The Defender



Fighting spirit



High consistency 

Defenders’ games revolve around getting the ball on the table.

Fighting spirit

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.

Defensive dependency

Defenders naturally depend on their opponents to attack them.

Point generation

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.


Famous Players


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.


Beginner Rackets

Killerspin JET400

A lightweight, versatile racket that’s ideal for players who prioritize safety in their game.

DHS 4002

A heavy, high performance racket, great for performing spinny chops, pushes and loops.


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.


Recommended Blades

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.


Recommended Rubbers

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.

Our recommendations not right for you? Try our partner’s quiz at blade-rubber.


Coaching Tips


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.

Vary your chops

To become a good defender, you should learn how to vary 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.


Useful Articles


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