How to play table tennis like the Chinese

I’ve been watching videos of the Chinese players quite a lot recently. It’s a joy to watch these players in their full attacking flow. Apart from the occasional surprise loss, their standard of play is in a different league to other players in the top 20. From my many hours of watching these great players, I’ve identified a few things I think we can all learn from them and try and implement in our own game….

Fan Zhendong vs Stefan Fegerl (Polish Open, October 2015)

20151025 - Fan Zhendong vs Stefan Fegerl

Fascinating match between Fan Zhendong (China) and Stefan Fegerl (Austria) in the final of the men’s singles at the Polish Open. Fegerl had already caused a huge shock in the semi-finals by beating Zhang Jike. His reward? A final against Fan Zhendong. What’s unusual about Fegerl is his close-to-the-table blocking style, which you don’t see it that often anymore. Players tend to go back and go topspin to topspin. But by staying close to the table and blocking aggressively, Fegerl is taking time away from his opponents, putting them under a lot of pressure and forcing errors. The match goes to the final set. Can Fegerl go all the way? Watch to find out.

The dreaded first league season

The winter league season has started. There are regulars playing for the umpteenth season, rekindling old rivalries and trying to achieve their highest ever win percentage. But there are also lots of people playing their first ever league season, who are struggling to win a single set, let alone an entire match. If you’re a new player, make sure you read this blog post. I have some great tips on how to survive your first season.

Ma Long vs Fan Zhendong (Men’s World Cup, October 2015)

20151018 - Ma Long vs Fan Zhedong

Ma Long is a player in form. Earlier in the year he became World Champion and now he has added another Men’s World Cup title to his collection with an emphatic 4-0 victory of Fan Zhendong. Ma Long has always had a phenomenal forehand, but over the past couple of years his backhand has got much stronger. Some of his backhand attacks is this match against Fan Zhedong are unbelievably quick. There’s some great slow motion footage in the video, so you can really see the technique of these two great players.

Coping with defeats in table tennis

Losing. We have all experienced it, lots of times. The moment of anguish, when facing match point, you send the ball into the net or your opponent smashes the ball past you. Game over. Another loss to add to the list. Losing can be very dispiriting. But don’t despair. Instead of dwelling on a loss in a state of self-pity, you should try and take a positive approach. Here’s my step-by-step process on what you should do after you have lost a match…

Marcos Freitas vs Par Gerell (European Table Tennis Championships, September 2015)

20151012 - Marcos Freitas vs Par Gerell

Hugely entertaining match between these to left-handed attackers. Freitas (Portugal) is the player with the higher ranking, but Gerell (Sweden) takes a 3-1 lead with some very consistent and aggressive attacking play. Freitas finds his own attacking rhythm and wins the next two sets to take the match into the final set. Freitas leads 6-3 in the final set, but Gerell wins 5 straight points to take an 8-6 lead. I’ll let you watch the match to find out if Gerell can see out the match. This match has loads of great topspin to topspin rallies. Enjoy!

What are the best attacking table tennis rubbers?

One of the challenges most table tennis players face is choosing which rubbers to play with. There just so many rubbers available. To try and make life a little easier for you, I have created a short list of the top attacking table tennis rubbers – and which style of play they are suited for. This list is based upon my own personal experience and reviews from other players. It’s also based on the rubbers top professional players use.