USA Table Tennis

Tip of the Day - Playing Against Seemiller Style Players

By Larry Hodges | Dec. 02, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Ricky Seemiller

USATT Hall of Famer Ricky Seemiller at the 1985 World Championships


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Larry Hodges

Playing Against Seemiller Style Players

No two players play alike, and this applies to those with the Seemiller grip as well. (This is the grip where players use one side of the racket for both forehand and backhand, sort of like a windshield-wiper.) However, there is one general rule that applies to playing those with this grip: keep the ball to the corners. This grip has little middle weakness, but is more difficult than the shakehand grip in covering the corner. Try it, and you’ll see how the wrist sort of locks up when trying to cover wide angles. To cover for this, some players with this grip stand more to the backhand corner, but in a forehand stance. If they do this, then they have the wide backhand covered, but are leaving the wide forehand somewhat open.

Another tip: Most players with the Seemiller grip have antispin on one side. They usually use it to return serves. Some use it to return all or most serves. Some have the ability to quickly see what the depth of the incoming serve is, and use the anti against short serves, the inverted to loop or otherwise attack long serves. If they use the anti to return most serves, serve deep, and you should get a relatively weak return. Often a deep serve to the forehand is especially effective. If they try to flip the racket based on the depth of your serve, mix in short spinny serves and fast, long serves, and watch them struggle to flip appropriately – it is not easy! It is very important not to telegraph your serves – players like this are very good at picking up small cues, so try to use the exact same motion for both short and long serves, at least until contact.

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