Some players feel helpless when playing against anti-spin players, especially those who play with an attacking style. If you find that you have issues playing against an anti-spin player, read on to learn about how to play with these types of rubber.
Generally, players who are playing anti-spin tend to make the ball come slower towards you. What you can do is to go forward on top of the ball and strike it at the top of the bounce. This really does work most of the time.
Serve Close to the Net
A good way to counteract anti-spin rubbers is to serve close to the net with a low or no spin ball. Antispin rubbers are rubbers with minimal grip, so the more spin you impart on your serves, the more difficult it will be for your opponent. Remember, if you serve no-spin, you are attacking first to neutralize your opponent’s weapon.
Which type of drills should you incorporate into your practice to get better against anti-spin?
If you have a partner that plays with an antispin rubber, simply practice by serving no-spin short balls or long fast balls with topspin or no spin. If you don’t have a partner with antispin rubber, just buy one and experiment with it to see how it feels.
A tip is to close your paddle when looping and to play more closely to the table. Generally, anti-spin balls come back slowly and with no spin and if you don’t attack them, your opponent will.
You’ll get a better idea of how to do this with practice. It gets easier to win against anti-spin players when you become familiar with their style of play. They rely on their opponent’s mistake, not on their own creativity.
Does Anti Spin Work Just Like Long Pips?
Anti-spin is basically a “dead” rubber that cannot grip the ball. It has lost its elasticity and cannot produce spin.
Every incoming ball with spin that comes into contact with anti-spin rubber loses a high percentage of its rotation, around 85-95 %. The ball that comes back with no spin is tricky to attack.
However, once you learn how to do it, it becomes easier to win against anti-spin players. This is why there are no professional players (except Amelie Solja) that play with anti-spin.
Long pips can produce spin and slow down the ball, if you can master it you can add great variation – from no spin to heavy underspin – to confuse your opponent.
Also, anti-spin rubbers absorb spin, so anti-spin players can just ‘dunk’ the ball back. The ball returned tends to have no spin.
Try to Play Fast Game With Them
A good way to play against anti-spin players is to play a fast game. You should go for speed rather than spin. The goal is to force your opponent to move around.
If you do not play fast enough, you might let them pull you into a pushing game; you will let them direct your movements and they will win the game.
There is a significant percentage of players who think that anti-spin rubbers should be banned. However, there are still anti-spin players who exist in the table tennis world and it is best to be well-prepared in the event that you meet these types of players in a tournament.
Here is an interesting match Liu Shiwen vs Amelie Solja. Check out how a top professional player like Liu struggles against a good anti-spin player. She won the match eventually, but some of her shots were ridiculously on the net or even 1 meter out from the edge of the table.