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 Post subject: Your worst nightmare!
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 16:58 
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Count Darkula
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Last night I had the biggest towel-up I've had in a long time by just about anyone, but most certainly by anyone playing in the same division as me. A young bloke who came up this season into my division, who is primarily a FH looper (with one of the fastest smashes you'll see) and BH puncher. I played him for the second time last night. The first time I played him, he beat me 3-1, all in close 2 point sets except for the one I won, which was 11-5. He had obviously paid a lot of thought on how he would play me this time around in between times though, and last night I got only 5 or 6 points each set.

So what did he do to control me so well?

First, he served only to my pips, and he served with either a fast tops-spin or a short backspin. And then pretty much whatever I put back to wherever on the table, this guy just went to town on a fast loop that was out of my reach before I could move to it. Now obviously not every looper has this level of ability in their kit...and even for this guy, he muffed a third of his shots to allow me the 5 or 6 points a set. But, since I started using dtecs, I have not come across someone so immune to its effects. Mind you this guy is young and very nimble, so he moved into whatever position he needed very quickly to carry out his attacks. None of the points lasted very long. Most went no further than the third ball or perhaps the 5th. Now he has made himself the Leading Player in the division in his first season, only suffering his second loss last night to one of my teammates (yay!) and I suspect he is really our A2 standard already. But a player like this, who can force the play to a pushblocker and then rarely error on giving back the attack he intends is more dangerous than any other style of player I can think of...for our style. The stuff of nightmares!! :devil: :swear: :punch:

I will add though, that I was practising with another LP combo player last night and he was trying to teach me a fast punch-push on backspin to have a weapon against this guys serve, knowing I would be playing him. I was getting him cramped up with some of my returns but the shot, which he had learned watching chinese videos (he speaks the language which makes this easier for him) didn't come naturally enough to me to use it in the match in the same night. I am going to have to practice it a lot to get it down pat. I think it would be a good weapon to use against this fast attacking style to take their time away enough to force more errors, but it involves a change in stroke and angle that I am not adept to. Funny thing is, its also a useful weapon against many of the serves the guy teaching me it uses and he plays in my division lol. :lol:

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 17:12 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
First, he served only to my pips, and he served with either a fast tops-spin or a short backspin. And then pretty much whatever I put back to wherever on the table, this guy just went to town on a fast loop that was out of my reach before I could move to it.

to me, one of the major limitations of LPs, and the reason I switched back to inverted - I hated the feeling that the top players could set up their shots at will, and you were basically helpless...

I now prefer playing against LPs to anything else, for exactly the same reason! :up:


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 17:17 
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Funny thing is PRW, that I was far better matched with the great Brian Berry (who also served straight to the pips), than I was against this young guy. Go figure!

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 17:20 
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Perhaps it was just one of those nights Reb... either for you or for him. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 17:25 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Funny thing is PRW, that I was far better matched with the great Brian Berry (who also served straight to the pips), than I was against this young guy. Go figure!

I know what you mean - and there is no guarantee that I will beat a LP player - just the feeling of not being in control of my own destiny that I hate if I play with LPs, that the opponent is dictating exactly what he is getting back... of course, if the LP player twiddles, all bets are off!


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 17:41 
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haggisv wrote:
Perhaps it was just one of those nights Reb... either for you or for him. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Well, I beat his 2 teammates easily in straight sets...and one of my teamies beat him in 3, and the other lost to him in 5. So I'm not sure whose night it was :lol: Although we won 7-4 and we were bottom and they were 3rd, so I'd say overall it was our night! :rock: :party: :up:

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S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 18:37 
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I had a similar experience on the last match of the series in our previous season. This young kid moved into position for anything my teammates could send his way, and it seemed that regardless of spin, he could produce a loop kill. Luckily I was the last to face him, and I had finished my other matches relatively fast, so I had some time to watch him before our match.

This kid could handle any spin I used, but I found out that he had trouble handling no spin...

Even after studying him, I was in trouble in the first two sets. Eventually I found what to use against him. By making him move (varying with short returns to his backhand and long to his pocket) I avoided his consistent kill shots. He was not so well prepared for the long pips as your opponent obviously was, and he was reading spin from my moves, not from the ball. That was sufficient for me to beat him in 4. We talked a bit about various techniques and equipment after the match. He is a bright kid with an open mind, so he will be ready the next time we meet. Good to see the young players learn so eagerly :)

I suppose this relates to the topic somewhat, even if I'm not having bad dreams. ;)

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 19:06 
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so i have come across this exact issue recently, very similar player to the one Reb describes in my league here in switzerland. My partially successful solution after i was crushed in the first set was to twiddle and use inverted for 50% of my returns on the backhand, it forced a lot of errors. So I won the second and third sets. However, youngsters adjust far quicker than i'd like them to, he duly changed tactics to serving only to my forehand, short, with heavy backspin and either flipped to my wide backhand if i returned short or simply looped the shiv out of the ball if i pushed long.

I came away happy that i had figured out a solution to the serves to the long pips, then sad that i still got beaten...

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2013, 19:18 
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Sometimes I wonder if blocking with pips is even still a viable game system anymore.

