• July 21, 2015
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This was my response to Mary on my forehand chopping post, which I felt should get it's own blog post.  Her question was "Do you win more points from chopping or attacking?

Great question!

Direct points? Hard to say, it depends on the opponents. Most opponents cannot consistently loop underspin (US) from chop till say about 1600 USATT. They can, just not consistently. And even many players above 1600, do not train vs. heavy underspin from chop (which is different from a push) cannot loop underspin consistently. Against these types of players I say I win DIRECT points often, probably 60% vs. attacking. 

However, the chops main purpose is not to win a direct point out-right. It's main purpose is to create a setup a situation where I can attack or place a ball vs. a weak return from my opponent. And this happens all of the time. My opponents either are unable to recover vs. block or counter (due to the big loop stroke needed to loop underspin) and in these cases a quick return is all that's needed, preferably toward their elbow or weak side. 

Another thing it does is encourage safe, but poor returns. In order to overcome the underspin, the attacker often lifts the ball super high in order to compensate for (what they perceive) is heavy under, which sometimes it is not. This very slow and high-arcing shot is safe to clear the net and not go long off the table, but it is easy to attack (Rather once you figure out how to attack it- it's easy, but it took me a year of coaching, LOL). 

Another type of attackable ball that is encouraged by US is the "dump", which is essentially a way for the attacker to slow down the chop spins which accumulate from the Long Pips chopping. This stroke must be a drop shot to be effective, but sometimes they end up as weak pushes that go long. This is very loopable. If you watch Joo Se Hyuk, he punishes these all of the time. 

Of the points that I win directly from chopping, it's usually due to variation. Sometimes I chop heavy US, and sometimes I float balls, and it's hard to read (just like some loops vs. drive) and the attacker misreads the ball and sends the ball directly into the net or off the table long. The long pips are dangerous because I can get more high-end US vs. the inverted forehand, however the inverted can vary spin better and throw people off.

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