How to Beat a Pusher in Tennis? 5 Secrets Professionals Don’t Reveal

In tennis, a pusher is a player who hit the ball in a disadvantageous direction. They rarely make any errors. This can often frustrate the opponent player which is why it is important to know how to beat a pusher in tennis. So, you can win more games.

The pushers can push the ball with sidespin or backspin and try to play long rallies and neutral games. These shots include angle shots, deep, and lobs.

Playing it can be hard for beginners and can be challenging as well for entry-level or tweener players to tackle such shots or a pusher.

However, these strokes are seen at all levels of tennis. That’s why you should start practicing from the level you are at currently. Not only for the defending purpose, but you should also master it to make your opponent make a mistake so that you can attain more points and ultimately win the game which is the goal for every player. Isn’t true?

So, how to beat a pusher? The quick answer is:

In tennis, to beat a pusher you need to have a strong strategy that can help you counter-attack and counter-punch the shots of the pusher. Your strategy should comprise defensive strokes, a unique playing style (which should surprise your opponent), staying near to the net to reduce the opponent’s reaction time, perfect returning lobs, shots variety & right shot selection, and most important, staying calm and focusing completely on your game.

If your rival is a strong player then moving him out of the net is a great way to score some points. This can be done with pushers.

In addition, it is very common that the opponents that are facing the pushers do not expose their frustration in front of the other player.

While playing tennis your mental game must be strong enough for the pushers. And in this case, the pusher might become angry, tired, or frustrated and may easily cause a mistake. To improve your mental toughness, you should practice alone and devise the right strategy.

What is a Pusher in Tennis?

A pusher is a defensive player who “pushes” the shots back in disadvantageous zones to the opponent. Such players consistently push the ball back without hitting winners. They are usually very fast and they push the ball over and over again until you make a mistake.

In addition, these players use this strategy to make easy strokes but in varying directions to the opponent. This makes your opposite player frustrated, tired, and angry and hence he loses a point.

How to Beat a Pusher in Tennis?

How to Beat a Pusher in Tennis?
Two Women Tennis Players Angry at each other. Photo Credit: iStock

There are several ways that you can use to beat a pusher successfully in tennis. Here are the 5 secrets that you can use to make your strategy and take it along with you to the tennis court when you are going to face a pusher.

1. Don’t Play Their Style of Game

The first rule is, Be Unique. If you are copying the playing style or strategy of your opposite player, then you don’t have a strategy, and you are exposed to losing a point.

When a pusher pushes back the ball, you do not have to push it back the same way. Do not change the pace of your game. Keep the technique of your game the same way it is.

Plus, the important point is to avoid showing your frustration to your rival. Keep him guessing and wait for his tiredness and mistake. This way you can score a point and beat his push.

2. Get to the Net

Here the trick is to reduce the reaction time of your opponent. When you get to the net you will see that there are more chances that the pusher may cause you a lob. However, it is more effective since you reduce the time of the pusher hits back.

This way the opponent will surely cause a mistake and hence you win a point. Moreover, standing close to the net can be risky but from this position, you can manage to go far from your striking position.

Another way to get to the net is that you have to charge off their serve it will cut down their reaction time when hitting the ball back.

Additionally, you can try another way to get to the net. For doing this you have to hit the ball deep backhand or forehand. Now, your opponent will take time to make the shot. During this time you can simply come close to the net.

3. Be Patient

beating a pusher tennis strategy
Women Tennis Player Smiling

Staying patient during this scenario is the key to not making any mistakes. Therefore, no matter how many balls your opponent is pushing back you have to stay calm and patient. Not all of the ball pushes need to hurt your score.

Furthermore, you have to wait for the pusher to hit an approach shot. At this point, you have to be patient to avoid any mistakes.

One more thing is that you can’t hit all of the strikes perfectly. Sometimes, you may make mistakes but you will get the time to recover the score during the pushers. So, if you make a mistake, stay calm and think about how to avoid it next time.

4. Shot Selection

You must learn to take advantage of the strokes that your opponent does not like to play. You can use various approaches to do this.

For this, you have to notice the other player’s playing techniques. He might not like to play deep topspin shots or at the net.

As a result, this is the point where you can take advantage and play the shot where your competitor feels uncomfortable.

5. Stay Calm – Don’t Get Angry

Beating a Pusher Strategy
Tennis Player Relaxing on Tennis Court. Photo Credit: iStock

When you are facing a pusher in your match the right thing to do is to stay calm while making him angry or frustrated.

Sometimes, the pusher can get mad if you play correctly and on time. This can give him a tough time where he can make more mistakes and ultimately give you more opportunities to win points.

In addition, hitting the right strike to him can rise him to make mistakes. This way there are more chances that he makes mistakes and you can secure some points. It all can happen but with only a cool mind during the match.

So, these are the 5 secrets that I use to beat a pusher in tennis. Actually, players at professional tournaments also use the same strategies. Give it a try and thank me later!


A pusher in tennis is a defensive player who pushes back the ball. This can cause you to make mistakes during the match and hence you lose the points. Sometimes, tennis players become frustrated and this is why they are prone to losing their scores.

This is where you should play wisely and use your mind properly to make a strategy. You don’t have to overthink as I already devised a perfect strategy for beating a pusher in tennis just for you that I have shared above in this article. I hope you can now make your opponent uncomfortable by knowing about his playing methods and using your techniques and tips.

For your convince here is the list of tips for beating a pusher again:

  1. Don’t Play Their Style of Game
  2. Get to The Net
  3. Best Patient
  4. The Right Shot Selection
  5. Stay Calm – Don’t Get Angry

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) How to play a pusher in tennis?

There is no rocket science in beating a pusher, it’s all about how strong and wise your strategy is. Prepare a strategy that should include lobs shots, playing near the net, staying calm & patient, a unique playing style, and a variety of strokes to choose the right shot at the right time.

Q) Is Djokovic a pusher?

No, Novak Djokovic is a baseliner which means he is clearly not a pusher.

Q) Can I stop being a pusher?

The best answer is, to start practicing more. Focus more on your spin shots including topspin forehand and the slow pace of the ball.

Q) Who are the best pushers in men’s tennis at the professional level?

The top professional men pushers in tennis are:

  • Gilles Simon
  • Gael Monfils
  • David Ferrer
  • Somdev Devvarman
  • Andy Murray
  • Fabio Fognini
  • Kevin Kim

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