Lefties "half-long" serves to my forehand

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 4 years ago

martin k

martin k Asked 4 years ago

Hi Alois,

I have been doing my best with attacking longer serves, but I notice that I struggle the most with a lefties serve to my forehand. The guy I play against serves with a bit of underspin and sidespin (counterclockwise, from my point of view) The serves are neither very fast or spinny, and almost always long. However, the length is troublesome since they clear the endline by not much. I usually do know that the serve will clear the endline, but since it is not very high and contains some underspin I find it difficult to make a quality return. In addition the placement on my forehand side varies.

If I try to loop it, then the return hits the table with average speed and spin. At least I can manage to vary the placement and it usually goes in, although it is easiest to go down the line. Trying to start with the arm lower and thinking about a more spinny loop almost always goes off the table :( If I try a more forward and faster topspin it feels like the contact point is never right and it hits the net. Sometimes I think that I have no idea at which height to start with.

Should I actually focus more on trying to loop over the table? This works sometimes if the ball is a bit higher than usual, but still requires a decent amount of acceleration. I think the highest point for the mentioned serves is usually a bit over the table.

And I wonder about my footwork, should I stay as low as possible? I do also wonder if I rather should step in forward a bit with my right foot to get closer, instead of keeping my left foot just a little in front (which is my usual stance). Right foot in front might be awkward when trying a loop.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 4 years ago

Hi Martin,

Get as close to the table with your right foot and stay low.

Take a look at this video we made on a similar situation.  Hitting Topspins From Below Table Level.

The other thing you need to be aware of is that the ball is swinging slightly away from you so really focus on getting your nose close to the ball.

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martin k

martin k Posted 4 years ago

Thanks for the good tips, Alois :) Yes, that the ball swings away makes me too often hitting the ball on the side. However, I noticed that a major issue is not being able to find the right angle and brush the ball. Seems like there never is enough time. This happens in both my fh and bh side. Oh well, I must really somehow focus on the contact point.

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