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    1. Top | #21
      TTFrenzy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Idiot View Post
      Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?
      First of all the match against Samsonov was more of a show than an important match, either Asia or Europe wins, nobody really cares. Zhang is a player for big moments winning in pro tours is not his main goal. Pro tours are for money only and keeping your performance at a certain level, lets not forget wang hao, he didnt won any open this year and he got to the WTTC final once again.

      His performance against chen chien an was acceptable and I believe CCA surprised zhang with his good BH and tactics. After the match ZJK stated he was very slow but wanted to win.

      Besides who cares about those losses he is world champion again. Take waldner for example, he was great in wolrd championships but in pro tours his record was average
      I suck real bad so I train to suck less

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      UpSideDownCarl (05-21-2013)

    3. Top | #22
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      In this WTTC tournament he had trouble with these three players:

      Gustoav Tsuboi
      Robert Gardos
      Patrick Baum

      In those matches, he showed up when he needed to to win, but not until then. He is a bad boy; a little rude, a little disrespectful to many of his opponents. He had so little respect for them that he knew he did not really have to show up fully to beat them. And when it is not a big title, he often just does not really even care. Again, he is a bad boy and it has gotten him in trouble. Before the Baum match, I said to a friend, "ZJK will not show up in this match until he is a little in trouble and needs to wake up and win." In the third game it was 1-1 and he was down 10-6. Then he woke up.

      The interesting thing is, he did not have much trouble with these players:

      Fan Zhendong
      Xu Xin
      Wang Hao

      Against these players whose talent he respects, he showed up pretty much from the start even though, in general, he is really a slow starter.

      By the way, in a recent tournament, he was playing Yan An and he was down. He quit. He walked off. They said it was an injury, but it looked to me like he just did not want to give Yan An the satisfaction of winning and he did not feel like getting in the mindset of winning. I cannot remember what tournament it was. But I remember watching it and thinking, Zhang Jike is a bad boy.
      Also, it really does take an amazing amount of work to do the techniques he does when he brings his A-game. That footwork that he uses to get into position with his backhand for those short serves and pushes over the table, and to then get back in position for the next shot, watch him, you have to be lightning-fast for that.
      Spin Everything.

    4. Top | #23
      Idiot is offline
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      It kind of bugs me that Zhang Jike doesn't bring his A-game during pro-tour matches. I think one defining characteristic of greatness is consistency.

      He wins all the major titles, and then loses to people no one has ever heard of. Just bizzare.

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      UpSideDownCarl (05-22-2013)

    6. Top | #24
      delirious is offline
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      Congratulations to Jike!

    7. Top | #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by Idiot View Post
      It kind of bugs me that Zhang Jike doesn't bring his A-game during pro-tour matches. I think one defining characteristic of greatness is consistency.

      He wins all the major titles, and then loses to people no one has ever heard of. Just bizzare.
      I'm not sure wether it is even possible to do that. If you win all Pro Tours, you automatically get in a mode where you don't want to lose any match up and until a major final. This only raises the pressure during a tournament in any match that is not the final. By aiming at the highest from the start, and having every right to do so, you put yourself under massive pressure. That might be the reason Ma Long and Xu Xin underperformed. They were expected to reach the final, they were so close that they were allowed to start actually thinking about the final, but they were not there yet.

      If Ma Lin wasn't so bad at important matches, Wang Liqin might have won only one or two majors. He ruled the TT world for several years, yet he never won an Olympic title or even a World Cup(!!). Reason could have been that expectations of him were just massive because he performed so well throughout the entire year.
      In fact, both in 2011 and 2013, most people didn't consider Zhang Jike as a major candidate for the title. This was only the case in the World Cup (Big trouble against Dima and Smirnov) and the Olympics (Big trouble against Samsonov).
      Playing with no pressure might also be the reason for Wang Hao's victory in the 2009 WTTC, since he actually didn't even want to compete in the tournament because he felt so bad about losing the Olympic final to Ma Lin. He had nothing to lose.

      Winning majors really needs something extra (including some luck). Zhang has that (including the luck ), but I can imagine you don't feel motivated for Pro Tours and stuff like that when you just won all three majors in a row. This was the first big tournament after the 2012 Olympics, and suddenly the king was back. I like that
      Last edited by WiWa; 05-21-2013 at 08:44 PM.

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    9. Top | #26
      sugomori is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Idiot View Post
      Recently, he's lost against Chen Chien-An, Taku Takakiwa, and Samsonov. Why do you think this is?
      Anyone with some background in professional sports training will tell you that you cannot expect consistent top level performance throughout the year. In fact, in most sports the training tries to prepare for a maximum of two peaks per year.

