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TableTennisDaily
05-20-2013, 04:35 PM
What an event! There we have it guys, Zhang Jike retains the World Championships Title after defeating fellow team mate Wang Hao in the final!

https://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/images/zhangjikechampion2013.jpg
Family and supporters of Zhang Jike - Photo by: Remy Gros


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz6kRAge10o&list=UU9ckyA_A3MfXUa0ttxMoIZw&index=3

We hope you enjoyed the show :)

Spinandspeed
05-20-2013, 05:06 PM
He deserved the win. Now we will see 2 years a Zhang Jike where you have to think of if he can still play tabletennis. And then WTTC, and Zhang wins! :D

Alborz
05-20-2013, 05:38 PM
he deseved to win this , maybe he will win double grand slam !
i hate the fact that he will play poorly in any even exept of WTTC and OG .

etiennecha
05-20-2013, 05:48 PM
Which raises the question: does he keep low profile on purpose? -_-

Idiot
05-20-2013, 05:54 PM
I saw a great deal of respect from both players during the game (especially during net and edge balls). Zhang Jike didn't really celebrate that much after winning. He must empathize for Wang Hao, because if not for him, Wang Hao would be a grand slam winner already. Great finals.

ACM
05-20-2013, 07:25 PM
Quite deservedly so as well!!! Hurrey ZHANG JI KE Hurrey!!!

sunilcse04
05-20-2013, 08:16 PM
He deserved the win. Now we will see 2 years a Zhang Jike where you have to think of if he can still play tabletennis. And then WTTC, and Zhang wins! :D

He surprises every one... somehow he keeps himself inside top 5 though we dont know how... he does not win convincingly in other matches except the WTTC.. But one thing for sure.. His mental strength in tight situations is something which Ma Long needs to crack and understand, otherwise he may not win WTTC and Olympic in his whole life !!!

Zhang is the best when it comes to combining Lobbying and attacking !! This is where Timo, Ma Long and Xu Xin fail !

NeneHerrera
05-20-2013, 09:13 PM
He deserved this :D

decoy
05-21-2013, 12:18 AM
ty for the spoiler :D

dici
05-21-2013, 04:36 AM
As predicted once I saw the final is ZJK and Wang Hao... but make me sad though, since XX could not make it

skywalker
05-21-2013, 04:41 AM
We must give big applause to Wang Hao, he is so near and yet so far, 3 times beaten by Zhang Jike in the final, Zhang seems to be a mountain in front of him, and his age may not be advantage for him in the coming WTTC and Olympic.

Compare to Zhang, Ma Long and Xu Xin which are in the same age group, Zhang's mental strength makes him difference with others.

UpSideDownCarl
05-21-2013, 05:28 AM
I think Zhang Jike earned it. And somewhere in the middle of this tournament, I realized why Zhang Jike is really the player with the best overall technique and the best game. Short game, servers, footwork, positioning, strategy, and backhand and the amount of spin he puts on the ball. With all those assets, his forehand is good enough.

Arlen
05-21-2013, 06:04 AM
Congratulations, Zhang! Hope he continues this form and not just playing well during important matches. Go for a 2nd Grand Slam!!

Idiot
05-21-2013, 06:06 AM
I think Zhang Jike earned it. And somewhere in the middle of this tournament, I realized why Zhang Jike is really the player with the best overall technique and the best game. Short game, servers, footwork, positioning, strategy, and backhand and the amount of spin he puts on the ball. With all those assets, his forehand is good enough.

Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?

Spinandspeed
05-21-2013, 06:53 AM
For me, the biggest differences between Wang Hao vs. Ma Long and Wang hao vs. Zhang jike were that

1. Zhang Jike played nearly everytime his backhand sidespin Flick against the serve from Wang Hao, so he could attack very early.
Ma Long pushed most of the time Wang Hao's Serve.
2. Zhang Jike was able to pressure with his backhand and could dictate the backhand rallys. Ma Long had to turn around to pressure with his forehand. He wasn't able to pressure with his backhand.

What do you think about it?

