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Популярные спортивные игры » Настольный теннис » Настольный теннис: Маневр » Table Tennis Tactics - Attacker vs Defender with Long Pimples


Table Tennis Tactics - Attacker vs Defender with Long Pimples

10 декабря 2007 | Автор: geokond  | Просмотров: 4 887 |


Greg Letts

Putting the Theory Into Practice...

I've written this article due to several requests for specific tips and tactics to use when playing against long pimples.
Since every table tennis match is slightly different depending on the
players involved, you may need to adjust the advice given for your
actual circumstances.

Table Tennis Tactics - Attacker vs Defender with Long Pimples

In this particular article I'm going to be explaining some actual match tactics for attackers to use against traditional defenders who use long pimples on one side of their table tennis bat. Since most of the people reading this are probably better forehand attackers with a weaker backhand loop, I'm going to focus on this scenario:

Attacker (You)

  • Strong forehand loop.

  • Weaker/inconsistent backhand loop.

  • Standard services, with one or two especially good services.

  • Average return of serve - can attack long balls, but not usually hit winners from them. Short serves can be pushed or flipped, but not for winners.

  • Average footwork - can hit forehands from the backhand corner but finds it difficult to get to the next ball if the opponent blocks down the line. Still finds it difficult to attack consistently if the ball is played to the crossover point of forehand/backhand.

  • Reading of spin is average - has trouble playing defenders who vary spin well.

  • Is average against long pimples - knows the basic theory but still has problems playing the correct shot in a match.

Defender (Opponent)

  • Uses thin, smooth rubber on the forehand, long pimples with thin sponge on the backhand.

  • Twiddles occasionally when chopping.

  • Typical footwork - better at going side to side than in and out.

  • Plays traditional defense with average spin variation and only attacking the easy setup ball with his forehand.

  • Is stronger defending with the long pimples than the normal
    rubber - he finds it hard to really spin the ball with the smooth
    rubber without popping the ball up - so he floats more often with the forehand chop. His crossover point is further to
    his right hand side due to his strength with the backhand chop,
    probably a foot to a foot and a half outside his right hip.

  • Does not try to hit with the long pimples.

  • Uses serves to put the ball in play rather than to set up attack.

  • Return of serve is usually a long push return near the end
    line of the table. Prefers to use the long pimples to return serve,
    even wide to the forehand.

Match Tactics

Your first tactic is to find out this information about your opponent - preferably before you start playing! Some good scouting should set you up so that you can plan your tactics before the game begins.

If you were to discuss with me the match you were about to play
against this defender, this is the type of advice I would give you.


Since you have still have difficulties playing against long
pimples in matches, I would recommend to keep your services relatively
simple to start with - not too much sidespin that is going to come back at you from your opponent's long pimples.
Hopefully, as your touch improves during the match, you should be able
to increase the amount of sidespin that you use to make things harder
for your opponent.

Also, since your opponent does not tend to attack serves very
much, you should be able to use more long services without fear of

Since your opponent uses his long pimples to return serve most
of the time, take advantage of this by changing your serve depending on
what type of 3rd ball attack you wish to play. For heavy loops, use long topspin serves, that will
come back as chop from the long pimples, and you can then use the spin
to load up your loop. If you want to hit fast loops, serve long
backspin serves that will come back as topspin, which can then be
looped with power. Long no spin serves can also be used to get float
returns from the long pimples, which can then be attacked with spin or
speed as you desire.

Shorter serves can still be used to keep your opponent on his
toes, and to try to get the occasional pop-up ball to attack with
power. Focus more on making the spin hard to read than trying to put a
lot of spin on the ball - you should be trying to make him think the
ball is chop when it is really topspin and vice versa, rather than
trying to fool him with the amount of spin (i.e. heavy vs light
topspin). You don't want too much spin coming back from the long
pimples due to your own problems in playing against them.

Serving to the forehand can also be a good way to set up
attacks to your opponent's backhand, since he is trying to return most
serves with the long pimples. A short serve to the forehand will bring
him in and across the table, and then a follow up attack deep to the
backhand will be difficult to handle, especially if you occasionally
switch the attack to his wide forehand as he is trying to get back to
cover his backhand side.

