Table Tennis - Modern Defender Tactics for Playing with Long Pimples

As discussed previously, the essence of the modern defensive style is the use of backspin and spin variation to force mistakes from the opponent and setup the forehand topspin counterattack. That said, here are my tips for the modern defender.

Tip 1 - Service

In addition, the modern defender should also allow his opponent to attack his serve, but the secret to this lies in forcing the opponent to put the ball where you want to receive it, so that you can begin the setup for your own counterattack. Watch Joo Se Hyuk or Chen Weixing when you can, and notice that they are not afraid to give their opponent a long ball on serve, but that most of the time the opponent is forced to attack to where they are waiting - typically to the backhand where they use the long pimples to vary the spin and set up for their own powerful forehands.

Tip 2 - Tempt the Opponent

Tip 3 - Hide the Contact

Tip 4 - Wait for it

Tip 5 - Dare Your Opponent

Tip 6 - Balance is Important

Tip 7 - Go Deep When You are Deep, or You'll be in Deep ...

A planned short chop with float can be useful though, as many opponents will try a drop shot and should pop the ball up due to the lack of backspin. You had better be charging in behind your float though!

Tip 8 - Get Back

Tip 9 - Stay Up

Refer to Tip 8 - and ignore that tip if you have accidently placed the ball high and short. If you try to go back you will be vulnerable to a wide ball on either side, or even a drop shot. Instead, stay in close and block the coming attack - it's surprising how effective this can be against an attacker who is expecting you to be going back from the table. Don't try to hit the ball too hard, just stick your bat out and put it back on the table - the surprise will do the rest.

Tip 10 - Be Able to Chop with the Normal Side

Tip 11 - Be Realistic

Tip 12 - Know Where You Are

Tip 13 - Hang 'em High

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Tip 14 - Pick a Side for Your Attacks

At the lower levels, smart use of the twiddle can allow you to use your long pimples on the third or fourth attack for variation. Don't twiddle too early - have a couple of tries at putting the ball past your opponent with your normal side first. But if you have hit a couple of attacks and your opponent is comfortably returning them, a quick twiddle and hit with the long pimples will throw most lower level opponents off. Twiddle back to the smooth rubber for the next attack though - or else you will be asking for trouble.

Tip 15 - Open Up and Say Ahh!

At the advanced level, you had better know what you are doing when you try to open up with the long pimples - some opponents will handle it better than others. Give it a try and see. Try from both the backhand and forehand at least once. At the pro level, watch the top defenders and count how many times they open up with their long pimples - you can probably count it on the fingers of one finger. By the time you get to that level you will know why as well!

Next: Classic Defender Tactics for Playing With Long Pimples