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  1. dio_hgw is offline
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    Play agressively and take risks...
    Live and let live...

  2. Thomas Jeffcott is offline
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    Try and build pressure by making them make mistakes not giving cheap easy points.

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  3. NextLevel is offline
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    To beat a player much better than You, in my experience, they need to have something fundamentally wrong with their game at the level they play at. Wrong means imbalanced. Like a Xu Xin type game with dominant forehand play or long pips chopper where the ball slows down making you comfortable. Or they can't return one of your serves well enough because it is their first time seeing it and they can't psychologically get a handle on what to do.

    This stuff gets harder to find when you get past 2200 USATT.

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  4. Takkyu_wa_inochi is offline
    says Disciple of OYA sensei
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    Takkyu_wa_inochi is offline
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    Each match is different. First one can face a stronger player that you've played several times and beaten you already many times or a stronger player but you've never ever played together.

    Against a player who's beaten you so many times, the first thing is to show him you are not afraid AND really be not afraid. Because normally he would have a psychological advantage so you must fight against that. Then remember this opponent weaknesses what worked last time and what didn't and construct the plan, try to play differently than when losing last times...

    Against a player who doesn't know you, its a good idea that he DOESN'T get immediately he's much better than you. So show him you are not impressed. If you make a really good winner, don't over-celebrate or be surprised by your own shot but make it understand you can do it all the time, (and the best way is to try the same shot again)... If he's not immediately in the match you can get an early lead, and with a bit of luck hopefully get that 1st set which would put pressure on him...

    Recently i beat a player, who had beaten me for 10 years 3-0... and he was leading 2-0. But I was pumped up on that day and came back. I found out a serve that he really didn't like and kept doing it till the end...and i played 3rd ball attack all the time behind it. But maybe he wasn't so much better than me, it was more me failing all that time.

    In another recent tournament, i encountered some players which were really more than 200-300 points above. I didn't win, but I really gave a good fight. Be able to serve/receive correctly and move well all the time is the more important. because these are the basics and without it, we give away too many cheap points. then I decide from time to time to go for strong shots. I remember going for 2-3 big pivot countertopspins at the table against the guy which really surprised him (and me !). I can't do it on every point... i'd go for the agressive BH block normally but i had to take this kind of risk to win. When scoring 2-3 good points in a set and not making easy mistakes the pressure can change and the opponent can start to make mistakes. If this kind of player has a 3 point lead usually its over. I think when facing better players , of course we face that extra spin, extra speed, extra bit of everything, but the MOST important thing to adapt is not our shots but our mind. Be mentally ready to see the ball come back a bit quicker and go back in position fast to play actively the next ball is the most difficult. Because the ball is not heavy and anyone can hit the ball hard.

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  5. brokenball is online now
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    I would play with my coach. He is rated 2500 US. I had NO CHANCE but I found relative weakness in his game. His big advantage was speed and consistency. My advantage was reach, some wicked serves, and the ability to play close to the net because of my reach and his lack of reach. Hitting balls long was inviting trouble since he could loop kill just about any long ball that went long so I concentrated on keeping the ball short with occasional deep shots when he leaned over the table. You have to think in terms of keeping the ball away from the middle of the table. My coach would always win a normal match but he would screw around. Sometime he let me get 9 points or deuce before winning. To keep him from screwing around I made him play handicap games so he had to be serious. I won every game when I got a 6 ball handicap but he would win most with a 5 ball handicap. A lot of this was due to my serves and 3rd ball attack if he did get the ball back. It seemed I was always guaranteed to get a certain number of points due to my serves. If the rally went beyond my planned sequence I was generally doomed because there would be a ball he could loop kill if not out right slam.

    OK, I know I had NO CHANCE but I had my bread and butter strategy and relative strengths that I tried to maximize. What else can someone do?

    Everyone must have what they consider their best shots. You have to try to maximize the opportunity to use your best shot.
    Having a number of good serves and follow up shots is vital.

    BTW, I have a pretty good FH counter hit but it was useless against the coach. If the ball got moving that fast I was doomed.
    I always got the chance to do a good serve and the coach had no say. I could only screw it up.

    BTW, I agree with those above that say you must play aggressively to try to make the same quality shots that others make at his level. Anything else is just giving up.

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  6. tropical is offline
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    I think the OP is about how you play a higher rating player in a TOURNAMENT. Playing your coach or friendly match doesn't count.

    As said by many people, luck is important. Rating has its true meaning, it means lower rating has a hard chance to beat a higher rating. So you are asking how to win in an uphill battle. Without calmness, determination, consistent shots, solid skill, and knowing how to exploit the higher rating plater's weakness the chance is very slim. Isn't table tennis all about chances?

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  7. totalbest is offline
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    I generally look to keep rallies short play aggressive. It falls in line with a tip from a book I'm reading Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers.

  8. songdavid98 is offline
    says it's not practice if there's no counterattacking
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    I lost this game, but it could have gone either way (I've actually made a post before about how I could have one that last point).

