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Analysis of a Point

August 23, 2014 by Rajeev Sharma

This point between [Yu Go Zhang 00:00:05] on the far court and [Andrei Filimon 00:00:07] shows some of the strategic thought that might be involved in a typical table tennis point. Yu serves a short ball to the middle of the ping pong table. He makes the serve look like under spin but imparts very little spin in hope that a misread will yield a high return.

Filimon tries to drop the ball back to the middle of the table to avoid giving an angle for an attack. He slightly misreads the amount of spin and pops the ping pong ball up a little too high. He immediately realizes his mistake and prepares to block Yu's attack. Yu got the ball he was hoping for.

He opened strongly to Filimon's forehand and pulls him off balance. Filimon tracks the ball and manages to get some drive on his block, placing the ball into Yu's middle in an effort to jam him.

Yu is caught a little off guard and can't produce a clean, open shot, but still moves sufficiently to play out his strategy, by placing the ball into Filimon's backhand. Since this shot is not very strong, Filimon is hoping to regain control over the point by running around the ball and taking a forehand, even though he could have reached the ball more comfortably with his backhand.

Yu's ball curves away from him slightly so he can't get there in time to make a powerful shot, and is instead forced to play a somewhat defensive fishing shot to Yu's backhand. Yu recognizes the intention and runs around to take a forehand, and pins Filimon on his backhand.

Filimon is forced to backup because the fishing wasn't successful in rattling Yu. From this far back he can only continue fishing and hope for an opening. Yu is now in total control of the point, and continues pining Filimon on his backhand, waiting for the opportunity for a kill shot.

Filimon, recognizing the danger, tries to counter-attack with a backhand placed to Yu's forehand. If he made it, it could have turned the point, but he misses. Initially, your strategy will less detailed, but think about it as you practice and eventually your thinking will become more and more sophisticated.

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