Return of Service

Cut out the easy mistakes - there is no hurry to attack his service if
it is a good one - you know he is not likely to be attacking your
return. Concentrate on making good safe returns while picking off any
bad services. If you seem to be attacking well then try to attack a few
more serves, if you are missing your attacks be content to push the
ball back and wait for a better opportunity to open up.

Your opponent is stronger with his backhand defense, so most attacks
should be placed to the forehand side, which also has the benefit of
avoiding the long pimples which you are not so good against. Occasional
attacks to the backhand must still be made in order to keep him honest
though, and to stop him covering too much of the table with his
backhand chop. As he edges further to his forehand, hit wide to his
backhand side to bring him back over to his left and keep that forehand
side available for you to attack.

Going to his crossover point is a good idea too, but remember
that it isn't his right hip - it's a foot and a half further over to
the right!

Opening the Attack - First Attacking Shot

The main thing here to remember is to take your time.

Your opponent does not have a strong attack and is not going to
be putting you under pressure - so relax and wait for the right ball to
start your attacking sequence. If he returns your service well, push
the ball back to his forehand smooth rubber and get ready to attack the
next ball. You could also use a slow safe loop if you prefer. The main
thing is that you have plenty of time to choose the best ball to attack
- so stop going for the 50/50 ball - you can afford to wait for the
90/10 ball instead.

If you are having problems playing against his pimples that day,
wait until he pushes the ball with the smooth rubber before attacking.
Try to get at his forehand and the smooth rubber. If he covers more of
the table with the pimples on the backhand while pushing, go out wide
to the backhand to move him to his left, then go back to the forehand.
If he twiddles and hits the forehand with the long pimples instead, simply continue to
push the ball to both the left and right sides of the table until he
eventually pushes one with the smooth - sooner or later he will, and
you can afford to wait until he does.

Once you have opened your attack, watch his return carefully.
Remember that he is not so great at spinning his forehand chop, so be
looking for the float but be aware that it might have some spin. The
better your attack the more likely it is that he will have to resort to
floating the ball back.

Follow Up After the First Attacking Shot

If you are confident that you have got a correct read of the
spin on the ball and it's not been returned too tightly, attack it
again. Your choices here will depend on the quality of the return and
your opponent's position. The worse the return the harder you can
attack it - setup balls should be put away, high deep returns should be
attacked with controlled power, etc.

The direction of your attack should generally be to the
forehand to get another return from his smooth rubber - save the
backhand side for kills as you don't want to give him the opportunity to load up the spin with
his long pimples, since you may find that difficult to attack again.
It's just a matter of knowing that you don't like the long pimple chops
and avoiding giving your opponent the chance to use them easily.

Since your opponent twiddles occasionally, he'll probably turn
the bat over every so often on the forehand to chop with the long
pimples. This ball will probably be loaded with backspin in comparison
to his normal forehand chops, so I'd recommend pushing the ball back
and waiting for another opportunity to attack, since your read of spin
is only average. Remember, you have plenty of time, you can afford to
wait and try again - avoid giving him a cheap point through your
misread of the spin.

Tight returns should be either attacked with care or pushed
back to wait for another opportunity to attack. Returns that you are
unsure of the spin should either be safely looped to the middle of the
table with enough arc to give you plenty of margin for error, or pushed
back to the middle-backhand side of the table, since your opponent will
only be attacking set up balls and will find it difficult to attack
from his backhand side, since he lacks a backhand attack.


While these tactics will give you about 80% of your game plan, you will
still need some variations to prevent your opponent getting into a
rhythm. Here are some change-up strategies that I would suggest to keep
him on his toes and off-balance.

Drop Shot

A good drop shot can be very effective, especially as your opponent is not so good at
coming in and out from the table. Look for opportunities when he has
his weight leaning back - he will find it very difficult to get up to
the table and make a good shot - he will probably have to lunge to get
your drop shot back - and you can then use a strong attack while he is
caught with his weight leaning too far forward.

