Patrick Franziska vs Daniel Habesohn (European Table Tennis Championships, September 2015)

20150930 - Patrick Franziska vs Daniel Habesohn

High energy match between these two big hitting European stars. Daniel Habersohn (Austria) takes a two set lead and has two match points in the third set. But Patrick Franziska (Germany) fights back to take the set. Franziska then comes back from 5-1 down in the 4th set to set up a decider. In the 5th set, Franziska is once again behind. Can he stage another comeback and win the match? Watch to find out. The final point of the match is brilliant, so keep watching until the end.

Wei Dong Shi vs Quentin Robinot (French League, September 2015)

20150921 - Wei Dong Shi vs Quentin Robinot

This match is a good example of how to play if you need to compensate for a glaring weakness in your game. Wei Dong Shi is a one-winged attacker. He mainly blocks with his backhand and uses his footwork to get get his forehand attack into play as much as possible. Robinot doesn’t exploit Wei Dong Shi’s weak backhand enough. When he does get the ball into the backhand corner, he seems to win most of the points. But too often he plays to Wei Dong Shi forehand side and looses. The match goes to to a deciding set. Watch to find out who wins.

Jean Michel Saive vs Anthony Tran (Belgium Open, September 2015)

20150914 - Jean Michel Saive vs Anthony Tran

I enjoyed watching this match – not for the drama (Anthony Tran won 4-1) – but for the athleticism of Jean Michel Saive. The Belgian legend is now 45-years-old, but he’s still playing like a 25-year-old. His footwork is still great and he still tries (and succeeds) to play forehand topspins from every position of the table. It just shows that if you look after your body you can carry on playing a high energy, athletic style of table tennis for many, many years.

Table tennis needs Grand Slams

One of the things I find frustrating about table tennis is its lack of media exposure. In the UK, the only time that table tennis gets any decent national media exposure is during the Olympics. But once the Olympics are over, table tennis disappears and is forgotten about for another four years. What we need is for table tennis to be in the media spotlight more often. One way to do this would be to introduce Grand Slam tournaments, similar to tennis.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov vs Ruwen Filus (Austrian Open, September 2015)

20150907 - Dimitrij Ovtcharov vs Ruwen Filus

Cracking match between Ovtcharov and Filus. Ovtcharov is one of the most powerful attacking players in world table tennis, but somehow, Filus is able to keep putting the ball back on the table – displaying some phenomenonal defensive skills. The match goes to a deciding set and facing match-point, Filus switches role and starts attacking. He wins the point to take it to 10-10. Who’s going to win those final two points?

Can a table tennis robot help you improve?

Two years ago I bought a table tennis robot to use in my garage at home. It was a hugely exciting purchase – a Robo-Pong 2050! Friends and family were amused by the thought of me thrashing it out against this strange named machine in my garage, but for me it had a serious purpose – extra practice. The big question is, has the robot helped me improve? Read my blog post to find out.