It seems like it still is against most players, but against a few players NO TACTIC seems to consistently work. At least nothing I can figure out. Sometimes it seems there is no safe place on the table to put a slow-moving long pips block (whereas there was with frictionless LPs).

And while manufacturers keep coming out with better and better "glue effect" rubbers, the ITTF doesn't allow any real advancements in long pips or anti, and constantly bans anything good. It's getting harder and harder to compete with increasingly outdated equipment.

And with this new ball coming? :puke:

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2013, 00:21 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if blocking with pips is even still a viable game system anymore.

It seems like it still is against most players, but against a few players NO TACTIC seems to consistently work. At least nothing I can figure out. Sometimes it seems there is no safe place on the table to put a slow-moving long pips block (whereas there was with frictionless LPs).

And while manufacturers keep coming out with better and better "glue effect" rubbers, the ITTF doesn't allow any real advancements in long pips or anti, and constantly bans anything good. It's getting harder and harder to compete with increasingly outdated equipment.

And with this new ball coming? :puke:


I agree with you. It is clearly a disadvantage at some levels of play.

For the OP-I think think is the type of player you have to flip and return serve with your inverted side.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2013, 01:24 
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I agree about twiddling. Throw variation into the game and it makes things much harder for that type of player. Does it mean you will win? No, but it may have been closer.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 13:03 
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Wow--is this ever a timely topic for me! Thanks, REB, for starting this thread. I also, within the last two weeks, played a guy who is a VERY good looper, and served 90% of his serves to my deep backhand. Fast no-spin or light backspin. Even when I returned the ball low, flat, and with fair speed to his backhand, he stepped around and looped the snot out of it, to varying places on the table, so I couldn't "set up" and hit a nice pip shot back. I then tried side-swiping them with the pips to his deep forehand, in the hope that he would loop cross-court to my forehand, which I could block back with my inverted and catch him out of position, which I am normally pretty adept at. BUT, he looped that ball to to all parts of the table, and they were very good loops, so again, I couldn't "set up". And when I tried chopping those serves back with my inverted, POW--he'd power loop again. I am not adept at attacking these long serves with my Seemiller backhand (inverted), so now I had now run out of "tools" in my toolbox to use against him, and the onslaught continued. I was so frustrated by the time the match was over (which I lost), I just wanted to go home. I felt--and was--truly dominated by a guy whose rating is a hundred points below mine. If I could get past his serve and third ball, I stood a 70% chance of winning the point. I have beaten this guy before, and sometimes quite badly. But now, he has found a key with this serve and 3rd ball power loop, and he has a distinct edge on me.

To his credit, he is a smart player who found my weakness and exploited it. But I am determined not to let it happen again. So, I am doing two things. First, I switched my pips to grippier long pips (going from Dragon Talon to Cropcircles) so that I can attack balls to my backhand with these pips. Also, in my practices the past two weeks, I have been asking my opponents to serve long and fast dead balls to my backhand, so that I can work on attacking them. I am working on attacking those balls with both my grippy pips and my inverted, which my Seemiller grip allows me to do in a blink of an eye, so that I can keep my opponent guessing. Tabesamis, this was your suggestion as well for that (variation through twiddling). Right now, a desire not to be dominated and feel helpless like that again is a strong motivator to really work on these things. Also, a desire to see my opponent's dismay when their former good tactics no longer work is also a motivator.

We'll see how this works in time. But I know that attacking long serves to keep the opponent from "setting up" for his power shots absolutely is the key. I usually do quite well when people serve short or mid-range balls to me--it's these long serves I have to really work on.

MNNB, I echo your laments over the ITTF's rulings that favor inverted style players. But it is what it is, and I'll keep at it until I have exhausted all play options against these long serves and/or reached the point where I feel that I simply cannot physically make better shots, no matter how much I might practice.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 14:33 
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Jim, sounds like we met the same style player around the same time...not exactly the kind of "kismet" one desires LOL. I hear what people are saying about twiddling to keep the variation up to them and I have to say that is not an easy solution. Twiddling itself is no problem. Hitting a ball with the power of my inverted when my strokes are grooved for Ox pips...that's another story. The other problem I find is that often when I do attack with the pips, the opponent finds its really just like an impotent loop and goes to town on it. Sure some opponents have troubles and don't know how to handle it...but then there are the guys that see a ball coming to them that is topspinning and travelling at a very manageable pace...and they lick their lips. So Jim, I warn you, switching pips so you can attack, may not be any sort of holy grail my friend! Its just fortunate that there are very few people I have encountered so far with the skills to play the way this guy did against me the other night...touch wood!

And MNNB is right, the ITTF have done us no favours...however, I think this problem would still exist with these certain players even if using frictionless. In fact, I think frictionless would make them even more in control as the variation able to be sent back is even less. I was able to make points on this guy, albeit less than usual, due to sending some balls back in ways he did not expect mainly due to Dtecs funk. I don't think I could have done this so well with frictionless and certainly not with Pogo!

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S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 17:00 
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We should meet reb. That's how I beat lp's :lol:

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2013, 18:27 
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Hi Reb,

My main problem is players who rip everything long and are also quick enough to cover angles. Even with D.Tecs it can be very hard to keep balls double-bounce short. FLPs are much slower with greater spin reversal.

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