The Defender is a versatile playing style, which relies on lots of different strokes such as chops, blocks, fishes, lobs, and loops to win games. They never give up.
Defenders’ games revolve around getting the ball on the table.
Defenders will return the ball by any means necessary.
Hard to face
Defenders wear their opponents out physically and mentally.
These players have a wide arsenal of technical resources.
Lack of initiative
They put themselves in a disadvantageous position most points.
Defenders naturally depend on their opponents to attack them.
They can’t win points if their opponent doesn’t make mistakes.
Lack of threat
Attackers can get comfortable against defenders who almost never attack.
JOO SE HYUK
The most iconic defender of all time, he was able to beat the best attackers of his era. He’s the source of inspiration for most defenders.
The German chopper is currently the best defender on the men’s circuit, the reason being his impassable backhand chops.
Yin Hang is the best female defender because of her patience and mobility. She has an elegant classic defensive style, varying chops and pushes.
Hitomi is a young modern defender from Japan. She plays all kinds of spin shots, alternating jaw-dropping chops with spinny loops.
A lightweight, versatile racket that’s ideal for players who prioritize safety in their game.
A heavy, high performance racket, great for performing spinny chops, pushes and loops.
Palio Legend 3.0
A hard and fast racket that’s great for attacking while maintaining enough control for defenders.
Top Training Exercises
Chops until push
For this exercise, the Defender will serve and drop back to chop their partner’s attacks.
When their partner decides to push one of the chops, the Defender will come back to the table and open up. After that, play the point out normally.
Chops until forehand
In this exercise, the Defender will chop on their backhand side and counter on their forehand side.
The practice partner will play forehand loops to the backhand side of the defender. The Defender has to chop their partner’s loops.
When their partner wants, they will loop to the forehand side of the Defender. The Defender will have to counter loop or counter-drive that ball back.
Donic Defplay Senso
A slow, soft blade with great feel and shot dampening qualities.
Victas Koji Matsushita Defensive
A balanced, soft blade for defensive strokes close and away from the table.
Tibhar Stratus Power Defense
A medium hardness defensive blade that’s excellent for modern defenders.
Butterfly Tackiness Chop
A slow, defensive inverted rubber for push play and chops.
TSP Curl P-1R
Long and soft long pimples, ideal for long distance chopping.
Tibhar Grass D.tecS
Good pips for chopping but even better for close to the table blocks.
Butterfly Feint Long III
Balanced, grippy long pips with superb control for easier returns of the ball.
Don’t forget to attack
It may seem counterintuitive to ask a Defender to attack. However, if Defenders don’t attack every once in a while, their opponents will play at their own tempo. Attacking your opponent every so often will pressure them to loop your chops, even when it’s not an easy ball.
Variate your chops
To become a good defender, you should learn how to variate the spin on your chops. If all your chops are moderate backspin, your opponents will adapt easily. If you alternate heavy backspin chops with moderate backspin, slight backspin, and no-spin, your opponents will make all kinds of mistakes when reading your chops.
Practice your serve receives
It’s crucial for a defender to be a great serve receiver. If defenders can’t receive in a way that bothers their opponent, they won’t be able to get into the rally in a favorable way. If you don’t give your opponent easy chances on the receive, you will be a lot more successful.