Service variation in matches

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 10 years ago

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis Asked 10 years ago

Hi Pingskills,

I am looking for some help with my services during certain parts of the game. I tend to get confused right up until the point of contacting the ball as to what serve I am going to do! I could do with assigning a different serve to different points in the game.

Do you find that there are better serves to do in different scenarios? A classic one for me is at 9-10 or 10-11 down. I am never too sure whether to go for a safe, tight serve, or whether to go for a more risky serve to try and force a mistake from my opponent. 

My other issue is when I have a particular serve that my opponent may struggle with. Do you think the serve that your opponent struggles with should be your prominent serve throughout the match, or should you save it for key points? I find the more I use it, the more chance they have to find a solution to the serve, but it will pick me up some cheap points until they do..! 

Any suggestions?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Simon,

FIrstly I think you should make a decision of which serve you are going to do before you start the serve process  Take a quick look at your opponent in their receiving position and then make a decision.  In training you should try to make the start of your services as similar as possible.

In a tight situation you need to make that decision at the time.  It is something that will change with the feel of each match.  I think a serve that has been working for you through the match is usually the way to go.  That is the serve that your opponent is hoping you won't serve at that point.

With regards to how often you should serve your winning serve, I feel that you should serve it often through the match.  If you do and they don't return it often the match may never get close.  If you don't serve it and then the match gets close they may risk a return and it comes off.  So definitely serve it often.


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