Zhang Jike ball selection (VIDEO)

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Well-Known Member
Oct 2010
In the video below you can see Zhang Jike and Xu Xin selecting a table tennis ball before their next match in the World Championships. This usually happens away from a spectators view point so this video is interesting. Does anyone know why Zhang Jike does this? I wonder if other top players put as much emphasis on this process?


Video below

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Active Member
Apr 2011
I recall there was a video on Xu Xin selecting the ball, and he looks more familiar with this thing than Jike. If not mistake, each pro can pick three balls that they think it is perfect or close to perfect to play in the match.

The reason is that even the very good three star ball does not guarantee it has a near circular shape and consistent hardness during manufacturing process. By make the ball spinning (with spin axes perpendicular to table), if the ball stay at its own position while spinning, then this ball will be a good circular shape. If it still move around, then it is not close to perfect circular.
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Dici is right Xu Xin looks better at testing the balls. Xu Xin spins the ball on the table like Zhang jike but he holds his nail touching the ball. If the ball is circular and has no deformations, it will stay close to is finger nail. When you are playing and the ball is not circular or has some deformations, the ball could either jump up or go lower instead of the usual trajectory the ball has when playing topspin. It is similar to some weird balls that you receive when you are playing a guy with pimples where you see the ball in one point and then it moves downward weirdly.