How to play against a long pips blocker as a two-wing looper?

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You need to keep track of how you hit the last ball if you hit it to his LP. Basically alternate pushing and looping. If you push a back spin ball to his LP then it will come back with a top spin which you should be able to loop or hit. If after looping the ball still comes back then push with back spin so the ball will come back with top spin.
If you are a good looper and can loop back spin then just hit the ball with enough force and top spin so the ball bounces long or high.

If you serve low and short back spins to the LP, the push blocker will need to hit the ball up over the net to bet it back. If the push blocker hits the ball too high you can attack it as it will have top spin when it comes to you.

You need to find a push blocker to practice against. My practice partners have played against my LP ox enough it doesn't bother them too much. They try to minimize the spin on the ball so the ball doesn't come back with a lot of spin. These balls tend to float. Keeping the ball low is the key.

You know you are in trouble when the push blocker can hit the ball reliably with his LP 0x, or if he can twiddle or is in good enough shape to step to the side so a ball you intended to hit to his LP is looped back with his FH.
 
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I just had a match against a guy and he wasn’t even that good but I just couldn’t handle the long pips and lost 2-3 since I had never played it before.

I know that I should mostly serve empty and backspin balls but what after that?
Please explain to me!
depending on how much top spin or back spin you put, if he blocks with pips the ball will change its spin.

e.g. you do heavy back spin, he blocks with pips = the ball comes back with top spin, so you can just drive kill it with closed angle.
if you do light back spin the ball comes either flat or with little back spin. Here you have to impart your own top spin to land a shot.
if you do top spin, the ball comes back flat or with little back spin, again have to impart more top spin on your own to create pressure.
if you do heavy (slow spinny loop) top spin, the ball comes back with heavy back spin, do a push after that.

generally I would just push-drive-push-drive-push-drive against a pips player and when he makes a mistake (which happens quite often with pips players) and ball comes high I just fast drive kill it.

Try to serve super heavy back spin long serves, usually if the opponent is an amateur, it is problematic to lift heavy back spin on serves, especially if you make him move around the table. Notice where he stands and serve the opposite direction
 
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I just had a match against a guy and he wasn’t even that good but I just couldn’t handle the long pips and lost 2-3 since I had never played it before.

I know that I should mostly serve empty and backspin balls but what after that?
Please explain to me!
This experience is very common if you are new to playing against LP. Even at the pro level, sometimes top players get humiliated by low level players because of LP.

Recently at the Westchester club some 2700-2800 male player lost to a lowly 2500 LP female player, then proceeded to accuse her of using illegal setup.

There really is no easy answer for this, it's a difficult problem to solve. You just need to learn the basic physical laws regarding the rotation from LP. Then you need to practice until you kinda learn the rhythm of LP. Your brain needs to learn the new pattern. It's essentially a new sport.
 
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Also try to find an opportunity to meet this opponent as often as possible. When playing with him, look for his weaknesses. Don't be afraid to experiment. Look carefully from the outside at how he plays with other opponents, where and when he makes mistakes more often, and what tactics the person who defeats him chooses.
 
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Never go short against LPs. Receives and pushes have to be long and deep. They also struggle when receiving deceptive long fast serves. Best is the kind of pure underspin/no spin/topspin long fast serves without sidespin. Then attack the return decisively to their non pips side (they're usually good at their pips side and bad at their inverted side, usually the FH). If they chopblock your loop, push deep and hard to the wide angles then attack hard again the next ball. Do not attempt a reloop against the chopblocked topspin unless you think you're Ma Long, or unless it's high and you can read the spin well (I can't)
 
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First, watch this YT video by Seth Pech.
Then get yourself an allround speed (5 or 7 ply no carbon) racket with long pips backhand.
I recommend 0.8-1.0mm sponge on the LP, e.g.:
  • Racket: Yinhe 980, E3, W6, or U2,
  • Forehand rubber: Yinhe Moon
  • Backhand/Long Pips rubber: Dawei 388D-1 0.8mm sponge
$50 total at AliExpress.
Then practice playing the long pips ideally with a machine. I think this is the fastest way to understand them. Also you'll get a tremendous feeling for the ball. The close to the table techniques are also explained really well in this play list.
You will need either playing the LP yourself or have a partner who plays LP, otherwise you don't get the feeling for the ball movement.
I switched to "modern defender" including pips at the table techniques in 7/2023 and my fellow team members have all learned how to play against long pips to the point where I am no longer winning just because of the long pips. I have to really work for my balls now.
 
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One of my teammates has this playingstyle with nearly the same equipment as the indian pro Batra.

Usually these players can block everything with their lp bh but not so much with their fh.
The main issue here is that those players tend to keep you on your bh. Learning to step deeper into your bh side and attack with your fh down the line is a huge advantage. If you are slow on your legs you can gain that advantage faster by learning to flick right into their fh side.

Another general tip here is, that you should attack hard. Dont weak loop around and hope for the best. Because every spinny loop will result in horror for yourself. Just play long underspin or no spin balls (or serves) into the lp and topspin the shit out of them.

If they use their fh to attack too you can either use that to get "normal" rallyes, or on case you cant block attacks that well you have tight schedule, because you should get that attack as fast as you can.
The moment they push with their lp a nospin or underspin ball you have to attack. Another push from you would result in high arced ball, that your opponent will attack.

