Boll's tactics against Harimoto

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I really enjoyed watching the Boll-Harimoto match. Though Boll was a tad fortunate to come back from such big deficits, his tactics seemed really well thought out to exploit Harimoto's style. To my eye, he gave Harimoto no pace to work with from the start of the point, serving heavy underspin or dead to the middle of the table, and returning balls to the same place with very little pace. Toward the end he seemed ready for Harimoto's attacks, as Harimoto almost always has to drive cross court because hitting so hard and flat he needs that much table. Several times I swear Harimoto hit what he thought was a winner, looked like he began to "Cho" but Boll returned the ball past him.

I wonder if this style of playing Harimoto can be adapted by others to give him trouble. Boll has a unique set of skills and touch, and not many could pull that off, but it will be interesting to see how Harimoto progresses and others adapt.

Is that what others saw?
 
You are right. Harimoto seems to thrive on pace. Boll is more of a spin-oriented player, and it worked quite well for him. I guess with a bit more of international senior matches this Harimoto kid will learn how to adapt to different playing styles.
I really enjoyed watching the Boll-Harimoto match. Though Boll was a tad fortunate to come back from such big deficits, his tactics seemed really well thought out to exploit Harimoto's style. To my eye, he gave Harimoto no pace to work with from the start of the point, serving heavy underspin or dead to the middle of the table, and returning balls to the same place with very little pace. Toward the end he seemed ready for Harimoto's attacks, as Harimoto almost always has to drive cross court because hitting so hard and flat he needs that much table. Several times I swear Harimoto hit what he thought was a winner, looked like he began to "Cho" but Boll returned the ball past him.

I wonder if this style of playing Harimoto can be adapted by others to give him trouble. Boll has a unique set of skills and touch, and not many could pull that off, but it will be interesting to see how Harimoto progresses and others adapt.

Is that what others saw?
 
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Nice analysis.
One point though:
I wouldn't count a missed block as an unforced error, since there definitely was a force behind it that made Harimoto miss, and that force was Boll who's been spinning the Boll errr... ball and that amount of spin made Harimoto miss.
But i must admit, hard to draw a line here.
Otherwise excellent analysis. Thanks.
 
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One thing increasing clear to me about Harimoto. You better have a really good return of serve against him because his serve is really really good and sets up his third ball a lot. In his recent league match with Ovtcharov, it was pretty close until Dima figured that out and then he just destroyed him. But even top players seeing him for the first time are making a lot of serve return errors against him during the first part of the match. Like zoomtt noted, Boll doesn't do that very often.

This kid is remarkable. As he gets older he won't collapse when something he relies on is taken away from him; he will adapt.

As always, great analysis Zoom!!!!!
 
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I really enjoyed watching the Boll-Harimoto match. Though Boll was a tad fortunate to come back from such big deficits, his tactics seemed really well thought out to exploit Harimoto's style. To my eye, he gave Harimoto no pace to work with from the start of the point, serving heavy underspin or dead to the middle of the table, and returning balls to the same place with very little pace. Toward the end he seemed ready for Harimoto's attacks, as Harimoto almost always has to drive cross court because hitting so hard and flat he needs that much table. Several times I swear Harimoto hit what he thought was a winner, looked like he began to "Cho" but Boll returned the ball past him.

I wonder if this style of playing Harimoto can be adapted by others to give him trouble. Boll has a unique set of skills and touch, and not many could pull that off, but it will be interesting to see how Harimoto progresses and others adapt.

Is that what others saw?

I was sure that this will be tactic of Samsonov against Harimoto, as Vladi is master of inconvenient slow-paced balls that most young players are not able to play with enough pace.
But this trick didn't work out for Vladi :(
So I am pretty sure that this was not key to Timo's win.
I think more important was to make Harimoto usure, to force him second guess ball placement/pace/spin of Timo's returns.
 
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​Timo had to dig really deep to win this match, plus his coaching was right on the money. Tomo has a much smaller bag of tricks and he and his Dad couldn't figure it out. Luckily, Tomo has been picked up by the T2 league, so for him, it's like going to graduate school for free. FZD is his idol, a perfect model for him to follow.

His development during June has been stunning:
June wins -
6-21 beat Ambiet Florent #171 4-0
6-3 beat Lubomir Pistej #110 4-1
5-31 beat Cedric Nuytinck #106 4-0
6-14 beat Jon Persson #95 4-2
6-2 beat Liao Cheng-Ting #72 4-0
6-21 beat Masataka Morizano #62 4-0
6-22 beat Vladimir Samsonov #12 4-3
6-24 beat Koki Niwa #9 4-0
6-1 beat Jun Mizutani #6 4-1

Tomo is going to do well. Especially with a high-protein diet/full body work-out, and a girlfriend (14 last week!).
 
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