Mid-Length Topspins

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 2 years ago


Spinny Asked 2 years ago

Hello Alois,

When I get short balls, I like to flick them, and when balls are long I topspin them; however, mid-length balls are difficult. They are too long to flick, but just enough over the table so that I can't lower my bat.

I generally automatically prepare for a long stroke, but then at the last second recognize that it will not be long, and awkwardly lunge forward with a weak return.

Passive or defensive players generally have more half-length balls than aggressive players, so I tend to struggle against their returns, especially if it is backspin.

The main questions are, what stroke should I use for those type of balls, and how should I prepare to avoid weak returns and getting off balance?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 2 years ago

Hi Spinny,

I think the main thing is recognising the difference between short and half long early enough so that you can get to the pitch of the ball earlier.  If you can get to the half long ball early it is possible to play it back short effectively.  If you only get to it when it is near the end line it becomes a very difficult and awkward ball.

I think if you get caught in that position the best option is to play a strong long fast push and try to push the opponent away from the table.  Then you need to be prepared for them to attack and try to counter that ball.

At an advanced level it is possible to generate enough speed with a very low trajectory swing over the table to get a topspin on the table.  You do need a lot of speed with the racket to do this well.

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