Matt Hetherington
05-21-2013, 06:55 AM
I'm happy that he won. I think he definitely stepped up to the plate to see it through and I think it's very possible he will at least win another world cup, so the chances of him being the first player to hold 2 grand slams are indeed possible. In saying that 4 years is a long time and what will happen in Rio is quite far off. I think if Jike can win that along with another world cup there is no doubt that he could very well overtake Waldner as the greatest player ever.

Alborz
05-21-2013, 07:21 AM
he is already the best player of all time because of wining the big three events in a row . it is very possible that he wins another world cup . 3 years is not that long so i think he will have good chance to win the 2016 OG .

Irkutt
05-21-2013, 10:21 AM
Poor Wang Hao

UpSideDownCarl
05-21-2013, 01:53 PM
For me, the biggest differences between Wang Hao vs. Ma Long and Wang hao vs. Zhang jike were that

1. Zhang Jike played nearly everytime his backhand sidespin Flick against the serve from Wang Hao, so he could attack very early.
Ma Long pushed most of the time Wang Hao's Serve.
2. Zhang Jike was able to pressure with his backhand and could dictate the backhand rallys. Ma Long had to turn around to pressure with his forehand. He wasn't able to pressure with his backhand.

What do you think about it?

I think you are making a good point. Ma Long is pushing those serves because they are too low to attack with his forehand. That is also why he misses the ball completely, drops it into the net or hits it long so many times when he tries to rip the ball with his forehand. The ball is too low. Whereas, Zhang Jike has the footwork to get to those balls and loop over the table with his backhand, and still get back into position if the ball comes back. But you are making a good point. That is the short game and how Wang Hao kept the ball too low and short for Ma Long to launch the big opening forehands.

UpSideDownCarl
05-21-2013, 01:59 PM
Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?

In this WTTC tournament he had trouble with these three players:

Gustoav Tsuboi
Robert Gardos
Patrick Baum

In those matches, he showed up when he needed to to win, but not until then. He is a bad boy; a little rude, a little disrespectful to many of his opponents. He had so little respect for them that he knew he did not really have to show up fully to beat them. And when it is not a big title, he often just does not really even care. Again, he is a bad boy and it has gotten him in trouble. Before the Baum match, I said to a friend, "ZJK will not show up in this match until he is a little in trouble and needs to wake up and win." In the third game it was 1-1 and he was down 10-6. Then he woke up.

The interesting thing is, he did not have much trouble with these players:

Fan Zhendong
Xu Xin
Wang Hao

Against these players whose talent he respects, he showed up pretty much from the start even though, in general, he is really a slow starter.

By the way, in a recent tournament, he was playing Yan An and he was down. He quit. He walked off. They said it was an injury, but it looked to me like he just did not want to give Yan An the satisfaction of winning and he did not feel like getting in the mindset of winning. I cannot remember what tournament it was. But I remember watching it and thinking, Zhang Jike is a bad boy. :)

TTFrenzy
05-21-2013, 02:10 PM
Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?

First of all the match against Samsonov was more of a show than an important match, either Asia or Europe wins, nobody really cares. Zhang is a player for big moments winning in pro tours is not his main goal. Pro tours are for money only and keeping your performance at a certain level, lets not forget wang hao, he didnt won any open this year and he got to the WTTC final once again.

His performance against chen chien an was acceptable and I believe CCA surprised zhang with his good BH and tactics. After the match ZJK stated he was very slow but wanted to win.

Besides who cares about those losses he is world champion again. Take waldner for example, he was great in wolrd championships but in pro tours his record was average

UpSideDownCarl
05-21-2013, 02:32 PM
In this WTTC tournament he had trouble with these three players:

Gustoav Tsuboi
Robert Gardos
Patrick Baum

In those matches, he showed up when he needed to to win, but not until then. He is a bad boy; a little rude, a little disrespectful to many of his opponents. He had so little respect for them that he knew he did not really have to show up fully to beat them. And when it is not a big title, he often just does not really even care. Again, he is a bad boy and it has gotten him in trouble. Before the Baum match, I said to a friend, "ZJK will not show up in this match until he is a little in trouble and needs to wake up and win." In the third game it was 1-1 and he was down 10-6. Then he woke up.

