I love playing tennis with Joe Marshall, partly because he brings onto the court the spins and slices that he uses on the ping pong table. No one else at our club has his style. Here are Joe’s comments to the previous ping pong posts.

I see you have Marty Reisman interviews posted. I first read about Marty way back….how he hustled people in ping pong by beating them using books or garbage pail covers…..great self promoter….and player.

Like Marty, I enjoy the hard paddle (sandpaper or pips-up paddle) more than the sponge, because of the longer rallies. But i have to say, I do love the sponge game as well. It requires a monstrous amount of concentration in order to read the spins of the opponent, especially if they have different grades of rubber on each side of the paddle.

Back in the 70’s, when the technology allowed for great diversity in the rubber over the latex foam, a Chinese athlete rose to be #2 int he world by using two different kinds of rubber and playing defensively, sending back shots with all kinds of different spins that would handcuff the opponent. He would actually flip the racket in his hand between strokes, so you didn’t know which kind of rubber he was returning with……For this reason, it became mandatory to have the two different colors we see today on the racket (usually red and black)…so the opponent could at least have a fighting chance of reading the different spins…..some rubbers are extremely sticky, and can create a lot of spin (but are difficult to control the other player’s spin with), and other rubbers are “DEAD”, take all the spin off the ball, and just dump it back.

Below are five videos (one is just a link) that show that all modern day rallies are not that short….by the way, it seems like nowadays they have switched from the 2-out-of-3, 21 point game format to the 3-out-of-5, 11 point format….at least on the ESPN shows…..I like it better this new way.

The last point in this next video is something.

and also……

how bout that Zhang Jike?

(Zhang Jike is the reigning World Champion and World Cup winner in singles. Should he win the Olympic gold medal in singles, he will be the fourth male player in the history of table tennis to achieve a career grand slam.)

Above is a long point in a match at a Mohegan Sun tournament. You don’t see many points like this at the highest international levels (I don’t know what level this is).

What makes it interesting is that it is shown form three different perspectives. The third being an angle from above. The third angle shows how the ball leaps off the table in any of three directions due to spin. You have to be able to read that spin, allow for it in your timing of the stroke, and COUNTERACT the spin because it will leap off your paddle in a crazy direction if you don’t! This is what makes the soft paddle game so intriguing.

The instructor I worked with from the USTTA said that you should try to take slam shots no higher than your shoulder….hence the jumping on the slams….for consistency and control.

Every once in a while they do this above……just for fun (in an exhibition game):

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