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  1. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #61
    Several times I was looking very closely at his racket angle and timing, and just judging by the angle I thought it was light underspin. But looking at the ball bounce and rotation, I thought it was heavy under. But I decided to go with the racket angle judging, and ended up wrong.

    So when I focus on the racket angle too much, it actually was messing me up.

    Several times it looked like sidespin from his racket angle, but it was actually heavy under. It's very frustrating to return this serve.

  2. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #62
    Racket angle can trick you. You actually do need to practice seeing the spin on the ball, the bounce of the ball, the trajectory, if the ball kicks or slows on the bounce, if there is a curve to the ball.....the more you watch, the more you can see.

    Backspin balls have a flatter trajectory. Topspin balls have a rounder trajectory. This is the case on serves as well as bigger strokes. Float balls, dead balls, well, the term float ball should describe a little of the trajectory but they won't curve like a topspin ball and they won't have a low, flat trajectory like heavy backspin. Part of reading serves is learning how to watch.

    If you only look at racket angle, you will get fooled a lot.

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  3. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #63
    It may be too early for you to understand his serves. It is a difficult task for all of us. An advanced player can easily understand the serves of a low level player, but he may not be able understand the player at a higher level.

    I still suggest you to practice backhand serve first. If you can't understand how different spin be generated in same motion in backhand serve, you can't see the key point of his deceptive serve.

    UpSideDownCarl is saying different above on the racket angle. So, why we are saying different? Is that one of us are talking nonsense? Both of us are telling our understanding on the serves. If all forum members are telling our own understanding, the post will be ten pages long, and I can't deny anyone. Anyone can be right in certain circumstances. I think you have to try the serves yourself first to get your own understanding.
    Last edited by Lycanthrope; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:49 AM.

  4. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #64
    next time ill pay more attention to the trajectory

  5. Gozo is offline
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    #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Several times I was looking very closely at his racket angle and timing, and just judging by the angle I thought it was light underspin. But looking at the ball bounce and rotation, I thought it was heavy under. But I decided to go with the racket angle judging, and ended up wrong.

    So when I focus on the racket angle too much, it actually was messing me up.

    Several times it looked like sidespin from his racket angle, but it was actually heavy under. It's very frustrating to return this serve.

    I have the same problem when playing with better players. Their serves always get to me. I am resign to the fact that is ces't la vie and que sera sera.

    It is like when one is still a baby with not developed muscle, no matter how much one tries or wish for, he just cannot stand up and walk. A time will come eventually when a baby will walk, run, jump etc.

    Last edited by Gozo; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:15 AM.

  6. NDH is offline
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    #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I played the 2000 guy again, and I finally won 1 game against him. A couple other games went to deuce, and I had one game up 4-0 on him where I ended up losing. His speed and timing is just different from what I'm used to. His pushes come hard and fast and I'm always rushing to respond to them.

    But a couple things I did differently:

    I tried to push him in different directions, instead of just pushing down the middle. At first this won me a few points as he was surprised, but then he adapted to my new strategy.

    I tried to topspin return against his serve, which won me a few points. But I also lost a lot of points from just misreading his serve. His serve is really hard to read, it comes as heavy under, or side under, or no spin, and they all look the same. Every time I receive his serve, I just feel like i'm totally gambling. I kind of have a hunch what spin it is, but its like 50/50 whether I guessed right or wrong.

    Hey Michael,

    I saw Carl mention you had put a video of your play before - Do you have a current one?

    If you've only been playing for 8 months, it's either a miracle that you are even competing with someone who is 2000+, or they are taking it easy (sorry!)

    I know when I play people of lesser ability, I don't do good serves, and even slightly spinny serves will cause issues.

    Most of the time I just try and get the rally going, knowing full well I should still comfortably win, but giving them the chance to play their game.

    I guess it would be good to see if that 2000 level player is doing really deceptive serves, or if it's just a lack of experience on your behalf in reading them.

    You should take heart from the fact that even pro's misread serves, play them in the net or push them long - It's not an easy thing to cope with.

    The biggest factor is experience.

    Experience in receiving serve, but also in generating your own really spinny serves - This will help you understand what it's like on the other side.

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  7. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #67
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    Hey Michael,

    I saw Carl mention you had put a video of your play before - Do you have a current one?

    If you've only been playing for 8 months, it's either a miracle that you are even competing with someone who is 2000+, or they are taking it easy (sorry!)

    Despite the statement of 8 months playing, I believe that means 8 months of playing after not having played for 10, 15 or more years....I can't remember the number but I believe he played when younger.

    Michael, if I am wrong, feel free to correct me, but my memory is that, about 8 months ago, you posted footage of you looping while trying to get back some of your form from bygone years.

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  8. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #68
    Yes, i have been playing 8 months relatively consistently, about 3 or 4 times a week.

