Long pimples rubbers

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 5 years ago

Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Asked 5 years ago

Hi Alois

This is a tough one for you! Thanks to your video on how to play against long pimples I have now a clear picture of what is going on. This has helped me to beat some of the players who use long pimples rubbers (generally on the back hand). It is always a big struggle and endless rallies. The main problem with my style however is that I do not have an attacking backhand like yours or Jeff's. When I play against players with ordinary rubbers I generally use my back hand for pushing low and with lots of backspin or block. I just do not possess a topspin back hand attack.

There is a particularly good player who I used to take games from but lately he was devastating. When I asked him what he had done he said that he had got used to playing me. I imagine that he has realised that playing deep to my backhand gives me problems.

I have tried to serve short, with backspin, to his forehand but he drops it even shorter to my forehand and I am already in trouble. If I serve to his backhand (with no spin) he punches it long to my backhand and I am again well exposed. If I engage a pushing game backhand to backhand, because of the effect of the pimples I do not always know what is on the ball and invariably end up lifting it for him to come with a backhand drive which I automatically block without realising (too late) that it is as flat as a pancake or loaded with backspin.

I will be playing him again soon. What do I do? I have tried practising top spin backhand drives with the use of my robot and/or with the help of a friend (we practise once a week but he uses normal rubbers and at my age (70+) the old brain is reluctant to learn). I have tried to condense my question but it is not easy.

I am really pleased to have known you (personally) and Jeff. You are such incredible persons who do so much for the development of this wonderful sport.

Un abbraccio.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Filippo,

Well it is about 4 years since we met at the London Paralympics.  Hasn't that time gone quickly.  I have just returned from the Rio Paralympics.

I think the way you are going is the best solution.  Work on your backhand topspin and also put time into working on your feel against the long pimples.  This seems to be getting better.

I think when you play him, serve long to the pimples and then expect the ball to your backhand more.  Instead of fearing the ball coming there, invite the opportunity to practice the backhand topspin against his rubber more.  Learn each time you hit the ball.  You already understand that if you serve with some backspin it will come back with topspin so be prepared for that and play your smooth backhand topspin stroke.

I hope this helps.

Um abraço. (Portuguese!)

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