The following observations are of course my personal view and do not claim to be the “truth”!
Here comes Sas Lasan (Slovenia):
Due to the fact that Lasan apparently is one of the rare defenders that doesn’t use neither short or long pimples nor antispin rubber I would like to mention general advantages and disadvantages of playing with two sides rubber in:
- you can also put loads of back spin when pushing the ball thus preventing fast topspins. Precondition is that you are subtle and agile in your wrist.
- if you are able to topspin with both sides in addition to defending you will become quite versatile and unpredictable for the opponent
- if you are able to you can vary the spin in a very deceptive way mixing heavy chop defense with low floating balls, so that it becomes very difficult for the opponent to read the spin
- it is hard to defend slow and very spinny topspins. You have a high likelyness that you put the ball far off the table or return it much too high
- it is hard to give the same backspin back or even increase it on the topspin you received as you can do with good quality long pips rubbers
- when playing weaker players you give away the advantage of confusing the opponent about your own spin when twiddling while pushing back the ball
- When using pimples in to defend (same as for short pips) you have to be much faster on your feet in order to be able to return the ball low and on the table.
I just realized that he is using long pips here!
- good physical fitness with a long “reach” for a defender
- quite versatile being able to attack and defend on both sides
- good backhand topspin
- good variety of serves
- main weakness is inconsistent defending from his backhand especially when getting fast topspins
- forehand topspin consistent but not a “killer”
- physically strong but not very agile/flexible
- should consider changing to pimples on backhand plus practise twiddling to still have the same options as before for attacking (oops I just saw in the second video that he did change to long pips!)
- should work on getting away from “shoveling” technique on forehand defending (when using pips out) towards chopping through the ball