Receive unknown spin serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 4 years ago

Hin Cheang

Hin Cheang Asked 4 years ago

Hi coach, I am a low-level player and most of my opponents' serve are easy to read, but yesterday I have encountered a player which I was unable to return his serve.

He chopped the side of the ball to serve, sometimes mix with topspin, sometimes mix with backspin, and I was unable to tell what spin I was for the whole match, even now I am still very confused.

This kind of situation of receiving unknown spin, what is the best return I should do?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 4 years ago

Hi Hin,

When you are unsure it is important to watch what happen when you hit the ball and where the ball goes each time.  This is the most natural way to learn how to return.

However in a match situation this may mean that you lose the match.  You should aim to hit the ball to the middle of the table to start with and use a push stroke.  You can also try taking the ball very late to allow the spin the lessen.  Keep your hand as relaxed as you can as well to absorb some of the spin.

The other option if the serve is long is to implement a strong topspin.  This will tend to negate the spin that is already on the ball.

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