It may seem counter-intuitive, but oftentimes playing against a defensive player is harder than playing against an opponent who replies on attacking shots in table tennis. The patience and perseverance of a professional defense players would intimidate most people, which increases the chances of them making mistakes, and eventually losing matches.
Finding opportunities to score points as an attacker against a defender on a table tennis table would be a very weak strategy, as a strong defender would be able to counter most of your attacks, leaving you with very little in your arsenal. There are however some tips that you can follow while playing against such opponents which would increase the probabilities of your win.
1.Pay attention: A defensive style of play is more of a psychological battle, in which the opponent tests your skill and gives you plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. Most of the assumptions that you make on the amount of spin on the ball would work against you while playing against a defender. Play close attention to the amount of spin before you take your shot.
2.Vary the rhythm: Defensive players can outlast you by keeping the ball in play for a long time. Instead of establishing a comfortable rhythm, make your opponent adapt to many different speeds by changing the pace of your game frequently.
3.Vary your shots: Making the defensive player move around a lot will make them pay more attention to returning your shots than on trying to outlast you. It is best to have an unpredictable mix of shot and power shots in varied directions and angles.
4.Keep it short: Do not extend the game play as you would be slowly moving towards the defenders area of expertise. Try to score a point as quickly as possible against a defender, without giving them a chance to establish a rhythm.
In the end, practice always helps. You need to have your own arsenal of attacking and defending shots which can be used against you opponent, even if they suddenly switch their strategy in the middle of the game.