold she gets as soon as she feels Williams' shadow in her proximity.

Back to the point: Yes, you can reduce Azarenka to a "pusher" when you completely outplay her. But the same is true for every other player, except of course for those who never move at all and just go down without even a fight.
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