Game and skills analysis Yuki Shoji (Japan)


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

Here comes Yuki Shoji (Japan), winner of the US open 2017:

Strengths:

  • very good footwork
  • consistent defending with both forehand and backhand
  • good forehand smashing on pushes
  • good forehand defending on smashes
  • good backhand serves
  • good sidespin pushes with backhand often generating high return pushes from opponent that can be smashed.

Weaknesses:

  • no great variety of serves
  • not topspinning with forehand on pushes at all
  • no counterspinning from far off the table
  • maybe material issue: Pimples seen short or medium long. They do not make a big difference when pushing and twiddling
  • does not attack with backhand at all even though material (short pips) would support this

Suggestions:

  • work on more versatile serves
  • use forehand topspins more often
  • use attacking style more often (forehand topspin on pushes, backhand blocks or smashes)

 

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Game and skills analysis Koudai Hiraya


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

Here comes Koudai Hiraya (Japan?): Not much you can tell from just one match available …

Strengths:

  • good footwork and general physical fitness
  • very good forehand topspin on pushes
  • good backhand serves
  • very special, unusual and therefore awkward sidespin backhand pushes with long pips!
  • very choppy side-spinny forehand defence

Weaknesses:

  • many misses on returning serves and unforced errors when pushing
  • backhand defense too inconsistent and often too high or long

Suggestions:

  • should practice forehand serves
  • should work on better returning serves
  • should practice defending with backhand more consistently

Game and skills analysis Eric Adam (France)


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

Here comes Eric Adam , called “Le boucher” (France):

More videos including matches from ERIC and team mates can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/LaGardeTT

I make a deliberate exception here for a French player  who is  playing “only” in the french second league. He is playing the closest to what I would call the ideal defender style. He is twiddling the bat and uses all rubbers on all sides to defend and to attack. I am sure that if Joo Se Hyuk or Ruwen Filus would adopt his style they would be even better. His “motivational” behaviour is somewhat weird but if you don’t take it too seriously it can also be quite entertaining.

Strengths:

  • Very versatile playing style
  • very good backhand topspin
  • good backhand and very good forehand defense with long pips
  • consistent pushing with both rubbers on both sides
  • nice use of long pips on forehand to push-flip the ball and put pressure on the attacker
  • good footwork
  • good forehand topspin

Weaknesses:

  • sometimes having problems with tricky servers
  • sometimes shouting about also disturbs himself
  • backhand defense sometimes goes up too high. Wrist use could be improved to prevent this.
  • not many dangereous or tricky serves

Suggestions:

  • could use forehand topspin on pushes more often
  • increase versatility of serves

Game and skills analysis AN Yeongeun (KOR)


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

Here comes AN Yeongeun  (Korea):

Strengths:

  • good footwork
  • good consistent defending on both forehand and backhand
  • consistent pushing
  • good variety of backhand serves
  • good forehand topspin

Weaknesses:

  • generally too defensive. A bit too “old school”.
  • when defending with forehand she takes too much “swing” to chop. She won’t have enough time to do this against the better attackers since their topspins will be faster.
  • backhand defense often goes up too high.
  • too much pushing with the backhand covering 80 % of the table. Too often pushing the ball with backhand from the forehand side with out any need
  • no attacking skills on backhand shown
  • forehand topspin okay, but not consistent and not often enough used
  • backhand serves only
  • no twiddling of the bat
  • in push competitions she is “hopping” around to much without any need

Suggestions:

  • Should learn to attack more often and more consistently
  • Should learn to twiddle the bat especially when pushing so much with backhand.
  • Especially with backhand since attackers will rely on her always pushing the ball back from her backhand side
  • Should practice greater variety of serves also with forehand
  • should learn to chop with shorter arm strong and stronger wrist impact to save time and give higher backspin to the ball
  • should try to get away from “hopping” without reason and just move where it makes sense.

Game and skills analysis Qianhong Gotsch (China)


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

Here comes Qianhong Gotsch (China):

Strengths:

  • good backhand serves
  • very good forehand smash
  • good footwork
  • choppy fore and backhand when pushing

Weaknesses:

  • seems to play with two sides pips in, which is disadvantageous against better players
  • haven’t seen a forehand topspin from her yet
  • forehand defense looks more “shovely” than choppy

Suggestions:

  • if you don’t want to use long pimples you need to be able to float back fast spinny topspins in order to keep the ball low and deceive the opponent. So practise heavy chop versus float on same kind of topspin
  • practise forehand serves

Game and skills analysis Wang Wei (USA)


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

Here comes Wang Wei (USA):

Strengths:

  • good footwork
  • good forehand topspin against pushes and topspins
  • good forehand blocking against topspins
  • good backhand defending
  • good heavy backspin push with forehand
  • very good backhand serves

Weaknesses:

  • not a great variety of forehand serves
  • no consistent defending of slow spinny topspins down his forehand
  • has problems with topsins into his body
  • not twiddling often where it would make sense
  • backhand block with pips-out not used often enough. The commentator of the first video claims he has short pips, but I doubt this. I would reckon he has medium-long pips. Short pips would have a different flying curve and behaviour when pushing the ball

Suggestions:

  • get greater variety of serves especially with forehand
  • occasionally pushing with pips-in on backhand side would make sense
  • block or smash high pushes with backhand
  • block slow and high topspins into his backhand more often with pips-out rubber.
  • practice defending with both forehand and backhand when confronted with topspins into his body

Game and skills analysis Kim Youjin (Korea)


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

Here comes Kim Youjin (Korea):

Strengths:

  • good backhand defence/chop
  • good footwork
  • consistent pushing with forehand, also seem to be quite “choppy”
  • good variety of backhand serves

Weaknesses:

  • generally too much defending only.
  • forehand defence often come back too high. Technical issue: Like many female defenders she “shovels” round the ball instead of chopping or cutting  through the ball or trying a “float”
  • forehand topspin missing, especially when confronted with pushes down her forehand
  • no or few twiddling of the bat

Suggestions:

  • generally she should try to get more versatile: Use forehand topspin more often, twiddle bat (use pips in to push from backhand side), use forehand serves, block unexpectly with backhand (either with long pips or pips-in according to the situation)
  • improve forehand defence against slow and spinny topspins by either using long pips to defend or taking the ball lower and chop it more than “shoveling” it back.

Expert site for table tennis players prefering defensive style

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