Disappearance of penholders and defenders

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 5 years ago

Viet Dang Xuan

Viet Dang Xuan Asked 8 years ago

Hi PingSkills, Nowaday, I saw that defenders and penholders are getting fewer and fewer. Most of top players now play shakehand style and attack. For example, Joo Se Hyuk is the only defender that is well-known now. Also, Xu Xin and Wang Hao are the only penholders that, in my opinion, can stay top for long (Ma Lin is old now). So do you think that one day, penholders and defenders will completely disappear in top 100?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi VIet,

I guess players now go with the odds.  The shakehand style seems to be able to give you the best chance of reaching the highest level.  I think this is due to the increased speed of the game.

It will be interesting to see where the game goes in 10 years time.

It would be interesting to hear what others think.


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Viet Dang Xuan

Viet Dang Xuan Posted 8 years ago

It would be quite unhappy to see all players attack and use shakehand style. The penhold grip and defending style may not be the best but at least they vary the game. I mean, if Joo Se Hyuk can play well by defending, or Xu Xin and Wang Hao can be the bests using penhold grip, than why can't you?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

You can become the best but I guess it may be a bit harder.

I think the variety of styles adds a lot of interest to the game.  I love watching a good defender playing a good attacker.


Gio Valmonte

Gio Valmonte Posted 8 years ago

all i wondered about is. why is there nobody using penhold grip with the defensive skills?


mat huang

mat huang Posted 8 years ago

xu xin is no. 2 and wang hao is no. 4 so I think penholds are ok for now

defenders are hard to keep up due to the increase of speed with the new rubbers

and both takes more effort than using shakehand but I still  love both of them


Viet Dang Xuan

Viet Dang Xuan Posted 8 years ago

I wonder how the game will be if two defenders meet =) Have you ever seen a game like this?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Gio,

There have only been a few penhold choppers.  It is harder to reach with the penhold grip on the backhand.

Viet,

When two defenders meet it can be a really interesting game of tactics.  Sometimes one of them takes on the attacking role or if they both are very defensive, there are a lot of pushing rallies where it comes down to placement and consistency.


Robert Budzul

Robert Budzul Posted 8 years ago

Considering the reverse pen-hold backhand is relatively knew, that shows that the penhold style is still advancing so you'd think people will still use it.  Also, during the recent World Cup they mentioned the fact that European players don't get a chance to practise against really good penhold players and that gives the penhold players a bit of an advantage.

Over all this seem to be similar to the one-handed backhand at tennis.  It's used less and less but strangely enough two of the top players in recent years - Federer and Hénin both used it.  So one handed back hand, penholder... they'll always be around probably... bit like left-handers.

Choppers... different story probably.  Why go back from the table and be stuck just defending when you can adopt a style like Samsonov's?  Seeing him play in the final of the World Cup he seems to just defend for a couple of shots, right up at the table then attack when he gets a chance.

 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

OK Robert... I saw that reference to Left Handers...


Florian Steger

Florian Steger Posted 8 years ago

I think there are still very good penholders out there. I really like the style of He Zhi Wen. His placement is outstandig. Especially his serves. I watched alot of games of him lately and one thing sticks out to me. He pushes his opponents around the table alot don't let them get into their game while he is not moving much as he don't have to.

I agree that even in the chinese tt-world penholders become quite uncommon. But since most modern players train the modern shakehand style wich gives you an advantage on your back hand most modern players aren't getting used to play against a penholder. There often have a problem to adapt to this style. This is my observation

 


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 8 years ago

Hello pingskillers. For many years the trend in table tennis have been to overpower the opponent. What is outstanding with He Zhi Wen is that  he is not only one of the few penholders left but, he plays w/. pips too. Also he uses a tactic from an era before the power game: out maneuver the opponent at the table. Add to that that he is a "traditional" penholder (only one rubber) which, for many, is outdated and considered by the experts to be a disadvantage. On top of  it, he is "old" for the sport. I am a traditional penholder myself and I love the power game regardless if I lose or win. But what would happen if penholders would adopt "another kind of aggressiveness". Like neutralizing the powerful modern game w/ a different set of tactics and using different equipment? For me, at least, He Zhi Wen has proved it's possible. That would be like joining the penholder style w/ the defensive style.


