Playing long-pips strategy

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 10 years ago

Andrew Pape

Andrew Pape Asked 10 years ago

Hi Alois,

I've had trouble playing an A-grade defender who uses long-pips well on his backhand and clobbers any ball to his forehand. My topspin attack isn't well enough developed to loop against him. Ideally, I should be able to attack. But I saw this player easily beaten last year by a Russian coach  (Igor) in the over 70's singles event.

Igor looked half asleep, but he was winning every point, and at his age you wouldn't expect him to be winning with loops or too much force. He played every ball slow to the defender's long-pips (backhand), and simply pushed about 2 or 3 balls to the long-pips, then wristed-up the next ball, again to the same backhand corner. Every rally I saw was like this, and the defender couldn't get more than a handful of balls back. He's normally able to play till you drop, but somehow Igor's technique was superior.

I have no insight into what was happening. Igor's pushes were simply pushes, and his wrist flicks couldn't generate much topspin because Igor (apparently) plays with a dead bat. It'd be great if you could tell me what was going on in that match, as I need advice in playing against long-pips.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Andrew,

I know Igor well.  He coached me for a time when I was about 14 and later a team mate in TTV pennant.

He has excellent control of the ball and understands spin very well.  What he was doing is a really simple way of playing against a long pimple player.

When you push the ball to their backhands they may not be bale to attack the ball with their long pimples.  So by pushing the ball in that direction you can wait for the correct ball to attack. What Igor was doing was putting some backspin on the ball so that the ball would come back to him with topspin that he could attack when he was ready.  The really relevant point is that he can wait till he is ready.  You can dominate the long pimple player in this way and control what is happening in the rally.

The wristy attack that you are talking about is a slow topspin that is done when you are ready.  By playing this stroke after pushing the ball the long pimple player is close to the table and needs to adjust between the backspin and topspin.

Remember though that Igor has been playing for over 50 years and so will have a very good understanding of the ball, the spin and what he needs to do.  It is probably a very good lesson for you. 

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