Respond to a high sidespin ball

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 3 weeks ago

ap ap

ap ap Asked 1 month ago

If my opponent sends me a ball from underneath the table with a strong sidespin, when the ball touches my part of the table, it suddenly jumps high with a strong lateral effect which makes it impossible to return, because I'm not able to put the racket in the right place where the ball jumps!

What can be the solution? I've thought to anticipate my response, in order to catch the ball when it is very low on the table... but  it works only sometimes....

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 weeks ago


Dealing with high sidespin balls can indeed be a challenge, but there are strategies to help you handle them more effectively. It is essential to remember that the ball's behavior will be influenced by the type of sidespin applied, and you'll need to adjust your stance and racket angle to compensate. Here are some tips to help you improve your response.

Pay close attention to your opponent's bat movement and contact with the ball. This will give you clues about the type and strength of the spin.  At a simplistic level, the ball will move in the direction that their racket starts.

Move quickly to position yourself to face the point where the ball will bounce. Stand a little bit back from the table, giving yourself room to adjust for the lateral movement of the ball.

Catching the ball at the peak of the bounce or just before can give you better control.

 For high balls, you can use a flat hit to overpower the spin, or you can add your own topspin to counteract the sidespin and bring the ball down faster.

Good footwork is crucial because you need to adjust your position constantly to counteract the sidespin's effects. Use the time the ball is in the air to keep adjusting your position.  I often see players stand still, almost mesmerised but the ball when it goes up high.

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