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TableTennisDaily
02-27-2018, 04:35 PM
Hi everyone,

Damien Éloi is our latest addition to the Verified Pro Account and has signed up to the TableTennisDaily website and is willing to answer your questions!

Damien is a professional player who is one of France's greatest players participating in 4 Olympic games winning multiple National and International titles. .

https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/forum/images/damianeloi2018.png

Damien Eloi (@Damien Eloi) is registered to the site, any questions you would like to ask him, just fire away by posting below and he will do his best to get back to you as soon as possible. Damien's greatest results are winning two bronze medals in the men's doubles at the 1995 and 1997 World Table Tennis Championships with Jean-Philippe Gatien.

Damien is now a member of the andro team and is willing to answer all your questions.

Post below...

zeio
02-27-2018, 05:02 PM
If given another chance, what would you have done differently in the match against Wang Tao in the team final at the WTTC 1997?

tropical
02-27-2018, 06:27 PM
I met him in US Open in 90's (don't remember which year) playing against LGL. My question to him is:" do you still have the custom made racket with a weird shape that even LGL was chucking at it?

TTHopeful
02-27-2018, 06:43 PM
You played in the celluloid ball era, do you think the sport is more spectator friendly before or after the plastic ball era?

zzzuppp
02-27-2018, 10:16 PM
You destroyed Wang Liqin 3-0 in the 1999 World Championships when he was on his way to becoming the World No. 1. Tell us your memories of that match.

ILoveTT
02-27-2018, 10:21 PM
How do you think equipment has changed since you were playing? Hi Damien hope you respond to us.

BeGo
02-27-2018, 11:35 PM
Hi everyone,

Damien Éloi is our latest addition to the Verified Pro Account and has signed up to the TableTennisDaily website and is willing to answer your questions!

Damien is a professional player who is one of France's greatest players participating in two Olympic games winning multiple National and International titles. .

https://www.tabletennisdaily.com//forum/images/damianeloi2018.png

Damien Eloi (@Damien Eloi) is registered to the site, any questions you would like to ask him, just fire away by posting below and he will do his best to get back to you as soon as possible. Damien's greatest results are winning two bronze medals in the men's doubles at the 1995 and 1997 World Table Tennis Championships with Jean-Philippe Gatien.

Damien is now a member of the andro team and is willing to answer all your questions.

Post below...Thanks TTD! Damien has been one of the most intriguing Player I have seen!

OK, Q

1. Please explain the philosophy behind Your blade design. [emoji7]

2. Eloi, DeBruyeres, Ouaiche, etc, so many "fresh and unique" style Player in France, compared to Elsewhere where Play style roughly follow a local standard. What could be the emergence factors?

Sent from my I7D using Tapatalk
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180227/42d5f8ec4a499d4c41a27a225a7e93b7.jpg

thomas.pong
02-28-2018, 07:08 AM
Bonjour Damien,

Avec quel équipement joues-tu maintenant? Est-ce que tu peux poster une photo de ta raquette pour nous?

(What's your current setup? Could you post a photo of your paddle for us to see?)

Fabian
02-28-2018, 07:45 AM
What was the biggest revelation in table tennis technique for you? For example when learning some stroke or spin balls and you finally knew why it didn't work before and why it does now. What did "click"?

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:22 PM
If given another chance, what would you have done differently in the match against Wang Tao in the team final at the WTTC 1997?

Hi Zeio,

This match is one of the highlights of my carreer, even if I lost. I just played one final of world championships and this meant a lot to me of course. At this time Wang Tao was one of the best players in the world ( silver medalist in single in Atlanta 1996! ) and the odds were clearly against me. But when we started, it was 1-1 between us and China, and we could see they were not so at ease.They had to win! So I was thinking I have to put pressure on him. But it didn´t work like this. It was only the second time we faced each other and I had a lot of problems to come in to the game, especially when he was serving.Then I just tried to return on the table without doing anything special. This was a mistake, because he had easy balls to play and took more and more confidence. And when a better player than you takes confidence…I reacted only when it was almost too late. 1-0 and 20-16 for him with his service. I decided to receive extremely agressive, to try everything. And it worked, I came back to 20-20 and had a few set balls! I finally lost 31-29! But to answer the question, this is what I would change if I could: to be extremely aggressive from the beginning. This was my only chance against such a champion…

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:36 PM
I met him in US Open in 90's (don't remember which year) playing against LGL. My question to him is:" do you still have the custom made racket with a weird shape that even LGL was chucking at it?

Hi Tropical

This was in summer 1994. We were seeing Liu Guoliang and Kong Linghui for the first time and this was a big shock!! They were 18 years old but already so good! At this time I was playing with a blade that had a violin shape. This was a try from my sponsor at this time. To be honest, it didn't make such a big difference compared to a normal blade, and I was thinking then: well why not? I played with it for years..

