Problems with long heavy sidespin serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 9 years ago

Dii Nee

Dii Nee Asked 9 years ago

I have a problem with the serving style of a player at the place where i'm playing. First of all, the level of our skills is rather low. This player specialised his serves for this low level in a perfect way. His serves causes a lot of problems for nearly every player he is playing with. He is a right hander and uses a long, fast and heavy sidespin serve, mixed with back or topspin. He varys the top- or backspin really well and his movements are really fast so it is difficult to read the actual spin. Also the serves are very fast so it is difficult to decide what to do.

A high level player would propably attack every serve easily, but on our lower level it is a perfect weapon. The last set i played with him, i made just one point, and this was his serving mistake...

I've alredy seen Jeffs video for long sidespin serves, where he said we should simply attack every long ball but this doesn't work out for me in this case.

I'm pretty sure i could win against this player if it would come to the third or fourth ball more often.

any ideas?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Dii,

This is a really common thing at the beginning stages of Table Tennis.

There is no easy answer to this.  It is a matter of watching the serve really carefully.  There will be subtle changes in the contact he makes with the serve.  The backspin one he will contact a little more under the ball and the side or topspin he will come up on the contact.  It is a bit of a reactive process and watching what has happened to the ball each time.  Then you need to link the action that he made with the reaction of the ball off your bat.

This will take a while.  But, the better you watch, the better you will get at returning.  Think of it as your way of learning about spin.

As a Premium member take a look at our lessons on the Receiving Secrets section of the lessons.  These will explain more fully the concepts.

Sorry for not providing an easy solution, but it is something that will come with time and a build up of the database of information about spin.


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Dii Nee

Dii Nee Posted 9 years ago

Thanks for the response. Should i really keep trying to attack the serve directly or is there another Approach? Also, should i attack with the backhand or move to the side and use the forehand. Thanks


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Ideally you should aim towards attacking it.  For now though in a match you can push or chop it back and try to read the spin.



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