Returning long sidespin serve curving in to crossover point

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 6 years ago

Nirmal R

Nirmal R Asked 6 years ago

 Hi Alois,

My opponent is a lefty who does the tomohawk on a regular basis. I am able to figure out when its sidespin/topspin, pure side and when its side/under easily enough.  Ideally I can topspin various levels of long backspin serves and return medium-high topspin with relative ease.  Racket angle is usually easy to predict for me.

My problem is that this serve is usually long, fast and relatively low at times aimed at my forehand close to the crossover point. The sidespin component is totally messing up my strokes.  

When he does long side/under I try to loop it. The ball grips harder than plain backspin and flies out of the board to my right/middle (spin direction taking it there I understand).  I tried to compensate aiming the loop to my left and my loop contact gets so weak (closed racket angle perhaps) the underspin takes it to the net.

When he does long side or side/top serve to my forehand if I attempt the loop, ball always flies out even with a racket angle so closed its 20-30 degrees from the table. Plain vanilla drive hit often catches the net because the contact point is often low (serve low). If I force it harder on the drive the ball flies out.

These serve always lands close to my baseline, so push on the bounce is nearly impossible for me. 

Major questions- Do I have to compensate for his sidespin component by adding sidespin to my stroke(fade,hook, sidespin shot)?

Since the ball curves into me, what is the ideal body positioning for countering this (should I be square to the ball) ?

Where should I make contact (behind the ball or side of the ball)?

Is it easier to go one direction or the other (natural direction of spin or opposite)?

Sorry about the long question. Hope I conveyed what I meant.




Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Nirmal,

I have the same problem so understand your frustration.  The best solution is to hit on the right hand side of the ball but quite firmly.  Like you are covering the ball.  You need to turn your waist slightly to allow the ball to come to your side.

Hit the ball early off the bounce and give it back a little bit of topspin of your own.  I think it is easier to go cross court with it.

Hope this helps.  If it does, give me a lesson back on it...

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Nirmal R

Nirmal R Posted 6 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply Alois. I will let you how it goes as I am playing him in a few mins. :)  

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