Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Wang Zhen's Experience

Read a Coaching Tip From a Player Rated 2815

I asked Wang Zhen if he had any thoughts to share with us about his recent match against Fan Zhendong at the ITTF Grand Finals.  Here is what Wang says...
Let's talk about the match. Before the match Dejan (my coach for the match) helped me to analyze Fan's game, we both agreed I need to be more aggressive then usual, otherwise I won't have any chance to challenge him with my regular performance.
First set we both started testing each other,  and I had many easy mistakes by enforcing my aggressive tactics.
From the second set, I was more used do it with his ball and tactics. But I was regrettably lost by leading 10-8.
Third set, I came back from 4-9 down by his low concentration and some high quality shots from me.
I have to admit that I got a lot of lucky balls in the forth set to secure the set.
In the first 4 sets, I really feel I was winning more in backhand rallys.
After I lost 2 sets straight down 11-5 and 11-4. From the score, it looks I didn't have much chance. Actually even Dejan said the real game was more intensive than the scores. In the 5th set I was leading 4-2, I was ready to attack the ball after my serve, as you can see from the video, I already opened my arm. Unfortunately,  his lucky ball broke my plan. I feel the key set was the 5th. When I watched my video and think back, he started to put effort to make risky shot in the 5th set. At that time I was not able to keep taking risky shot which I should. And the more he's winning the points,  he feels more comfortable and I couldn't keep it up with him at the end.
This is what I feel about the match, hopefully it will be helpful for you.