A guy I play with stands back from the table and lets the ball fall almost to the floor before he lobs it back with a vicious spin that kicks sideways off the table and can leave me missing the ball completely. I think he must be giving it “corkscrew spin” (sidespin around a horizontal axis?) but I can’t find much information about that online. Any tips on how do deal with him? I guess I should be able to smash if I positioned myself properly but do I need to adjust for the spin?
I found this example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=d-dkOTdiOZo
I know exactly the type of shots you mean which kick sideways and can cause a lot of mistakes when players use them well.
The main thing with returning these type of shots is to not rush in and try to hit the ball to quicky which will cause mistakes and even for you to miss the ball completely sometimes.
With regards to adjusting for the spin I would suggest aiming for the centre line of the table for maximum safety and will allow for the spin taking it to either side, also try to add some topspin of your own rather than hitting these shot totally flat which will mean you lose control and their spin has more effect. Hope those points help you and anything else please let us know 🙂