Tactics to beat choppers

Ask the coachCategory: Tactics & match-playTactics to beat choppers
Urbish Chattopadhyay asked 5 months ago

    Can you please tell what are the tactics I can use to beat a chopper?

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 4 months ago

A good chopper can be really hard to play against. I have seen different approaches work over the years.

Some players like to use a combination of spin and power. They will play a heavy topspin attack, which makes it harder for the chopper to return the ball low. If the ball comes back a little high, then the drive the ball flat and fast, which is often a winning shot. If you are naturally an attacking player, and can switch between topspin and flat hits, then this approach could work for you.

For me, I take a mixed approach. I am happy to be patient, mixing up pushes and loops and waiting for an easier ball to finish the point. I try to move the chopper from left to right / in and out to really test their footwork. With this patient and more controlled approach, you may find the chopper starts making some unforced errors. But the rallies do tend to go on for much longer!

Whatever approach you take, you need to be confident attacking backspin balls. Without good looping skills it is harder to beat a chopper.

A do have a section about how to beat a chopper (and other playing styles) in my book SPIN: https://www.tabletenniscoach.me.uk/spin-tips-and-tactics-to-win-at-table-tennis/