One annoying smash

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 7 years ago

Man-Fung Yeung

Man-Fung Yeung Asked 7 years ago

Hi Coach,

I would like your help with the following problem:

My opponent plays with a pen-hold grip. As a result whenever he smashes a high ball, the ball gets inflicted with lots of backspin.

This smash curves the ball upwards, so its path is rather unusual and results with the ball often being higher than I had anticipated; and I miss the ball entirely. Also, due to his right-handed-ness, the ball swerves to the left very fast - it is almost like a drop shot in tennis.

Running after the ball takes longer and results in my position being several feet away from the table. Looping the ball back is difficult because I am not in the right position. The only thing I can do is lob it back and hope. 

Because of this, I now use this backspin smash; but I have no idea how to return it.

Is it possible to return this smash without relying on luck and hoping? 



Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 7 years ago

Hi Man-Fung,

It sounds like your opponent is very good at that particular type of smash. I wouldn't recommend using a backspin smash though as it can be quite inconsistent and if the ball is high enough you can do a normal smash and win the points nearly all the time.

In terms of returning such a shot it is very difficult as you have found. The backspin and speed of the smash is what causes this to be difficult.

So I'd recommend that the best thing to do is stop your opponent from smashing in the first place. Take a look at our tutorial called I can't return that smash for some ideas of how to do this.

Good luck!

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