How to play against long backspin serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 7 years ago

samad ZAKir

samad ZAKir Asked 8 years ago

hi alois,

There is a friend of mine with whom i play almost everyday. He is really very good at attack and doesn't give me any chance to attack first, i am good at lobbing but after returning some of his smashes ,he hit's it out of my reach, eventually he gets the point, he usually serves a long back spin serve from his backhand to my backhand(we are both right handed).

i return his serve with a simple chop but the ball tends to go too high which results him in smashing,even if i return it correctly the chopping rally continues and once in a while i throw it up high, i am not good at doing back hand topspin so i don't try that much, on the other side he is good at picking up my serves and doesn't give me any chance to attack .i sometime try to loop on a service but i am not confident at hitting those shots,he is good at both smashing either from FH or BH and is consistent. is there any way i can start attacking first?it's been a while since i won from him, what strategy should i adopt? help me :)


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Samad,

You need to focus on getting that backhand topspin better against backspin.  If you can do this it will change the whole game.  At the moment he know that he can just serve the ball long to your backhand and then attack the next ball because you are always going to push the return.

Your backhand topspin doesn't have to be fantastic but just lifting the ball with some topspin will change the look of the rally. 

In the meantime, you can try to be a little better with your push return.  Sometimes these type of players don't like it if you push the ball faster and more decisively to them.  Try taking the ball a little earlier so that he has less time.  Also think about the placement.  Try going out deep and wide to the forehand or deep and fast to the backhand and see what his attack is like off these balls.  This will get him away from the table and can be an awkward ball to make an attacking stroke from.


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samad ZAKir

samad ZAKir Posted 8 years ago

thanks for your quick response, i'll surely try to implement all these in my next match with him, please can u tell what do u mean by taking the ball earlier? thanks

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Hit the ball closer after the bounce rather than waiting for it.

samad ZAKir

samad ZAKir Posted 8 years ago

tried the tips today but they didn't come up well, tried to puch the balls far back on his BH and on FH, he was still good in attacking, short pushes weren't much effective as once in a while in a rallh he gets to smash it hard, he smashes with his FH from his BH side by moving across and i can't judge where the ball would go

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

So then Hamad, you need to work on the first part of getting a better backhand topspin against backspin.  This will take time but it is something that you need to do in training.

Rama Camatchee

Rama Camatchee Posted 7 years ago

Hi Alois,

My topspin is not working effectively when someone serves fast and low backspin. It simply goes to the net eventhough I make a good lift . Sometimes , I simply miss the ball when I do it fast . Last week, I simply push against the backspin but the player had a very good forehand loop and he kill me.  I am not good at defense but my backspin is relatively good.  Is it a good practice to return backspin to fast and low backspin serve rather than complicating things with Topspin.  I also realise that when the ball falls just 20cm off the table it's hard to have the fast topspin movement.

Kindly advise

Regards Rama


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Rama,

It is best if you can keep working on making a topspin stroke.  In the long term this is the best option.  If the ball is going into the net think about getting a better brushing contact on the ball.  The brushing contact will grip the ball and lift it over the net.

You also need to check the quality of your rubber.  Rub your finger across the rubber to make sure it still has some grip on it.  If it doesn't you will find it difficult to make this stroke.  You will need to replace your rubber in this case.

Take a look through our lesson on Forehand Topspin Off Backspin.  This will show you the stroke you need to be working on.



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