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Ma Long's serve

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Ieyasu View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02/05/2019 at 1:29am
The link below shows a split screen of Ma Long serving. The left side claims he is serving side-underspin while the right side is sidespin.

I cannot see what he is doing differently. The two serves look identical to me. Can somebody explain what Ma Long is doing differently?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slowhand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 2:11am
I can't see it either unless I go frame by frame. Then I can convince myself that his racket trajectory just before/during/after the moment of contact is down on the left and forward on the right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ieyasu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 2:29am
Yeah, that sounds plausible. But, then looking at that steep racket angle and the minimum amount of downward movement, it looks so deceptive. It's hard to believe he gets much underspin out of that motion. I'm sure I'm mistaken though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nv42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 2:46am
Those don't look super heavy, exactly why its difficult to tell them apart, theyr corkscrew side back and side top respectively in my opinion. And becuase corkscrew serves turn regardless of whether its side-back or side-top, it's tough to distinguish. Also, the added pressure of not popping up the ball against a powerful attacker like ma long adds to the deception. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 4:47am
Originally posted by nv42 nv42 wrote:

Those don't look super heavy, exactly why its difficult to tell them apart, theyr corkscrew side back and side top respectively in my opinion. And becuase corkscrew serves turn regardless of whether its side-back or side-top, it's tough to distinguish. Also, the added pressure of not popping up the ball against a powerful attacker like ma long adds to the deception. 


I disagree, look at the service return, it was dumped into the base of the net! This is a similar concept to the Japanese video I shared some time ago, using the same blade angle for both sidetopspin and sideunderspin.... The difference is extremely subtle and depends on which direction the wrist acceleration is, which is very well disguised by the rest of the arm movement. It's the magic 45 degree blade angle again! For me, the sidetopspin variant usually gives itself away by a jerkier movement...the arm and wrist is not so much in sync which hints that there's some fake movements involved to disguise the acceleration of the bat.

Us amateurs should not be expecting to read a Ma Long serves when many professionals misread it all the time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 4:54am
I remember seeing Schlager vs Kong Linghui in the Paris WTTC, he made a sideunderspin serve with the bat almost vertical, in extreme slowmo it still didn't make sense that it was sideunderspin. Kong also dumped it straight to the net.....

There was a similar serve after that which was sidetopspin and Kong popped it so high that it didn't even reach the other side of the net!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 6:25am
1. It is subtle but the ball contact points are different. For sidespin topspin, he brushes the ball in the left hemisphere. For side under, he contacts ball just right of the middle between the 2 hemispheres.

2. But, that is not why he fools the pros. He fools them by using his head to hide the contact point nearly every time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 11:21am
Pro players don't look for POC.
If you think about it, any receiver can never see the actual poc. They can only guess based on whatever.
Experienced players look at the first bounce. What gets the receivers is the amount of spin, speed, depth etc and their own decision-making skill in application of bat angle, touch, whether to be aggressive or not etc.
It's complicatedCry


Edited by Tinykin - 02/05/2019 at 11:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ieyasu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 6:17pm
Thx for the responses, guys.

My observations and impressions follow. I will be the first to admit I could be totally wrong and welcome further comments.

Below is an image just before contact. The left image is supposedly side-under. Contact looks ever so slightly higher and in the middle as opposed to the frame on the right which is sidespin without under.

I still have my doubts it's side-under though. When I look at the recording from this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=86&v=UfU4EJHfB5o&t=67 and reduce speed to 1/4, the spin on the ball  does not look like side-under to me. It looks like a weak sidespin. And when I watch Timo make contact, the ball appears to first jump-up a little bit. My GUESS, is that Timo was trying to hit a soft shot, close to the net, and thought there was more spin on the ball, than there was, and so the ball ended-up in the net. Again, just a guess, since in slo-mo the ball does not look like it has underspin. Do you guys agree/disagree?

However, what I find really amazing is that when you compare the right and left frames, and look at the position and angle of his arms relative to the background (and his right elbow), he is in virtually identical positions!

 


Tinykin, I agree, especially when the ball is hidden, the players are not relying on point of contact. I'm just trying to figure out what the heck kind of ball ML is serving. The narrative on that Butterfly page, just doesn't seem to jive with what I see ML doing.



Edited by Ieyasu - 02/05/2019 at 6:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 6:43pm
It's easy to get a lot of corkscrew spin and corkscrew spin acts like underspin or topspin depending on from which side you try to answer it.

A serve I like to do a lot is a short 'pendulum' pure corkscrew spin to the forehand that looks like backspin. If you push it from the forehand it can drop into the net and if you backhand it it pops up like topspin.

That's what I see in that serve. Look at 2:30 or so, where timo boll 'forehands' (for him it's backhand) the serve and it drops straight down-left (from his perspective) cuz of the corkscrew spin.


Edited by Lightzy - 02/05/2019 at 6:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ieyasu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 6:53pm
Haha... Timo was pretty ticked shortly after 2:30 when he chunks it into the net.

However to get corkscrew spin, doesn't the racket need to be under the ball? In the image I show, ML's racket angle looks pretty steep. At least 65 degrees (?) and behind the ball, rather than under it (at least that's what my eyes are seeing).

In other words to get corkscrew spin, doesn't the racket angle need to be 45 degrees or less and struck from under the ball? I just don't see that in the picks. Also when looking at the ball in slo-mo, I don't see corkscrew spin. It looks like side or side top to me (at 1:07), even though that recording is claiming it's side-under.

Edited to add:

Lightzy, to clarify, I agree with what you're saying is possible if the ball is corkscrew spin, but I just don't see from the pics and looking at the ball from 1:07 how that is corkscrew spin.


Edited by Ieyasu - 02/05/2019 at 6:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 10:45pm
Originally posted by slevin slevin wrote:

1. It is subtle but the ball contact points are different. For sidespin topspin, he brushes the ball in the left hemisphere. For side under, he contacts ball just right of the middle between the 2 hemispheres.

2. But, that is not why he fools the pros. He fools them by using his head to hide the contact point nearly every time.

This seems to be correct, the contact point is very subtly different.... Just a little pronation here and there...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nv42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2019 at 11:59pm
Originally posted by Ieyasu Ieyasu wrote:

Haha... Timo was pretty ticked shortly after 2:30 when he chunks it into the net.

However to get corkscrew spin, doesn't the racket need to be under the ball? In the image I show, ML's racket angle looks pretty steep. At least 65 degrees (?) and behind the ball, rather than under it (at least that's what my eyes are seeing).

In other words to get corkscrew spin, doesn't the racket angle need to be 45 degrees or less and struck from under the ball? I just don't see that in the picks. Also when looking at the ball in slo-mo, I don't see corkscrew spin. It looks like side or side top to me (at 1:07), even though that recording is claiming it's side-under.

Edited to add:

Lightzy, to clarify, I agree with what you're saying is possible if the ball is corkscrew spin, but I just don't see from the pics and looking at the ball from 1:07 how that is corkscrew spin.
You do not need to contact right under the ball to create corkscrew spin, as long as you are contacting the bottom hemisphere of the ball  you can easily create corkscrew spin .  @lightzy - totally agree with you! 
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