Don't overuse it though - his return needs to be fairly short
to allow you to get a good drop shot - unless you have a great drop
shot or he is very slow to get in! Drop shotting from deep returns is
low-percentage for most players - so avoid it.

Attack to the Backhand

As your opponent works out that you are concentrating on his
forehand, he will start to try to cover more of his forehand side with
his long-pimpled backhand.

This is the time to switch to an attack wide to the backhand
side, which hopefully should go right past him, and which will then
force him to come back to his left in future rallies to avoid being
passed down the line again.

Run Around the Backhand

When your opponent pushes to your
backhand with the smooth rubber, every so often run around and hit a
forehand loop, preferably to his crossover point, but wide to the
backhand can work too. Go for a winner here, since you don't want to
have to play the next ball off the long pimples if you can avoid it.
Since you are going to the long pimples, the resulting block or chop
should be slower, giving you more time to recover and hit the next ball
if it does come back, which is important given that you only have
average footwork.

Another option is to take a chance and run around the push and go
straight down the line with real power. You are basically trying to get
a quick point through surprise - if your opponent manages to block the
ball, it will be with his smooth rubber and the normal angle will be
crosscourt, so most likely you won't get to the return with your
current footwork. It's a good strategy to try on a pressure point - a
bit of a gamble but with the odds in your favor if you haven't been
using it too much.

Attack From the Long Pimples

Try this strategy at the beginning of the match, just to see
whether it is your day with reading the long pimples (remember, you are
normally a bit hit or miss against the long pips). When you are in a
push rally, push a no spin ball to the long pimples, which should come
back pretty much with no spin or just a faint bit of topspin, and then
try out your attack. Give it a go three or four times just to see how
you are hitting them today. If your attacks are going on - great! You
now have another option to use, and can start looking to push no spin
balls to his long pimples, and attacking to his forehand from his
return down the line - the wider to his forehand the better. If he hits
his return to your backhand or down the middle, you can either push it
back or take a chance and run around it as you prefer.

If you miss the first few attacks from his long pimples, shelve
it for the day, and maybe try it once a game just for the variety. If
you start to hit them on again, use it more often.

Let Your Opponent Attack You

Don't be afraid to let your opponent attack you every so often.
After all, as an attacker you should be used to playing other players
who attack you back! The key here is to choose in advance when you will
allow him to make his attack, and don't let him attack well, so that
you have an easy counter-attack.

Since your opponent won't attack any 50/50 balls, you need to
tempt him with a return that looks easy but isn't. High pushes with
varied spin, or slow high topspins, both to the deep middle backhand
will look easy to hit, but they will force him to run around to his
backhand (since he doesn't hit with that side), opening up his forehand
side to your prepared counter-attack. They can also be difficult to
attack for a defender who is used to attacking with his forehand from
the forehand side, due to the different footwork involved.

Important Note on Variations

It's important to keep in mind that you are not expecting to win every
point with these variations, and maybe not even most of the points.
Sometimes you will make a mistake when trying to vary your game. That's
OK - don't worry about it.

The idea behind using these variations is that they make your main
strategy more effective for longer by preventing your opponent from
making correct guesses about what you are going to play next. If you
used your main strategy 100% of the time, your opponent would quickly
adapt and start to guess what you are going to do.

By changing to another variation every so often, your opponent
has to wait to see what you do, rather than using his anticipation to
make the correct shot. He can't afford to move too early, since he
knows that you always have a couple of options up your sleeve that you
are prepared to use, even if you don't always make the shot.

Just knowing that you might hit his long-pimpled push forces him
to cover that shot, making it harder for him to cover your other shots.


OK - that's probably enough for now. I hope this will be of help to
those of you looking for specific table tennis tactics when playing
against long pimples. Of course, how useful it will be will depend on
how closely you and your opponent match the player descriptions at the
top - you may need to tweak a few minor details here and there!

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  #1 написал: serkac100 (21 января 2009 20:23)  
thanks very interesting and usefull lesson

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