A chop is a stroke that produces underspin
on the ball. When the ball is short and you chop it from close range (over the table), it is called a push
, not a chop. When you stand back from the table and chop, that is the typical definition of a chop.
One playing style is the defensive chopper
, where the player continually chops with very heavy underspin, and the opponent will often loop
, but the loops are less dangerous as it's difficult to aggressively loop against heavy underspin. It is often a test of consistency to see whether the attacker's offense is better than the defender's defense.
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