The ideal defender


I was asked which capabilities the ideal defender should have. Here you go (applies to both male and female defenders):

General:

Should have general fitness of Joo Se Hyuk or Yang Wang

Forehand:

  • should be able to attack pushes like Joo Se Hyuk
  • should be able to counterspin on topspins like Joo
  • should be able to countersidespin on topspins like Hou Yingchao or Lin Ju
  • should be able to defend on fast topspins like Joo
  • should be able to defend slow spinny topspins with long pips on forehand like Masato Shiono or Viktoria Pavlovich
  • should be able to push on pushes like Evgueni CHTCHETININE
  • Should have a great variety of serves like Joo or Panagiotis Gionis
  • should be able to react on a push ball into one’s forehand with an aggressively push ball with long pips (!) long line into the backhand of a right hander. I don’t know any defender using this except me and a French defender named Adam from the second national division with some very entertaining habits 🙂

Backhand:

  • should be able to defend on all kinds of topspins like Joo or Shiono
  • Should be able to attack on pushes like Ruwen Filus
  • Should be able to push on pushes with pips-in rubber like Shiono or Chtchetinine
  • Should be able to push lift the ball occasionally with long pips the way Chen Weixing and Ruwen Filus do it
  • Should be able to occasionally float back an “empty” ball on a topspin with pips in.
  • Should have a great variety of serves as Ruwen Filus, Seo Hyo Won and other good female defenders have

It is obvious that you will never have all this capabilities in one person, but you can always strive to learn a bit of everything and make yourself as unpredictable to attackers as possible.

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