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  1. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #1

    Advice to play against 2000+ player?

    I've been practicing my drills and was getting fairly confident in my strokes. Especially my backhand opening loop, backhand drive, and backhand loop really improved. I was feeling confident in my attack and thought I could at least score quite a few points against a 2000 level guy in our club.

    I played him today, and I couldn't get into the rally at all. The few times I did hit a loop, I won a few points. But that wasn't the pattern of the match at all. He completely controlled me with his push. I couldn't get on the attack at all, and was just open for his shots the entire match. He would do a short push to my FH, then a long push to my BH and I was just all over the place trying to catchup. How can I play better against his strategy?

    When I serve: He will just push to all 4 corners of the table with short or long pushes. It completely puts me on the defensive. It feels like the table is very long when playing against him.

    When he serves: If I push long to him, then he just hits a powerful loop. If I push short to him, then he just uses his 4 corners strategy again.

    Basically I feel like there is no place for me to return to him and no place to serve to him.

  2. UpSideDownCarl is online now
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    UpSideDownCarl is online now
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    #2
    If he is 2000, he is not even bothering to use his strengths against you and is just reading what is open while you are playing.

    The way to change your strategy is to use the matches you play against this 2000 level player to work on and learn things. You should also realize, not all 2000 level players will agree to play matches against someone who is likely 400-700 rating points lower than they are.

    Use the matches as an opportunity to learn something.

    The Following 3 Users Like UpSideDownCarl's Post:

    Kuba Hajto, ricospin and 1 other

    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
    Spin is Everything

  3. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #3
    Yeah, so I'm not exactly sure what to take away from the match and what exactly to improve. Usually there is a specific shot that I need to improve, but against this guy, it's more like the speed of processing the game is different. It feels like he's always a step ahead of me and knowing what to expect.

  4. ricospin is offline
    says it's about technique
     
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    #4
    To put it simply:

    there’s too much of a disparity in quality took actually make a good assessment of how you do.

    2k players have so much hidden quality that most players like myself will tend to ignore and this can be the very deciding factor to the match.

    if you can get into the rally against similarly ranked peers, then that makes sense. 2k players do more than meets the eye.

    They watch your movements more in my opinion.

  5. UpSideDownCarl is online now
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #5
    Yep. They reset faster. They watch what you do with the ball, what you are ready for, what you are not ready for. A pace that feels like it makes you rush is a slow pace for something whose level is that much higher than yours. So many things. But the first lesson seems to be that, whatever you do, this person was ready for it. And this person was able to make you struggle with things that would have been easy for you against a player of your own level.

    So, some of the lesson may be to see if you can figure out some of what this person is doing right.

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  6. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #6
    Well maybe I will try doing some drills practicing his 4 corner pushing strategy. He will push 1 ball short, then push 1 ball really aggressively into the corner.

    It's almost like a offensive slice tennis short.

  7. Lula is offline
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    #7
    FIrst, always play with your strengths and second, adapt to their weakness/style of play. Edit: Like someone said about hidden strengths. Loops do not matter, serve and return always is the difference between a good player and an even better player.

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    Last edited by Lula; 05-18-2022 at 05:20 AM.

  8. ricospin is offline
    says it's about technique
     
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Well maybe I will try doing some drills practicing his 4 corner pushing strategy. He will push 1 ball short, then push 1 ball really aggressively into the corner.

    It's almost like a offensive slice tennis short.

    I think it’s better to drill other things like bh flick against under, Fh flick against under, hitting wide forehands with good footwork or bh to fh transitions. At our level, people who open up first are in control of the rally.

    I think there’s more takeaways from a match like that instead of tactics. If he pushes your underspin short serve and then you pushed back short and then you gave him the opportunity to push you fast to the bh, this means he was trying to exploit bh weakness or footwork or both.

    another thing to consider is could you have flipped the 3rd ball? And flip it to somewhere where he’s in a bad spot?

    assuming that he read your service correctly- could you have done the opposite, make it so that it looks like under but it’s actually no spin?

    Strategies or Sequences as I like to call them are points that have been drilled extensively that are meant to give you a point. My most used is bh flip/ open up depending on how long or short the serve is and then pivot fh.


  9. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #9
    Maybe, I really don't know what the lesson was from this match was.

  10. ricospin is offline
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    FIrst, always play with your strengths and second, adapt to their weakness/style of play. Edit: Like someone said about hidden strengths. Loops do not matter, serve and return always is the difference between a good player and an even better player.
    Honestly I think in a match where you are outclassed, finding their weakness will be harder to exploit because if you are the lower ranked player the ability to recognize and exploit it will be tougher.

