Losing to a player of a much lower ranking

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 1 year ago

Vishal Acharya

Vishal Acharya Asked 6 years ago

so here we've a type of tournament where the winners of the preliminary rounds (first 4 places) face off against the winners of the previous years' winners (first 4 places of the championship rounds of P.Y) in the championship round.. we (as a team) had secured the first place in the prelims but lost in the quarter finals to a much much lower team.. our first player played really well but I on the other hand lost the game 3-2 despite having the lead 2-0. The same thing happened last year against the same team and I can't figure out what is causing the problem :( the player I had faced did not have any technique but just used to yell when he got a point. Everyone in the stadium was shocked when we lost to the team. I need to know how to overcome this problem of mine coz I had just defeated 3 players with a very good technique and also I do not want to repeat this mistake once again.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Vishal,

Playing players with weaker technique can sometimes be more difficult because you are not used to this type of shot, whereas you are used to practising and playing against players with 'good' technique.

I think the best thing is to find some unorthodox players during the year that you can play against to get used to the different style.  Often you need to play with more margin for error because they will not put as much topspin on the ball and give you different spins.  Don't stress about it too much.  It is something that happens to all of us when we play different styles that we aren't used to.

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azhar bhabha

azhar bhabha Posted 6 years ago

Just heard your podcast and came to this question.

I had another more specific question to your response. Chen Weixing has a top spin and counter spin which in my layman opinion atleast, is quite certainly not conventional. How then, has a player like him gotten to an international rank like that ?


Van Taggart

Van Taggart Posted 6 years ago

Losing to someone that has weaker technique is humbling to say the least. I dislike that feeling, greatly. I have a difficult time unleashing my fury (forehand loops and backhand loops) that I have worked so hard on. It became so ridiculous that, I began playing defensively instead of playing the attacking offense that I would normally play.

Eventually, I became quite disheartened. I had to reevaluate. Instead of continuing my regular practice regiment, I turned everything upside down and took to practicing a better defensive strategy. In turn, I stopped trying to attack these players and just sat back and used consistency as my weapon of choice. I let them make the errors instead of me trying to dominate them with fancy attacks that I found difficult to employ with their slow play.

Frank  M.

Frank M. Posted 5 years ago

From time to time I face the same problem. I play in a low league and from time to time I lose against a weaker player. (After a 27 years break I began playing table tennis again. Right now I've been playing for a year.) 
Yesterday I lost against a player with ridiculous technique. I could not handle his deep sidespin strokes. From time to time he surprised me with a backhand stroke instead of using forehand...

I guess consistency should be the key to success. I will train my Topspin until I am able to play a secure TS if the ball is long enough. Normally the unorthodox players don't play with too much spin and I should be able to play a decent topspin.

In the long run, it's not right to change your style and play more defense. Hold on to your style and attack. Pushers don't reach the next level.

As long as I lose against that type of players I know know that I have to practice even harder and must not think that I can play table tennis...

felix Oak

felix Oak Posted 5 years ago

the best way to do it is to think that its a better player and see what they doing.

always wait 3 sec is the best way to stay good.

Joe Miller

Joe Miller Posted 5 years ago

Is there time outs in the tournament?

If so take them to rethink strategies and mindsets


Nima Khandaghabadi

Nima Khandaghabadi Posted 1 year ago

I'm a bit late to the party but it's mainly because players that don't have the technique that we're used to (don't wanna say proper technique) tend to play a bit unpredictably and don't telegraph the way we're used to. The higher you go, the more topspin/backspin the game gets and placement becomes more important simply because those shots are more consistent but lower-rank players tend to return the ball with weird strokes resulting in a weird variety of sidespins, backspins, or topspins that you're not used to.

  1. The key is to be able to read the spin on those balls as they are coming towards you since they don't telegraph (sometimes even they themselves don't know what type of spin they're putting on the ball) but that's easier said than done so better get some space between yourself and the table.
  2. Start attacking their serves and play a fast-paced game. Most importantly, if you slow the game down to control the ball (probably this is what you did after you won your first two sets thinking I've got this in the bag) then you'll lose simply because they are not going for consistency, they're hitting shots that are very risky and are hard to return and it's much easier for them to do so with a slow ball.
  3. They don't tend to attack serves so hit them with long backspin serves to their forehand and topspin serves to their backhand and be ready to attack when the ball comes back.
  4. Don't serve sidespin to them cause if they know that they can't handle the sidespin then they'll play super weird risky shots that are very hard to return for you. If you do serve sidespin then serve long and fast.

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