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  1. TaiHaoPingPong is offline
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    #1

    what makes xu xin's forehand so distinctive

    As well as it being maybe the most effective in the sport, there's something about it that just makes it look cooler than all others to me and I'm trying to put my finger on what..

    Is it how late he takes them?
    Is his arm even looser or just longer than other chinese FHs?
    Does he use more wrist than others?

    It has to be more than just his grip, since other penholders' FHs don't have the same style. I'd be very curious to hear others' opinions on this

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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by TaiHaoPingPong
    As well as it being maybe the most effective in the sport, there's something about it that just makes it look cooler than all others to me and I'm trying to put my finger on what..

    I'm not so sure about "most effective", but it's certainly a treat to see XX in action.

    Technique derives from physique, deep down. You need Wang Liqin's build to spin like he does; and I think XX's build enables his style. Even so, there are a lot of choices in choosing to play away from the table, to take the ball on the descend, to play with big swings rather than compact ones, to play lefthanded (XX isn't lefthanded, or so I've been told), to use the penhold grip.


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    #3


    Thanks for the input. Yeah I can see how his build would play a big role. I also thought about Wang Liqin's in thinking about this but even though XX's also tall and uses full arm swings, to me there's something more fluid about XX's stroke
    I wasn't saying he definitely has the most effective forehand by the way, just that I think it's arguable or he should be in the conversation.


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    #4
    I wasn't saying he definitely has the most effective forehand by the way, just that I think it's arguable or he should be in the conversation.
    I agree. Although there are many top players with more powerful forehands, I think XX's must be among the most difficult to play against.

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    #5
    For me seems like the arm in players like FZD, XX, ML etc travels in a whole lot of different ways than players with more compact stroke like Timo Boll, Marcos Freitas. When they go for a swing and their arm drops down to the side of their hips, rather than going upwards right up (like Timo Boll does), their arm kind of continues to travel in a circular kind of motion where rather than going straight upwards vertically, it continues going further to the side (after being at the bottom) and then they wrap the ball around. At this point, as the arm continues making its way, their hips are kind of doing a sort of a "shuffle" to transfer the energy into the ball and proceed with the arm and the fingers as the last part of the body. This allows them to hit the ball at different timing and with a lot of power as the arm making it's way sideways waiting for the right moment to accelerate into the ball by wrapping it and hitting it clean from the side.

    Timo Boll's arm goes straight upwards and his body movement looks as if he's trying to do a dead-lift which is injury-inducing if you try to loop using his "compact" stroke. The chinese tend to do a lot more of shuffling with their hips and footwork in general when looping the ball.

    This is where many people get confused when people are telling that the proper use of the hurricane rubbers is to use the surface to brush the ball more. This might be the case in some rare contingent scenarios when lifting the backspin ball but most of the time they hit the ball flat by wrapping it around and hitting it point-blank rather than brushing it tangentially which is what players like Timo Boll, Marcos Freitas tend to do. Then when they try to play against some of the top chinese players and you often see them start looking at their rackets in dismay and disbelief why the ball simply slids off their rubbers when they try to counter some of their looping.

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    Last edited by bzing; 08-20-2021 at 07:53 AM.

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    #6
    Side-by-side view TB and ML:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS-uwOXXZOc

    FZD and ML:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oySQ3k7TYCI

    TB & Chen Chien-an (not side-by-side):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8tifadOn3A

    Imho, TB's energy transfer is exemplary. There are differences, and ML's technique is pure beaty. But from the "kinetic chain" point of view, I don't see anything what I would object to in TB's technique. Do you? For me, how the arm moves relative to the body, or how the arm motion is caused by the body, is much more important than how straight the arm is (chicken vs chinese).

    In the FZD&ML video, in the follow-through, after the hit, it seems like FZD's body stops rotating sooner, and then mostly only the arm/hand moves. ML's body continues the rotation together with the arm, it looks much more natural to me. Clearly, the difference (or any other difference in their FH technique) doesn't matter that much, because those are the two world best players. Still, aesthetically I like one and dislike the other...

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    #7
    Xu Xin's FH is usually really slow, curvy, and spinny, that's why it's different from others. It really messes up other players' rhythm and timing. Of course, he can play differently, but he's not a power or speed-oriented player.
    I love Xu Xin, he's one of the most entertaining players to date and his forehand is nothing short of magical.

    However, I think the most excellent forehand today is of Yukiya Uda's and Lin Jun-Yu's. Yukiya Uda's is literally a straight-for-the-kill forehand, with excellent body and Xu Xin like legs. While Lin Jun-Yu has the most controlled forehand among all players. And as a 3rd excellent forehand that has both power and control is Wang Chuqin's.

    I feel XX, ML and TB have fantastic forehands from a previous era. They were all so good in the past that even now they are excellent.

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwill
    However, I think the most excellent forehand today is of Yukiya Uda's and Lin Jun-Yu's. Yukiya Uda's is literally a straight-for-the-kill forehand, with excellent body and Xu Xin like legs. While Lin Jun-Yu has the most controlled forehand among all players. And as a 3rd excellent forehand that has both power and control is Wang Chuqin's.
    These are excellent choices, I fully agree. I like WCQ's FH the most.

    I feel XX, ML and TB have fantastic forehands from a previous era. They were all so good in the past that even now they are excellent.
    I had to wrestle with this formulation. If you say, XX, ML, TB is the current gen, and Uda Yukia, LJY, WCQ are next gen, it would not strike me. But if you say that about their FH technique, it sounded a bit odd at first. I don't see anything next-gen in their kinetic chain. But finally I understood that you mean it more in the sense how they use the FH, that they tend to play more direct, not so loopy...

    Sorry that I'm drifting from XX even more...

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  9. Tango K is offline
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    #9
    Those younger guys play a lot more direct and use harder equipments. Their techniques are not new. They may evolve to be Ma Long in 5 year time. We don’t know. Ma Long gets longer and “loopier” over time as well. And even Harimoto, the most direct guy these days, gets spinner in the Olympics, going for later timing a lot more.

    If you watch a lot Wang vs Ma matches. You’ll see that clearly. The direct shots win on pace and power but more predictable. Opponents misjudge Ma or Xu’s balls a lot due to their spins. They are there and they still miss. Ma couldn’t run to the ball when Wang won. But Wang just got surprised and completely baffled, missing the ball a bit or letting it kick crazily, when Ma win.

    It’s not that Ma could not play those stroke, he does a lot of times. It’s just that the longer, fluidier ones suit him better.

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    #10
    Xu Xin is just a more extreme version of that, relying almost completely on fluid spin. His swings therefore look smooth and body mechanics is easier to see. Also like most spin based player, he tends to be ready for the most spiny ball coming, and then move to the actual ball just before swinging (by the same body mechanics), making the swing appear even longer. I think a lot of viewers might be confused by this.

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