    You can’t penetrate the amount of quality the 2k player has if you are 500 points lower than they are.

    if you think about you playing against a hobby player, even if you had a poor bh loop, it wouldn’t even matter because they can’t even expose this weakness. Nor could they pick up on it. The same concept.
    Last edited by ricospin; 05-18-2022 at 05:43 AM.

  11. ricospin is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Maybe, I really don't know what the lesson was from this match was.
    Gotta take a step back. Instead of thinking how it went in the moment, if you were playing against a much lower level player- how would you play them, if you played seriously?

    take a video of your matches and analyze what happened.

  12. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ricospin
    Gotta take a step back. Instead of thinking how it went in the moment, if you were playing against a much lower level player- how would you play them, if you played seriously?

    take a video of your matches and analyze what happened.

    Well I've been playing really well against lower level players the past few weeks I think. I won several matches against other guys, and I've been pretty much dominating my main practice partner. Mostly my loops have been working. BH and FH opening loops, FH finishing loops, slow loops, fast loops, etc.

    But against this 2000 guy, I wasn't mentally prepared to be so outmaneuvered by his pushes.

    Actually there's another 1700 guy who actually has slightly lower topspin shot quality than me. But his push game, his setup game, his reading, etc is much better. I lose to him badly as well. So I think there is a bit of a theme here. But I don't know how to fix my "reading"


  13. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #13
    There are too many things to learn when playing against a player much better than myself.
    While, it may also means I won't be able to learn anything from the game as well.

    For instance, the quality of the shot. The opponent can return my shot to any placement he want like he is serving the ball, that means my shot doesn't bring any trouble to him.

    If there is anything I want to learn from the game, that is I should improve the quality of my shot. The quality of the shot is a very big topic, everyone is pursuing it for the whole life, including Ma Long.

    More than that, my shot is weak to a strong guy, it doesn't mean it is weak to other players at the same level with me. If I ignore all my other weak points and only see the quality of the shot, I may be misled.

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  14. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #14
    Again, in this match, it wasn't a quality of shot problem. When I was able to hit my loops, he couldn't really return them well and I won points that way. The issue is that I was never even given the chance to hit my loops. His entire setup tactics were far better.

  15. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Again, in this match, it wasn't a quality of shot problem. When I was able to hit my loops, he couldn't really return them well and I won points that way. The issue is that I was never even given the chance to hit my loops. His entire setup tactics were far better.

    The quality of shot is not only the quality of loop. The quality of serve, the quality of receive, the quality of push, all of them. The topspin loop is not the most important technique in table tennis, IMO, serve and receive are at the first place.

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  16. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #16
    His receive was way better than mine. But i dont know how to read his serve better.

    Sometimes there is heavy under, light under, no spin, and it all more or less looks the same.

  17. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #17
    If I were you, I may want to improve my service first. A player with good service skill won't be too bad at receive.

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  18. Attitude is offline
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    #18
    Again you want an analysis from thin air. As long we cant see what you want to know stuff about, we wont be able to help you propperly.
    I dont even see any information about the discrepancy in terms of pts between you two.

    So to add something which MIGHT help:
    If you had issues against his pushes, learn to loop hard long pushes with bh and fh.
    If you had issues getting into position for an opener, you need to become faster. Drill bh to fh opening attack and learn to sidestep properly.
    If you had issues to push short and controlled, do push drills and learn to push in a decent way. Even better learn to ghost push and "attackpush" like he obviously did.

    On top: Learn serves and tactics which forces your oppoenent to return a ball YOU want and can easily anticipate.
    But this is exactly the problem here. If a player is way better than you, so you cant even get a set to win, the quality of your shots is probably not capable of doing that. So here you have around 4-8 angles you can think about to practice and improve.
    glhf

  19. NDH is offline
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    #19

    Hey Michael,

    Is there any video of you playing at all?

    Even if it's just messing about, it would be good to get an idea of your level, and the advice would be MUCH more appropriate after that.

    At the moment, it's hard to offer advice, because it might be that there are things you can do to quickly improve against these types of players......

    But it could also simply be a huge gulf in ability, where it wouldn't really make any difference right now.

    It would be like myself asking for advice because I'm struggling to beat Roger Federer at Tennis......

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  20. Kuba Hajto is offline
    says Equipment matters a lot to scrubs who can't make minor adjustments to their stroke.
     
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    His receive was way better than mine. But i dont know how to read his serve better.

    Sometimes there is heavy under, light under, no spin, and it all more or less looks the same.

    Welp, find a player who is decent server and is training his serves, and ask if you can receive the serves. You can collect the balls to return the favor or smth. Works for me. You can also ask them what spin they are trying to do to improve your reading. There is also an app called table tennis edge on Android store. It has a tool for learning some of the serve reading. Not ideal but helps a bit and it is a reasonable use of time while commuting.

    /devnull

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