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Wide Forehand - Good Ball Placement 1

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Diagram of Good Ball Placement to the Wide Forehand

Good Ball Placement to the Wide Forehand

© 2007 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If Player B learns to place the ball to Player A's wide forehand, thus cutting the sideline, he can increase the amount of area that Player A has to try to defend. You may notice that this tactic means that Player B will have to land the ball shorter on the table, reducing the amount of table length he has to aim at. This is not as risky as it sounds, since Player B has a couple of methods at his disposal to compensate for this smaller target area.

  • Firstly, by changing his bat angle a little and increasing his brushing action, Player B can increase the amount of spin he puts on the ball, and reduce the ball speed a little. This will produce a stroke that will travel slightly more slowly, but with increased dip once the ball crosses the net, which will have the effect of increasing the target area Player B has to aim at.
  • Secondly, by using the natural 'hooking' sidespin motion on his forehand side, Player B can make the ball curve in the air and bounce off the table so that it moves even further away from Player A. This reduces the need for Player B to aim at the sideline of the table, so he does not have to aim as far to Player A's right, and he can use his sidespin to curve the ball away from Player A.
This type of stroke will travel a little slower than Player B's normal loop stroke. This really doesn't matter, since the wide angle generated by the stroke will more than compensate for this by forcing Player A to move a long way to his right to reach the ball. In addition, since most players actually move better going towards their backhand than their forehand, Player A is likely to find it difficult to move smoothly to his forehand side to make a positive attacking stroke. Is is more likely that Player A will lunge or stretch in order to make contact, leaving Player A off balance and stuck out very wide to his forehand.

If Player B can continue to consistently hit to Player A's wide forehand area during a match, Player A will be forced to modify his basic ready position, and will have to move further to his right (as shown in the diagram) to compensate for the fact that Player B has an increased amount of angles to choose from - the sum of the maroon and blue shaded areas. This is significant for a number of reasons, which I will discuss in the next diagram.

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