Service Return

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 9 years ago

Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Asked 9 years ago

Hi, guys. I must say that I have found your videos inspiring and educational. The way you explain the basic principles of the game is pure 10+. I have a question about returning short and long topspin serve. When my opponent is serving that particular service, I am trying to do "chicken wing" technique like Timo Boll on forehand, but I usually fail. It is even worse on backhand, because I am trying to hit top of the ball, and the ball goes over the table quite often, and sometimes in the net. Can you help me with this.


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 9 years ago

Hi Sasha,

Thanks for the kind words about our videos. I'm not entirely sure what the chicken wing technique is. If your opponent serves short with topspin, I would recommend trying the Forehand Flick. If the ball comes long then you should try and play the Forehand Topspin Against Block.


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Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

The chicken wing technique is, as far as I understand, topspin shot used by Timo Boll. Some people call it forehand loop drive. His racket angle is very closed, so he could hit the top of the ball. That angle is about 45 degrees, even more closed. He doesn't have too much swing, he simply closes the racket and hits the top of the ball. I have watched your videos about forehand flick and forehand topspin against block, sometimes it works with me. I am mostly concerned about my racket angle and my wrist, because most of my balls go over the table. I have Tibhar Samsonov Alpha as blade, and Tibhar Rapid rubbers on FH and BH.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Sasha,

The technique Boll uses works well for him because he has trained so many hours and is able to get the correct contact on the ball with this stroke.  For the mere mortals amongst us I recommend a more open face of the racket so that the ball is seeing more of the racket and therefore you will get greater consistency with it.  That is why we show you the strokes the way we do in our lessons.


Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Thank you, Alois, I will most certainly use your advice and do it your way. I think I had that sort of problems because I had doubts what do do, what to play. Now, I am certain, very confident about the technique you suggested, and I will try my best to execute those shots properly. Yes, it is quite true that for Boll's technique you must have good touch, good sense for that kind of shot. I will get you a feedback about my game probably on Tuesday. Till then, best regards, and, once again, thank you for your suggestions


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

No problems Sasha.  Keep in touch.


Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Well, I must say, I have used your advice, played against the same opponent, and won every time he served topspin. Alois, you were right, it has more consistency with an open bat, and my shots were a little bit flatter, but returns were direct points. I used also Forehand Topspin Against Block, like Jeff said.

I had a little bit trouble with the pendulum side spin serve. Probably you hear this question often, but, I am a little bit confused. Can you tell me where should the contact point be, because, I don't get much spin that often. I know that I need brushing contact, but I am little bit troubled with the contact point. 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Sasha,

Well done on changing your technique to make it more consistent.

For getting more spin you need to hit it on the part of the bat that is moving the fastest.  That is usually the furthest point from the handle.


Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Yes, I understand that, it's a pure physics, but, i wanted to know which part of the ball should I contact to achieve that spin. And thank you sincerely for your advice, it really changed my perspective of the game. If you need some advice about dental health, don't hesitate to ask, I am a dentist.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Sorry.  To get sidespin you need to brush on the side of the ball or across the back of the ball.  If you think about the principle of getting teh ball to turn on its vertical axis then you will start to get it right.

If only we lived closer to you... a dentist would be really handy right now!


Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Thanks for the tip, I supposed something like that. Maybe the problem was my too flat contact, I will keep trying to brush the ball. And, you would be most welcome to visit my table tennis amateur club that I founded with my friends, and do free dental work.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Thanks Sasha!



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