The interesting thing is, he did not have much trouble with these players:

Fan Zhendong
Xu Xin
Wang Hao

Against these players whose talent he respects, he showed up pretty much from the start even though, in general, he is really a slow starter.

By the way, in a recent tournament, he was playing Yan An and he was down. He quit. He walked off. They said it was an injury, but it looked to me like he just did not want to give Yan An the satisfaction of winning and he did not feel like getting in the mindset of winning. I cannot remember what tournament it was. But I remember watching it and thinking, Zhang Jike is a bad boy. :)

Also, it really does take an amazing amount of work to do the techniques he does when he brings his A-game. That footwork that he uses to get into position with his backhand for those short serves and pushes over the table, and to then get back in position for the next shot, watch him, you have to be lightning-fast for that.

Idiot
05-21-2013, 06:48 PM
It kind of bugs me that Zhang Jike doesn't bring his A-game during pro-tour matches. I think one defining characteristic of greatness is consistency.

He wins all the major titles, and then loses to people no one has ever heard of. Just bizzare.

delirious
05-21-2013, 07:37 PM
Congratulations to Jike!

WiWa
05-21-2013, 07:43 PM
It kind of bugs me that Zhang Jike doesn't bring his A-game during pro-tour matches. I think one defining characteristic of greatness is consistency.

He wins all the major titles, and then loses to people no one has ever heard of. Just bizzare.

I'm not sure wether it is even possible to do that. If you win all Pro Tours, you automatically get in a mode where you don't want to lose any match up and until a major final. This only raises the pressure during a tournament in any match that is not the final. By aiming at the highest from the start, and having every right to do so, you put yourself under massive pressure. That might be the reason Ma Long and Xu Xin underperformed. They were expected to reach the final, they were so close that they were allowed to start actually thinking about the final, but they were not there yet.

If Ma Lin wasn't so bad at important matches, Wang Liqin might have won only one or two majors. He ruled the TT world for several years, yet he never won an Olympic title or even a World Cup(!!). Reason could have been that expectations of him were just massive because he performed so well throughout the entire year.
In fact, both in 2011 and 2013, most people didn't consider Zhang Jike as a major candidate for the title. This was only the case in the World Cup (Big trouble against Dima and Smirnov) and the Olympics (Big trouble against Samsonov).
Playing with no pressure might also be the reason for Wang Hao's victory in the 2009 WTTC, since he actually didn't even want to compete in the tournament because he felt so bad about losing the Olympic final to Ma Lin. He had nothing to lose.

Winning majors really needs something extra (including some luck). Zhang has that (including the luck :)), but I can imagine you don't feel motivated for Pro Tours and stuff like that when you just won all three majors in a row. This was the first big tournament after the 2012 Olympics, and suddenly the king was back. I like that :)

sugomori
05-22-2013, 12:42 AM
Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?

Anyone with some background in professional sports training will tell you that you cannot expect consistent top level performance throughout the year. In fact, in most sports the training tries to prepare for a maximum of two peaks per year.

The player (or most likely the trainer) can make a choice whether they want to go for consistent high level performance or peak performance once or twice a year. In the latter case, even if you participate in other events (which you should), you will not expect top performance and will take "unexpected" losses. Because of training intensity & other factors, you may take losses even if you "want" to win.

Furthermore, you would have to reveal tactical decisions in less important events, which prepares your opponents when the "big day" arrives. In fact, a player may perform experimental tactics during a tour event to see how effective it is - I certainly would recommend this for a top player for at least some tour events during the year. ZJK also lost against YA at least twice this year, once basically walking away (Qatar, from the very start it looked to me that he did not really want to play him - watch the game!), the second time wasting 6+ match points.

He had shown in the tour event before (Kuwait) that he can win against ML - even after ML gave one of his best performances of the year in the SF against XX. I assume he was contractually required to play Qatar, but it was from a performance point of view irrelevant for him.

I am quite certain that it is not only a psychological component that makes (made) ZJK & JOW perform good at top events, and (for them) mediocre at other tournaments, but also based on proper training rhythms.

