Which serve to use in a crucial situation

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 9 years ago

andrew streng

andrew streng Asked 9 years ago


At 10-8 in the 5th game my serve what serve would you do?  Here are the options.

A sure and steady serve that will 100% go in but the receiver will get it back and maybe even with an attack.

A bit more aggressive serve 80% will go in but the receiver if he gets it back will not be able to attack.

A very aggressive serve  say 60% will go in but the receiver will either not get it back or you will win the 3rd ball attack.

Please let me know what you think and I will tell  you my results from this match scenario.  Also one thought I had is the server has two match points.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Andrew,

Interesting discussion point.

I say it depends on your opponent.  If it is a player that you are not usually likely to beat or is better in the rally than you are, then go for one of the more risky options.

In general though if it is an even opponent, go with the safer options.

However, I don't think any serve you use in this situation is a serve that is only 80% likely to go in.  Perhaps 80% likely to go where you want it to effectively.

If you have 2 match points then you could be a bit riskier on the first option.

What would others do?

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andrew streng

andrew streng Posted 9 years ago


Thanks for the response.  I like your thought process thinking about the opponent.  I was not considering my opponent I was only thinking about my serve.

Here is what I did, a riskier high toss fast dead serve that I flubbed and the serve did not go in.  My second serve for my second match point was  a safer serve that went in but my opponent is better in a rally than me so I lost that point  and then I lost the match after deuce. 

So my strategy actually matched yours.  My lesson learned  practice my riskier serve more so it goes in, even if it is a bit less effective.





Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Thanks Andrew, yes practicing the serve is probably the key here.

bertus bertus

bertus bertus Posted 9 years ago


If you have two matchpoints, go for a riskier serve at first. If you have only one matchpoint I would say do a safer serve but in any case, don't try to overdue your serve. Don't try to do it a bit harder than you normal would or don't try to put more spin in it like you normally would do. Seen that happen a lot that a player want to score a direct point on the serve but instead make a fault serve.


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