Rob Janssen

Rob Janssen Posted 8 years ago

I have seen a new rising penhold player, his name is Zheng Peifeng from china and hes only 17 years old. He managed to beat Koki Niwa in russian open previous week!


Viet Dang Xuan

Viet Dang Xuan Posted 8 years ago

Rob, can you give me the link to the video highlight of his match? Thanks.


Rob Janssen

Rob Janssen Posted 8 years ago

here it is; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSd9pnucUyQ

 

would love to see him perform in the future


Viet Dang Xuan

Viet Dang Xuan Posted 8 years ago

Great. I would also love to see his development. It would be great if he can compete equally with other Chinese youngsters like Fan Zhendong or Zhou Yu


Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 8 years ago

There will never be a lot of defenders in table tennis...especially at the elite level...but I actually think we're in a bit of a renaissance with choppers in table tennis at the moment.  Just look at Masato Shiono who won both Japan Open 2013 and Czech Open 2013, and Seo Hyo Won who took out the Polish Open 2013 and Korea Open 2013.


Table TennisGuy

Table TennisGuy Posted 7 years ago

I think it is because people hold the handle like someone would with a tennis racket. 


Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 7 years ago

In the past with smaller balls and speed glued rubbers, I suspect Kpen and Jpen were more viable because you could really blast the opponent off the court with the strong FH attack (a la Ryu Seung Min).  When the ball got bigger and speed glueing was banned, it probably slowed down the game a bit and it became more important to have strong attacks off both wings rather than a killer FH.  The Cpen with the RPB seems to still be very promising but it's not easy to learn to use the RPB.


D K

D K Posted 7 years ago

Have you ever seen a penhold defender? :O


Dieter Verhofstadt

Dieter Verhofstadt Posted 7 years ago

Yes DK, I've met one recently. He played a blocking game, using only one side of the bat. But ... he switched sides after two sets, from an anti-top (red) to short pimples (black). I had never seen such a thing in my short TT career. It was the first time a family member came watching me and he was a little disappointed by the level of that match, only to be surprised by the (better) level next game, when both of us played with normal rubbers. He admitted he could only grasp the subtlety of unusual rubbers by me explaining it, for all he saw was the guy doing nothing special and me making either a point or a mistake. I won that match, after painstakingly adapting to the pimples.


D K

D K Posted 7 years ago

I meant a chopping penhold defender but nevermind :D

In reality I have never actually MET a real defender. I do not count those 60+ years old codgers whose playing style is absolutely abnormal,one does not know if it is a defense or an attack...


Noah Clayborne

Noah Clayborne Posted 5 years ago

Kim Song I is also a well known chopper she received the bronze medal this Olympics. She also defeated Kasumi Ishikawa.


Jason Ferdinand

Jason Ferdinand Posted 5 years ago

Zhang Xielin is a penhold defender, DK


Jason Ferdinand

Jason Ferdinand Posted 5 years ago

You can watch Zhang Xielin / Chang Sihlin plays in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld0o6oMRpXc&t=22s video


D K

D K Posted 5 years ago

I know about him.
I just asked if Dieter has ever seen one.


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 5 years ago

Hi. Zhang Xieling belonged to the era when it was not required to use rubber on both sides, not even the two colors code on the racket. Therefore he was allowed to use bare wood on his backhand. Back then the industry was starting to develop smooth rubbers "from factory" since it was a trend for players to separate the top sheet from the sponge in order to glue it back on "inverted", smooth side out. So it was mainly a battle between two no-spin kings: short pips and bare wood.


D K

D K Posted 5 years ago

It has never been forbidden to HAVE one rubberless side.....you can still have it,you only cannot use it..


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 5 years ago

When you use two sides you have to have two rubbers.


D K

D K Posted 5 years ago

But you do not have to use two sides.... => Ryu Seung Min,Kim Taek Soo....
And maybe Zhang Xielin...? (I do not know his bat)


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 5 years ago

Zhang Xieling's bat was pips on one side and bare wood on the other. I saw him doing a demonstration match w/ Chuang Tse Tung back in 1972 (or 73?) when they were both already retired. Ryu Seung Min and Kim Taek Soo belonged in the present era where IF you have only one rubber then the other side has to be tinted (not painted, has to be totally matte) the opposite color and you are NOT allowed to use it. You can have 2 rubbers and still use one, but you can't have one rubber and use the other side.



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