Game and skills analysis Riyo Nemoto (Japan)

The following observations are of course my personal view and do not claim to be the “truth”!

Here comes Riyo Nemoto (Japan):


  • good physical fitness and footwork
  • consistent defending on backhand with long pips
  • consistent defending on forehand


  • “attitude” problem: Her body language often shows frustration or resignation which you should never show to your opponent
  • main weakness is her feeble topspin on pushed balls as you can see in this defender against defender match (Xue Li) even though she beat another defender in the 2014 US open QF
  • very much backhand serves only, no versatile serves
  • forehand defending consistent but generally to high. In my view because she is not using wrist enought to chop “through” the ball
  • not taking advantage of opportunities to attack with forehand topspin. She gets a lot of long pushes into her forehand which she could attack
  • often puts the backhand defense ball into the same place on the table making it too easy for the opponent to topspin all the time
  • never twiddles the bat
  • never blocks back a fast topspin into her forehand


  • practice more versatile serves
  • use more often pips in on backhand to push ball back with heavy backspin in order to prevent fast first topspins by opponent
  • practice twiddling the bat, make use of pips-in on backhand pushes and block with backhand spontaneously
  • attack more with forehand on forehand pushes but also counter topspins from far behind the table
  • should practise using long pips for “push-lifting” the ball in order to put pressure on the attacker
  • learn to block topspins with forehand also from far behind the table to break the rhythm of the opponent

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