Returning short serves

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 11 years ago

Khuong To

Khuong To Asked 11 years ago


I have problems in reading heavy disguise spinning serves. Is there a safe way to return that will compensate if I misread the spin, other than when it is top.

Cheers, Khuong 

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 11 years ago

Hi Khuong,

Unfortunately the spin has such an impact on your racket that there is not a safe way to compensate for misreading spin. And if you play too safely on your returns, your opponent will be able to gain an advantage in the rally by attacking your soft return. However if you put a lot of backspin on your return, it will make it a little bit harder for your opponent even if your return is a little high.

It really is a matter of lots of practice and experience.

If you find you are having trouble picking the different spins between 2 serves, try and get someone to serve one of these to you over and over again. Have them serve exactly the same serve so you can practice returning it. Once you are getting comfortable with that service, ask them to serve the 2nd variation over and over again. Once you get comfortable returning that serve, you can ask them to mix up the 2 different variations and try to pick the spin.

Try and also play as many games as you can against different opponents. This will expose you to more types of serve and help you in the long run.

Don't get too frustrated with this process and remember that even the professionals don't always return the serve. With time and practice you will improve.



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