Returning Long Serves

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 6 years ago

mat huang

mat huang Asked 6 years ago

Hi Alois,

I have a problem where in games I frequently make mistakes on long serves or I loop it but the shot has no quality and is easy to attack.

Most of the time, the problem lies on my backhand (my forehand is stronger) and it forces me to pivot but it is extremely difficult because it is very fast and unpredictable and my footwork isn't that fast. The weird thing is that I have no problem looping heavy pushes or topspin strokes, it is just I cant seem to be able to loop long serves consistently with satisfactory quality.

I have asked many players to help me by serving long but this hasn't been effective.

Is there a special way or strategy to receive long serves and how do you usually receive them?

Thanks in advance.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Mat,

You are doing the right thing by looking to topspin the long serves with your backhand.  Be persistent with this.

Often the initial ball in the rally can be more difficult because you are in a static position to start with and not tracking the ball.  So focus on watching the ball well during your opponent’s serve.  From the time they have it in their hand through the toss and then when they are hitting it and then track the ball on the way through to you.  All of this will help.

You could start by standing a little further from the table as well.  This will give you a fraction more time to react to the longer serve and you will still be able to move in for the shorter ball without too much difficulty.

Here are a few previous video responses that may help:

Long, fast serve with lot of back spin

How to return a long sidespin serve

Options Against a Long Backspin Serve


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