      The player (or most likely the trainer) can make a choice whether they want to go for consistent high level performance or peak performance once or twice a year. In the latter case, even if you participate in other events (which you should), you will not expect top performance and will take "unexpected" losses. Because of training intensity & other factors, you may take losses even if you "want" to win.

      Furthermore, you would have to reveal tactical decisions in less important events, which prepares your opponents when the "big day" arrives. In fact, a player may perform experimental tactics during a tour event to see how effective it is - I certainly would recommend this for a top player for at least some tour events during the year. ZJK also lost against YA at least twice this year, once basically walking away (Qatar, from the very start it looked to me that he did not really want to play him - watch the game!), the second time wasting 6+ match points.

      He had shown in the tour event before (Kuwait) that he can win against ML - even after ML gave one of his best performances of the year in the SF against XX. I assume he was contractually required to play Qatar, but it was from a performance point of view irrelevant for him.

      I am quite certain that it is not only a psychological component that makes (made) ZJK & JOW perform good at top events, and (for them) mediocre at other tournaments, but also based on proper training rhythms.

      Why many of the other players do not seem to be training the same way I do not understand - apart from ZJK it looks WH peaked at exactly the right time, his performance (physical, mental & tactical) was considerably better than at previous tournaments as well.

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    11. Top | #27
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by sugomori View Post
      Furthermore, you would have to reveal tactical decisions in less important events, which prepares your opponents when the "big day" arrives.
      Your whole post is great but this line it gold. There is definitely a reason why Wang Hao did not pull out that level of short game and his Jedi Mind Tricks since 2011.

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    13. Top | #28
      Arlen is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      I cannot remember what tournament it was.
      Qatar. If I'm not mistaken the next upcoming tournament will be the China Open. Hopefully he will take things seriously.

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    15. Top | #29
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
      Qatar. If I'm not mistaken the next upcoming tournament will be the China Open. Hopefully he will take things seriously.
      Yes, thanks, Qatar:


    16. Top | #30
      Sun Tzu is offline
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      All I can say that there is no moment where he looks injured or in pain. Poor sportmanship if he faked one.
      “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

    17. Top | #31
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      I personally think that Zhang Jike fully deserves his 2nd time World Champion title
      Winning the title also means that Zhang Jike is also the first person ever to obtain the grand slam title AND defended his World Champion title.

      Congrats to Zhang Jike for the fully deserved victory!
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    18. Top | #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sun Tzu View Post
      All I can say that there is no moment where he looks injured or in pain. Poor sportmanship if he faked one.
      ZJK got injured in the 2nd set, then the injury affected his movements.

      Watch the whole match (not highlights) and observe carefully.



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    20. Top | #33
      Sun Tzu is offline
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      I actually saw these moments, slipping once and pulling you leg doesn't mean you're injured.
      If he really was that injured he couldn't have played even close to what he showed after this slip.
      I think it is more like: He felt something after slipping, maybe stretched the muscle a little and is irritating and didn't want to take a risk to really get injured.

    21. Top | #34
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sun Tzu
      I actually saw these moments, slipping once and pulling you leg doesn't mean you're injured.
      If he really was that injured he couldn't have played even close to what he showed after this slip.
      I think it is more like: He felt something after slipping, maybe stretched the muscle a little and is irritating and didn't want to take a risk to really get injured.
      i think you are right . he don't take the risk to really get injured because he have to play in WTTC trails 3 or 4 days later.

    22. Top | #35
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by delirious View Post
      ZJK got injured in the 2nd set, then the injury affected his movements.

      Watch the whole match (not highlights) and observe carefully.


      Nice GIF of the exact moment. That could be enough to slow him down and make it so he could not really play at top level. It could also have been something that progressively got worse through the match.

    23. Top | #36
      ACM is offline
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      The interesting thing is, he did not have much trouble with these players:

      Fan Zhendong
      Xu Xin
      Wang Hao

      Against these players whose talent he respects, he showed up pretty much from the start even though, in general, he is really a slow starter.

      By the way, in a recent tournament, he was playing Yan An and he was down. He quit. He walked off. They said it was an injury, but it looked to me like he just did not want to give Yan An the satisfaction of winning and he did not feel like getting in the mindset of winning. I cannot remember what tournament it was. But I remember watching it and thinking, Zhang Jike is a bad boy.

      Carl, what a great assessment here. Not totally sure how you mean "bad boy" but there's defo something naughty about his manners sometimes, I wouldn't call it disrespectufull myself as i think he's just too cocky but can easily see why most people would. The relevant thing is though, Zhang is the best of the lot and he's shown that once again..I understand people going on about him not be as strong in China and all that but lets face it, The World titles are the ones that really count. If Ma Long and Xu Xin haven't got the mental strenght then I say their not as complete as they need to be, same goes for any other sport and I'm sure Jan Ove Waldner didn't become the legend that he is on the back of his home competions but surely on his world tour success!!

