II wrote the following chapter one night and sent it in to the ATPCA, who I am a Member of. I wrote it because it's common amongst the kids, a style that is frowned upon though very effective all the same.
The chapter was published in their monthly journal as the Coaching Management at the ATPCA felt it had merit, as I did, of course.
I remember vividly one of my advanced students one year sending me a text asking whether I considered him to be a 'hack' . Let's look at this terminology' 'hacking, puddling, pushing, are terms described for players who just get the ball in play and wait for their opponent to miss. So what's wrong with this ?
Nothing, but it isn't 'cool'. Your mates want to see you belt the ball into submission, hit it like there's no tomorrow, but in all reality that doesn't win Tennis matches. 'Hackers', 'puddlers' and 'pushers' win more games of Tennis than their mates who try to knock the brand off the ball.
So to the 'hack', it upsets the 'groovy' guy who wants the ball in his 'comfort zone' every time so he can keep getting the ball back as he wishes and dictate play as well as look stylish for his girlfriend sitting in the stands.
So how do you upset your opponent who has made a reputation for himself as the 'big fish in the small pond'? Slice the ball, hit it high over the net, serve and volley sometimes, hit drop shots, moon ball, take some extra time between points and in particular give your opponent a big smile when he calls you a 'hack', it means you have him 'on toast'.
It happened to me just three years ago when I played a kid who was young enough to be my son but with a reputation that anyone would be proud of. He had some big shots but lacked brains and when he looked at me after another moon ball that he didn't return and told me that basically at age 41 I had no right to be on the same court as him I simply smiled and kept on doing it. A straight sets victory made the 'old bloke' sleep well that night.......
'Hacking', yep a great tactic, and what was my reply to my student who asked me the original question?
'If it's upsetting your opponents buddy, keep doing it '.......