Why many of the other players do not seem to be training the same way I do not understand - apart from ZJK it looks WH peaked at exactly the right time, his performance (physical, mental & tactical) was considerably better than at previous tournaments as well.

UpSideDownCarl
05-22-2013, 03:33 AM
Furthermore, you would have to reveal tactical decisions in less important events, which prepares your opponents when the "big day" arrives.

Your whole post is great but this line it gold. There is definitely a reason why Wang Hao did not pull out that level of short game and his Jedi Mind Tricks since 2011.

Arlen
05-22-2013, 05:58 AM
I cannot remember what tournament it was.


Qatar. If I'm not mistaken the next upcoming tournament will be the China Open. Hopefully he will take things seriously.

UpSideDownCarl
05-22-2013, 08:11 AM
Qatar. If I'm not mistaken the next upcoming tournament will be the China Open. Hopefully he will take things seriously.

Yes, thanks, Qatar:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMYprygxFAc

Sun Tzu
05-22-2013, 08:43 AM
All I can say that there is no moment where he looks injured or in pain. Poor sportmanship if he faked one.

YosuaYosan
05-22-2013, 09:07 AM
I personally think that Zhang Jike fully deserves his 2nd time World Champion title :)
Winning the title also means that Zhang Jike is also the first person ever to obtain the grand slam title AND defended his World Champion title.

Congrats to Zhang Jike for the fully deserved victory!

delirious
05-22-2013, 10:53 AM
All I can say that there is no moment where he looks injured or in pain. Poor sportmanship if he faked one.

ZJK got injured in the 2nd set, then the injury affected his movements.

Watch the whole match (not highlights) and observe carefully.

http://ww2.sinaimg.cn/mw690/c6a4f186gw1e4x9h3dkodg20b406eqv5.gif
http://ww1.sinaimg.cn/mw690/c6a4f186gw1e4x9amfr75g20b4069npe.gif

Sun Tzu
05-22-2013, 11:07 AM
I actually saw these moments, slipping once and pulling you leg doesn't mean you're injured.
If he really was that injured he couldn't have played even close to what he showed after this slip.
I think it is more like: He felt something after slipping, maybe stretched the muscle a little and is irritating and didn't want to take a risk to really get injured.

Alborz
05-22-2013, 12:43 PM
I actually saw these moments, slipping once and pulling you leg doesn't mean you're injured.
If he really was that injured he couldn't have played even close to what he showed after this slip.
I think it is more like: He felt something after slipping, maybe stretched the muscle a little and is irritating and didn't want to take a risk to really get injured.

i think you are right . he don't take the risk to really get injured because he have to play in WTTC trails 3 or 4 days later.

UpSideDownCarl
05-22-2013, 12:46 PM
ZJK got injured in the 2nd set, then the injury affected his movements.

Watch the whole match (not highlights) and observe carefully.

http://ww2.sinaimg.cn/mw690/c6a4f186gw1e4x9h3dkodg20b406eqv5.gif
http://ww1.sinaimg.cn/mw690/c6a4f186gw1e4x9amfr75g20b4069npe.gif

Nice GIF of the exact moment. That could be enough to slow him down and make it so he could not really play at top level. It could also have been something that progressively got worse through the match.

ACM
05-22-2013, 07:41 PM
The interesting thing is, he did not have much trouble with these players:

Fan Zhendong
Xu Xin
Wang Hao

Against these players whose talent he respects, he showed up pretty much from the start even though, in general, he is really a slow starter.

By the way, in a recent tournament, he was playing Yan An and he was down. He quit. He walked off. They said it was an injury, but it looked to me like he just did not want to give Yan An the satisfaction of winning and he did not feel like getting in the mindset of winning. I cannot remember what tournament it was. But I remember watching it and thinking, Zhang Jike is a bad boy. :)

Carl, what a great assessment here. Not totally sure how you mean "bad boy" but there's defo something naughty about his manners sometimes, I wouldn't call it disrespectufull myself as i think he's just too cocky but can easily see why most people would. The relevant thing is though, Zhang is the best of the lot and he's shown that once again..I understand people going on about him not be as strong in China and all that but lets face it, The World titles are the ones that really count. If Ma Long and Xu Xin haven't got the mental strenght then I say their not as complete as they need to be, same goes for any other sport and I'm sure Jan Ove Waldner didn't become the legend that he is on the back of his home competions but surely on his world tour success!!

