how to beat a pusher in tennis

Pushers are one of the hardest players to defeat, even if they lack the firepower and have unrefined strokes in the game. However, they preserve through and through by using sheer willpower. 

While beating a pusher might be difficult, there are ways that you can do to break their defense. Learn about how to beat a pusher in tennis today!

1. Get Them to the Net

Getting pushers into the net helps you become more aggressive in your play. In addition, pushers don’t normally hit hard on their returns, which you can use to your advantage. 

Getting close to the net means you are cutting down the opponent’s reaction time. Also, you can serve and volley with these players as they usually don’t lob back.   

When they do, though, you do not have to run backward as you are still far from the net. 

You can also get them to the net by chipping and charging off of the player’s serve. It keeps the ball low and also creates more unforced errors.

Another great way is by finding an opportunity to hit approach shots in the short ball in baseline rallies. Again, keep in mind most of the time, your opponent is using a forehand grip.

2. Be Wary of their Playing Style

As much as possible, do not allow them to dictate the game’s pace, and avoid pushing back your shots if it’s not part of the original plan. 

It’s difficult to beat a pusher opponent using their own game, like how it’s hard to difficult a counter puncher in their own style. 

These players are better and far more experienced in using that style, and that’s exactly what they want you to do. 

The moment you start to give in to their pace, it gives them the mental game, and they start winning.

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3. Choose and Develop Your Stroke

You need to choose and develop a consistent weapon against a pusher so that you won’t be consumed by the mental pressure of long rallies with the opponent.

You need to learn tennis drills that will sharpen your volleys, overheads, and make sure you are in tiptop condition with your body, as you’re going to need a lot of endurance and stamina to go against a pusher. 

4. Work On Your Volleys

Pushers are professionals at making hitting winners difficult for you. You can break through their shield if you can perform big ground strokes winners with your own power, like the tennis pros. This is a drill you can practice on your own

However, for most tennis players, they aren’t at that level yet. You need to get to the net, or you can top out after a few consecutive hundred-ball rallies against the opposing player. 

The method does entail having good volley skills enough to force the opposing tennis player to hit passing shots in an uncomfortable position, like short balls reply. 

However, you can’t pop up or float the volley, or you plan on an easy passing shot that goes against you. 

As soon as you have the opposing player on the run, look closely into the net for the incoming second volley that you may be able to put away.

5. Develop Your Overheads

You are bound to make plenty of errors. 

While one of the goals is to make sure you are hitting a volley winner rather than mistakes, it’s also crucial for you to hit the smash or overheads when you play tennis against a tennis pusher. 

Developing your overhead shots helps you get better at tennis and increases your chances of scoring points against the tennis pusher.

However, if you haven’t refined your smashes yet, then try hitting a moderate overhead instead.

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6. Get Fit

Tennis is a sport without a clock, meaning it’s a fitness battle as well. (1) A tennis match can go on for hours if no player can score two points in a row. 

And when you are up against a pusher, you can expect a longer match than going against other playing styles as they can run down more balls than any other players.

Once you become tired, your foot speed and your technique won’t be as efficient. However, it makes you close to the power and momentum you had in the earlier game. 

You need to do some on-court conditioning for your body. Effective drills to do are the suicides, and the spider drill, as these make a big difference.

If you manage to increase your fitness level before playing a pusher, your chances of winning increase.

7. Be Patient & Stay Focused

While a pusher may look beatable from afar, it’s a different situation when you two are playing tennis. 

You have to wisely choose your shot selection even if almost every ball feels like you can score a point. 

You have to remember that pushers don’t smash the tennis ball if your return was slightly off, which gives you the chance to work way back to attaining the point. 

If you can perform the correct shots during the right times, it’ll eventually crack the level-headedness of your opponent by waiting for their weak shot.

Remember, the most common reason a pusher beats the opposing player is a lack of focus. These tennis quotes will help lift your spirits. 

FAQS

You become a pusher by hitting high balls and a deep ball. To get the ball deep into the tennis court, you have to hit the ball hard while directing it to pass low over the net.  

Pushers are defensive tennis players who can push back any shots given to them without hitting a winner.

You can win against pushers in doubles by making them get close to the net. Mix sharp angles and a drop shot to make them fall off their rhythm.

You have to develop a game plan with your partner and create instances where you can force the pusher at net play, especially if you are still at club level.

Final Words on Ways to Beat Pushers in Tennis

Beating pushers isn’t easy, and it’s difficult to hit winners as well. 

However, it is possible through drop shots, making them stay out of their comfort zone, taking advantage of a weak ball, developing your kick serve, performing a good slice shot, working on your backhand side, and targeting their weaker side to win more matches.  

You need to practice and develop specific techniques and skills to score against a pusher, such as making a well-placed approach shot. 

The points you score against them, though, aren’t short. These are points earned through long and tedious rallies, so fitness also comes into play on top strategies and to help you become a better tennis player.

References:

  1. https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/articles/six-physical-demands-tennis-players-must-meet

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