Modern table tennis tactic for left handed player

Modern table tennis tactic for left handed player

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Are you a lefty in table tennis? I mean, left-handed player. If yes, congratulation! You have a great advantage in table tennis! How to profit from these advantages?

Let’s talk about the “Lefty-Righty” matchup in table tennis. There are 4 main advantages for left-handed players in table tennis.

4 main advantages for left-handed players

  • Number 1 – Unfair familiarity
  • Number 2 – Aggressive crosscourt backhands to the wide forehand
  • Number 3 – Advantage when receiving serve
  • Number 4 – Wide Angle Forehand attack

Otavio said, “coach, I miss your videos about techniques and tactics”.
Yes, me too. I miss my videos about techniques and tactics. This is the main focus of my channel.

analysis of techniques and tactics
analysis of techniques and tactics

Daniel asked me “how should I play against the left-handers?”

how should I play against the left-handers
how should I play against the left-handers

Ivan asked, “I am a left-handed player, how to play with a right-handed player”.

how to play with a right-handed player
how to play with a right-handed player

So today, let talk about the tactic to win more when you are a left-handed player.

Number 1) Unfair familiarity

Based on the statistics, 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed. That means in 10 persons, 9 persons are right-handed, and only 1 person is left-handed.

Only 10% of the population is lefty
Only 10% of the population is a lefty
lefty vs righty in the population
lefty vs righty in the population

But look at the ITTF World Ranking. However, there are about 40% of the lefty in the top ranking.

ITTF - World Ranking with many left handers
ITTF – World Ranking with many left-handers

Xu Xin

Lin Gaoyuan

Lin Yun Ju

Timo Boll

Jun Mizutani

Hao Shuai

Michael Maze

Chen Qi

Koki Niwa

Marcos Freitas

Patrick Baum,

etc

Jun Mizutani one of five left handers in the men's singles quarter-finals
Jun Mizutani one of five left-handers in the men’s singles quarter-finals

I will use Zhou Yu as a good illustration to show you the modern tactics in table tennis. These tactics are widely used by professional lefty table tennis players.

So, it’s not a bad idea to be left-handed in table tennis. You will get a huge advantage. Why? Why there are so many lefties in table tennis? Because of this “unfair familiarity”.

ZHOU Yu lefty players from China
ZHOU Yu lefty players from China

As left-handers, you spend a lot of your time training with right-handed players. Lefty players know exactly how to play right-handers. Left-handed players know very well the weaknesses of right-handed players. However, right-handed players don’t have much occasion to play with lefty because they mostly play righty-righty matchup. The rally, the shots, the placement which works on right-handed players won’t work on the left-handed player.

Due to this point, “unfair familiarity” gives lefty a superior advantage over righty.

Watch this video for the full analysis:

Number 2 – Aggressive crosscourt backhands to the wide forehand

Since most lefties are used to training and playing with righties, you are familiar with your backhand shot to the opponent’s forehand.

Marcos Freitas is also a lelfty
Marcos Freitas is also a lelfty

Many lefties have developed powerful backhands to attack to the wide forehand corner. This put righty players under a lot of pressure.

Timo Boll, Michael Maze, Mizutani, Zhou Yu have excellent backhand shots to attack to the wide forehand corner.

Powerful backhand attack to the wide forehand corner
Powerful backhand attack to the wide forehand corner

Hint for the righty players: If you wait until the last second before counter-attack, then it’s too late and you will often miss the ball. The ball will break away due to sidespin from the shot.

90% of the population is right-handed, so you don’t have a chance to play lefties. When you play with lefty, you are surprised.

Number 3 – Advantage when receiving serve

This is the main advantage of Lin Yun Ju’s playing style. Lefty will stand a little more towards the middle of the table than usual.

There are 3 reasons for this. First, lefties will use a backhand flick for most of the receiving. This will put the righty under huge pressure.
Second, it can be easier, for the lefty, to see the contact of the ball rather than being blocked by the opponent’s body.

backhand flick at the forehand corner Lin YunJu
backhand flick at the forehand corner Lin Yun-Ju

And third, lefties have more of an angle to attack. Lefty can attack to the wide forehand. This will give the left-handed a much better receiving angle.

Hint for the righty players: To deal with this style, try sometimes deep serves, especially to both corners.

Number 4) Wide Angle Forehand attack

As I explained above, lefties have a very wide angle to attack. This forehand attack will put the opponent on the run or off-balance can give you a huge edge in the point.

This is the most important and most basic tactic is that in a lefty-righty matchup. This should be exploited whenever possible.

Forehand attack with a very wide angle for left handed players
Forehand attack with a very wide angle for left-handed players

A typical example is Xu Xin’s forehand. Xu Xin is left-handed, and his forehand is crazy, with a lot of sidespins. It’s very hard to get used to this shot, and it is very difficult to block.

If you are lefty, then practice some of these tactics the next time you find yourself in a lefty-righty matchup.

If you are a righty, you want to know the Key Ideas for Playing Left-Handers? If you struggle playing against the lefty, then practice with a left-hander as much as possible. I will explain the best ways to counter lefty players in another video.

Please comment below what is your main problem playing against a righty, lefty playing style.

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