TurboZ
05-23-2013, 02:14 AM
Everyone wants to see a ZJK vs ML final and I believe ML is the one who ZJK fear the most. After all ML has more win then loss against ZJK. So will it be that ZJK is smart enough to mastermind his world ranking so he can avoid meeting ML in the same half of wttc in hope that someone will take care of ML for him? ZJK did not have to meet ML in any of his grand slam matches. Also all the poor performance in less important games is a great way to let your opponent off guard and less chance for others to study your game. Just a guess but sure ZJK is smart no matter how you see it and every little thing adds up to his continues success.

Arlen
05-23-2013, 06:11 AM
So will it be that ZJK is smart enough to mastermind his world ranking so he can avoid meeting ML in the same half of wttc in hope that someone will take care of ML for him?

Cool way of thinking, although it is a little too far fetched. :P I think what someone said earlier about not giving away your secret strategy and saving it on the big day sounds more realistic

And as for whether ZJK faked the injury or it wasn't that serious and he didn't want to play Yan An, I don't thnk that's trues and as Sun Tzu said he probably didn't want to worsen it as the Trials for WTTC were coming up. :)

UpSideDownCarl
05-23-2013, 07:17 AM
I posted this video in the thread on Ma Long losing to Wang Hao again. Zhang Jike knows how to beat Ma Long now. I never saw him really know what to do to Ma Long before this tournament. But he does exactly what Wang Hao did and breaks down Ma Long's game. If Zhang Jike played Ma Long in the finals, I think he would have given him 4-0. In this video he goes toe to toe with Ma Long more than Wang Hao does. I think he wants to prove that he can beat Ma Long down.

This is the last time they played in a world tour event:

Here is the long version:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jweOY8G-HFg

Here is the short version:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ6h4rtVY1Y

And feel free to have a look here if you want to see what I wrote about Wang Hao's strategy against Ma Long and how he broke Ma Long's game down in 2011 and in 2013 WTTC. Same basic strategy Zhang Jike used in Kuwait.

http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?4891-The-Never-Ending-Tragedy-Ma-Long-vs-Hao/page2


So, I put this post into the thread for the world championships:


Alright, I am going to say this and I don't think any of the Ma Long fans out there are going to like it.

I was hoping Ma Long could win the World Championships this year and put the whole discussion to rest. But, two things I saw this morning in the first two quarter final matches (Ma Long v Timo Boll and Wang Hao v Yan An) made me realize he could not win and made me realize he would lose to Wang Hao.


First, I saw Timo make Ma Long struggle with a good and intelligent short game. Second, I saw Wang Hao use the short game and the same Jedi mind tricks on Yan An in their quarter final match that he used on Ma Long in 2011 WTTC.


Yan An's short game is better than Ma Long's. Yan An's BH is better than Ma Long's. But Ma Long's FH is better than anyone's so people sometimes seem to miss this that his short game is not as good as it needs to be.


So when I saw Ma Long struggling against Timo and what Wang Hao did to Yan An, I had a feeling Ma Long still could not handle Wang Hao.


It was not nerves. Ma Long would never have gotten past Timo without Liu Gouliang in his corner. Liu Gouliang saved Ma Long several times in that match when he was falling prey to Timo's short game.


I knew, against Wang Hao, he would not have LG in his corner. I knew he could not handle the short game and the Jedi mind trick. Wang Hao was nice and eased up for games 4 and 5. In game 6 he decided to end it: and look at the score.


Zhang Jike's short game is good enough to handle Wang Hao, and in big events, against the better players, he comes to play and win. He did not show up for Baum. He knew he could win without being fully there. He showed up for Xu Xin. He will show up tomorrow.


I believe Zhang Jike will win. But we will see what Wang Hao has up his sleeve.