    I started playing when I was 12, and played very casually. I played with a free paddle you can find in a hotel lobby or something. I played basically just once a week without any coaching. Eventually a guy saw me and put his retired sriver rubber on my free paddle. From then I started to play better. But i never had any decent equipment and i didnt know anything about it. Eventually i bought a new blade to play with, but not knowing anything, i bought a really thick stiff blade that in retrospect hindered my growth. But i literally had no coach or guidance so i was just going blind. So i played one a week for about 2 years or maybe 3, but stopped once I entered high school. I think my level was decent, maybe 1200-1400 range. I switched to playing tennis because our school had a tennis team. I practiced tennis for 2 months against the wall and just tried out for the tennis team and made it.

    So from age 14 or 15, i didnt play consistently for 20 years. Maybe played for couple weeks here and there at work or campus or something. Even those initial 2 years, when i look back i really wasnt very serious or even very good.

  9. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #69
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    Hey Michael,

    I saw Carl mention you had put a video of your play before - Do you have a current one?

    If you've only been playing for 8 months, it's either a miracle that you are even competing with someone who is 2000+, or they are taking it easy (sorry!)

    I know when I play people of lesser ability, I don't do good serves, and even slightly spinny serves will cause issues.

    Most of the time I just try and get the rally going, knowing full well I should still comfortably win, but giving them the chance to play their game.

    I guess it would be good to see if that 2000 level player is doing really deceptive serves, or if it's just a lack of experience on your behalf in reading them.

    You should take heart from the fact that even pro's misread serves, play them in the net or push them long - It's not an easy thing to cope with.

    The biggest factor is experience.

    Experience in receiving serve, but also in generating your own really spinny serves - This will help you understand what it's like on the other side.

    Maybe ill try to pit together a video sometime.

    Im quite certain that the 2000 guy is doing his best. His serves are really tricky. And he will sometimes mention after his serve if i completely misread it. "that was heavy under".

    Im losing about 80% of serve situation. Once the rally gets going, i think im winning 35 or 40% of the rallies. Especially when i get the first loop off, i won most of my points.


  10. NDH is offline
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    #70

    OK, that makes sense.

    I found the thread from before, and had a look through your videos.

    Firstly (and I know this was before the "video safe" thread), I think it's great you put those videos out there.

    That thread did get a little overwhelming, but I've always said it should be a requirement to post video of yourself before commenting on others.

    Even if that video isn't of a high level (not all coaches are amazing players), it adds a little extra context to the discussion.

    Anyway, with your particular predicament on serve, I think I'll just refer back to my previous point.

    It's virtually impossible to talk about bat angle, body position or "reading" the serve on a forum like this.

    It's just something you'll get better at with more experience.

    Serving (and receiving) is far more unique than something like a FH or BH.

    You might develop a really good FH or BH and feel like you are really progressing..... But then play a match where you have no chance because you can't read their serves well.

    Unless you can record those serves and post them here, I just don't see any useful advice coming from this sort of topic.

    If you did want genuine advice, it would be worth recording a few of their serves and your returns - Just to get some extra context.


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    #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang

    Maybe ill try to pit together a video sometime.

    Im quite certain that the 2000 guy is doing his best. His serves are really tricky. And he will sometimes mention after his serve if i completely misread it. "that was heavy under".

    Im losing about 80% of serve situation. Once the rally gets going, i think im winning 35 or 40% of the rallies. Especially when i get the first loop off, i won most of my points.

    It's so hard to comment on this, because it might be 100% true, or the other player might just be saying that.

    It's also virtually impossible of someone who is a lesser player to know *truly* if the high level player is trying their hardest - Especially if the gap is quite big.

    I'm not an expert on US TT rating, although I have a rough idea of what level a 2000 player would be.

    What is your level at the moment? Winning 35-40% of the rallies is pretty high!


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    #72
    I think im a out 1500 to 1600 right now.

    Ill try to take video if i get to play the 2000 guy again.

    I think my fh loop got a lot better from that video. The best feedback i got was that my arm was too straight and i wasnt snapping my elbow. I realized i was still hitting FH with my tennis stroke.

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  13. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #73

    Have to agree 200% with NDH here and most higher level vs lower level matches up I know, the higher level will take it easy.

    There was a national team vs amateur match up arranged by a youtuber (one of the national team beat Dima before, so we talking high level players).

    With all due respect to the weaker players, it serves no purpose for the national team player to win 11-0 or 11-5 or 11-9. There is nothing to prove but there is a lot to prove for the weaker player.
    So I would say, most times, the higher level player won't be playing near 100%.

    And yes, videos will help a lot and rewatching your own videos, could also help you spot some flaws and solutions to your problem.


    Here is the pro vs amateur video. You can clearly see how many kill shot opportunities there were, but selectively he chose only some. You can compare the quality of the kill shot to gentle returns. If he wanted to kill every ball, he is good enough to do so.
    Even though there were too many unforce errors by the weaker player, but if you look at point won by the pro, it isn't really that many kill shots.

