How to perform the ghost serve

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 13 years ago

Achyuth Murlei

Achyuth Murlei Asked 13 years ago

Would you please assist me in the 'Ghost Serve' please?

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 13 years ago

Hi Aachyut,

I hadn't really heard of the term Ghost serve but it seems to have become very popular due to the video of Ma Lin serving. So I think the term ghost serve means a ball with heavy backspin that comes back into the net.

In a real match, players don't try and get the ball to bounce back into the net or back onto their side of the table. The reason for this is that to do that the ball has to be travelling quite slowly in the first place so that the spin has more effect. And secondly the ball tends to be a bit higher also for the same reason.

In a match situation, players will tend to get the ball much lower and often with a bit more forward speed. 

If you do want to practice this serve though, you need to get a lot of backspin and the key to that is to have a fast contact and a fine brushing contact. And as I mentioned it is much easier to get the ball to come back to the net if you don't give the ball a lot of forward momentum. To do this you make sure you contact the ball right underneath it and almost brush up the front side of the ball. This will also have the effect of making the ball bounce a little higher.

When practicing your short backspin serves for use in a match, I would recommend trying to keep the ball as low as possible. This will make it difficult for your opponent to return. 

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Thoughts on this question

Harikrishnan U

Harikrishnan U Posted 13 years ago

I have seen Ma Lin doing that serve fast and keeping it low in video with Liu Guoliang.

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