Long Pimple Stroke Play
Rowden Fullen (2005)
Attacking with pimples v chop and block – hit one v backspin ball using spin (already topspin on the ball), block one v block. Block early or at top of the bounce, block return often almost float ball.
Sidespin hit at the top of the bounce, use wrist and forearm with slight elbow lift (or hit early with less pace). If the opponent chops he gets topspin back, if he blocks then he receives a float ball, if he topspins he will get a backspin return.
Hit at the top of the bounce (through) with a short stroke and quite hard. Short movement of the wrist and forearm v chop or block. If v chop the opponent gets topspin if v block he gets float.
Drawback block v topspin, with a little twisting of the racket. Try to use earlier timing, (but you can also take late) with a short, slower movement back. More spin reversal and shorter length return with this stroke. Very much backspin on the return.
Stop-block at early or peak timing. If v topspin, chop back – if v chop, topspin back.
Chop with a longer stroke v topspin, heavy chop back to the opponent.
Slow counter attack roll at an early timing v topspin. Return ball has backspin.
Punch (care with position of feet and technique) with upward and forward movement. If v topspin opponent gets backspin return, if v chop, topspin return.
Players using long pimples should practise twiddling and pushing /opening with the normal rubber.
N.B. The amount of effect achieved will vary from one long pimple rubber to another.
Generally speaking the most return spin will be achieved by long pimples without sponge and on a fast blade — because the ‘surface’ is hard, the ball rebounds very quickly and is not gripped by the rubber, therefore the spin already on it is returned without alteration or only little change. Where there is sponge, especially if this is a bit thicker 1.0mm. or above some of the return spin will be lost as there will be a slower rebound off the blade and the ball will be returned more often as ‘float’ (without spin). After the bounce on your side of the table of course, the ball will ‘acquire’ a little topspin.