    24. Top | #37
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      Everyone wants to see a ZJK vs ML final and I believe ML is the one who ZJK fear the most. After all ML has more win then loss against ZJK. So will it be that ZJK is smart enough to mastermind his world ranking so he can avoid meeting ML in the same half of wttc in hope that someone will take care of ML for him? ZJK did not have to meet ML in any of his grand slam matches. Also all the poor performance in less important games is a great way to let your opponent off guard and less chance for others to study your game. Just a guess but sure ZJK is smart no matter how you see it and every little thing adds up to his continues success.

    25. Top | #38
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      Quote Originally Posted by TurboZ View Post
      So will it be that ZJK is smart enough to mastermind his world ranking so he can avoid meeting ML in the same half of wttc in hope that someone will take care of ML for him?
      Cool way of thinking, although it is a little too far fetched. :P I think what someone said earlier about not giving away your secret strategy and saving it on the big day sounds more realistic

      And as for whether ZJK faked the injury or it wasn't that serious and he didn't want to play Yan An, I don't thnk that's trues and as Sun Tzu said he probably didn't want to worsen it as the Trials for WTTC were coming up.

    26. Top | #39
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      I posted this video in the thread on Ma Long losing to Wang Hao again. Zhang Jike knows how to beat Ma Long now. I never saw him really know what to do to Ma Long before this tournament. But he does exactly what Wang Hao did and breaks down Ma Long's game. If Zhang Jike played Ma Long in the finals, I think he would have given him 4-0. In this video he goes toe to toe with Ma Long more than Wang Hao does. I think he wants to prove that he can beat Ma Long down.

      This is the last time they played in a world tour event:

      Here is the long version:



      Here is the short version:



      And feel free to have a look here if you want to see what I wrote about Wang Hao's strategy against Ma Long and how he broke Ma Long's game down in 2011 and in 2013 WTTC. Same basic strategy Zhang Jike used in Kuwait.

      http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/fo...g-vs-Hao/page2

      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      So, I put this post into the thread for the world championships:

      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      Alright, I am going to say this and I don't think any of the Ma Long fans out there are going to like it.

      I was hoping Ma Long could win the World Championships this year and put the whole discussion to rest. But, two things I saw this morning in the first two quarter final matches (Ma Long v Timo Boll and Wang Hao v Yan An) made me realize he could not win and made me realize he would lose to Wang Hao.


      First, I saw Timo make Ma Long struggle with a good and intelligent short game. Second, I saw Wang Hao use the short game and the same Jedi mind tricks on Yan An in their quarter final match that he used on Ma Long in 2011 WTTC.


      Yan An's short game is better than Ma Long's. Yan An's BH is better than Ma Long's. But Ma Long's FH is better than anyone's so people sometimes seem to miss this that his short game is not as good as it needs to be.


      So when I saw Ma Long struggling against Timo and what Wang Hao did to Yan An, I had a feeling Ma Long still could not handle Wang Hao.


      It was not nerves. Ma Long would never have gotten past Timo without Liu Gouliang in his corner. Liu Gouliang saved Ma Long several times in that match when he was falling prey to Timo's short game.


      I knew, against Wang Hao, he would not have LG in his corner. I knew he could not handle the short game and the Jedi mind trick. Wang Hao was nice and eased up for games 4 and 5. In game 6 he decided to end it: and look at the score.


      Zhang Jike's short game is good enough to handle Wang Hao, and in big events, against the better players, he comes to play and win. He did not show up for Baum. He knew he could win without being fully there. He showed up for Xu Xin. He will show up tomorrow.


      I believe Zhang Jike will win. But we will see what Wang Hao has up his sleeve.


      And, unless Ma Long gets a real top flight short game and improves his backhand, he cannot win WTTC. But, honestly, I think this was his last chance.




      This is something that only really clicked for me today. This is not just a case of nerves. He could play Wang Hao over and over and he will not beat him in this kind of situation. Wang Hao brought his A game and every trick he could pull out.

      I really thought Yan An was going to take care of Wang Hao and Ma Long would get passed Yan An. But when I saw what Wang Hao did to Yan An, I knew Ma Long could not get passed Wang Hao. Wang Hao did the same thing to Yan An that he did to Ma Long 2 years ago in the 2011 WTTC. And in doing it, he broke Yan An's game down just like he broke Ma Long's game down 2 years ago and just like he did today.

      This has to do with the fact that Ma Long's backhand is not strong enough to control rallies with his backhand, and his short game is not good enough when someone can frustrate him and keep him from launching that giant forehand.

      His forehand is better than anyones.

      His backhand is NOT.