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:37 PM
You played in the celluloid ball era, do you think the sport is more spectator friendly before or after the plastic ball era?

Hi tthopeful,

I was confronted to many changes in the rules in my (long) career. Services, replacement of 38mm by 40mm balls, sets of 11 points from 21, speed gluing ban and the latest, the change from celluloid to plastic balls. What I can say about this: today the players are much stronger physically and much faster than in the past. If you check some matches from the 80s´, you are impressed how slow it was compared to today. And to try to slow down the game with a bigger ball was a good move, I think. Of course at the beginning of the production of plastic balls, the quality was may be sometimes not perfect and was influencing the game. But nowadays most of the plastic balls have really good playing characteristics and I believe the top players will continue to fascinate us, the spectators!!

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:39 PM
You destroyed Wang Liqin 3-0 in the 1999 World Championships when he was on his way to becoming the World No. 1. Tell us your memories of that match.

Hi zzzuppp,

This was something! Wang Liqin was among the 3 or 4 biggest favourites for the title and the odds were not for me.The round before I made already a very good match against Steffen Fetzner but I never expected that I could beat this „Killer“.The thing is: Wang Liqin was probably, when the game was open, one of the greatest players of all time. But he had weaknesses in the service-receive part. And this has always been my strength. So I succeeded in never letting him come into the open game (where I had no chance). He made many mistakes on my services, missing directly or giving me a „penalty“. And he had also a lot of pressure, because losing against me was not an option for him (nor for his coach who yelled at him even 10 minutes after the match in the middle of the hall).This is probably one of my biggest success.

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:39 PM
How do you think equipment has changed since you were playing? Hi Damien hope you respond to us.

Hi ilovett,

As I said to TThopeful, many things changed in the last years, especially balls and rubbers.The ban of speed glue made the game slower, just as the enlargement of the ball did. So the rubber manufacturers had to develop new products, with more speed and more spin in order to make speed gluing unnecessary. Also the modern table tennis has higher demands on the equipment. In my opinion the manufacturers succeeded in developing rubbers and blades, which are of higher quality overall compared to the past.

The new generation of plastic balls is also very good now, so I believe today everyone is able to find equipment that fits to his level and skills.

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:41 PM
Thanks TTD! Damien has been one of the most intriguing Player I have seen!

OK, Q

1. Please explain the philosophy behind Your blade design. [emoji7]

2. Eloi, DeBruyeres, Ouaiche, etc, so many "fresh and unique" style Player in France, compared to Elsewhere where Play style roughly follow a local standard. What could be the emergence factors?

Sent from my I7D using Tapatalk
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180227/42d5f8ec4a499d4c41a27a225a7e93b7.jpg

Hi Bego,

Hi Bego,

I don´t know, if we can speak about „philosophy“!! At that time the idea was to make the racket lighter and when I tried it, I felt like it was comfortable to play with. Hard to say, whether the shape or the blade composition was the reason.

The question about french players is interesting. Is it just a coincidence or is there a reason why we had or still have „ unique playing styles? As you said , Clément Desbruyères, Stéphane Ouaiche and me have very special styles. Maybe the coaches in France are letting the children develop their own style with their own technique. Is it a strength for a nation? I would say yes.

In our time in the French team with Gatien, Legout, Chila and me everybody had his own skills and we could adapt our line-up depending on which opponent we were facing. This helped us a lot, I think.

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:43 PM
Bonjour Damien,

Avec quel équipement joues-tu maintenant? Est-ce que tu peux poster une photo de ta raquette pour nous?

(What's your current setup? Could you post a photo of your paddle for us to see?)


Hi thomas,

Je joue maintenant avec du matériel andro: bois treiber Z manche droit, Rasanter R50 Ultramax rouge sur le CD et Rasanter R47 Ultramax noir sur le R.

I play now with andro equipment: blade Treiber Z with a straight handle, Rasanter R50 Ultramax red in VH, Rasanter R47 Ultramax black in BH.

After the speed gluing ban my racket preferences changed a lot. Treiber Z is actually harder and faster compared to the blades that I used in the past. I like the power of this racket, when I play counterspins and when I play first balls. And at the same time it is not too fast.

Nowadays I use to play with a hard rubber on the FH (Rasanter R50) and a slightly softer rubber on the BH (Rasanter R47).

My forehand setup

15750

My backhand setup

15751

Damien Eloi
03-16-2018, 03:44 PM
What was the biggest revelation in table tennis technique for you? For example when learning some stroke or spin balls and you finally knew why it didn't work before and why it does now. What did "click"?

Hi Fabian,

I think this is more or less a question of feeling. What did I feel now which was different than before? And does it make a very good stroke? Personally, it was very clear for me when I was practicing services. I was trying to change my rhythm, my movement and suddenly the result was great! So I was trying to keep what I felt in this moment to be able to repeat it later. And then I was checking in practice later against my partner, if it was effective or not.

