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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2016, 22:55 
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I'm having a very good season this year. I probably will rise two grades this year in my league and I'm starting to beat +-2300 USATT players in training regularly. I even train regularly against a player who plays in the second highest league in the country and I don't have difficulties keeping his topspin balls on the table, be it FH or BH (this guy has an superb touch and superb loops).

In competition I beat everyone who comes in my way (material players, loopers, chiselers...). However, I'm struggling against one kind of player: 3rd ball loopkillers. I'm finding this is a tactic used more and more by young players (+-20 years and younger). I never/rarely encounter this type of game in my age level (+-30) or older players. Not even among the higher graded player I train with.

So, what do they do? They serve (some serve normally, others serve with less spin) and cream the next ball (or wait for a later ball played long with the pips). My returns are low, long and are mostly placed in an inconvenient place (BH, crossover point or far FH). That does not seem to bother them very much. They cream it to a very inconvenient place with their hyperboosted-in-factory rubbers and if the ball comes back, they smack the return (thse balls often still contain a lot of backspin, but are short and high).

Now I'm breaking my head over these kind of players, because if you see their player's card (the card mentioning all wins and defeats of the current season), you see most of them don't even will get a higher grade next season or they'll even receive a lower one. These players are also very keen to win against me, probably because they know I'm doing so well. F****** :swear: ! :D

Anyway, I'm having four solutions to overcome these kind of players. These are:

1) Better placement: probably shorter and sometimes higher when deep to let them miss their loopkill. If they get it on the table, my return must be a lot deeper. Still it's a risky game, because I don't find any place on the table safe for these kind of players and I'm always under great pressure.

2) Learning to push backspin with my P1-R against their no-spin shots or even pushes: now I don't know if this can be done and if it can be done, will it be an effective method to prevent their loopkill? I read Joo uses a thicker sponged P1-R because he has better control in pushing shots (creating more of his own spin?) and I read a review on Noppentest of Fab (great review, btw :up: ) stating you can create moderate backspin on pushes with the thick P1-R.

3) Switching to SPs: these will cover the whole weakness, but this will be a whole new learning curve. I'm also afraid SPs can't create the heavy backspin I'm currently producing and will have (a whole lot?) less control.

4) Quitting the game: Yes, even when having the prospect of rising two levels next season, I don't find this type of TT appealing anymore. I find the current plastic ball makes this type of game a lot easier for that kind of players. With the celluloid ball you had spin to work with and unpleasant ball flights they had to deal with. These two features have diminished a whole lot since the introduction of the plastic ball.

I'm wondering how the pro's dealt with these kind of players (if they ever did). You don't see that kind of game very often, if at all, at the top level. So pro defenders have to have a solution to deal with these kind of stupid games.

Any thoughts? Oh yes, I'm a left-handed defender.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 00:59 
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Learn to use fast topspin as a return option. These players need time ans chopping gives it to them.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 01:45 
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I'm using the thickest-sponged P1-R now and you can certainly generate some backspin on pushes Lorre.

It's always going to be difficult if your opponent serves long, fast or short float though. I find it easier to get backspin with my P1-R against backspin, bizarrely.

Unfortunately I don't think there's any one single answer to this. I think variety has to be the key. If they're repeatedly giving you the same serve, having the confidence to "bounce" one (pimples "bump", e.g. not a push, just a flat bat angle and almost punch the ball deep into their backhand); drop one short; push one heavy; push one with reversal; run around your backhand to play a forehand loop; play a twiddled backhand loop etc. etc. will help, and hopefully lessen their confidence in playing the 3rd ball loopkill every serve.

If they're good though... not much of that will really stop them. If they're using their brains and playing this stroke, you're going to struggle. If they're mindlessly creaming every 3rd ball though, variation will throw them off massively.

Not that easy in matchplay though, especially if you make mistakes on one or two of your less often used techniques.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 02:33 
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with any sponged LP u cant generate enough backspin to make unable opponent to hardloop it
adam pattantuys for example 50% servers into bh is pushing with inverted
i have tested most of pips from OX to 1.3mm and best solution to this are

vs long no spin servers:
-keeping the ball low, i mean really low.. 3-5cm above net
-attack it with inverted

vs short no spin servers:
-keep it short
-attack with inverted

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 03:47 
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garbol wrote:
with any sponged LP u cant generate enough backspin to make unable opponent to hardloop it
adam pattantuys for example 50% servers into bh is pushing with inverted

He's a rarity though. Joo doesn't do this, nor does Chen Weixing or Gionis Panagiotis. Ruwen Filus twiddles occasionally, but mostly to attack, not push. Gionis and Ruwen both regularly twiddle to push with inverted, but not off service receive.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 04:50 
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You mentioned that your returns are low and long to an uncomfortable place. This is good, but it's only the first step!.

You can give a high level player the longest lowest shot with the most spin you could possibly muster and if they are ready for it, they are not going to miss.

So the only strategy here is make them not be ready. People train to be mentally ready for the ball to land in any location however you can never 100% succeed this...and your body always is either cheating to one side and if your return is good they won't have time to kill it.

So watch them and play where they aren't. I know this seems rudimentary and basic but this players train like this as much as you train your defense if not more. So even your best return (being defensive in nature) will most likely be looped efffectively, but it's that extra step or though that you make them have that will slow it enough to not kill it past you.

A few more suggestions...

1. Don't ever expect a weak return from your opponent....ever. Expect the best possible power loop at all times and you will be ready for a weaker one. Continue to try to draw an error, but don't expect one. I try to apply this tactic every match no matter the skill level.