And, unless Ma Long gets a real top flight short game and improves his backhand, he cannot win WTTC. But, honestly, I think this was his last chance.






This is something that only really clicked for me today. This is not just a case of nerves. He could play Wang Hao over and over and he will not beat him in this kind of situation. Wang Hao brought his A game and every trick he could pull out.

I really thought Yan An was going to take care of Wang Hao and Ma Long would get passed Yan An. But when I saw what Wang Hao did to Yan An, I knew Ma Long could not get passed Wang Hao. Wang Hao did the same thing to Yan An that he did to Ma Long 2 years ago in the 2011 WTTC. And in doing it, he broke Yan An's game down just like he broke Ma Long's game down 2 years ago and just like he did today.

This has to do with the fact that Ma Long's backhand is not strong enough to control rallies with his backhand, and his short game is not good enough when someone can frustrate him and keep him from launching that giant forehand.

His forehand is better than anyones.

His backhand is NOT.

And his short game is not good enough to keep him in the points when someone like Wang Hao uses those tactics.

Wang Hao's backands down the line that caught Ma Long flat footed deep in the backhand corner after turning to his forehand are part of the reason he needs a better backhand. If he had been able to go backhand to backhand with Wang Hao, those backhands down the line are within reach. But as soon as Wang Hao saw him turning to his forehand, Wang Hao ripped the ball down the line with his backhand and made Ma Long pay for turning to his forehand so deep on his backhand side. Then he did not know what to do. If he turns to his forehand he gets burned down the line, if he stays on his backhand he gets burned backhand to backhand. Timo had him a little confused about where to move and when to turn to his forehand as well today.

This is not nerves, an accident or fate. This was a great tactical win for Wang Hao. He knew what he was doing. I don't care how many times Ma Long beats Wang Hao in regular World Tour events. On this big stage where it really counts, Wang Hao pulled out every trick he had in his bag: stuff Ma Long has not seen since the last WTTC. And Ma Long was not able to handle it because he does not have the skills to cope with what Wang Hao threw at him.

Wang Hao cannot do that same thing to Zhang Jike because that is what Zhang Jike is best at. He is crazy good at backhand and short game. There is no shakehand player who has ever been as good at short game as he is. Wang Hao can cause problems for him though because penholders have an advantage in the short game. Soooo much wrist action.

I really was hoping Ma Long would win this year. And I really did not realize why he could not win till watching those matches this morning. I am really sad for Ma Long. He is so fun to watch and such a beautiful player. But, he really is missing two important technical aspects of the game that have kept him from winning on this biggest stage.

Wang Liqin won with a game that is very much like Ma Long's. I don't think that game with the giant forehand and a backhand and short game that are acceptable but not exceptional can win today.


I just watched the Wang Hao Ma Long match a few times.

If you watch, over and over again, Wang Hao is using that reverse serve to Ma Long's forehand and keeping it short and really low. Ma Long cannot attack it so he is trying to push it. But his push with his forehand is not so good and he really cannot handle that reverse serve. He pops so many of them up. A lot of the time when Ma Long serves Wang Hao pushes really short to Ma Long's forehand too. Same basic result although Ma Long is better at pushing against a push than against that reverse serve. And then, Ma Long starts trying to open on those balls that are too short for him to take a big swing on his forehand and he really misses a lot of those.

That is tactics.

That is keeping those pushes short, low and at a place where Ma Long is temped to take them with his forehand but actually cannot. When they go to his backhand he is okay at handling them because he can actually take them over the table. But, he is really looking to get his forehand off and neglecting the opportunities to open with his backhand.

I also watched the match from the Finals of the Kuwait Open where Zhang Jike beat Ma Long 4-1. Zhang Jike does the same exact thing to Ma Long as what Wang Hao does. The one difference I see in that match, when Ma Long does get off his huge forehand to open while close to the table, Zhang Jike is usually there and responds with a counter loop. It is a very short stroke but it has all of Ma Long's power and he gives it right back to Ma Long, who is usually not ready for his giant forehand to come back. He is often not even set for a next shot when Zhang Jike rips Ma Long's forehand back.