Ioiettino
03-16-2018, 04:08 PM
Hi Damien, it's an honour to have you here! So many questions to ask...




You have had and keep having an amazingly long career as a professional player... What is your secret? Do you have any specific approach in order to keep fresh both physically and in terms of motivation? Also, would you like to tell us more about your objectives for the future?


[Following an ongoing conversation on TTD]
Given the current (and past, of course) hegemony of the Chinese national team, what do you think is the best course of action for players from other nations in order to catch up?
Can you see any trend currently, and do you have any forecast for the mid- to long-term?


How do you see the future of table tennis? If you could alter any rules, in any way whatsoever, what would these be and how?


Among the current generation of young French players, who do you think are the best prospects for the years to come (say, for the 2020 Olympics and perhaps even 2024)? Anyone flying under the radar, in your opinion?




That's a lot already to chose from... Feel free to pick your favourites. Many thanks!

zzzuppp
03-16-2018, 09:40 PM
Fantastic set of answers, thank you Damien!

BeGo
03-17-2018, 12:04 AM
Hi Bego,

Hi Bego,

I don´t know, if we can speak about „philosophy“!! At that time the idea was to make the racket lighter and when I tried it, I felt like it was comfortable to play with. Hard to say, whether the shape or the blade composition was the reason.

The question about french players is interesting. Is it just a coincidence or is there a reason why we had or still have „ unique playing styles? As you said , Clément Desbruyères, Stéphane Ouaiche and me have very special styles. Maybe the coaches in France are letting the children develop their own style with their own technique. Is it a strength for a nation? I would say yes.

In our time in the French team with Gatien, Legout, Chila and me everybody had his own skills and we could adapt our line-up depending on which opponent we were facing. This helped us a lot, I think.Thanks Damien!

Stay healthy! :)

Sent from my i5E using Tapatalk

TTHopeful
03-17-2018, 09:18 AM
Hi tthopeful,

I was confronted to many changes in the rules in my (long) career. Services, replacement of 38mm by 40mm balls, sets of 11 points from 21, speed gluing ban and the latest, the change from celluloid to plastic balls. What I can say about this: today the players are much stronger physically and much faster than in the past. If you check some matches from the 80s´, you are impressed how slow it was compared to today. And to try to slow down the game with a bigger ball was a good move, I think. Of course at the beginning of the production of plastic balls, the quality was may be sometimes not perfect and was influencing the game. But nowadays most of the plastic balls have really good playing characteristics and I believe the top players will continue to fascinate us, the spectators!!

Thank u for your reply and insights Damien!

jawien
03-18-2018, 01:09 AM
Hello Damien,
great to read your answers and to be able to "talk" to you.

You yourself was quite an offensive player, but with a unique style. Do you think an all+ or off- type of game, in today's professional table tennis, is still an option? You mentioned, players are much stronger physically now, faster equipment ...

Damien Eloi
04-01-2018, 10:37 AM
Hi Damien, it's an honour to have you here! So many questions to ask...

You have had and keep having an amazingly long career as a professional player... What is your secret? Do you have any specific approach in order to keep fresh both physically and in terms of motivation? Also, would you like to tell us more about your objectives for the future?

This is true that i play for quite a long time.. :) I don´t have any secret but i think there are two reasons for that. First is that i was quite lucky with my body, i had only 1 big injury in my whole career ( knee operation in 1996 ), otherwise i was almost never injured. This is of course a big advantage. I remember Philou Gatien for example who didn´t have this luck and had always so much pain in his back that he had to stop…The second reason is that i love the game!! It makes so much fun , even today with 48 years old, to practice and play a good match ( and try to win it ).When the body follows, it is very exciting to try to find tactics against a strong player. To sum it up, just keep the fun and the results will follow.I play now in second Bundesliga in Bad Hamm, and this is good for me. I don´t have any other project regarding playing table tennis for the moment..





[Following an ongoing conversation on TTD]
Given the current (and past, of course) hegemony of the Chinese national team, what do you think is the best course of action for players from other nations in order to catch up?
Can you see any trend currently, and do you have any forecast for the mid- to long-term?

Of course the Hegemony of China is clear since years now. And i would say, it is even an Asian hegemony now. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong-Kong..are presenting more and more very talented young players on each tournnament. Table tennis is a very serious matter there and the tradition and TT schools is very effective. I think Europe and rest of the world shouldn´t try to copy them, but also to follow their own way. TT center should take a very important place , where the best coaches and some of the best players are working together. And please, let the players develop their own strength!! More and more are developing the same playing style at the moment,with the same receive ( BH flip or banana ) on each service. I don´t think this is a solution. To be on the top, every player must be different, must be the best in one part of the game.





