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View Full Version : What happened with the diversity of the playstyles?



eduardo1995filipe
05-10-2018, 11:31 PM
Hi all,

Long time ago, table tennis players seem they had each one a "unique" way of playing, like:

- Wang Liqin, with that strong forehand;

- Ma Lin, with his superb technique;

- Ryu Seung Min, with a spetacular footwork;

- Michael Maze, with the touch;

- Werner Schalger, that feeling of the ball, even using Schager Carbon;

- Matsushita, that special way of chopping balls;

- etc.

And nowadays, it's different. I'm not saying they don't have their own playstyle, but don't differenciate so much from the other players as before...

yogi_bear
05-11-2018, 08:03 AM
Wang liqin is known to have one of the strongest forehand, not backhand.

zeio
05-11-2018, 09:04 AM
I think the OP meant this BH (https://youtu.be/wGYfwRqTkZQ?t=1430). It doesn't get mentioned much but WLQ had one of the best one-off BH counterloops back in the days.

As to the OP's question, I wrote about the cause (http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=80332&PID=996437&title=is-style-conformity-killing-the-sport#996437) once.

Rwisniewski
05-11-2018, 09:37 AM
I think that now if You want to be on the top You must be good at all aspects of TT. It's not enought to have a masterpiece FH or BH- You must have them both. Of course one from them is always better but it's important to be complete player. All players know each other, strenghts and weakness and they will do everything to use your weakness so you must be smarter and suprise your opponent with something more that you had before.

Tembel
05-11-2018, 09:53 AM
The 40mm ball is to blame.

Liten
05-11-2018, 11:00 AM
In the top I still find it fun to see Xu Xin.. His game is less of a war zone robot than his CNT-pals.. more artistic.



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ttpshot
05-11-2018, 11:11 AM
I'm pretty sure 10 years later we'll be moaning about same thing while praising the unique way Fan or Boll or Niwa played a long time ago.

SFF_lib
05-11-2018, 01:30 PM
These days the game usually goes like this:
I serve short
You banana flick to my BH
I return it to your BH
BH to BH rally . . . . .

Feel like mens tt is being transformed to women's game. Mostly BH and close to table.

The slower ball speed makes taking risk not worth it. So players try to stay safe by using BH more.

Yes I agree with you. 2002 to 2008 was a wonderful period. We had Schlager taking down 3 Chinese in 2003. RSM taking down Waldner and Wang Hao to claim the Olympic Gold in 2004. We had Boll taking down 3 Chinese in 2005. Ma Lin claim Olympic God in 2008 - probably the last penholder standing in Olympic gold podium in table tennis history. We had so many different styles during that time.

Current players - FZD's style is more similar to Ma Long than the new style. FZD would still launch a FH attack at his BH side. Newer players like Harimoto would rarely do that. In that aspects I still like FZD's game because he's taking risk.

Don't forget we still have Xu Xin, Filus the chopper, Niwa the chop blcoker and a few very strong loopers such as Hugo and Liam.

Passionate about TT

Free bird
05-11-2018, 02:13 PM
I think that now if You want to be on the top You must be good at all aspects of TT. It's not enought to have a masterpiece FH or BH- You must have them both. Of course one from them is always better but it's important to be complete player. All players know each other, strenghts and weakness and they will do everything to use your weakness so you must be smarter and suprise your opponent with something more that you had before.

Absolutely. Now more than ever, completeness become much more important as any area of weakness will be exploited to no end (CNT does this exploitation better than most). No hidden serve and 40+ ball do not help in this regard either.

That’s why to become a consistent top notch player, you really need to start identify and fill out the holes and can’t just keep doing what you’re doing best

eduardo1995filipe
05-11-2018, 03:33 PM
Sorry I mean't forehand :/

eduardo1995filipe
05-11-2018, 03:40 PM
In the top I still find it fun to see Xu Xin.. His game is less of a war zone robot than his CNT-pals.. more artistic.



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eduardo1995filipe
05-11-2018, 03:45 PM
I'm pretty sure 10 years later we'll be moaning about same thing while praising the unique way Fan or Boll or Niwa played a long time ago.Yeah, probably [emoji23][emoji23][emoji23] like 3/4 years ago I lost some of my interest on table tennis because the sport is different, and my idols we're gettin older

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eduardo1995filipe
05-11-2018, 03:49 PM
These days the game usually goes like this:
I serve short
You banana flick to my BH
I return it to your BH
BH to BH rally . . . . .

