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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2018, 03:16 
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I thought Zhang Jike was having problems because of the new plastic ball. His one year hiatus aside.

Btw, thinking of older rubbers, I remember my father using a Yasaka rubber. It had fine horizontal lines on it. He used it on FH and BH. Thought you guys might be the best to ask. His setup up was really really light and if I remember right the blade was slightly smaller too, don't know what it was though.


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2018, 03:54 
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Blade: Xiom Hayabusa Z+ FL
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iskandar taib wrote:
Harimoto isn't the only one who tries to play close to the table, though - a lot of the Japanese men (and as you note, the women) do. I'd argue that, leaving Harimoto aside, there hasn't been any dramatic changes within the top 20 or 30 mens' rankings that have happened since the advent of the plastic ball. Ma Long's still at the top, Zhang Jike and Xu Xin are still up there, as are Ovtcharov and Boll, there are one or two of the younger Chinese who have broken into the top ranks, but I can't think of any of the top 20 or 30 who have slid precipitously down the rankings as a result of the new ball. As such, I can conclude that the new ball isn't all that much of a change from the old one, despite the collective gnashing of teeth about it online, and everyone at the top has easily managed to adapt. Major changes DID occur after 1952, though. The masters of the game at the time were mainly European choppers, Satoh (and subsequent sponge users in the following years) took them apart. Reisman semi-retired, I don't think he played on another US Team (the thinking was that 1952 was supposed to be "his" year).

Iskandar


It may take a little more time to sort out the changes. The current top crop of players also have only minimally adapted their games to the new ball. That change of play style usually comes with the changing of the guard as new players arise to challenge the existing top players. This takes time to occur, since the pipeline is filled with players who were trained to play with the older balls in the older style. It may come to nothing, and years from now the game may look pretty much as it does today, dominated by loopers. Or...Harimoto just be the first of many, with a new style that will come to dominate the game. Anyway, it is nice to see a different style of play that is capable of presenting a challenge to the existing alpha player's games. But it will take some time for coaches to recognize and then train players in any new style, and then for these same players to rise through the system to challenge for the king of the hill spots.

I wonder what percentage of hardbat players changed to sponge, stuck with hardbat, or quit when sponge came to dominate the scene? This change isn't as earthshaking, so we won't see the quite so many failing to adapt. As an example, I don't see Boll adapting his game to play like Harimoto, but I do see him changing his tatics to counter this style. If more young guns appear in the next few years you may see some of the old guard retire (from the pro tour) earlier than they would have otherwise, and then, only if they are unable to find a way to effectively counter the new style.

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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 03:04 
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Yep.. I think Zhang Jike is finding it harder, due to the new plastic ball...somehow his timing seemed off.. However, it could also be due to the fact that he's coming back to the game, after a gap.

I feel, the new ball favours, playing the ball quick, and on the rise. Also, to me, it seems more difficult to generate spin with it..



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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 22:40 
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I think people are reading too much into too little. Zhang Jike's doing fine, he made to the finals in the Japan Open after all. And as I mentioned, Harimoto isn't the first player to play close to the table. He wins one tournament, suddenly everyone's "blaming" the new ball. I think the "blame" lies elsewhere, there's no reason to draw too much out of it.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 04:22 
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iskandar taib wrote:
I think people are reading too much into too little. Zhang Jike's doing fine, he made to the finals in the Japan Open after all.

Iskandar


You're probably right about Zhang Jike.

However, the new ball has certainly affected game/shot-play in some way (even if its subtle).... and I'm not the only one who thinks so.. Several players at my club to think so too..

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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 18:17 
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It's certainly a little different compared to the old ball. But it's subtle, and I can't see that it has affected top-25 level table tennis very much if at all. Certainly nothing like the dire predictions that were being made two-three years ago. Yes, we have to adapt, it might be harder for some types of players than others, but if anyone can adapt, top-25 level players are probably better at it than the rest of us.

Iskandar


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