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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2014, 05:43 
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I was so fortunate to interview Joo Saehyuk (together with Birding&Table.tennis) and Masato Shiono in 2013 and now I have an opportunity to hold an interview with Panagiotis Gionis! I met a Greek friend of Gionis last week who braught me into contact with him at fb and Gionis gently agreed to have an e-mail interview with us.

Gionis is currently ranked WR 21, his best result ever. Later this season, I might have a chance to see/meet Gionis in Dusseldörf (Germany) where he is currently playing.

Please post your questions here and I will make a compilation of it.

Thanks!

Attachment:
Gionis.jpg
Gionis.jpg [ 79.08 KiB | Viewed 5736 times ]


Edit: Some information from our Panagiotis Gionis video thread:
Panagiotis Gionis Greece
Style: shakehander, long pips, modern defender
Blade: Korbel (ST)
FH: Tenergy 64 red 2.1 mm
BH: Feint Long II black 1.1mm

Some recent videos, thanks to Lorre :up:





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Last edited by Pipsy on 20 Oct 2014, 08:49, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2014, 06:58 
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Wow! COOL!

I would first of all like to express my deepest gratitude to Panagiotis Gionis for playing such an entertaining table tennis! You are soo fun and inspiring to watch! And my first question concerns your constantly improved FH attack. It seems you have become more and more of an offensive player the older you get. Why is that? Is your mindset when entering a new match more aggressive now than 10 years ago? Or did you just find that more offensive style of playing to be more successful? (Or more fun?) Or is it something else? Do you practice FH attack a little extra to try to develop that part of your game even more, compared to the other elememts of your game?

Cheers!

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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 04:56 
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Chop the Ball not the Beard!
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My question is about equip, of course hahah

Gionis We all know that you use A Korbel Blade but your blade is the standard size or a oversized blade ( like other def blades)? And do you use a Tenergy 05 or 64 on the Fh??

Thanks...

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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 07:18 
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Def-attack wrote:
It seems you have become more and more of an offensive player the older you get. Why is that? Is your mindset when entering a new match more aggressive now than 10 years ago? Or did you just find that more offensive style of playing to be more successful?


It would be very insightful to prod for a more thorough explanation of this, especially perhaps a comparison to Ruwen Filus (whom I'm sure he knows) who also plays very offensive. It was interesting that Ruwen went to a Joo blade (from a thin composite), which is more like what Gionis uses.

On the other hand maybe also ask him to contrast with Joo, who's been successful recently playing safer def and attacking opportunistically instead of his old aggressive style. What does Gionis think of the balance between off and def at his elite level? Is that a choice he makes conscientiously long term or match by match?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 17:46 
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Dark Knight
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I've added some information and videos to the first post, for those that may not be too familiar with him. ;)

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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 20:41 
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A suggestion if I may. When reading most of these types of Q&A interview I usually get the impression that not much gets conveyed beyond the surface, when really the value of an expert is by definition their insightful expertise. But if I ponder how I would answer if asked about very familiar subjects, frankly I would get bored of answering like what computer I happen to use, whereas the same question about the characteristics of one computer aspect vs another I could go on forever in a way that hobbyists would be hard pressed find elsewhere.

So it's probably worth a shot to ask engaging & probing questions about the subject they love. IOW, make it less like a media obligation but more a chance for them to talk about TT. Maybe Gionis isn't anything like that but on the chance he is it's pretty worthwhile.

Also, not sure if this is possible, but a follow-up round of questions to expand on the first would be great. Sometimes questions get answered very generally & simply and you really wish the expert can elaborate on a point.


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PostPosted: 22 Oct 2014, 04:03 
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1) What do you charge for a dental checkup? :D

But serious...

1) Playing in the German TTBL: are you full time pro now?
2) How did you combine your job as a dentist with a career in TT?
3) What equipment are you using at the moment?
4) How come your attacking strokes (close and far from the table) seem to carry more speed than spin? Is it because of your height?
5) Do you get a lot of female attention in the TT world? I'd suppose you do.


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PostPosted: 22 Oct 2014, 04:49 
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Mr Gionis I wondered why you changed from black to red Feint 2,or was it more to do with the Tenergy?Also is it a standard Feint 2 or customised for yourself..always enjoy your wins...thanks

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PostPosted: 22 Oct 2014, 05:21 
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i am not particularily interested in mr gionis, although he is fun watching on occasions, but here is an obvious one that i am surprised nobody asked:
what changes come with the plastic ball / what are the advantages and disadvantages for your game?