Feel like mens tt is being transformed to women's game. Mostly BH and close to table.

The slower ball speed makes taking risk not worth it. So players try to stay safe by using BH more.

Yes I agree with you. 2002 to 2008 was a wonderful period. We had Schlager taking down 3 Chinese in 2003. RSM taking down Waldner and Wang Hao to claim the Olympic Gold in 2004. We had Boll taking down 3 Chinese in 2005. Ma Lin claim Olympic God in 2008 - probably the last penholder standing in Olympic gold podium in table tennis history. We had so many different styles during that time.

Current players - FZD's style is more similar to Ma Long than the new style. FZD would still launch a FH attack at his BH side. Newer players like Harimoto would rarely do that. In that aspects I still like FZD's game because he's taking risk.

Don't forget we still have Xu Xin, Filus the chopper, Niwa the chop blcoker and a few very strong loopers such as Hugo and Liam.

Passionate about TT

And also Belgian Team won 3-0 to China in 2003!!! I know but Filus isn't like Joo or Matsushita [emoji52][emoji52][emoji52] And I like Mizutani also!

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usualsuspect
05-11-2018, 05:51 PM
These days the game usually goes like this:
I serve short
You banana flick to my BH
I return it to your BH
BH to BH rally . . . . .

Feel like mens tt is being transformed to women's game. Mostly BH and close to table.

The slower ball speed makes taking risk not worth it. So players try to stay safe by using BH more.

Yes I agree with you. 2002 to 2008 was a wonderful period. We had Schlager taking down 3 Chinese in 2003. RSM taking down Waldner and Wang Hao to claim the Olympic Gold in 2004. We had Boll taking down 3 Chinese in 2005. Ma Lin claim Olympic God in 2008 - probably the last penholder standing in Olympic gold podium in table tennis history. We had so many different styles during that time.

Current players - FZD's style is more similar to Ma Long than the new style. FZD would still launch a FH attack at his BH side. Newer players like Harimoto would rarely do that. In that aspects I still like FZD's game because he's taking risk.

Don't forget we still have Xu Xin, Filus the chopper, Niwa the chop blcoker and a few very strong loopers such as Hugo and Liam.

Passionate about TT

I think 40mm ball fundamentally changed table tennis. It's almost like starting all over again. I understand why people are saying there's a lack of diversity, but if you observe carefully, new techniques and new tactics are being invented and introduced to the game. Take FZD for example, I remember he used to be a BH dominant player, and most of his service receives are BH flicks. But over the past year, I noticed FZD using much less BH flick receives and is becoming a FH dominant player. And this is not just happening to FZD, many other players are branching out from a BH dominant game.

I think men's game is still quite different from women's. Men's game is still dominated by strength (getting a kill shot), women's game is more about speed and long rallies. In men's game, it's all about tricking the opponent into showing an opening, then going for the kill shot or at least take the initiative. With the 38mm ball, spin was the primary way to confuse the opponent and gaining the initiative. The 40mm ball has much less spin, so players have started using other means to gain initiative. One popular method I noticed is the half long serve, which drifts just slightly off the table. This type of service is very hard to return short on the table, but also very difficult to return as a quality power shot. I believe as time goes on, more and more new tactics and techniques will be developed around the 40mm ball. Diversity will come back, slowly but surely.

JediJesseS
05-12-2018, 03:41 AM
Usualsuspect is right, even between Ma Long and Fan Zhendong they have very different strategies and styles. People who say there isn't diversity are too caught up in the "chinese robots" nonsense and don't take time to look at nuance.

bobpuls
05-12-2018, 09:21 AM
Usualsuspect is right, even between Ma Long and Fan Zhendong they have very different strategies and styles. People who say there isn't diversity are too caught up in the "chinese robots" nonsense and don't take time to look at nuance.
I fully agree but still i found XU XIN the biggest contrast of playing style ..

SFF_lib
05-12-2018, 09:38 AM
I think 40mm ball fundamentally changed table tennis. It's almost like starting all over again. I understand why people are saying there's a lack of diversity, but if you observe carefully, new techniques and new tactics are being invented and introduced to the game. Take FZD for example, I remember he used to be a BH dominant player, and most of his service receives are BH flicks. But over the past year, I noticed FZD using much less BH flick receives and is becoming a FH dominant player. And this is not just happening to FZD, many other players are branching out from a BH dominant game.

