Returning non-spin balls

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 1 year ago

Ken Matsuno

Ken Matsuno Asked 1 year ago

Hi Coach,

In a doubles match I played the other day, this guy served mostly short services with backspin or no spin,  but occasionally long backspin serves in the same manner, swinging his bat downward very fast.
I was able to return his deep long backspin serves. For short serves, I mostly push it back.  I was not able to distinguish his spins.
So when I pushed back the non-spin ball, the ball popped up and his partner smashed it.
What should I have done to return the non-spin balls? I thought about banana-flicking them. But I didn’t do it because of his occasional fast deep services.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Ken,

The first important thing is to be able to watch the serve well enough to recognise the no spin ball.

Once you are seeing the no spin the better option is to flick the ball.  You can also push the ball but you have to have a very soft hand and come more downwards on the ball to keep the ball low.

Take a look at the tutorial on the Forehand Flick to see the technical aspects off the stroke.


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Thoughts on this question

Jasper Low

Jasper Low Posted 1 year ago

If possible, try to stand low to the table so that you can see the ball better. Try to watch the logo of the ball, this way you'll be able to see if it's rotating fast or not. 

Jasper Low

Jasper Low Posted 1 year ago

Since this is doubles, you could try flicking/pushing Cross court wide to where the server served from. This tactic got me a lot of cheap points 

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