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How to Beat Choppers – Tips from Xu Xin

Welcome back! Today, we learn the Simple but Effective table tennis tactics to play against the defenders, the choppers in table tennis.

As you know, table tennis tactics are crucial in this sport. So the coach must provide the best tactics to their player to win. You can also read all of my articles related to “Tactics and Strategy” in table tennis.

Best way to win choppers

Some players use combination bats that help them earn points. They usually force the mistakes of the opponents and then they win the point with the opposite rubber (like long pips, short pips, and anti-spin rubbers). Here are some ways to counter their styles.

In general, defensive players used 3 types of combined rubbers:

  • Short pips
  • Long pimples
  • and anti-spin rubbers


Ma Te - one of the best choppers in China
Ma Te – one of the best choppers in China

The best strategy to play against good chopper is to “force them to give you the weak ball”. What is the weak ball for you?

A weak ball is a ball which is returned: too high, close to the net, or with less spin. So that you can finish it with a flat hit, or a loop kill, a smash. (Learn how to smash correctly in table tennis).

Here are the tips:

  • Be patient. Don’t attack hard the first ball. You know, that you can’t win the defender with just one attack, right?
  • Use safe, slow topspin to deal with his chop, his serve. Aim to the consistency of your loop.
  • Objective: vary the placement to push the defender far away from the table. Force him to return with a weak ball.
  • And now, use the loop kill, hit the ball hard and fast to finish the point.

Understanding these tactics, you won’t lose to the defender unless he is way more consistent and smarter than you.


Very Good Chinese Long Pimples Chopper

Watch this video.


Xu Xin’s tactics to win Chopper

Xu Xin rarely lose to the defender! Why? Xu Xin eats defender for breakfast. Because of the ability to attack all the ball with his forehand (strength of penholder), and the ability to vary the spin of the loop.

One soft, slow topspin, and one fast loop kill. That’s what every defender scares the most!

Xu Xin - The nightmare of every defender in table tennis
Xu Xin – The nightmare of every defender in table tennis

Xu Xin has destroyed many other Japanese defenders!

10-0 in the first set! Read it here.

Let’s see how Xu Xin deals with Ma Te. (One of the best defender of China nowadays).


Why Xu Xin rarely lose to defender?

Watch this video.

Let’s see the Replay of this point, and you will understand the tactics used by Xu Xin!

Step 1 – Slow spinny loop

Xu Xin’s first attack is the slow but spinny loop. This kind of loop is a safe option to deal with the first chop and service.

You can also see the ability, the footwork of Xu Xin, that he can use his forehand to attack the ball everywhere on the table.

Step 2 – Attack wide angle

The second loop is also a slow and safe attack. But now Xu Xin attack to the wide backhand side of the defender. Why?

Because Xu Xin wants to force the defender away from the table. That’s why Xu Xin changed the direction. If the defender is too far from the table, his return (his chop)
is weaker, and closer to the net.

Step 3 – Finish the point

This is the 3rd loop. When realizing that the chop is weak and close to the net. Xu Xin decided to use the loop kill, to attack strongly the ball (on the bounce) to finish the point.


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

2 thoughts on “How to Beat Choppers – Tips from Xu Xin”

  1. Hi Tom. Can you please tell me which kind of bat is better for me. I would say, I am intermediate player and I always like to attack. Which is better off or allround bat?


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