Ovtcharov's forehand sidespin backspin serve return

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 6 years ago

Israel da Cunha

Israel da Cunha Asked 6 years ago

I saw another question in the site about how to execute Ovtcharov's forehand sidespin serve. I'm having a lot of problems with an opponent's in local tournaments.

He uses this forehand sidespin serve, but he puts some backspin on the ball also. The ball comes rather slowly, but I find it very difficult to return. I lose a lot of points with this serve.

If I push the ball with an open racket and moving to the left to cancel the incoming spin, I give him a no spin ball, and he can just smash it. 

If I try to smash it with my backhand or do an early backand drive, it goes to the net.

If I try to chop it, it just goes high, and he smashes it.

I think that a side spin attack drive with a spin in the same direction as the incoming ball has would be effective, like we do with an "outgoing" sidespin ball and a backhand sidespin flick, where we hit the ball with a spin in the same direction as the incoming serve, increasing the spin the ball has.

But I don't know how to do it in this case, unless of course I pivot on the backhand side and play a forehand topspin with some sidespin on the right side of the ball favouring the spin of the incoming ball, but this is kind of hard I think.

How can I return this serve? Thanks.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Israel,

The best way to do this to start with is to just use the angle of your racket and push the ball back.  You need to see if the serve has a little backspin or a little topspin each time.  If there is backspin then come slightly under the ball and with tops in you can either flick the ball or still push down on the ball.  Each time though you still need to allow for the sidespin on the ball.

Don't come across the ball as this just adds complications to the process.


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Israel da Cunha

Israel da Cunha Posted 6 years ago

Thanks Alois! I'm starting to understand how to overcome this serve. I forgot to mention one detail, the serve on this question comes long also. So it's a  sidespin (that makes the ball go to my left if I just hold the racket) + backspin. And it's long. Any further tips? Thanks!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

If it is long then definitely topspin the return.  You can brush the ball finely to overcome the side and back spin.



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