Vladimir Samsonov vs Xu Xin (World Tour Grand Finals, December 2015)

Vladimir Samsonov vs Xu Xin
Quarter finals, 2015 World Tour Grand Finals
12 December 2015

Fascinating match-up between the world’s top penholder, Xu Xin, and European legend, Vladimir Samsonov. At 39 years old, Samsonov isn’t as quick as he used to be, so he has to use all his cunning, rather than speed, to disrupt Xu Xin’s attacking game. Notice how Samsonov uses the full width of the table when pushing, blocking and flicking and how often he switches the direction of play to try and keep Xu Xin off-balance. Ultimately, Xu Xin proves to be too good, but it’s a closer match than many expected. There is also a fantastic drop shot by Xu Xin in the first set, which is definitely worth watching.

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About Tom Lodziak

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