How do you see the future of table tennis? If you could alter any rules, in any way whatsoever, what would these be and how?


I wish that Europe and the rest of the world could raise their level to catch up Asia. This would make TT far more interesting!! But, to be honest, it looks like TT takes the other direction.I already said that players are better and faster than in the past, this tendency will go on.And now the rules that i would change is the service rule. I am so fed up to see players who are having totally wrong services, and who are not punished by the referee, or not enough. I think this rule, not to hide or not behind body or head, is too hard to judge for the referee. And this discussions and fights at the table between players and referees are not a good image for TT. May be just BH service? This wouldn't be good for me but this could may be help table tennis.





Among the current generation of young French players, who do you think are the best prospects for the years to come (say, for the 2020 Olympics and perhaps even 2024)? Anyone flying under the radar, in your opinion?


2020 is tomorrow. So the players who are leaders in the french team today will probably be there also in 2 years: Gauzy, Lebesson, Flore, ..Flore was a long time injured but he already showed in the past ( Düsseldorf WC 2017 ) that he could be a great competitor.Of course, Stéphane Ouaiche is the choice of my heart because he is a andro player. For the next Olympiad in 2024, the motivation for the players will be huge because the games will take place in Paris.Probably Simon Gauzy will still be there, Flore also and others could also come: Robinot Alexandre, Cassin Alexandre ..Younger players may be also but it is always hard to predict. We never know how the players will develop.

Damien Eloi
04-01-2018, 10:41 AM
Hello Damien,
great to read your answers and to be able to "talk" to you.

You yourself was quite an offensive player, but with a unique style. Do you think an all+ or off- type of game, in today's professional table tennis, is still an option? You mentioned, players are much stronger physically now, faster equipment ...

The truth is that we see on high level less and less of this kind of players. This means probably that it is more difficult for this type of players to reach very high level. As i said, players are hitting the ball stronger and are also faster, they can keep the opponent always under pressure. Or may be allround players with a lot of touch could have still quite big success because many players would be lost against this „ strange „ playing style…I saw so many times Patrick Chila beating faster and stronger players by tricking them with placement and variations…

To answer the question Jawien, if you are a allround player, use your weapons. A little faster equipment could help, but only if you don´t lose your touch and feeling.

Ioiettino
04-01-2018, 12:22 PM
Thanks a lot! I and a lot of others agree for the serves, I hope something will be done.

Best of luck to you, in the meanwhile!!


This is true that i play for quite a long time.. :) I don´t have any secret but i think there are two reasons for that. First is that i was quite lucky with my body, i had only 1 big injury in my whole career ( knee operation in 1996 ), otherwise i was almost never injured. This is of course a big advantage. I remember Philou Gatien for example who didn´t have this luck and had always so much pain in his back that he had to stop…The second reason is that i love the game!! It makes so much fun , even today with 48 years old, to practice and play a good match ( and try to win it ).When the body follows, it is very exciting to try to find tactics against a strong player. To sum it up, just keep the fun and the results will follow.I play now in second Bundesliga in Bad Hamm, and this is good for me. I don´t have any other project regarding playing table tennis for the moment..




Of course the Hegemony of China is clear since years now. And i would say, it is even an Asian hegemony now. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong-Kong..are presenting more and more very talented young players on each tournnament. Table tennis is a very serious matter there and the tradition and TT schools is very effective. I think Europe and rest of the world shouldn´t try to copy them, but also to follow their own way. TT center should take a very important place , where the best coaches and some of the best players are working together. And please, let the players develop their own strength!! More and more are developing the same playing style at the moment,with the same receive ( BH flip or banana ) on each service. I don´t think this is a solution. To be on the top, every player must be different, must be the best in one part of the game.




I wish that Europe and the rest of the world could raise their level to catch up Asia. This would make TT far more interesting!! But, to be honest, it looks like TT takes the other direction.I already said that players are better and faster than in the past, this tendency will go on.And now the rules that i would change is the service rule. I am so fed up to see players who are having totally wrong services, and who are not punished by the referee, or not enough. I think this rule, not to hide or not behind body or head, is too hard to judge for the referee. And this discussions and fights at the table between players and referees are not a good image for TT. May be just BH service? This wouldn't be good for me but this could may be help table tennis.




2020 is tomorrow. So the players who are leaders in the french team today will probably be there also in 2 years: Gauzy, Lebesson, Flore, ..Flore was a long time injured but he already showed in the past ( Düsseldorf WC 2017 ) that he could be a great competitor.Of course, Stéphane Ouaiche is the choice of my heart because he is a andro player. For the next Olympiad in 2024, the motivation for the players will be huge because the games will take place in Paris.Probably Simon Gauzy will still be there, Flore also and others could also come: Robinot Alexandre, Cassin Alexandre ..Younger players may be also but it is always hard to predict. We never know how the players will develop.