by Simon Daish
Speaking to MyTitschtennis, Ruwen Filus reveals how he transitioned to a defensive game from a young age and the almost instant impact the change had on his results:
“I changed my game system at the age of nine, nine and a half, on the advice of the association’s coaches. I’ve always wanted to play further away from the table, so that fit. Half a year after the change, I was already number two in Germany in my year!” Ruwen Filus
Playing with a defensive approach can at times prove both physically and mentally difficult, especially when you have your back up against the barrier but Ruwen Filus doesn’t regret the choice he made in his childhood years and if anything enjoys the variety in his training programme.
“This style of playing is great fun. I am a type of player who plays all strokes, including the backhand topspin. There is no punch that I do not have to train. I like this flexibility in training.” Ruwen Filus
However, while Filus is more than happy to show off his defensive capabilities there is no looking past the growing trend in more and more players deciding to opt for an offensive style with the top 30 in February’s men’s world rankings list all favouring an attacking game.
So is there a future for the defensive game at the very top of the sport? If not that would be a great shame indeed but Filus is confident that we will continue to see defenders on the international circuit for years to come.
“In my opinion, the duels of attack against defence are the best games to watch. For the sport it would be a big loss if there were no defenders… In any case, the defensive game has a future… As a modern defender, you can make it into the top 10 in the world rankings if you are an exceptional talent. It’s difficult to get to the top, because there is one or the other in the world who makes absolutely no mistakes against defense.” Ruwen Filus