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    Last edited by Tony's Table Tennis; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:26 PM.
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    #74
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Racket angle can trick you. You actually do need to practice seeing the spin on the ball, the bounce of the ball, the trajectory, if the ball kicks or slows on the bounce, if there is a curve to the ball.....the more you watch, the more you can see.

    Backspin balls have a flatter trajectory. Topspin balls have a rounder trajectory. This is the case on serves as well as bigger strokes. Float balls, dead balls, well, the term float ball should describe a little of the trajectory but they won't curve like a topspin ball and they won't have a low, flat trajectory like heavy backspin. Part of reading serves is learning how to watch.

    If you only look at racket angle, you will get fooled a lot.

    Elbow and even shoulder posture when serving will also tell A LOT MORE than just looking at the racket angle. It will give informations of ball placement/speed/spin so that you'll be able to anticipate the correct way of receiving.


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    #75
    Yeah to be honest, I'm just totally confused and constantly doubting my own reading. I guess when the shoulder ends up in a high place, it looks like it would be more sidespin or even top-sidespin from the BH serve. But when I see the actual ball bouncing, I don't know what it is.

    One little thing the guy mentioned was that when he does heavy underspin, he uses his wrist to chop the ball

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    #76
    This guy is willing to teach you some good things

    As Carl said, don't overlook the racket but a lot more at all his body posture and moves when he serves, cos' then it will affect how high, fast and where the ball bounces in a second time to give you informations.

    Some basics in ball bounce when receiving:
    1 low and slow with short bounces is probably a high underspin serve
    2 low and fast with normal bounces is probably a no spin/flat serve
    3 low and curved with short bounces has sidespin with probably underspin
    4 medium/high and curved is kicking serve: top spin + sidespin, can be fast or slow but the bounces will be longer. Tomahawak is the most common kicking serve for example.
    Last edited by OldUser; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:31 PM.

  17. Gozo is offline
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    #77
    I have always been intrigued by this USTTA rating and have not fully grasp the relationship of the points versus quality.

    Anyway, an opportunity presented itself when a US based player came to my club for summer visit. He is an avid player, based in Chinatown, NY. Just to gauge how this rating thingy work, I showed him a clip of my country's best Male TT player and ask him what sort of rating would our local top male player be rated if using the USTTA system.

    Have a look: The above is him playing against a Thai player for Gold/Silver in the just concluded ASEAN games whereas the clip below is Leong playing against Ma Long in 2016 China Open R32. According to this New Yorker, he roughly placed my country's top player at around 2,500.


  18. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    I have always been intrigued by this USTTA rating and have not fully grasp the relationship of the points versus quality.

    Anyway, an opportunity presented itself when a US based player came to my club for summer visit. He is an avid player, based in Chinatown, NY. Just to gauge how this rating thingy work, I showed him a clip of my country's best Male TT player and ask him what sort of rating would our local top male player be rated if using the USTTA system.

    Have a look: The above is him playing against a Thai player for Gold/Silver in the just concluded ASEAN games whereas the clip below is Leong playing against Ma Long in 2016 China Open R32. According to this New Yorker, he roughly placed my country's top player at around 2,500.

    As I have said before, ratings are not guestimated by watching video. You cannot tell that way. Ratings are earned through competitions. You could say he looks like he may be 2500. But, Ma Long, I believe would probably have a rating of 2900. Still, we can't tell until they get the rating. Last I looked Ma Lin or Kong Linghui had the highest USATT rating at about 2908 or something. But, that was almost a decade ago.

    BTW: if I was going to guestimate your USATT Rating I would most likely be wrong. But the most important thing I would consider is that, in footage I have seen, you don't handle serves or pushes well, you are easily discombobulated by ball placement any time the ball does not go where you want it to which is most of the time during match play, your footwork skills need some training, and the game strategy to get the balls you want in match play does not seem to be much considered. So, my best guess would be that you are somewhere between 800-1300 USATT. But most people at the 1200-1300 level already have decent skills in match play for serve and receive even if, often their FH loop is not as good as yours looks in practice. Still, that is a much more respectable range than most people realize. So.....nothing wrong with having the skills you have and having a lot to work on. That is one of the things that makes TT so fun. There is always more to improve, even for Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

    Please note, that is a broad range that encompasses many different level ranges. And still, we cannot tell how close to accurate it is.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:03 PM.
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  19. Brs is offline
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    #79
    Roughly 2500 is in a way simply shorthand for very, very strong. That's a top 25 player in the US. But probably he is better than that, like around 2650. 150 points at that level is a massive quality difference, and 2650 is top five in the US. It's really not possible to see those levels on video. But the fact that he is playing ML, and an ASEAN final, suggests he is closer to 2700 than 2500.

    For another point of reference, a former top 60 WR pro (2016-17 timeframe) named Daniel Gorak recently moved to the US. He is rated 2705. One quirk of the ELO system is that it's basically impossible for him to increase that rating much, because there are very few players he can win points from. It shows that 2700 level is a world class player. 2500 is a very strong player. Your Malyasian #1 is almost certainly closer to the world class category.

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