Tactical choice of serves against a short pimple player

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 9 years ago

Gilbert Grenié

Gilbert Grenié Asked 9 years ago

Hello Alois and Jeff,

I've just lost a match on Friday 11-9 in 5th set against a player ranked 250 points over me. I was frustrated, but it is common law in sport. One point is that this player was using short pimple on backhand and inverted rubber on forehand. Serves are one of my strongest points, but fast serves or serves with top spin had little effect on the short pimple. And my serves to the forehand side are less efficient and somewhat a bit risky due to the strong forehand of this player.

My question is about  the best tactical choice of serves against a short pimple player.

I'll certainly better train my serves along the line on forehand side, but I would like to know what are the best pratices against this kind of paddle and the asymetric tactics that such a player was using.

Thank you very match,



Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 9 years ago

Hi Gilbert,

The spin on your serves will have less impact against short pimples. As you found out, fast serves without a lot of spin or topspin serves might not be that effective if the opponent is good at using short pimples. These type of players like to get into fast flat rallies.

To counter this I like to serve with heavy backspin and then try to attack the third ball with a very spiny topspin. Varying the pace of your loops will work well against the short pimples. You also mentioned you could serve to the forehand and this is a good option if you can keep the ball short to stop your opponent attacking it.

Of course you still need variation so I try to mix up the amount of backspin I'm serving and still throw in the odd long fast serve to keep them on their toes.

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Thoughts on this question

mat huang

mat huang Posted 9 years ago

When playing short pimps, i gnerally just make them move around so that they will lose consistency. If your smash and loops arent that consistency while their chop is, i generally just vary and push most balls.

An it it also fun to see them run around while you just stand there

jorsel espino

jorsel espino Posted 9 years ago

give them chop, when they receive it has no spin. then you attack it. if you give them fast ball sometimes when they receive it, it will become backspin to you.

Arnon Thaicharoen

Arnon Thaicharoen Posted 9 years ago

Long heavy underspin serve is my favorite choice because the short pips player won't have an easy angle to flat hit the ball back. He will either chop or do slow topspin which gives me time to handle it.

If I want to serve short for variation, I do the short underspin serve along his forehand line so he needs to use his forehand rubber which is inverted.

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