I posted that Video before but here are some bh examples that work quite well against this certain player:
You can see that i mostly try to hit quite hard shots so he cant block them so easily. I either flick his serves and try to place them in his awkward middle or into his fh as deep as i am able to.
If you are interested i could try to cut the full match propperly and upload it.
Maybe i can come up with a newer match even today.
 
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One of my teammates has this playingstyle with nearly the same equipment as the indian pro Batra.

Usually these players can block everything with their lp bh but not so much with their fh.
The main issue here is that those players tend to keep you on your bh. Learning to step deeper into your bh side and attack with your fh down the line is a huge advantage. If you are slow on your legs you can gain that advantage faster by learning to flick right into their fh side.

Another general tip here is, that you should attack hard. Dont weak loop around and hope for the best. Because every spinny loop will result in horror for yourself. Just play long underspin or no spin balls (or serves) into the lp and topspin the shit out of them.

If they use their fh to attack too you can either use that to get "normal" rallyes, or on case you cant block attacks that well you have tight schedule, because you should get that attack as fast as you can.
The moment they push with their lp a nospin or underspin ball you have to attack. Another push from you would result in high arced ball, that your opponent will attack.

I posted that Video before but here are some bh examples that work quite well against this certain player:
You can see that i mostly try to hit quite hard shots so he cant block them so easily. I either flick his serves and try to place them in his awkward middle or into his fh as deep as i am able to.
If you are interested i could try to cut the full match propperly and upload it.
Maybe i can come up with a newer match even today.
Very good skills against pips.
 
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Last tournament that I was in, I beat a few long pips ppl by simply doing BH lifts against backspin (ie fake loops) rather than looping them. They thought it was a loop and dumped all of them into the net when they blocked it. Then when they try to adjust for it i just switched back to my full BH topspin loops using quite similar movements - and then their blocks were just flying out easily.

Sometimes you need a bit of dark side in you to beat those darksiders...
 
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Never go short against LPs. Receives and pushes have to be long and deep. They also struggle when receiving deceptive long fast serves. Best is the kind of pure underspin/no spin/topspin long fast serves without sidespin. Then attack the return decisively to their non pips side (they're usually good at their pips side and bad at their inverted side, usually the FH). If they chopblock your loop, push deep and hard to the wide angles then attack hard again the next ball. Do not attempt a reloop against the chopblocked topspin unless you think you're Ma Long, or unless it's high and you can read the spin well (I can't)
Yes, play safe deep. Too short gives wild angles and you then behind on everything in the rat race.
 
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If you alternate between serves that makes it difficult to propperly set yourself up. Unless the pips are spin sensitive, no spin or slight backspin serves. Attack every 3rd ball untill the chopper consistently gets the ball on table. After that push or attack, the trick is to fade a lot between these shots. Just be relaxed and know sometimes you'll miss because of no reason whatsoever.
 
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I just had a match against a guy and he wasn’t even that good but I just couldn’t handle the long pips and lost 2-3 since I had never played it before.

I know that I should mostly serve empty and backspin balls but what after that?
Please explain to me!
Learning to play against pips players is an experience.

The main thing you have to overcome/improve is the automatic read of the ball off the inverted looking stroke and forcing yourself to override that read with a correct read when the inverted looking read is wrong. Also, to not back off the table and to adjust for less forward kick from topspin looking shots.

Adjusting your stroke to the ball is key and being able to do this in response to what is happening in the point because not all long pips are precisely the same - some are more grippy, some are more slippery. So when you serve backspin, if your backspin is heavy, you get a topspin ball back even if the opponent pushed the ball. How heavy is the topspin ball? Or is it really a no-spin ball? You do your no-spin/topspin stroke and see what the ball does. And if the ball doesn't do what you expect, remember what happened and try to adapt on the next point. It is very common to see good players lose 5 or 6 points adapting to pips and then win the first game once they have figured the pips out and adapted. The most important thing is not to give up and say it is magic, it is to continue looking for a point sequence you know how to dictate.

If you have a really good backspin and no spin serve combination with deception that makes them look similar, you can get some free points against long pips players. They want to attack the backspin serve or push it but if it is really heavy, they have to dig into it or it will go into the net. but they don't want to dig too hard and make the ball high so they will net the first few serves if you backspin is heavy. And when they are used to your backspin, throw in the float and they lift the ball off the table. Or just pop it up for an easy put away (of course, you still have to read the ball).

The main reason people tell you not to use sidespin is that it allows the ball to kick on corkscrew shots and can mess up your third ball. But sometimes, it is easier to attack the precise return you get vs straight sidespin against some opponents. It really all comes down to knowing what you adapt to best, looking for it and then attacking it. For example, if you play best against backspin, then serving topspin into the pips may be better for you. I used to do this a lot because my best shot was my backhand vs backspin.

Good luck with the process!
 
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This forum badly needs sticky threads. Then I wouldn't need to re-post these two links again and again :)

The theory: How Long Pips Really Work - by Greg Letts - there has been no better explanation that de-mystifies longs pips since it was originally created in 2008, if not earlier.

Then check out the "Ulysses the Unconventional Rubber Player (long pips/anti)" section in Various Game Styles by Samson Dubina - this is the simplest, most concise and effective advice regarding tactics.

The rest is just practice.
 
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