    If you want to beat a player that is better than you, then you first must have something that you can threaten the opponent with, something you can rely on to win points from the opponent.

    If you do not have a skill of some kind that can give them trouble, there is no way for you to win ( unless you have godly luck, which if you do, go play the lottery).

    There are many ways you can threaten your opponent. However, if your opponent is better than you, then chances are, the quality of the shots you have right now might be subpar. Your usual shots that win points, might not win points against them. So one of the first obstacles you face when you play against someone better than you is SHOT QUALITY


    Consider this scenario:

    You play in an event suitable for your rating, but then you see that you have to play really good, super-underrated player and you know you will lose if you play normally. What do you do?

    A lot of the time, if all of your shots aren't good enough, you are going to have to take risks to do so. Take risks to hit harder. Take risks in service and service return. etc. Hopefully you will make enough points to turn the game around. Otherwise, your opponent will simply stomp their way past your game.

    However, if you do have strengths that can threaten your opponent: first you must know your own strengths. second, you have to force your opponent to play into them, and then you can use them.

    Even better, if you can find and consistently capitalize on a weakness that your opponent has, you have a very good chance at winning.

    If not, then just accept the loss. There is no shame in losing to someone that is a lot better than you as long as you try.


    Consider a different scenario:
    There's two days left before the tournament and you signed up for higher rated events. What do you do?

    The best thing to do (in my opinion) is to first practice and specialize in certain shots you can use on better opponents. Don't practice routines that rely on your opponent messing up. Specialize in it and practice it until the quality of those shots is higher than your own level. There are many ways you can improve the quality of your shot, mainly speed, spin, depth, and placement. Other ways can be deception, height, and timing.

    I see a lot of the time that players like to specialize in a single shot, because they like to do that one shot. This isn't enough against better players, since a rally usually doesn't consist of that one shot. Not only that, your opponent will catch on really quickly and find a way around it. Ideally, you specialize in a routine, a set of shots.

    For example, a simple routine can be:

    1. wide side-topspin barely half-long serve, and hopefully bait your opponent to loop cross court
    2. counter-loop down the line (hopefully win the point)

    It's even better if you have multiple routines.

    Another important thing: your service quality has to be good. If not, you will lose the initiative right away. Make sure you have a safe short underspin serve to discourage better players from attacking right away.

    Long story short: what you just read is actually "Get good"

    Oh yeah, and use the tips in the first part as well.


    Another obstacle that you will face is consistency.
    Since your opponent is better than you, always assume that they will get the ball back. Never get overconfident. However, don't play too shyly either. Play confidently. Play smart. Don't give up, because upsets do happen from time to time.

    Your opponent will probably have better shot quality than you do, so ideally, you prevent that from happening while minimizing your own mistakes. This can be tough to do, but if you can pull it off, that's great.

    By the way, the easiest way to prevent your opponent from making good quality shots and break down their consistency is to improve the quality of your own shots.


    Dirty tactics:

    This is situational, but another thing you can do is hide your own weakness. If you aren't good at a shot and you miss it: you can pretend you got unlucky. This is temporary though, and if your opponent catches on, you're screwed.

    HOWEVER: you can handle this in a different way. When you are forced to do the shot that you are bad at: pretend you are the world champion and hit it like the world champ. IF YOU GET LUCKY AND MAKE IT, you can pretend that you were always a master at that and your opponent might not ever make you do that again.

    I did this at the start of the match pictured above. I am not too great at attacking fast topspin serves, but Ahmed served that at the start. I looped it as hard as I could right away, and won the point. He never served that again. He stuck to other serves, which suited my game better. He simply assumed that lefty-penhold me had a good enough forehand to handle serves like that.


    I always have certain shots that can threaten better opponents. One of the first things that I do in a match against somebody that is good is serve fast heavy sideunderspin as far as I can to the backhand. It doesn't even matter if they return it or not (I get the point most of the time actually). The whole point of that serve is to let my opponent know that this threat exists, making my opponent think twice about moving over to backhand flip my short serves. I like to remind my opponent of this from time to time throughout the match.

    Another thing that I can threaten my opponents with it my loop against underspin. I know that this is my strength and I know it give even very good players trouble. I set up my short underspin serves and I play from there. A lot of my routines revolved around this safe serve that I had, and so I am able to use my routines against players of all levels.

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    Last edited by songdavid98; 11-15-2017 at 10:40 PM.
    Always go forward

  9. man_iii is offline
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    One time when I used to play with Xiom Omega V Tour rubber, I used to serve super short and super-cut and super low. One very very high ranked offensive player lost in best of 5 team match simply becos he was known to be Super impatient :-D

    I trounced him on service points and short push returns. Like one game 11-3 !

    Comedy was my team didnt tell me he was ranked guy and they just let me play my normal game

    Surprise result and real upset.

    Sent from my Z1 using Tapatalk

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