How to play against blockers

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 1 month ago

Ardak :)

Ardak :) Asked 1 year ago

Hi coaches!

Recenly I played with blocker. He doesn't look like a professional player, he doesn't do topspins, there is no spin on his balls. Even his racket is not professional. He hits flat and fast, blocks are very accurate. When I do topspin, he returns very fast and to different sides each time.

What strategy should I use?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Ardak,

The main thing when playing against a Blocker is to vary the spin and speed on the ball.  The worst thing you can do is play every ball fast because they love the speed coming to them and they will use that to place the ball well and get you out of position.

We have a tutorial on how to play against a blocker for our Premium members in our Playing Against Series. Take a look at the tutorial on Playing A Blocker.

 

 


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Thoughts on this question

Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 1 year ago

Thank you, coach! 

Today I played again against that blocker. He is better player than I expected. He controls the ball good and  does adjustments during the game. Today I lost again, but this time scores were very close. Won 11:8, lost 9:11, 9:11, 14:16. But when we played first time I lost 2:11, 4:11, 4:11. Then I did the worst mistake that you said :)). 

 

Today I tried to apply the strategy you suggested. That's why today scores were close. Couldn't win because of my own problems in technique of strokes.

Hope, next time I will add more variations of spin and speed to my strokes. Thank you, again! 


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 1 year ago

PS. My opponent was very surprised! After the game he said: " Didn't I beat you easily when we played first time?"

Because he doesn't know about your coaching :))) 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 1 year ago

Well done Ardak!  Great to hear about your improvement. 


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 6 months ago

Hello, coach!

One year past. I still can't beat that blocker. I want to say more about him. He is not a pure blocker. He is also a counter-attacker. If I do fast topspin, then he does aggressive fast blocks with changing directions which is trouble for me. If I do slower topspin, or some higher strokes then he smashes. So topspin is not effective. Recently I noticed that he struggles against players who doesn't (can't) do topspins. He usually looses to a player who plays only with pushes, chops and smashes (without any topspins).  So now I am playing only with chops vs him. With this tactic games become more competetive but I still loose. You suggested to vary spin and speed of strokes vs him. Can you say more details about it? Some exact tactics? (sorry for strange questions)


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 months ago

Hi Ardak,

I am glad you are learning from watching other players too. Now think about the ideal opportunity to make that first topspin in the rally. It sounds like you have time to do this and can push and wait for the best opportunity. When you decide to make the topspin make it effective with good spin or speed or placement. 


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 6 months ago

Thank you very much, coach!!!

What he mainly does in the game is to wait for my topspin. He even returns my chops with less backspin to force me do topspin. I will wait and think about ideal attack. As I said in the other question topic, it seems my problem in doing topspin is not varying the placement&spin&speed.  I will try hard to learnt it. Thank you coach!


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 5 months ago

Hi, coach!

I want to share an information about the above blocker. He is an amateur, he plays only with BH side of the racket. But recently he beat a pro player who is ranked 50th place in our country!!! It was in a commercial tournament where anyone can participate. I didn't watch the game, I heard in from other participants. But I have watched couple of videos of that pro player. He is a PRO, he can do almost every type of topspins, can place the ball everywhere, can vary spin and speed! But the amateur blocker managed to beat him! Then I started to think that it is normal that I still can't beat him :))) 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 months ago

Sounds like he might be better than he looks... A different type of player can make it awkward to play against as you don't get the chance to see that type of ball often.


D K

D K Posted 5 months ago

Ardak,if he uses only a backhand side,then he has still an explitable weakness.
The weakness is to fire two opposite wide balls in a rapid succession.
This player seemingly relies on game-reading and tactics a LOT.
Try to move him,make him run around.
Maybe aim for his wide forehand,from what you he does not look so condident here.

I could maybe share info about one of local players,who is similar.
He looks he never plays seriously,uses custom-made (but pro level) blade which is very fast on one side and very slow on other side.
On the fast side,he uses Dignics,very fast rubber. On slower side,he uses Palio OX longpips. He uses the pips for 80% of the strokes.
Seemingly unreadable,he follows a simple pattern: if you are pressed against the table,he plays long. If not,he plays short.
And he CAN play short really well.
I played him recently and he even returned my topspins with double bounce. My topspins are not really strong,but even against offensive opponents,he is able to keep the balls short enough so that the highest point is safely over the table.
Against me,he frequently places the balls on the inner corners of table.
He plays 2rd STate League,that is third best League in my country.
I play formally 1st,practically 4th District League. That is the second,respectively fifth WORST League (out of 12).
Last match,I lost 3:0,but I was able to pressure him into states 11:13,14:16 and 21:23.


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 5 months ago

Hi , D K. I don't think wide FH helps. Because he stands at the FH corner. Usually he forces to move the opponent. He can place the ball perfect. Changes direction from one corner to another. He usually wins topspinners. But he loses to flat hitters, long pimple users and anti-spin users.


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 1 month ago

Hi, coach!

Last two times I won that blocker with ease. Each time I didn't lose even a set. There was 2 weeks between those two matches.  It is very strange that I won him without  using any specific strategy. I played mostly with pushes and blocks as usual. But the only difference  was: Both times I played with allround blade. Before, when I couldn't win him even a set, I was playing with off and off+ blades. Do you also think that I won him because of the allround blade?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 1 month ago

It sounds like that. Maybe you played slower which he didn’t like. 


Ardak :)

Ardak :) Posted 1 month ago

Yes, I played really very slower. Blade allowed to play very slow. I won each set around 11:4.

My blocks were shorter and slower against his fast serves. I almost didn't use topspins. Since my phushes were shorter than usual, he didn't attack. When he attacked even very high pushes, ball went to the net, because ball was shorter. 

These matches I didn't think any strategy because I didn't play to win. I played just to play. 

In addition, I think I played unwittingly, unconsciously good strategy which you said above.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 1 month ago

Well done Ardak. Good improvement. 



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