How to return a long sidespin serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 2 years ago

Wayne Sy

Wayne Sy Asked 7 years ago

Hello Sir,

I have problem with returning a long sidespin serve on my backhand side. Should I return the ball with chop or push?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Wayne,

I think you should try to return the serve with topspin if the ball is long.

You can do this as long as you make good position to the ball. It may mean moving back from your receiving position. You will also need to move laterally to get the ball into your perfect hitting zone.


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Thoughts on this question

Debo :

Debo : Posted 7 years ago

Thanks a lot, very helpful video.  At least it will give us a lot of confidence while trying to hit topspin on this short of serves.  However, what about while the ball carrying a lot more side-spin, with some backspin and the serve is short (mostly within the table).  Waiting for your valuable advice on the above.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

For the short serve you should push especially if it has backspin.  You could try to flick but this is a bit more risky.

You could even try the Backhand Sidespin Flick if you got really adventurous. 


Debo :

Debo : Posted 7 years ago

GR8 !!  I also think flick is a better option, as if you try to push, because of dominant side-spin, it could take the ball towards left side and miss the table.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

If you brush the ball fast with the push it will counteract the sidespin.  It is a matter of developing the touch for it.

Debo :

Debo : Posted 7 years ago

Nice exchange, many of us will be benefited.  Once again, thanks a lot.

Albert Lo

Albert Lo Posted 5 years ago

Hi Alois,

When I topspin a long heavy sidespin ball, most of time the ball falls outside the table. Please let me know how to overcome such situation.   

Thanks


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Albert,

You need to adjust to the amount and type of spin on the ball.  Use your topspin stroke as much as possible allowing for the changes in the spin.


swaroop dhulipalla

swaroop dhulipalla Posted 5 years ago

but what if the same serve is fast?

 


nate s

nate s Posted 5 years ago

I use a topspin sidespin stroke when that happens (I'm a cpen player)


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Swaroop,

You can still do it if the serve is fast.  You may need to make your stroke more vertical.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Nate,

That is good to know you can do that stroke.  It must be difficult for your opponent when you do it well.


nate s

nate s Posted 5 years ago

thank you sir


Kaustubh Kulkarni

Kaustubh Kulkarni Posted 4 years ago

Really helpful video


D K

D K Posted 3 years ago

and what about the longpips return?

I also have problems with any type of sidespin serve,because I cannot read if it is a side/top,side/back or pure side spin

How should I react when I do not know which of these three serves is coming?

(short on FH and long on BH)


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

Hi D K,

Returning serves is one of the hardest parts of table tennis. Unfortunately if you can't read the type of spin your opponent puts on the ball it is very hard to return the serve effectively. The real key to a good return is being able to read the spin.


D K

D K Posted 3 years ago

I know that it is hard (but it was not the reason why I decided to play with longpips as many players think)

So...if I cannot read the combination,what would be the best option how to defensively return it? :(

 


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 3 years ago

>Returning serves is one of the hardest parts of table tennis.

And I bet the most frustrating one.


Gabriel Casado

Gabriel Casado Posted 3 years ago

Is a good idea to return the ball back with a pushing or chopping is you dont have enough confidece with your backhand Topspin?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

Hi Gabriel,

You can push it back if you are not confident.  It is important first to get the ball back on the table in a game situation.  Still work on your backhand topspin so that in the future you will be able to use it in a match as well.


Gabriel Casado

Gabriel Casado Posted 3 years ago

Alois  Thank you for your response regards Gabriel 


Dieter Verhofstadt

Dieter Verhofstadt Posted 3 years ago

As a beginner and well into my first year as a motivated player, fast sidespin serves were probably the hardest nut to crack. At this stage of my career, I'm starting to get confident at topspinning back those serves. The breakthrough came when our club's best player said: always expect the serve to be long. Before that, given that our training sessions are centered around short serves (or half long serves), with long serves being merely a surprise weapon, I was always standing too close to the table. The crucial idea is that even if the majority of serves are short at the higher level, you should still expect it long. Why? Because it's easier to step in and play than to step out and play.

Before I could make this crucial step though, there was more ground to cover. In the beginning, when you haven't developed a backhand topspin, you'll meet players who can execute a sidespin serve, even at the lower playing levels. With passive returns, the ball will easily go out if you don't read the sidespin.

For absolute beginners, in order not to get frustrated, the advice is: aim for the middle. Secondly, don't open the bat, despite the looks of backspin action. It's sidespin, so return with a vertical or slightly closed bat and aim for middle.

Next, learn how to neutralize the spin. And that just works the way it does with backspin or topspin, but instead of opening and closing the bat around a horizontal axis, you need to open or close around a vertical axis.

Incidentally I've received advice to "return the ball towards the side the bat started" but I found that not too helpful because the server can generate sidespin with many different types of body action. One should try reading the arch the ball makes and then open/close the bat accordingly. Since it's the same as with back/topspin, the opening/closure on sidespin should be easy to understand, except if you really cannot abstract out the spatial orientation.

Well, I'm afraid this answer is just too verbose. But I think beginners can do with some advice that doesn't require to master the backhand topspin first, because that's quite an advanced shot, while they encounter it in matches very soon.


D K

D K Posted 3 years ago

I have much more problems with the serve to my forehand-it always pops out or flies to the net


Aditya Sawant

Aditya Sawant Posted 2 years ago

Sir, my forehand shots are bit weak. If the long side spin serve is far on my forehand side, should I chop or topspin?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

If it only bounces once on the table then make a topspin.



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