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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 04:50 
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I’ve started exploring the dark side (LP on BH) after playing as a 2 wing looper my whole life. I am coming back after a lengthy hiatus (20 years) and have been slowly climbing up the ladder. Officially I am in mid 1500s but recently had several close matches and took 1-2 games from players in the 1800-2100 range which is where I was when I was competing as a junior. I usually don’t have issues against lower ranked folks who can’t read spin nor have consistent attack.

While I had some awesome matches, there were a couple folks in the 1800-2100 range to whom I lost badly without any real chance due to their 3rd ball attack.

It would go like this: a mild spin/no spin serve to my LP (away from my FH), I push, then they loop with consistency ( either to BH or FH) and with mad spin. So, deep BH, push, then deep FH which I often can’t even touch.

What is the best LP strategy against people who have a very strong 3rd ball game?


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 05:07 
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Twiddle and attack some of those serves with your inverted side. Or hold your paddle out of sight under the table when they serve so they don't know which side you're using.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 05:38 
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Opponents who do this kind of serve and have a very strong third-ball attack are probably the most difficult to deal with for LP players. With that said, you do have options:

1. If it's a SHORT low/no-spin serve, your LP gives you the ability to push/shovel push/roll the ball at an extreme angle that will make it hard for your opponent to perform a third-ball attack. So, for instance, if your opponent is serving out of his backhand corner, you could angle the ball to the extreme short forehand or the extreme short backhand. This takes some practice and is easier if you play with no sponge but it can be done and many opponents have a lot of trouble with this. You can also make very light contact with the serve and try to place it very short, which is, of course, a harder ball to attack.

2. The more difficult serves for LP players are usually long low/no-spin serves to their LP. You can:

a. Twiddle and push or attack. This, of course, is a matter of anticipation, and not everyone who plays LP has a good backhand attack.

b. Use placement. This will ultimately be the best strategy because you'll probably be more consistent doing it. Virtually every attacking player who gives you these kinds of long serves has an area where they want the ball returned and an area where they don't or aren't as comfortable. What you need to do is figure out where this is. Many of these third-ball attackers serve out of their backhand corner and then get ready for a forehand loop. Use the first game of your match to experiment with returns of serve to four areas: (i) the wide forehand; (ii) their playing elbow/crossover point; (iii) deep and right back at them; or (iv) the wide backhand. It's rare for anyone below the 2100 level to be strong attacking from all four areas. Even if they succeeded in pouncing on your return to any one of these areas, take note of their margin of error -- how easy for them did it look? Does it seem like they can do this over and over again, in which case you need to stay away from that area, or does it seem like they got lucky but might not get so lucky the next time or with slightly better placement on your part. This strategy also works if your opponent is backhand dominant, though the precise areas where they are weak might be different, of course. Again, it's rare for anyone at this level to be able to do execute both a great forehand AND a great backhand third-ball attack, so you need to be aware of what their strength is. Some opponents, also, will get thrown off simply if you vary placement from one serve return to the next. In this case you'll have to accept giving them a few easy putaways for the sake of getting a bunch of errors and then shaking their confidence. When someone is being super aggressive on a third ball attack, shaking their confidence is often the key to winning, and a few errors in a row will often accomplish that, so hang in there and don't get discouraged. There are also some opponents who might be great in attacking low balls but sometimes mess up against deep, higher ones, especially toward their backhand. That's another thing to try, though only as a variation.

c. Use spin variation. This, in my judgment, is harder and works much better if you're playing with a sponged LP. Again, if someone is trying to be super aggressive, they may not be giving themselves a great margin for error, and although, without twiddling, you may not be able to vary spin THAT much, you can still create some variation, especially if you have a sponged LP with some friction. This might be enough to throw them off. Try, for instance, chopping the serve back with sidespin, which often helps to control no-spin returns and can give the return a funky twist at the end that generates a miss on your opponent's part.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 06:00 
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TraditionalTradesman wrote:
you can still create some variation, especially if you have a sponged LP with some friction.


Thanks. Yes I play 388D-1 on a 0.5-0.7 sponge


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2015, 01:32 
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i have the same problem with long low or no spins serves
its biggest weakness LP players
and it doesnt matter what LP (sponged/ox) u will choose
i have tested almost 50 different LPs from OX FLP to P1R 1.0mm or FL2/FL3 1.1mm
there just isnt enought backspin to make player unable to strong attack (of course above certain level)

ur 2nd ball stroke need to be high quality

what i mean high quality?
low and various

really low, just above net (not more than few cm above)
various..:
-placement (making opponent to move)
-speed (faster ball makes less time for opponent)
-spin (some various will help)

this kind of return will give u the biggest chances that it will not be attacked strongly (but u never know, some players are good enough to do it :()

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2015, 04:13 
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Push deeper. Even the best looper you can encounter can't get full power and a great angle against a very long push. If your push lands anywhere closer then 20cm from the back line your opponent is going to crush the ball no matter the spin you put on it. Depth is key. Always key. Now you at least have a chance to enter the rally.

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2015, 04:16 
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The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is pro LP players aren't getting bombarded with long no-spin serves.. I don't think I have seen Joo or other modern defenders needing to BH loop off of a serve or having similar issues..


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2015, 12:03 
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notfound123 wrote:
The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is pro LP players aren't getting bombarded with long no-spin serves.. I don't think I have seen Joo or other modern defenders needing to BH loop off of a serve or having similar issues..


I was wondering about the same thing - is the expectation that receiver will twiddle and rip one for the winner?

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2015, 14:31 
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pgpg wrote:
notfound123 wrote:
The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is pro LP players aren't getting bombarded with long no-spin serves.. I don't think I have seen Joo or other modern defenders needing to BH loop off of a serve or having similar issues..


I was wondering about the same thing - is the expectation that receiver will twiddle and rip one for the winner?


Those balls can be hit aggressively by someone with great technique using the LP's.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2015, 11:32 
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LOOPOVER wrote:
pgpg wrote:
notfound123 wrote:
The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is pro LP players aren't getting bombarded with long no-spin serves.. I don't think I have seen Joo or other modern defenders needing to BH loop off of a serve or having similar issues..


I was wondering about the same thing - is the expectation that receiver will twiddle and rip one for the winner?


Those balls can be hit aggressively by someone with great technique using the LP's.

Yes they can but at the pro level 99% of the time they aren't. I just stick to the principle of making your push harder loop for a winner...I.e. longer and lower and where your opponent has to move.

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