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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 23:20 
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Blade: BTY Innershield
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BH: TSP Curl P4 (1mm)
Last night I played a league match against a team of players that I usually do well against. In fact, last time I played them, as I think I mentioned on this blog, I beat all three players using double inverted.

Their lineup consists of:

  • RR - wristy O70 vet who generates medium topspin on loops and significant topspin on pushes. Very consistent pusher
  • DC - pusher/off the table retriever with a wicked hit (which he's using less and less frequently the higher up he goes because it's such a high error % shot against any kind of spin)
  • JD - standard push/light topspin/flat-hitter that I'm sure we all encounter regularly

I decided, that in the first end of each match, I would exclusively push. Zero attacks.

I was late to the match as my girlfriend was quite ill and one of my dogs decided to hoy up all over our rug. I didn't get a chance for a knock and was first on against RR. I've never come close to losing to him as far as I can remember, and never feel like I'm not in control. I implemented my strategy of only pushing and made a lot of mistakes straight off the bat - the usual stuff; mistiming the ball, mishitting (e.g. not getting the middle of the bat) and so on. I lost the first end but started to find my feet a little and got into my pushing rhythm. I won the second end but lost the third, which led me to start attacking more in the fourth. I won the fourth despite 6 nets/edges, but I'd put too much pressure on myself and when I tried to attack in the deciding end I just gave him points - constantly mishit loops. Oh well!

Second match against DC was very similar. He's not as consistent a pusher but has better serves. He also doesn't read the pimples very well, so I got into the habit of pushing with inverted then pushing with the pimples then chop-smash-pushing the higher returns aggressively at an angle. Still not an attacking shot really, but quite an attacking push ;) The difference in this match was that in the fifth end when I needed to attack, my forehand didn't fail me.

Final match against JD, their best player who had already beaten my two teammates, was... eerily similar :) I found myself 2-1 down for the third time in the evening but this time I found the right balance of attack and defence. I would push my way into the point, then attack. I ended up winning the last two ends reasonably comfortably despite some luck on his part. I had to attack though, like really attack, and I was lucky that my forehand was warmed up by then else this may have been a totally different story.

The lessons I learnt from the match last night are:

  • I can push to a reasonable standard, but I need to get into the right mindset to do so - not standing still, not standing miles away from the ball, etc.
  • Although I can push, I don't see many ways to win the game by pushing. Against players who just push against me, there's no benefit to me trying to play this game (apart from practice purposes, which is what I was doing last night)
  • I'm much more panicky in tight situations when pushing than I am when looping - I guess this is something that will improve as I try to do it more often in matches
  • Trying to attack when I'm in "pushing mode" is really hard :O My feet never seem to be in the right position and many loops against backspin were netted because I couldn't generate any kind of power from the position I was in. I got better at this as the night went on though
  • Trying to defend when I'm concentrating so hard on pushing is also a pretty epic failure. I think I chopped the ball maybe 5 times last night? I managed to lob/retrieve a few with twiddled inverted but I was very, very rarely in the right place to chop. I suspect this is because I'm so busy concentrating on my stroke (or even just on making sure the ball goes on to the table when I'm pushing) that I'm ignoring any clues about my opponent's readiness to attack - therefore I'm not moving back until the ball is actually coming towards me, which is far too late

Useful experiment though. One last winter season match on Thursday where I fully intend to take the same approach.

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Blades: Butterfly Defence 3, Butterfly Defence Pro, Butterfly Innerforce ZLC, Butterfly Innershield, Butterfly Joo Saehyuk, DHS Power G7, Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon
SPs: Friendship 802 (1.5), TSP Spectol (1.3, 2.1), TSP Spectol Speed (1.3), TSP Super Spinpips Chop Sponge 2 (0.5, 1.3)
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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 01:04 
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Figured this would be the perfect thread to ask this on.

So I play a combo bat. Inverted FH, Paclio ck531a 1.0 LPs on the BH.

Starting to incorporate a little more modern defender style of points into my play. My question is, what do you modern defenders try to achieve when you're playing someone who is not a big looper. I know the tactics to take when facing someone who keeps trying to loop over & over. We've seen those.

But vs intermediate players who might not hit as much spin or are willing to keep it in the short game. Say short no spin serve to your BH? What do you like to do?

Vs a short serve do you try to drop it just over the net to them? Are you good with with your long pips sending the ball deep back to them almost baiting them to begin the looping vs chopping game? Do you like to take that no-spin ball, perhaps twiddle and give a good inverted chop to begin to generate some backspin on the ball so you can get into your type of rally? What if they're fine with continuing to push? Would you then naturally look to open up with your FH attack?

Just curious. Thanks to anyone who has some set tactics they like to do vs these type of things.

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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 05:14 
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suds79 wrote:
But vs intermediate players who might not hit as much spin or are willing to keep it in the short game. Say short no spin serve to your BH? What do you like to do?

Vs a short serve do you try to drop it just over the net to them? Are you good with with your long pips sending the ball deep back to them almost baiting them to begin the looping vs chopping game? Do you like to take that no-spin ball, perhaps twiddle and give a good inverted chop to begin to generate some backspin on the ball so you can get into your type of rally? What if they're fine with continuing to push? Would you then naturally look to open up with your FH attack?

Just curious. Thanks to anyone who has some set tactics they like to do vs these type of things.

Well, most of my opponents are like that - they don't force attacks or they play with pips. What I would do? If opponent have some strong shot, I try to keep him out of that. Basic strategy is long pips push to the BH and just trying to avoid mistake or too easy ball. If opponent keeps pushing, I try to outlast him, but I don't like to take too many risky FH openings, if the ball doesn't come to my FH. If opponent tries to play risky and aggressive, I take a step back and try to take point with defence. If opponent is passive, I try to look attack possibilities.

Usually long, low and safe works against direct/passive/nospin type of players.


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