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The critical moment is an important tactical concept in table tennis. Knowing this concept, you will boost your winning chance in table tennis.
The handicap system
This is the men versus women simulation match in the 2021 Olympics Warm-up tournament. Fan Zhendong lost to Chen Meng.
This is not the first time, Fan Zhendong lost to Chen Meng.
A player asked, “Why are all sets beginning from 8-6, 8 for women, and 6 for men?”
Because the male players are stronger than the female players, so Chinese coach has used the handicap system. Women players have 2 points in advance to balance the game.
This is a test before the Tokyo Olympics Games. How to deal under pressure, when the top Chinese players play against weaker players. In order to increase the pressure, the top male players are put in the situation of losing the game. So they need to come back.
However, what we will learn here is the “critical situation” concept in table tennis.
Why the Chinese coach has chosen the score 6-8, but why not 0-2?
The answer is the “tactical critical moment” in table tennis!
What is a critical situation in table tennis?
The critical situation is the most important moment in table tennis. That losing one point or winning one point will affect the outcome of the match.
So starting with the score of 0-0 is not a critical situation in table tennis. Because winning 1 point will not change the outcome of the match. You are not sure to win the game, by leading 1-0 or being down 0-1.
Chinese coach has shown us the 2 critical situations in table tennis. At this moment, by winning one point, the result of the game can be altered. It has a huge emotional and mental effect.
2 critical situation examples in table tennis.
Situation 1: The score at 6-8
6-8 is the first critical situation. If you win one point, then the score is now 7-8. You have a huge mental boost to come back. If you lose one point, then the score is now 7-9. Your chance of winning is very small. Because the opponent will serve the next 2 balls.
This critical situation is called “the first light critical situation”. Because you have 50% to balance the score, and then you have 3 more chances to balance the score.
Situation 2: The score at 8-9
This is the second critical situation. If you win one point, then the score is now 9-9. Who will serve the next ball will have a higher chance to win the game. However, if you lose a point, then the score is now 8-10. Your chance of coming back is very small. The opponent has a double chance (200%) to win. You have only 1 small chance before the opponent reaching to the amazing number 11.
That’s why this critical situation is called “the last big critical situation”.