China's Top Players Backhand Mechanics

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 6 years ago

Adam Olaso

Adam Olaso Asked 7 years ago

Like others here, I am inspired by China's top players. I noticed that they don't have a lot of wrist action on their BH topspin (like Ma Long, Fan ZD, and the rest) meaning they don't follow through enough to do the classic backhand topspin finish position. Actually I never saw them do the BH topspin finish position on YT so far.

Why is it even though its a more controlled stroke, it actually still has a lot spin and speed? I know that the bh topspin is basically a mirror of FH topspin which is a forward and upward curve stroke. Like the swiping action on a windshield.

I'm a new player and my training partners said I've improved a lot for the past 3 months. I strive to be the best at least locally for now. My question is, which is the best bh topspin stroke to master? Should I still do the classic bh topspin finish position every time or strive to achieve the world's top players' technique. Maybe their stroke is just used for counterspins?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Adam,

Firstly well done on your improvement.

For the backhand follow our lesson on the Backhand CounterhitBackhand Topspin Against Block and Backhand Topspin Off Backspin in our Strokes and techniques section.

The top Chinese players are playing a lot of counter topspins.  If you look closely, they are using their wrist a lot on contact.  They don't do a big follow through with their arm mainly because the ball is going so fast they don't have time for a bigger follow through.

When learning though, allow the full action to get the feel for the ball and the correct path for the stroke.

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Thoughts on this question

Johan B

Johan B Posted 7 years ago

Can't remember what game it was but ma long made an epic backhand rip from a couple of metres off the table in one of the world your final matches. Pretty sure you can see him at full extension there :)

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

A quick question: in this video at 4:00 it seems to me that Zhang Jike is looping while Ma Long is countering. Am I right? Or they are both countering?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

Hi Ilia,

I would all it counter hitting.... bordering on topspin... as we often talk about they are all just slight extensions of each other.  There isn't clear boundaries for these strokes.

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 6 years ago

For me the Chinese play mostly bh counter. They play also close table. If they midrange, they always try fh. If they want to topspin from the bh side, they mostly pivot. that's why you see rarely a full topspin bh action by a Chinese. And quite often a successful block down the line by a opponent, cause they often pivot quite early.

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 6 years ago

It's kind of a "gamble pivot" 

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

It is funny that with forehand it is clear when those guys hit and and when they loop. But on backhand it is so blurry unless they hit it three meters away from the table :)

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