Tactics Against Player with Long Arms

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My friend and I play frequently, and he has a good forehand loop and is a great blocker. He has long arms and plays Jpen, mostly single-sided. He does have a backhand rubber, but mostly uses push block on backhand.

I find it difficult to get a ball past him, even fast, spinny topspins. I have had some success with backhand topspins to his backhand.

Any suggestions on tactics against such a player?

Thanks in advance,
Tim
 
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FIND hiz middle.

You could also give ball to wide FH right away, then block or counter his attack to his BH, if it isn't a winner, the return ball is weak and ready to finish.

Pop a vid of him playing someone on this thread and we could advise better.
 
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Aiming the ball to opponent's body at every stroke. Blast the ball forcefully. Be persistent to get the ball back close to the table's end line.
 
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My friend and I play frequently, and he has a good forehand loop and is a great blocker. He has long arms and plays Jpen, mostly single-sided. He does have a backhand rubber, but mostly uses push block on backhand.

I find it difficult to get a ball past him, even fast, spinny topspins. I have had some success with backhand topspins to his backhand.

Any suggestions on tactics against such a player?

Thanks in advance,
Tim
Hi Tim
this can be a difficult opponent. aiming directly to the wing may just feed him rather than move him
however even tall players have a shorter reach on the backhand especially if they are trad penholders because they have to reach across their bodies.
With tall players they dont need to take a step much but they find it harder to recover.
A trad penholder is probably less susceptible to balls to the elbow than shakehands players but playing consistentlly to the centre of the table may cause him to make angles against you, which then gives you a chance to trump his angle by going even wider which may cause to take a step giving you a chance to go big down the line.
serving tight very short and wide to his bh may make him take a step and give you an opportunity.
You just have to try all these things and see what work.
I had such an opponent who I played 12 times over the years in the league. As i like to play quick 3rd ball it was frustrating to play against a wall like player difficult to get out of position
He won the first 3 encounters, I won the next 4 using various tactics then he won the next 2 demonstrating that he was wise to my tricks. What to do? my clubmate told me look he is super consistent, your normal 3rd ball short rally style cant cut it. Revert to a consistent rally style , ease off the power and be prepared for a long match! I took the advice and won 2 of the next 3. So he ended slightly on top I wish my teammate had spoken to me earlier encouraging me to think strategically rather than just 3rd ball tactics.
hope some of my ramblings.will help

 
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Sounds like a good idea, but in reality it´s really hard to realize.

Well, i didnt intend my example to be the solution but rather an example of trying to think out of the box.
Yes sometimes trying to find simple easy solutions is itself hard for some people

what suggestions do you have?

 
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Variation is your friend. Try doing a forehand pendulum serve to his backhand, then back to his backhand then blast into his body (or empty forehand)..

Then alternating hitting to his forehand and then backhand each shot. club level players simply cant effectively transition from their forehand to backhand more than once.
 

Brs

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Jpen is not a style you see that often but it's good fun to play against. Basically you have to make him move off his bh corner. If you let a jpen player stay there and play all forehands you will lose. That means giving them one chance with their forehand, unfortunately. What skills do you have to make their fh chance as difficult as possible? If you have a super heavy push then you can put it into his fh and try to block or counter a slow opener into his backhand. Or if you have good sidespin maybe you can play really wide to his fh so he has to move too far to blast a strong shot.

Obvs if you can somehow play outside his backhand without giving him a fh chance first, that would be better. Usually jpen player serve and receive games are designed to avoid that.
 
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Jpen is not a style you see that often but it's good fun to play against. Basically you have to make him move off his bh corner. If you let a jpen player stay there and play all forehands you will lose. That means giving them one chance with their forehand, unfortunately. What skills do you have to make their fh chance as difficult as possible? If you have a super heavy push then you can put it into his fh and try to block or counter a slow opener into his backhand. Or if you have good sidespin maybe you can play really wide to his fh so he has to move too far to blast a strong shot.

