Playing against antispin

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 4 years ago

Dakota Castleberg

Dakota Castleberg Asked 4 years ago

I'm left-handed, my antispin buddy is right-handed. 

My buddy usually serves fast and long to my forehand, which i return cross-court to his back-hand. He usually manages to return this though. Already at this point, I feel there should be a way to have a huge advantage receiving a long low-spin serve, although since it is his only real serve, he is quite good at keeping it low .Seeing as his rubber ignores spin for the most part, I don't know if using spin over speed would be helpful or not? As well, my variation of spin serves have essentially no benefit against him either compared to other opponents. 

Should I just try serving long and low to him and try to make him pop it up enough to make an attacking 3rd ball?

Regardless of the topspin or backspin I put on a shot, his return essentially has zero spin on it, So I haven't been able to serve backspin and then have it come back to me with topspin.

Is there something different I should be doing? Or is it just that I don't have my strokes down well enough against no-spin balls?

ps: He also loses to players I have no problem beating. The people he loses to are much less developed then me, yet he struggles. I think it relates to a point I came across you guys bringing up at some point regarding him having a hard to to generate his own pace on the ball, instead of just being able to make a decent strong against a faster ball.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 4 years ago

Hi Dakota,

I think you can take advantage of his long serve first.  Try to make a stronger topspin and think about where you place the return.  Try different positions and see what works well.

With your serve, just serve long and simple to his backhand and then wait to attack the next ball.  With his backhand rubber it will be difficult for him to attack you serve.  Don’t try too hard, and realise if you play to his backhand he doesn’t have much to hurt you with.

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Thoughts on this question

Dieter Verhofstadt

Dieter Verhofstadt Posted 4 years ago

I used to struggle a lot against anti-spin players because they take the pace out of the game. Recently I've become more confident: it's all about consistency. If you keep sending topspin shots to his anti-spin side, he'll eventually break down and miss. He's undergoing the exchange and counting on your mistakes. However, you as the pace generator are in control of speed and placement, so if you remain focused on those shots, the anti-spin player will have to deal with that variety.

While most weaker players in our club dread the confrontation with weird rubbers, most good players welcome the event as a topspin training and have no issues at all with this type of player.

I try to look at it that way too: use the initiative to outlast the opponent instead of trying to outpower them.

Dakota Castleberg

Dakota Castleberg Posted 4 years ago

Thanks Dieter, I will keep this in mind as well when I play him next! Consistency.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 4 years ago

I don't like playing against anti-spin either, because my game is based on spin and I like to make big swings from mid-distance, while they take away the spin and play close to the table. So for me, it's wrong in all aspects: spin, length and pace.

What I try to do in these situations, but it's not easy, is to stay closer to the table, make smaller gestures for faster recovery (the loss of spin doesn't really matter), place the ball well several times on the anti-spin side (mostly that will be your opponents backhand) and wait for a good opportunity to make a really strong shot far into the forehand or to my opponent's body, with a lot or spin or sometimes with none. Again, the hardest part of the plan is to be consistent at putting the ball back without much intensity first, but still with a good length and not too high, or else your opponent will be able to kill it, even with an anti-spin rubber.

That kind of works against medium or low level players. I guess it could be too dangerous to first play "passively" against a really good anti-spin player, who may for example have enough time to pivot and finish the point during your "preparation phase". On the other hand, in my experience, anti-spin rubber players are mostly older people who use this rubber to avoid moving too much and/or to compensate for a weak backhand.

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