Table Tennis Blog
The most important shot in Table Tennis
Just like in every singles sport, the most important shot in Table Tennis is the first shot!
The first shot is either A Serve or a Return of Serve. I’m sure many saw Hugo Calderano this weekend beating three players (Timo Boll, Lin Gaoyuan, Harimoto Tomokazu) in a very convincing style.
Many of my players and coaching compatriots contacted me saying are you seeing/see Hugo’s backhand and forehand bombs? I said, 'yes of course he’s a modern day Kalinikos Kreanga. But what impressed much more was HOW he could unleash his Bh and FH rockets. Most national and international players have big shots but the difference between them and world class players, is the ability to play those shots when your opponent finds ways to stop you!
I was explaining to everyone I spoke to, what’s impressive is not his big shots but his serve and return. A few years ago, I noticed Hugo when I saw him beat Timo Boll in the Bundesliga with big ripping backhands. Back then Timo was not in great shape as he is today and seemed to allow Hugo free rein to unleash his backhand. I never really saw Calderano produce much after that (although he did have a good Olympic Games).
So what has changed from a top player to a world class player, capable of beating anyone?
Hugo Calderano has developed the most important shot in the game.
His serve is varied with little and a lot of spin. He has a lovely variation with his service ball toss (high and low) and a great variety of different striking points on the ball. All with minor adjustments which are very hard to read and see. This development in Hugo’s game provides him exactly with what he requires to deliver an explosive forehand or backhand attacking shot.
Hugo has taken it one step further by developing possibly the best backhand flick on the planet. He’s not only flicking most balls but he manages to put such venom on the flick that often players watch the ball sail past them. This is due to a wonderful change of timing with the same body language. He keeps his body facing in one direction but takes the ball slightly late for down the line or earlier to execute a wide cross court angle.
It’s clear to see Hugo has a huge backhand and forehand but he has worked on developing ways of introducing those weapons by enhancing his first ball (serve and receive).
Hugo has a few elements he can develop further and potentially he could also crack the no.1 world spot!
What can he do better:?
A wonderful lesson learnt: you may have the biggest backhand and forehand in the world but if you’re unable to play them, they mean nothing. Find a strategy which enables you to execute your weapons.
Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis
FB: Eli Baraty
I began playing when I saw Forrest Gump and from that day it became a life long journey..