Here: have a look:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jweOY8G-HFg

Before this match, I had never seen Zhang Jike have a real answer to Ma Long's relentless attack. My money says he watched what Wang Hao has done and learned to keep those serves extra short to Ma Long's forehand and realized how much trouble he actually has with the reverse spin when he is trying to take it with his forehand.

This comes from that practice Liu Gouliang has them do where they are trying to serve under the racket and get the ball to land really close to the net.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0Sw4zHR5c

And it also comes from learning to push really short where you take the ball right off the bounce and just touch it over the net so it barely gets over and does not bounce very high at all. Very hard to do and you must have really good touch, footwork and anticipation to do it consistently in a match. But that is what Wang Hao did to control the game and keep Ma Long from launching his huge forehand attacks.

Sun Tzu
05-23-2013, 07:41 AM
Carl although I do agree that the Wang Hao tactic theory is true, I believe Zhang Jike isnt able to play it at the same level.

Wang Hao has the better short game due to his penholder grip. You can see in this match that Ma Long is still able to attack most of the services or the ball after that. I think Ma Long engaged in to much BH to BH rallys, which Zhang Jike is the best at. At the start of the game Ma Long immediatly went for Zhang Jike's FH which worked much better.

You can see in the end hes making to many errors, again a loss because of mental weakness, im sure if there was coaching in china vs china matches, Ma Long would do alot better.

UpSideDownCarl
05-23-2013, 08:10 AM
Carl although I do agree that the Wang Hao tactic theory is true, I believe Zhang Jike isnt able to play it at the same level.

Wang Hao has the better short game due to his penholder grip. You can see in this match that Ma Long is still able to attack most of the services or the ball after that. I think Ma Long engaged in to much BH to BH rallys, which Zhang Jike is the best at. At the start of the game Ma Long immediatly went for Zhang Jike's FH which worked much better.

You can see in the end hes making to many errors, again a loss because of mental weakness, im sure if there was coaching in china vs china matches, Ma Long would do alot better.

You may be right. I actually think that some of what you are talking about is that Zhang Jike wants to go head to head with Ma Long and beat him at his game so he does not want to just rely on the short game. I think Zhang Jike has one of the best reverse pendulums, he gets a ton of spin and keeps it really low. I think there are times when he wants to let Ma Long attack. I think he wants to hit those counter loops back at Ma Long after Ma Long's opening loop. But, 4-1 is a pretty strong win. And after losing the first game in Kuwait, he won 4 straight and Ma Long definitely gave up in that last game.

Also, in the WTTC Semifinal, in games 4 and 5 Ma Long looks mentally pretty strong as soon as Wang Hao stops using those tactics that won him the first 3 games. In the 6th game when he goes back to those tactics, Ma Long falls apart again. So I think it is as much technique as it is that he falls apart. He falls apart because he does not have the technique to handle those tactics.

Sun Tzu
05-23-2013, 09:10 AM
I agree that the service of Zhang Jike is unmatched, however this is not the most important factor in my eyes. Both Wang Hao and Zhang Jike are able to serve in a way that Ma Long is unable to attack it. The most important factor is the ball after that, Wang Hao can keep it short until he gets the oppurtunity to open up or force ma long to try open up on a ball thats to difficult for Ma Long.

On the other hand Zhang Jike NEEDS to play the thirth ball since Ma Long is able to attack the pushes from Zhang Jike, which aren't as short/good as Wang Hao's.

So where Wang Hao is always in control since he can either push or attack the thirth ball, Zhang Jike needs to attack.
I think Wang Hao is a harder opponent for Ma Long because of that.

If all played a perfect game to their potential, which Wang Hao did this WTTC imo.
Wang Hao being best in the short game, Ma Long the best FH, Zhang Jike the best BH.

I think the results would be:
Ma Long beats Zhang Jike but loses to Wang Hao
Zhang Jike beats Wang Hao but loses to Ma Long.
Wang Hao beats Ma Long but loses to Zhang Jike.

However I do think Ma Long will have close matches to both of these players, maybe a 60/40 match against both players, being the favorite in one and the underdog in the other.

