The Ma Lin chop block is a shot of beauty! He used it very effectively during his career. Here’s a short video with many examples of Ma Lin using his chop block.
So how to do it?
- You need an open bat angle, so you can brush down the back of the ball
- You raise your bat above the incoming ball
- As the ball approaches, move you bat down and sideways
- You need a brushing contact and plenty of racket speed
- You will generate both backspin and sidespin
But perhaps the two most important elements are this.
- You must contact the ball quite earlier after it bounces
- You use a short, fast stroke
The combined effect of early timing and a short fast stroke make the shot very effective. You can easily confuse your opponent and mess with his/her timing.
I have a video I made with Craig Bryant, where he explains how to play a chop block. Even though Craig is demonstrating with a shakehand grip, the stroke and timing is the same as penhold. This is a good video to watch to learn the chop block: How to do a chop block