View Full Version : Question on Fang Bo Service

02-17-2016, 11:11 AM
Hello everybody, i recently started to watch a lot of Fang Bo's matches and giving a closer look to this match against Brian Pace,i just started wondering what is making the receive of his service so hard. I know that there is a huge level gap between these two players but what i can see from this video, is that he almost has no deception,am I right? So what is causing so much troubles is the variation between underspin and no spin...what do you think?


Services time:

mr. tom
02-17-2016, 11:32 AM
He is making very short rapid movements at the time he hits the ball. Brian only gets to see what spin will be on the ball at the very last moment and he has to look very carefully; he might mis how the bat is moving when the ball is hit. Also, the rubbers from Fang Bo, they are tacky and produce a lot of spin, that's why Brian sometimes just pushes it into the net.

Also, it looks like he's trying to keep the receive short and low to avoid Fang Bo to be able to attack...if Fang Bo has the initiative, I don't think Brian still has a big chance to win the point. Trying to keep it short also causes him to make a mistake and push it too low or short and thus into the net.

02-17-2016, 12:00 PM
I don't want to make either of them worse than they are but I don't think Fang Bo's service is something special here. Any top player would look that good against his opponent.

Why so many mistakes of Brian Pace at return
- service has more spin than he is used to (I don't know Brian Pace to be honest)
- he plays with a lot of risk to maintain a little chance against Fang Bo, thus making some unforced errors

Anyway, Fang Bo looks like "wtf am I doing here, I am bored" without breaking a sweat during the whole match :D

02-17-2016, 12:19 PM
Yeah,he is playing at 10% of his full potential:D Brian Pace is a tabletennis coach right now and has a youtube channel where you can find some good stuff.Have a look,the channel is called DynamicTableTennisTV

Old School
02-17-2016, 02:53 PM
Brian is underestimating the backspin over and over again, maybe he was just trying to hard to make the perfect return instead of playing it a bit more safe and lifting the return a bit.

02-17-2016, 03:19 PM
Brian believes that his abilities are that of an actual top athlete's, thus he's constantly stunned by the spin and placement of Fang Bo.

I think Brian could learn to return serves of this level in a day, but he usually plays against rubbish players, thus this is far beyond his level and he actually needs to try a bit.

It's not the rubber, it's not some special technique. Just extreme level gap.

The reason WHY Brian can't return the backspin is because he's playing too tense and trying to be perfect. He doesn't want to lift the ball at all and risk even the slightest attack, even though Fang Bo can attack pretty much anything and everything Brian can throw at him in the first place. Although he can't win realistically, he's playing to not lose, not to win.

If Brian could have imparted his game onto Fang Bo, he'd have done a lot better. Even if that means having to actually use footwork for once and dealing with a tricky ball with a lot of pace on it.

02-17-2016, 04:38 PM
This was long time ago, when fang bo visiting usa , junior china team 17 years old .

02-17-2016, 05:15 PM
almost all the serves are backspin and brian is identifying that well.
the problem is sometimes there's a lot of backspin and sometimes not so much.
so brian can't really adjust, if he was to turn the paddle too much the serves with less spin would go too high.
if he doesn't do it that much then some serves go to the net.
I don't think he's trying to make the perfect receive, he's just trying to put the ball on the other side.

there's a video of schlager vs fang bo not so long ago in a club in the middle of nowhere and even schlager had problems returning the serves so this video doesn't really indicate that brian is a bad player.

02-17-2016, 06:13 PM
guys when the camera is behind fang you can clearly see that fang does some sidespin serves but brian's returns are so passive and bad that end up in the net. he tried to push some of them with a push where the contact point was near the handle, this gives the impression that the ball had underspin

02-17-2016, 07:15 PM
At the time when this was filmed Brian's USATT rating was between 2350-2400. That is a pretty good player. But not good enough to stand any kind of chance at even looking respectable against Fang Bo.

In that tournament Fang Bo was given a USATT rating of about 2850.

The difference between a 2850 player and a 2350 player is larger than the difference between a 2500 level player and an 1800 level player.

I know, 500 points should not be the same as 700 points. But the 500 points from 2850 to 2350 is actually a bigger gap than the 500 points between 2500 and 2000.

So, it would be really hard for Brian to look good against this level of competition.

He's still an excellent player and a high quality coach.

Sent from Deep Space by Abacus

02-17-2016, 07:33 PM
The difference between top 300 to top 30 and onward is absolutely huge. Comparing the number 1 to the number 100 is not even a comparison: the number 1 will win with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back. :rolleyes:

Not to mention China has possibly millions of players who can easily devastate anyone under 2400, and I bet they'd have an easy time with 2400's too.

What's even more baffling to me is that all of Brian's unforced mistakes could be easily avoided and they're essentially "lazy mistakes" or "stupid mistakes" due to carelessness and overall just not as polished form as someone striving to be number 1.

It's completely understandable that Brian can't be expected to be as polished as Chinese players are, but I believe there are things he and all of us can do to improve our play tremendously.

How many people "work on their footwork" without actually looking what the pros are doing in specific situations and just copying that/trying to improve on it.
How many people "work on their serves" with a rubbish serve motion and "whatever" contact point without striving to improve them?
How many people "work on their short play" without making sure they're lowering their body enough and stepping in enough?
How many people "work on their backhand flick" but don't actually snap the elbow and just push with the elbow high?

etc etc.

06-14-2016, 09:05 PM
A very good tutorial on these type of serves can be fined here