I think men's game is still quite different from women's. Men's game is still dominated by strength (getting a kill shot), women's game is more about speed and long rallies. In men's game, it's all about tricking the opponent into showing an opening, then going for the kill shot or at least take the initiative. With the 38mm ball, spin was the primary way to confuse the opponent and gaining the initiative. The 40mm ball has much less spin, so players have started using other means to gain initiative. One popular method I noticed is the half long serve, which drifts just slightly off the table. This type of service is very hard to return short on the table, but also very difficult to return as a quality power shot. I believe as time goes on, more and more new tactics and techniques will be developed around the 40mm ball. Diversity will come back, slowly but surely.Good analysis. I have to say there's still subtle style difference between CNT players. FZD and ML are amazing in short game and placement. Xu Xin, needless to say he is an artist. Xue Fei, very much a copy of Wang Hao.

I forgot to mention Kiko Niwa. Such a risk taker. He takes more risk than penholders. So entertaining to watch his game.

Filus and Matthis Karlsson are Germany's new blood. Also fun to watch.

Passionate about TT

eduardo1995filipe
05-12-2018, 10:19 AM
Usualsuspect is right, even between Ma Long and Fan Zhendong they have very different strategies and styles. People who say there isn't diversity are too caught up in the "chinese robots" nonsense and don't take time to look at nuance.

It's totally true, but not like a time a go, when Ma Lin was different from Wang Hao, Schlager was so different from Kreanga, for example, do you know what I mean? They where all "artists".

Suga D
05-12-2018, 11:34 AM
Filus and Matthis Karlsson are Germany's new blood. Also fun to watch.


We could agree on Filus, but Karlsson is from Sweden not Germany.

Ranger-man
05-12-2018, 11:40 AM
It's totally true, but not like a time a go, when Ma Lin was different from Wang Hao, Schlager was so different from Kreanga, for example, do you know what I mean? They where all "artists".

You are right. I mean I agree with the above comments that there is still diversity, and that more will come. But now the diversity is very technical, very scientific, and not always apparent to the layman. In the past diversity was like MMA with a boxer taking on a judoka. Or a submission-based attacker taking on someone going for a knockout. Like completely different playing styles. We had all-out attackers playing away from the table and all out defenders (unlike Filus who is a hybrid and rarely chops on the forehand). That is just one example of the way differences are there, but not as diverse as earlier.

But then this happens in many sports. I think the era you are talking about was dominated by so many legends who would have been dominant world champions with long reigns in any other era, but were not because they had too many other gods around. Take Persson for example. He was so good, but mostly overshadowed because he happened to be born in the same age as a legend, maybe the greatest one of them all, Waldner.

Take Timo Boll. Had he been born in this age, and been 10 years younger today, I am quite sure he would be the dominant player and world number one.

Yes, we had artists, now we have exceptional and amazing players, but not so many artists. Maybe they will return, some day.

eduardo1995filipe
05-12-2018, 11:43 AM
You are right. I mean I agree with the above comments that there is still diversity, and that more will come. But now the diversity is very technical, very scientific, and not always apparent to the layman. In the past diversity was like MMA with a boxer taking on a judoka. Or a submission-based attacker taking on someone going for a knockout. Like completely different playing styles. We had all-out attackers playing away from the table and all out defenders (unlike Filus who is a hybrid and rarely chops on the forehand). That is just one example of the way differences are there, but not as diverse as earlier.

But then this happens in many sports. I think the era you are talking about was dominated by so many legends who would have been dominant world champions with long reigns in any other era, but were not because they had too many other gods around. Take Persson for example. He was so good, but mostly overshadowed because he happened to be born in the same age as a legend, maybe the greatest one of them all, Waldner.

Take Timo Boll. Had he been born in this age, and been 10 years younger today, I am quite sure he would be the dominant player and world number one.

Yes, we had artists, now we have exceptional and amazing players, but not so many artists. Maybe they will return, some day.This is gold! [emoji6][emoji2]

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SFF_lib
05-12-2018, 12:04 PM
We could agree on Filus, but Karlsson is from Sweden not Germany.Ops . . I just watched their games. How could I get it wrong!! Late night symptoms sorry

Passionate about TT