hard, topspin serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 11 years ago

Paul Davenport

Paul Davenport Asked 11 years ago

Hi Alois,

There's a player in my club who regularly beats me, mainly because of his hard, topspin serve to my backhand.

I try to block it but too often my return is long. That has to do with the fact that he mixes his serves well, short-soft and hard-long, so that I'm kept off balance and can't brace myself for that hard serve.

What can I do to better cope with that serve?

Looking forward to your answer,


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Paul,

I think that you should prepare yourself for this serve each time.  It is then easier to move in if he serves the short serve.

When he serves it try to keep a soft hand to counter some of the spin and speed of the serve.  This is probably easy enough if you know the ball is coming there so prepare for it each time.

Then practice your stepping in for the short serve.  Remember to only use your right foot, (for right handers) to move into the short ball for either forehand or backhand. Only use one step to reach the position and get your nose as close to the ball as possible when you are hitting the ball.

So the basic is in your mindset.  Expect the long fast topspin serve and ten react for the short ball if it comes there. 

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Paul Davenport

Paul Davenport Posted 11 years ago

Thanks, Alois. As usual, your advice is dead-on practical. I'll let you know how it works out. 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 11 years ago

No worries, hope it helps.

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