June 6, 2017

Tip of the Week
Rallying Tactics for Blockers.

World Championships
By now you’ve seen all the results, read all the articles, and watched all the videos (see yesterday’s blog) from the World Championships. Life can now go back to normal!!! Here’s the article on the Men’s Final, Ma Long Retains Title, Most Dramatic Final Ever?, and here’s video of the final (15:06). A few observations:

  • The Push Heard Round the World. Fan Zhendong was serving up 9-7 in the seventh. At 9-8 he serves, and Ma Long does a seemingly simple push to the forehand, and Fan is right there, in position to rip it – but instead weakly loops off the end. What happened? The simple-looking push was actually an extremely effective one, outside the corner but short enough so that the table was in Fan’s way, forcing him to adjust. If the push had been longer, Fan would have ripped it; if it had been shorter, he would have flipped it. So Ma found the perfect balance. But this wasn’t the first time Ma used this push tactics. Down 1-7 in the first game he uses it and gets a weak Fan loop, and so he used it effectively throughout the match.
  • Tomokazu Harimoto in Training (3:34). Is he the future? Probably – at age 13 he beat world #6 Mizutani and a slew of others to make the quarterfinals of the Worlds. Go 51 seconds in, when he’s on the far side doing forehand loops, and see how he loops with while rotating in a circle? His head and body don’t move forward, always rotating in that circle, so he’s constantly balanced, instantly in position and ready of the next shot. This is how top players mostly loop, when in position. Here’s Ma Long ripping a forehand in the first point of game two, also going in a near perfect circle. It’s called “circling the rod,” where you imagine a rod going through your head from the top. This is why top players can relentlessly attack without backing up. Most players think one loop at a time, and so aren’t ready for a follow-up. (Here’s Harimoto vs. Xu Xin in the Quarterfinals - 7:16. Here he is against Mizutani – 4:12.)
  • Hypothetical question that keeps me up late at night: If a player is up match point against the greatest of all time, but flubs three easy shots and blows it, who is the GOAT?

How Ma Long Became World Champion – Analysis of Final Points
Here’s the great analysis by Shashin Shodhan. He also wrote about the Worlds regularly in his daily blog.

USATT’s Coverage of the Worlds
Here’s their news page, with lots of articles on the Worlds, both links to ITTF ones and ones by Matt Hetherington.

Timo Boll on Loss to Ma Long
Here’s the video (4:39) – “He’s a machine!”

The Best 13 Year Old Ever Seen
Here’s the article from Coach Me Table Tennis, on Tomokazu Harimoto.

Sweden's Golden Era Legend - Interview with Jorgen Persson
Here’s the interview. Some great stuff from the 1991 World Men’s Champion!

Tom’s Table Tennis Newsletter
Here’s the new one. It includes links to a number of coaching articles, including one of mine.

Ask the Coach
Questions answered at PingSkills.

Eberhard Schöler Recognised in Düsseldorf
Here’s the ITTF article on the 1969 World Men’s Singles Finalist – the last player to make the final with hardbat (on his backhand). He’s a chopper, and was up 2-0 in the final against Shigeo Itoh of Japan before losing in five. “There were three persons who marked the history of the German Table Tennis: Boll, Rosskopf and Ebby Schöler, who dedicated all his life for table tennis. German table tennis has been lucky to have someone like him and he deserves our all thanks.”

History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 19 (1991-1992)
Here's chapter eleven! Or order your own print copies at TimBogganTableTennis.com, as well as Volume 19!

Virginia State Championships
Here’s the write-up and results, by Michael Levene - they were held this past weekend!

Mexico City the Home Basic Umpires Course Proves Equally Successful
Here’s the ITTF article.

And the Vlogs are Back! – Nathan Hsu in China
Here’s the video (6:16), where he mostly reviews the movies he watched during his 14-hour flight to Shanghai, China. Training starts soon!

Beer Pong vs. Ping Pong
Here's yesterday’s “Zits” cartoon!

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