Returning the spin to the server

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 8 years ago

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis Asked 10 years ago

Hi Pingskills,

I played a very good player last night, who ocassionaly managed to return my serve and return it back with the spin that I put on the ball. How did he do this? The serve was a short backspin serve. It seemed as though the serve was a little high, and he played the ball with a very flat bat. But the ball came back over with my backspin. He did it a couple of times, and said after I put my third ball in the net that the spin was "all mine". What is the technique for doing this?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Simon,

If you have a relaxed hand you will tend to return the spin to your opponent.  So don't put any spin on yourself just let the ball touch your bat and go back. It is not something that comes easily.  It requires a lot of touch to make it happen well.

It mainly happens with sidespin rather than straight backspin. 

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Thoughts on this question

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 9 years ago

That's the reason why it's a bit dangerous putting a lot of sidespin on your serve in doubles because the opponent often returns the ball with your spin still on it and then your partner has to deal with a tricky third ball.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

You are right Ji-Soo.  Often in doubles it is best to serve with straight backspin and no spin.

Aasim Showkat

Aasim Showkat Posted 9 years ago

We often fight about this thing, when playing doubles

Ivo C.

Ivo C. Posted 9 years ago

Fighting is never smart when playing doubles :p

Bob Wing

Bob Wing Posted 9 years ago

a couple of really good tips


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 9 years ago

Simon, that  is part of the game. You should do it too.

Jon Ferguson

Jon Ferguson Posted 8 years ago

Sounds like he may have been using either long pimples or an anti spin rubber, unless he played a flick shot.  Did you check the rubber he was using?

If he played a more passive shot, then it was probably anti spin.

Anti spin looks a lot like inverted from a distance, but can return most of the spin back to the opponent.

If he returned most of your back spin with a flat racket, I'd say he was using anti for sure, or possibly an old inverted rubber that has lost it's grip.  Holding out a flat racket to a back spin ball will usually find the net with inverted rubbers.

It is possible to return quite a lot (but not all) side spin with inverted by angling the racket to the ball, and using a jabbing motion to reduce dwell time, but again, this is not a flat face you are presenting.

Be sure to check opponents rubbers before a game, so you know what to expect!

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