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  1. #1
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    Default tactic of intentionally playing to your opponent during rally?

    When I watched the SEA 2015 game between Tanongsak and Jonathan C. recently (https://www.youtube.com/resultssearc...ngsak+jonathan), I noticed that for what seemed relatively long exchanges in some rallies, Tanongsak just "gifts" the shuttle to JC.
    I refer to the situation when Jonathan is positioned relatively close to the net and Tanongsak just keeps playing dropshots and netshots almost onto his racket.

    I'd really appreciate your ideas as to the effects of this, as I found it unusually pervasive in this game (or was it just me?).

    Of course, Tanongsak played tight angles and made C. take the shuttle below the net tape, forcing lifts of some kind. JC wouldn't probably risk playing extreme sideways angles as responses either, so T. maybe creates some predictable answers from him in this situatuon.
    Still, it seems a very risky strategy to me. What nerves! JC is stable in his position and could theoretically come forward for the kill easily, or so it seems. Surprisingly, this worked out quite well for Tanongsak in most cases.

    Well, my points are
    1. I have not seen this in other games I can think of this often. Is this a Tanongsak thing? Or taylored to his opponent?
    2. Have you applied this in your game? For which reasons?

    I will try this in a training session, but at my level of play I'm afraid I'll just set my opponent up for evil netshots that will get me in trouble...

    Sincerely,

  2. #2
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    Can you indicate which rallies you are talking about? E.g. give a time in the match when it happened.

    I presume you are talking about rallies such as at 1 - 0 to Tanongsak in the first game (starting about 4:18). T plays most of his shots directly to JC.

    These shots are tactically referred to as neutral shots. They are not winners, they do not move your opponent much, and they will not get you into trouble. Notice he is not playing them slowly and he is not playing them near the net - playing slowly or near the net would definitely get you in a lot of trouble!

    To answer your specific questions:
    1. I have seen lots of players use these tactics. All players do it some times, and it depends on the player and the opponent and the tactics to see how often it happens. Very aggressive players will not play many of these shots, very defensive players or counter attacking players may play these shots a lot. It is not uncommon, but it is not the most positive way to win a match.
    2. I do use this in my game. I will explain some of the reasons I would (or other people would) use them:

    Neutral shots tend to frustrate your opponents. They are not going to come forwards and kill the shuttle, because I am a good player and I could play the shuttle anywhere on the court. I might smash or drop or clear, cross court, or straight, flat or steep, with slice or without slice. The only way you can kill these kind of shots are 1: if I play them really slowly and badly 2: you guess I am going to hit it there. Because I am capable, you should not really take a chance and guess. And when I do play them, I won't play it in such a way that it can be killed. So no - they can't be killed. So what do they do?

    Neutral shot can facilitate one of two purposes: keeping you in a rally safely, or frustrating your opponent. If you give the shot with little pace directly to an opponent, they cannot do much with it, which is frustrating for them. They are trying to beat you, so having you in such a good position, with no angles to work with, with no pace to work with, can make it very difficult for them to try and beat you - which may lead to mistakes.

    I hope that makes sense! Good luck!

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    Another great post by MSeeley.

    Remind me never to play against him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Another great post by MSeeley.

    Remind me never to play against him.
    I kind of want to see that game.

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    Thanks a lot for the very comprehensive answer, MSeeley! It was exactly what I meant, and I guess now that the angle at which you view the action on YouTube made JC seem closer to the net than he realistically was in these exchanges. Which together with your answer makes more sense of it all.

    Tried to play the kind of "neutral drop shot" I mistook this for yesterday in training and it had stupid effects. I'll stick to neutral clears or half smashes instead.

    I must add that I really appreciate reading about the more advanced aspects of tactics here from people who know what they're talking about. MSeeley, I would buy your book on advanced Badminton tactics anytime. Thanks again!

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    I do this sometime. Lots will depends on the level of play. Understanding your opponent strength is important, you need to determine what you play will kill you or at crucial moment claim the point for you.

    Sometime this year, while watching a game on Youtube, Morten Frost was telling the other analyst (lady commentator) about deliberately playing certain shots to which seems defensive jus to set up for an eventual attack to clink a point.

    It may looks like you are on the offensive, under attack and pressure, that will set your opponent into complacency and feel comfortable in sending certain shots which you already anticipated where it would be. However, to them, you seems to be on the loosing end but at sudden turn, you turn the game around to their surprise.

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    A couple more reasons for playing it back to your opponent.

    1. It limits their angle of reply when you're playing it back to them at their base. So although it won't do any damage, it ensures there is less chance of them playing a winner from there.

    2. Change the rhythm of the rally. Rallies are often about building an advantage until you can play a winner. If you feel that your opponent is beginning to build an advantage, you can interrupt it early and reset the rally.

    3. Buys you time. If you were caught slightly out of position and need a little time to get back on track, playing it back to them may give you that time.

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