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  1. TableTennisDaily is offline
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    #1

    Ma Long serve analysis vs Tomokazu Harimoto

    Hey guys,

    For those of you who haven't seen the new technology via the ITTF we are now able to see the serving ball placement of players, similar to that you find in tennis. In the image you can see Ma Long's service placement during the 5th set against Tomokazu Harimoto at the recent China Open. 100% of Ma Long's serves went short into Harimoto's forehand.



    It looks like Ma Long has found the tactic or placement that works against Harimoto's style. Thoughts?

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    #2
    It's an arms race, you have to wait and see what Harimoto develops as the response. That said, Fan Zhendong has a gap in that area of the table as well and it hasn't really gone. So does Dima.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    It's an arms race, you have to wait and see what Harimoto develops as the response. That said, Fan Zhendong has a gap in that area of the table as well and it hasn't really gone. So does Dima.
    Would Dima regarded as a backhand oriented player?

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    #4
    Not only his serves. ML played most of his returns to same place and usually got back a short push to his forehand. Mostly avoided backhand to backhand exchanges and made it a question of who had the better forehand. Not sure many other players could get away with this tactic because it may depend on HT being hesitant to banana flick aggressively against ML. On the other hand Samsonov (the first players I recall using this against HT) made it work pretty well although he didn't win the match.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by fais
    Would Dima regarded as a backhand oriented player?
    Yes. He is more balanced now, but he is still in many ways backhand oriented.
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    #6
    FZD used a similar tactic against HT in the Asian Cup earlier this year.

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    #7
    I think TH in the future will start to bh flick less from his fh corner not to expose his wide bh corner too much.

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    #8
    Cool thread. I was just looking at this match on the highlights and saw that harimoto was mostly serving what looked like heavy backspin short, right to the middle. Gonna have a look at the full version for the stats.

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    It's an arms race, you have to wait and see what Harimoto develops as the response. That said, Fan Zhendong has a gap in that area of the table as well and it hasn't really gone. So does Dima.
    Yes agree totally. Ma Long's placement is extreme. He alters his power to put the ball shorter or longer. He often aims for the white lines on the side. Fan Zhengdong still lacks the skills in this area.

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    #10
    I think he wants to remove Harimotos Backhand flick. But can 100 % really be correct?

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    #11
    That stat was not for the whole match, but for the 5th set only.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    I think he wants to remove Harimotos Backhand flick. But can 100 % really be correct?

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RidTheKid
    That stat was not for the whole match, but for the 5th set only.
    Yes i know. But still. Seems very predictable.

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    #13
    Still, it worked

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    #14

    It's an arms race

    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    .....It's an arms race, you have to wait and see what Harimoto develops as the response. That said, Fan Zhendong has a gap in that area of the table as well and it hasn't really gone. So does Dima.
    Unintended pun?
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    #15
    Not something the stats didn't already show. Anyone wants to insist players serve long to suppress the chiquita now?
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    #16
    Short to forehand and more long serves is how I see serves going.

    FZD is serving short to forehand constantly now too. I think the Chinese have probably been studying this. FZD reverse to the backhand is so rare now and was so common before.

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    #17
    Serving to short FH is nothing new, going back to at least the 2000s.

    There's even a name for that zone in Chinese.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    Serving to short FH is nothing new, going back to at least the 2000s.

    There's even a name for that zone in Chinese.
    Yes, it is the preferred serving point in high level men's table tennis, more so since the backhand over the table was developed and made it easy to attack anything to the backhand. The forehand flick and forehand short push are difficult technical strokes and even when mastered are usually easier to deal with than over the table backhand loops at the lower levels though the plastic ball has complicated things a little.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    Serving to short FH is nothing new, going back to at least the 2000s.

    There's even a name for that zone in Chinese.
    It’s not easy to serve there though. It’s very difficult to keep the ball short from forehand to forehand.


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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    The forehand flick and forehand short push are difficult technical strokes and even when mastered are usually easier to deal with than over the table backhand loops at the lower levels though the plastic ball has complicated things a little.
    Xu Xin and Ovtcharov raising their hands.

    The former didn't know how to flick. WJP noticed that when he started coaching him. As for the latter...

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