Coach CornerTechniquesservice-return-and-most-effective-rubber
Nomad asked 2 weeks ago

Hi Dan & Tom
Since joining TTD and your videos my game has improved considerably.  However one of the parts of my game I could use some advice on is the service return, especially from a sidespin/backspin half long service.  It is difficult to attack and my return tends to pop up slightly allowing my opponent to attack with a topspin drive.  I have started to angle my bat about 45 degrees and hit the ball on the same side as my opponent (right hand side) to counter the spin.  This keeps the ball low over the net if timed well but with heavier sidespin/backspin serves it is more difficult to control the spin and keep the ball low at the same time.  I have tried to relax the grip on my bat to ‘cushion’ the ball and this seems to help but I still find it difficult to change the direction of my return.  Would a more agressive sidespin/backspin push and follow through (jab) return be the answer?
The second question is regarding the rubbers.  I currently se DNA pro on one side of the bat and DNA platinum on the other.  I seem to get get more spin and control on the forehand with DNA pro while the DNA Platinum gives me more speed but lesser spin on the backhand. I have a fairly good fast counter hitting stroke on the backhand close to the table so I do not need the same amount of spin to generate power. Do you think using DNA pro on both sides would be an advantage slightly further back from the table?
Looking forward to your comments.

1 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 2 weeks ago

Hey Alex, it’s great that you’ve made so much improvement since joining the Academy! So I’ll answer the question on rubbers first as I use DNA Pro myself on both sides. Yes Platinum is much faster but less spin, I stayed with DNA Pro for this reason as spin and control is more important. I would say yes that DNA Pro on the backhand would be a better option to be honest.

With the serve returns I would say you’re going about it the right way, I think it totally depends on how long the serve is, if it’s just coming off the end and very half long sometimes an aggressive push is the easier option and you can still play a good quality return. If there is less backspin or the ball is slightly longer then I would say to keep going for the topspin and trying to attack the serves as you have been. The best way to control the direction is to really focus on adding topspin to the ball and brushing it well, also being sure to have a good acceleration through the contact point! Let us know how you get on with it!


replied 2 weeks ago

Thanks Tom
I will try to put your advice into operation and I will let you know how I get on.


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