2. Don't worry about spin. It doesn't matter if you can load up the spin like crazy with your long pips or can only push no spin...just make it long and low and prepare accordingly. Even if you could generate spin with your p1r it would work one time and then never again...if you are around 2300 usatt then those players are far too good to make the same mistake again.

3. Even pros can't spin with p1r. I know joo uses it and says he has better pushing control, but he does not mean spin. He means the feel. The "sink in and rebound long time on your racket" feel. The reason they never twiddle to receive serves with inverted is because they know that the spin does not matter. They want the control and depth and placement that long pips allow you to have over a myriad of serves your opponent provides.

So in conclusion things to remember.

1. Your shots are good. But if someone is ready and waiting for it and doesnt have to move. It doesnt matter. Make them move even if it's 10cm.

2. They train hard third ball loop kills for 10hrs a day? You must train to defend hardball loop kills 11hrs a day. (I know this is ridiculous but it's making a point lol)

3. Don't worry about the spin on p1r. You don't need it. Use the long pips ability to control all types of spin.

Rant over. Haha



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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 08:28 
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I am totally agreeing with Leatheback on this. Never let them be sure where your return is comming. Do the unexpected sometimes. Even if you miss an LP attack it will make them think. Try to twiddle and chop or attack now and then. Try to return short or very far to BH. Try every thing as long as they cannot be sure what to get. And be ready for attack.

You can not outspin such good players so no need to twiddle and push all the time, only now and then. Last league match I met a player rated like 2500 or so. I returned his serve with inverted on FH and pushed ghe hell out of the ball with my soft tacky H3-50. It was low and he had to move to it, but he just blasted it past me like it was nothing, using my back spin to strenghen his own top spin. No matter where I pushed with inverted he just attacked it.

I know your feeling. I was there 1,5 years ago. But SP is not the way to go if this is you main problem. You just need to get over the next threshold. And then you will k ow by just looking at opponent where next attack will come, and you will be there in time to return it well placed. And you will get the next one, and next one til they miss. But don't guve up because of the ball. You will adapt to it and the balls gets better all the time. Be patient. And strong!

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2016, 21:37 
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Hey Lorre, last season I played the eventual leading player of the division just once in the very first round. He was a player of perhaps 2250-2300 US level. I'd played this player and beaten him in previous lower grades, but as he is now only about 20 his game has become very consistent with top quality FH and BH loops.

Anyway, in the first set I had him baffled as I'd done in past matches with him and beat him 11-4. In the second set he realised the spinny serves he'd dished me in the first set were what was bringing him undone from my returns. He began giving me no spin basic serves that I could do little with, and he turned the game to being either able to 3rd ball kill me, or make a consequent return of mine killable. As a result he beat me 3-1, and there seemed little I could do about it. Now I don't have a magical answer I've come up with, I wish I did. I agree with Leatherback that the only thing you can do is try to surprise them with a little "out-positioning" of what they're expecting. The shorter and lower you can make the return is usually going to be the best result, sometimes angled, sometimes middled.

I would advise to improve your blocking from both pips and inverted, because often these guys are not expecting their kill to be returned.When it is, they are often lost. Train to block,especially off the pips as they know the attacks on the pips are generally going to get a block that goes long. You get a "bullet-block" back on them which takes away their time and has weird spin, many get left wondering what to do. It comes down to player by player though, I don't think there is a panacea solution to cover all players and circumstances.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2016, 08:50 
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I don't know if this is helpful or not but there are a zillion videos of Chtchetinine around now. How does he deal with it? Can't you do the same?

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2016, 22:42 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
I don't know if this is helpful or not but there are a zillion videos of Chtchetinine around now. How does he deal with it? Can't you do the same?

Haha... I love that answer... Like: how hard could it be??? :lol:.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2016, 22:49 
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It's a worthwhile point to be made though because Chtchetinine doesn't have any alternative approaches, e.g. he won't suddenly run round his backhand to loop a serve, nor will he twiddle to attack or hit with his pimples.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2016, 23:16 
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dunc wrote:
It's a worthwhile point to be made though because Chtchetinine doesn't have any alternative approaches, e.g. he won't suddenly run round his backhand to loop a serve, nor will he twiddle to attack or hit with his pimples.


True! Still, he is VERY skilled wghen it come to handeling serves with his pips and I believe he sometimes twiddles and pushes with inverted (but perhaps not against fast, low spin serves)

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2016, 04:17 
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And while Chtchetinine can deal with it to some degree what is his world ranking? Point-there are some players who can eat a defender for lunch, no matter what strategy is employed!


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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2016, 04:46 
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The interesting thing about Chtchetinine is that, from watching a bunch of his matches, when he gets long low spin or underspin serves to his pips, he very often simply chops these back with his pips, and unlike lower level players, he generally doesn't get hammered for it. I think the reason is simply his greater skill in chopping back that next strong loop. But since most of us can't do that, we're stuck with those old strategy that others have mentioned of varied placement, occasional twiddling, stepping around to attack, etc.

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2016, 07:01 
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TraditionalTradesman wrote:
The interesting thing about Chtchetinine is that, from watching a bunch of his matches, when he gets long low spin or underspin serves to his pips, he very often simply chops these back with his pips, and unlike lower level players, he generally doesn't get hammered for it. I think the reason is simply his greater skill in chopping back that next strong loop. But since most of us can't do that, we're stuck with those old strategy that others have mentioned of varied placement, occasional twiddling, stepping around to attack, etc.

I just realised, if you chop like normal but on a serve, you are already a bit away from the table. Meaning easier to get next loop.

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