Obvs if you can somehow play outside his backhand without giving him a fh chance first, that would be better. Usually jpen player serve and receive games are designed to avoid that.
In the past, a FH side spin loop was used a lot v Penhold players, as BRS was saying, to try and get them out wide to their FH side, try and open up their BH side. Then switch to attack their BH wing.
This tactic was used back in the day by Joyner and other players against penhold players that at that time were much more common.
Obviously this isn’t a be all and end all tactic, there’s more than one way to consider.

 
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Pocket, pocket, pocket!

of course I agree that “pocket ” is a major part of the solution, but we should not forget that just playing there is not necessarily the end of it. If the opponent blocks intelligently then you have to try to move him in order to make the point.
If your opponent is a blocker then he likely has a good grasp of tactics himself…

 
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Brs

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Is penhold 'Pocket' smaller than a shakehands??

usually it is, yes. And single-side jpen players are typically very quick to see the ball coming to their pocket, move over, and smack the hell out of a fh either down the line or wide off the side. Like they have to be very quick, otherwise it's impossible to play with only one side.

That doesn't make targeting his pocket a bad strategy. There aren't many choices when your opponent's game is so simple. basically the proposition he gives is "I'm going to play forehand every ball. Try to stop me, nyanhy nyhany nyhah."

To me the long arms thing in the title isn't the main problem. For sure a Samsonov-wannabe tall player with reach you try to tie up by playing to the middle. The problem with this guy is the jpen thing. You can't make someone indecisive who already knows 100% what he will do with every ball. That's why it's fun to play them, the challenge is a bit different.

 
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Against a player with good footwork, if you play to the pocket he should move to one side and play his attack. You have succeeded in moving him but he will have taken the iniative. and the tactics develop dynamically from there.
We have seen a few videos of ralllies being ended by by a powerful Jamming shot, but we need to consider how we play to the middle at the beginning of the rally. If we open immediately with topspin a player with a good forehand may find that very easy to get going against. Accordingly we may adopt Soft flips with disguised direction, sometimes going to the wing and sometimes to the pocket. The slower disguised “soft flip” has the advantage of giving time to prep yr next (stronger) shot.
ts
So really identifying “pockets and Wings” as simply placements which automatically guarantee winners is a vast over simplification of whats needed

 
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Long arm and JPen itself doesn't mean anything. You will need to understand more about him:
1, How he deal with short balls in BH side & FH side
2, How is his FH open against backspin
3, How is his FH against topspin
4, How is his BH block & push against topspin
5, How is his movement from FH attack to BH block
6, How is his movement from BH block to FH attack

If he can deal all of them perfectly, you got no chance. But he can't possibly do all of them perfectly, you will be able to see loopholes there.
 
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In theory I think jpen players are less vulnerable at the body and more vulnerable at either wide corner both forehand and backhand.

So if he is a really good jpen player he will be good at blocking in front of the body and also in getting out of the way and hitting a forehand so hitting the middle might be less efficient.

Here is a good match of young timo against KTS and timo had most success going wide FH first and then wide BH. When timo executed that he usually won the point.

But when timo played too passively or just semi wide into the FH or BH he would usually lose the point.
https://youtu.be/kCRl-RhQfjw

But against a recreational jpen player testing the middle might still make sense, maybe he isn't all that good at tbp blocking or getting out of the way.
 
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Still think pocket is probably the best placement since the player is a "blocker" so i assume he is not running forehand and instead stay and play backhand. Towards the corner and he do not need so much. If he played forehand all over the table more i think the corners would be a better placement. Also, since he is tall it would be a good placement because he need to move so much body compared to the corners and shorter players.

But i agree, that other things like variations in tempo would be good. Never play the same tempo. A hard loop and more hard loops and the blocker will just find a nice distance from the table. After the hard loop it would be better to play a softer loop or an even harder loop.

Would be cool to hear from the OP if he wins or loses in the future against this opponent.

 
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