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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2014, 02:03 
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Pipsy,

Thanks so much for arranging this very exciting interview.

I have 15 questions listed below. Please don't hesitate to delete any of my questions if you feel they are not interesting.

Thanks again,

Steven
------------------------------------------
1. Your game is so beautiful to watch. For you, is playing table tennis mostly about winning in competition, or is it also about the simple joy of playing our sport at a very high level.

2. I noticed that your grip on the racket is relatively low. Why do you use this particular grip? Does it help you with spin variation? Is there are disadvantage to this grip?

3. Can you describe what is it like to play against other top defensive players such as Joo SaeHyuk? What particular strategy do you use against defensive players?

4. It seems that many defensive players, such as yourself, peak at a later age than offensive players. Why do you think this is the case?

5. Why did you decide to be a defensive player? Is there a particular table tennis player that inspired you to play defense?

6. On your forehand, when away from the table, if not attacking, you mostly fish, rather than chop. Can you describe what is the aim of your forehand fishing? Is it to win the point outright? Is it to set up your offense? Is it something else?

7. Why do you use Feint Long II on your backhand? Do you use Feint Long II as a balance between spin variation and control? I think that most defenders will say that Feint Long III or TSP Curl P1R are better for spin variation than Feint Long II, but those rubbers are harder to control.

8. Do you have any comments on the new poly ball? It would be very interesting to read your comments on how the poly ball will affect defenders, especially in terms of spin variation. Are you thinking about changing your setup because of the poly ball?

9. Can you describe your training routine, including how many hours you practice table tennis and exercise per day? Do you practice offense as much as defense?

10. Who are your most difficult opponents? Can you describe what it is like to play against them?

11. Were you aware of the OOAK Forum before this interview?

12. Would you like to give an inspiration message for the many defensive players here on the OOAK Forum?

13. What do you enjoy doing when not playing table tennis?

14. Is there a particular strong friendship amongst defensive players?

15. Is there one match that you would consider to be the best so far of your career?

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2014, 07:45 
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1. I believe you're currently sponsored by Butterfly, correct? What sort of support do you get from your sponsor?

2. Do you get much involvement in testing and development of their new equipment?

3. What sponge thickness do you use for your long pimple rubber, and how important is it to get this right?

4. What are your impressions of the ITTF, and the impact these decisions are having on players and the sport?

5. Do you think you style is a 'dying art', or do you think it will grow as it's much more interesting and entertaining to watch?

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2014, 18:48 
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I think hex is right. Because the language barrier may be slightly less of an issue here I'd love to really get under the surface of his game. Mindset and mechanics rather than just overall views on table tennis.

Here are my questions. Will add more later :)

---

On serve receive, do you have a rule about attacking - eg attack everything long enough on forehand or anything down middle - or do you just play each ball as it comes?

When playing against the world's absolute best players like Ma Long, what is it that gives you the most difficulty? Power? Spin? Consistency? Or is it just that they're excellent at all of that?

How often do you serve to attack and how often do you serve to defend? Or do you serve with a view of attacking everything but if your opponent returns a difficult ball you'll drop to defensive mode?

---

I'd love to hear a few answers specifically about his over the table game:

When you push with the pimples, how often do you try to vary the spin?

Why do so few of the top defenders attack with their pimples?

Is there any particular reason you don't "bump" the ball hard, fast and long - maybe players at your level are simply too quick for that ball to ever be difficult?

When pushing, what do you think about? Depth, height, spin variation, location... how do you play your pushes to set up your game?

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[Old Gear/Other Setups] DHS Power G7, Adidas P7, Galaxy Mars v2, TSP Curl P1-R, Friendship 802, Butterfly Innershield, Xiom Omega IV Elite, Stiga Chop n' Drive, Butterfly Tenergy 64, Butterfly Tenergy 80, Butterfly Tenergy 05, Stiga Calibra LT Sound, Stiga Calibra Tour S, Tibhar Grass D.TecS
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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2014, 19:03 
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On, but off topic.....
2014 Men's World Cup - Shot of Day 1: http://youtu.be/wE1Q11DcvoE

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2014, 20:07 
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Thank you all for the questions. I will make a selection next week, so let's say there will be time untill 30th october to add any interesting question that hasn't been asked yet :D

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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2014, 21:42 
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Do I have all the questions?

Here's Gionis' latest match (yesterday in China) against world n°1 Xu Xin at the Euro-Asia games:


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