Coach CornerServe and Receivereturning-long-backhand-side-topspin-serve
Dipak1974 asked 11 months ago

Hi guys. Don’t know if you can advise on how to return a backhand side topspin serve that comes long or half long to middle or to my FH. Yesterday I lost a match 11-9 in 5th and the major if not only problem was returning these serves. Most annoying thing was it’s only serves he did. I either played it long or too defensive to give him a easy attack. It’s not the first time that serve has caused me problems but I have never lost a match due to it. Whereas yesterday it was major factor. 

1 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 11 months ago

Hi Dipak1974, Yes this can be an arkward and frustrating serve for sure. It’s annoying of course when you lose a match due to the returns of these serves too.

So I think one of the most important things when returning these types of serves is being quite positive woth your return, so a small quick topspin shot with a fairly closed bat angle is the best option to stop the topspin taking the ball long.

Focus on trying to hit more on top of the ball and having a short shot but quite a quick acceleration, of course not forcing it too hard or the spin will take it off. Also aiming into the middle of the table just to be sure the side spin doesn’t shoot the ball off is a good option.

Usually players when returning this serve get to careful and the spin makes it fly off as you mentioned or up for a weak return. So as I said really try to be positive when returning them and don’t be scared to go for a fairly quick topspin as long as your coming over the ball with your own topspin and a closed bat angle.

Give that a try and let us know how you get on! 🙂

replied 11 months ago

Hi Tom

Thanks for the reply. Would the timing of the return be quick off the bounce like countering a topspin ot like blocking or would I let the ball rise and take at top of bounce. The problem I had was I was negative after hitting a couple of serves out that I started taking the ball after top of bounce and I focussed just returning it on table which gave my opponent a strong 3rd ball. In some instances I was able to counter his 3rd ball but not always. You are very right with being positive as I did go very defensive with the return.

Academy Coach replied 11 months ago

Hey, no worries. Its not really off the bounce, more like at the top of the bounce to give you the most margin over the net for safety. Yes that’s a very normal reaction so I wouldn’t worry, you can fix it with focus on the right areas!

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