      And his short game is not good enough to keep him in the points when someone like Wang Hao uses those tactics.

      Wang Hao's backands down the line that caught Ma Long flat footed deep in the backhand corner after turning to his forehand are part of the reason he needs a better backhand. If he had been able to go backhand to backhand with Wang Hao, those backhands down the line are within reach. But as soon as Wang Hao saw him turning to his forehand, Wang Hao ripped the ball down the line with his backhand and made Ma Long pay for turning to his forehand so deep on his backhand side. Then he did not know what to do. If he turns to his forehand he gets burned down the line, if he stays on his backhand he gets burned backhand to backhand. Timo had him a little confused about where to move and when to turn to his forehand as well today.

      This is not nerves, an accident or fate. This was a great tactical win for Wang Hao. He knew what he was doing. I don't care how many times Ma Long beats Wang Hao in regular World Tour events. On this big stage where it really counts, Wang Hao pulled out every trick he had in his bag: stuff Ma Long has not seen since the last WTTC. And Ma Long was not able to handle it because he does not have the skills to cope with what Wang Hao threw at him.

      Wang Hao cannot do that same thing to Zhang Jike because that is what Zhang Jike is best at. He is crazy good at backhand and short game. There is no shakehand player who has ever been as good at short game as he is. Wang Hao can cause problems for him though because penholders have an advantage in the short game. Soooo much wrist action.

      I really was hoping Ma Long would win this year. And I really did not realize why he could not win till watching those matches this morning. I am really sad for Ma Long. He is so fun to watch and such a beautiful player. But, he really is missing two important technical aspects of the game that have kept him from winning on this biggest stage.

      Wang Liqin won with a game that is very much like Ma Long's. I don't think that game with the giant forehand and a backhand and short game that are acceptable but not exceptional can win today.
      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      I just watched the Wang Hao Ma Long match a few times.

      If you watch, over and over again, Wang Hao is using that reverse serve to Ma Long's forehand and keeping it short and really low. Ma Long cannot attack it so he is trying to push it. But his push with his forehand is not so good and he really cannot handle that reverse serve. He pops so many of them up. A lot of the time when Ma Long serves Wang Hao pushes really short to Ma Long's forehand too. Same basic result although Ma Long is better at pushing against a push than against that reverse serve. And then, Ma Long starts trying to open on those balls that are too short for him to take a big swing on his forehand and he really misses a lot of those.

      That is tactics.

      That is keeping those pushes short, low and at a place where Ma Long is temped to take them with his forehand but actually cannot. When they go to his backhand he is okay at handling them because he can actually take them over the table. But, he is really looking to get his forehand off and neglecting the opportunities to open with his backhand.

      I also watched the match from the Finals of the Kuwait Open where Zhang Jike beat Ma Long 4-1. Zhang Jike does the same exact thing to Ma Long as what Wang Hao does. The one difference I see in that match, when Ma Long does get off his huge forehand to open while close to the table, Zhang Jike is usually there and responds with a counter loop. It is a very short stroke but it has all of Ma Long's power and he gives it right back to Ma Long, who is usually not ready for his giant forehand to come back. He is often not even set for a next shot when Zhang Jike rips Ma Long's forehand back.

      Here: have a look:



      Before this match, I had never seen Zhang Jike have a real answer to Ma Long's relentless attack. My money says he watched what Wang Hao has done and learned to keep those serves extra short to Ma Long's forehand and realized how much trouble he actually has with the reverse spin when he is trying to take it with his forehand.

      This comes from that practice Liu Gouliang has them do where they are trying to serve under the racket and get the ball to land really close to the net.



      And it also comes from learning to push really short where you take the ball right off the bounce and just touch it over the net so it barely gets over and does not bounce very high at all. Very hard to do and you must have really good touch, footwork and anticipation to do it consistently in a match. But that is what Wang Hao did to control the game and keep Ma Long from launching his huge forehand attacks.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 05-23-2013 at 08:25 AM.

    27. Top | #40
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      Sun Tzu's Avatar
      Equipment:
      Blade Butterfly Timo Boll ALC
      Forehand Rubber Tenergy 05
      Backhand Rubber Tenergy 64

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      May 2013
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      Carl although I do agree that the Wang Hao tactic theory is true, I believe Zhang Jike isnt able to play it at the same level.

      Wang Hao has the better short game due to his penholder grip. You can see in this match that Ma Long is still able to attack most of the services or the ball after that. I think Ma Long engaged in to much BH to BH rallys, which Zhang Jike is the best at. At the start of the game Ma Long immediatly went for Zhang Jike's FH which worked much better.

      You can see in the end hes making to many errors, again a loss because of mental weakness, im sure if there was coaching in china vs china matches, Ma Long would do alot better.

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