TT Technician: fifth game in the fast lane 

In this week’s TT Technician we will be looking at the final game of the Men’s Singles 3rd Place playoff at the 2017 ITTF-Oceania Cup between Yoshua Shing (VAN) and Matthew Ball (NZL).

It was a historic win for Shing, claiming his first medal in the ITTF-Oceania Cup against an in form Ball, who in the previous round took 2017 winner David Powell to the seventh game.

Checkout the fifth and final here:

In final game Shing is leading 3-1 and has zeroed on his primary tactic; receiving towards the forehand half. Ball’s backhand had been red hot during the Oceania Cup and warrants its own analysis at a later date. So by keeping the ball towards the forehand wing, Shing immediately had the advantage in the rally.

Notice too that in the rallies Shing is finding the forehand side, but also aims to vary the speed and spin. Sometimes two fast balls right on the corner, while others a slower, no spin loop. Checkout that no spin loop towards the centre forehand at 5-1. Ball is ready to block, but because the ball is directed slightly at the body, he doesn’t adjust and losses the point.

As the game progresses you find Ball stepping across to use in backhand half, trying to take control of the rally. For a bit of variation Shing throws in a slide receive out to the wide backhand. This leaves the New Zealander having to adjust and ultimately making an air swing.

Even with the lead Shing didn’t look for unnecessary power. At 8-4, the ball is sitting up but instead of swinging with full force, Shing throws in the spin loop. The last few blocks had gone in to the net, this one goes sailing off the end.

At match point, Shing keeps it simple, and sticks to the receive that has work so well. Touches the serve short/half long to the forehand side. He isn’t scared of it drifting long, trusting himself to make counters if Ball found his forehand drive.

The tactic from the beginning of the game secures the match. The key in closing it out was sticking to the basic tactic and using variation that would complement the tactic.