UpSideDownCarl
05-23-2013, 12:13 PM
I agree that the service of Zhang Jike is unmatched, however this is not the most important factor in my eyes. Both Wang Hao and Zhang Jike are able to serve in a way that Ma Long is unable to attack it. The most important factor is the ball after that, Wang Hao can keep it short until he gets the oppurtunity to open up or force ma long to try open up on a ball thats to difficult for Ma Long.

On the other hand Zhang Jike NEEDS to play the thirth ball since Ma Long is able to attack the pushes from Zhang Jike, which aren't as short/good as Wang Hao's.

So where Wang Hao is always in control since he can either push or attack the thirth ball, Zhang Jike needs to attack.
I think Wang Hao is a harder opponent for Ma Long because of that.

If all played a perfect game to their potential, which Wang Hao did this WTTC imo.
Wang Hao being best in the short game, Ma Long the best FH, Zhang Jike the best BH.

I think the results would be:
Ma Long beats Zhang Jike but loses to Wang Hao
Zhang Jike beats Wang Hao but loses to Ma Long.
Wang Hao beats Ma Long but loses to Zhang Jike.

However I do think Ma Long will have close matches to both of these players, maybe a 60/40 match against both players, being the favorite in one and the underdog in the other.

Okay. You may be right. I know that Zhang Jike loves to attack everything so it is very rare for him to push when he can use his over the table backhand.

But, I think Zhang Jike does want to prove to people that he can beat Ma Long consistently, since, I think, he knows this whole thing, where people think Zhang Jike cannot, is out there as the general opinion of sooooo many people. I think that Zhang Jike has sorted out how to take care of Ma Long. But, I may be wrong and time will tell. I know Wang Hao can beat Ma Long when ever he really wants to. And why he does not do it in regular pro tour events seems to me to be:

1) It takes a lot of work and energy.
2) It would reveal his tactics if he just did the same thing every time. This would make it easier for those players susceptible to these tactics to work on an answer.

I also am confident that in games 4 and 5 of the Wang Hao v Ma Long semi-final in the 2013 WTTC, Wang Hao stopped using the tactics that were working so well in games 1-3. I think he was still trying to win those games. But he was not using the same tactics. It gave Ma Long a fighting chance to play well in those games. But then in game 6 he went back to what worked in games 1-3 and Ma Long went back to not being able to handle it.

But one thing we can say, in his 2013 WTTC semi-final match Zhang Jike beat Xu Xin, who many thought might break through and beat everyone, including Ma Long, Zhang Jike won 4-0.

Sun Tzu
05-23-2013, 12:22 PM
Well we both might be right, sadly enough we will never know.
Xu Xin is missing that killer instinct that the other 3 do have. Xu Xin is more playing to have fun and enjoying himself it seems.
This might be enough for pro tours which other chinese dont really care about, but for OG and WTTC you need to have that "Over my dead body" attitude.

UpSideDownCarl
05-23-2013, 12:31 PM
im sure if there was coaching in china vs china matches, Ma Long would do alot better.

Funny thing about this though, since neither player has a coach, one thing that would clearly show, if it is, in fact, true, is that Ma Long cannot think for himself and cannot adjust to his opponents changes in tactics. He cannot think like a table tennis player. If he needs a coach to save him, like he did against Timo Boll, and cannot figure out what to do on his own, when his opponents are using tactics that are causing him trouble, that says something big about a major flaw in his game.

Sun Tzu
05-23-2013, 12:56 PM
Yes indeed, I dont think Ma Long needs to improve technically, just mentally (as in tactics). Actually Zhang Jike and Ma Long remind me of my teammate and myself. He can beat me on trainings, but when we face eachother in tournaments, I win 49/50 times. Im better in tactics and have a bigger variety of shots, but when my teammate is on fire, its hard to get a points. Luckely I prevent him from going there by using my tactics. Something which you think Zhang Jike learned to do vs Ma Long now aswell ;)

xaviertherien
07-09-2013, 02:45 AM
My late congratulations to Zhang Jike - he really seems to dominate everyone else!