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Maximilian2016
09-04-2018, 08:37 PM
Hello,

I am trying to understand an awkward serve that I have received lately.
The rubber used by him is one of the Butterfly Tenergy 05fx or Tenergy 64fx rubbers and I am not sure what blade he used - what I am trying to say here is that he is not using any " special " rubber like an anti-spin rubber, pips out rubber, etc.
In the lines below I am going to do by best to explain what is happening.
He is a right-handed player like me and he is serving from his forehand something that looks like a slow topspin serve somewhere between my backhand and the middle of the table. The ball jumps slowly over the net and if I leave it to jump twice, the second bounce will be on the table so we have to deal with a short serve.
The problem is that if I am trying to do a diagonally backhand flip, the ball will go straight into the net. - I tried different variations by attacking the ball more vertically or by brushing the ball fast at its top with a closed angle of the racket but I got the same results.
Since the first approach did not work, even if it looked like a slow top spin serve, I tried to attack the ball underneath like it was coming with backspin - the ball was returned to him pretty high.
The only way to return it was to attack the ball underneath with the blade opened at a ~30 degree angle (something like this \O) like you do when you want to return a forehand Tomahawk Serve on your backhand for example.In this case, the ball went pretty low over the net into the backhand of my opponent on the table (something like a long push on his backhand).
More than that, since the ball came slowly in front of me, I had enough time to see its spin many times and here is the biggest problem: it does not have backspin nor topspin or side-spin (), it came straight forward like a topspin serve but instead it had a strange effect which I called it " disruptive " and I am going to explain it.
The normal topspin is linear in a way that the ball goes up and then goes down and you can predict that more or less.
In this case, the ball comes with something like a topspin but it looks like it is stopping for a while in the air and then suddenly it accelerates down ; it is very hard to see it clearly but you feel it in your blade for sure when you attack the ball.This is why I have a hard time to explain it in words since it is not following a linear trajectory. - in a way, it looks very similar with a backspin ball which is returned with a vertical topspin which overwrites its backspin (this one will go pretty linear until it will bounce on the opponent`s side and then it will accelerate very very fast with topspin)
So my questions are:
1. How the effect is generated ?
2. How do I serve like that?
3. How do I return that serve?


I really appreciate any help from you.


Best regards.

lugi2000
09-04-2018, 09:13 PM
Hi there, it sounds like the opponent is mixing up the serves with sidespin backspin or sidespin topspin serves. So he is probably not serving the same serve twice in a row. You need to keep an focus on his bat angle.

Lightzy
09-05-2018, 01:18 AM
Hi, sounds like a weak underspin serve and once you're more confident with your backhand flick you'll eat that stuff up for breakfasts.

If he's serving from his forehand to your backhand/mid then for practically certain it's a serve you should answer with a backhand over-the-table topspin, regardless of if it's a weak backspin, corkscrew or topspin.

TTHopeful
09-05-2018, 05:42 AM
Yeah practice your backhand flick with multi ball it helped me a lot with a coach

Maximilian2016
09-05-2018, 06:51 AM
Please have a look into the video below at 0:33 :
youtube.com/watch?v=Tmv_P1sE3Wc
Even if my opponent did not make that movement of his body the ball came almost the same like the ball does in this video - it looks like a topspin but it is not; somehow the ball is more pushed up and forward by attacking it underneath so it follows that arc and then suddenly it drops down but faster than a classic topspin; the effect is that the ball looks like it goes in frames instead of that smooth trajectory specific to a classic topspin.
Even if the guy who is receiving the serve is attacking the ball underneath, the ball goes down into the net; if we had to deal with a classic topspin, the ball would go up very high.
If you attack the ball with a flat hit or on top of it by trying to do a flip, the ball again will go into the net.(that happened in my case but of course I do not have advanced skills in doing those flips.)
In a way, we have to deal with a "reverse backspin serve" (I do not know how to call it) since you attack the ball somehow underneath it but instead of leaving the racket to go forward you somehow retract it back, towards you, after you hit the ball.
Please advise.

Thank you all.

Sali
09-05-2018, 08:50 AM
ok, what you are dealing with is a problem with serve return. Sometimes pro players have same problems if they do not know the opponent or the opponent finds a new serve. If you watch pro matches you will see many return errors.
You must be aware that TT is service and return game, topspins footwork is important but if you do not answer serve properly it does not help you at all.
Most of players use two kind of serves with same movement. Schlager few years ago explained it very simple
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldheZbxGWlQ starts in 3:30
Nobody can help you wihout a video or sometimes even when video come, only effect going by answer can help you understand what was in the serve.
Most of players if the do not know exactly, they are guessing and if it is a short serve they try to take the ball very early off the bounce. Topspin serves tends to accelerate after the bounce so it is safer to take them early doing stopball if you are not sure - that can help you not making very high ball.
What I am trying to say is that every serve is different and it is very hard to answer all of them right way even for pros.

vvk1
09-05-2018, 08:50 AM
Sounds like you need to learn to read the variations of spin your opponent is producing.

If you play this person regularly, why not simply ask him to help you understand the serve. Play practice games where only he serves, one game with one spin, next game with another. Once you're comfortable returning each spin consistently enough, ask him to start mixing them up.

Maximilian2016
09-05-2018, 09:02 AM
Sounds like you need to learn to read the variations of spin your opponent is producing.

If you play this person regularly, why not simply ask him to help you understand the serve. Play practice games where only he serves, one game with one spin, next game with another. Once you're comfortable returning each spin consistently enough, ask him to start mixing them up.

Indeed, I have to learn the spin of the serves received but this is the first time when I am facing such a serve and I need to understand how it is produced in order to be able to recognize it when the opponent will use it.

vvk1
09-05-2018, 12:06 PM
Indeed, I have to learn the spin of the serves received but this is the first time when I am facing such a serve and I need to understand how it is produced in order to be able to recognize it when the opponent will use it.

Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

yogi_bear
09-05-2018, 12:19 PM
Please observe how he contacts the ball and the follow through of the racket movement. It will give you clues to what kind of spin.

talbon
09-05-2018, 08:15 PM
Please have a look into the video below at 0:33 :
youtube.com/watch?v=Tmv_P1sE3Wc
Even if my opponent did not make that movement of his body the ball came almost the same like the ball does in this video - it looks like a topspin but it is not; somehow the ball is more pushed up and forward by attacking it underneath so it follows that arc and then suddenly it drops down but faster than a classic topspin.
The serves in that video are mostly backspin with a follow through to disguise it. The server cuts the ball underneath and follows through as if he had just brushed upwards from down behind. The one that is returned high is a variation with topspin, where instead of a disguise he does exactly what the motion suggests.

You are probably misreading your partner's service action. You said it all, it looks like topspin but it's not.

Maximilian2016
09-06-2018, 05:59 AM
After a few hours spent in the training room I was able to reproduce the effect received from my opponent last days.
Below are the steps that I followed when I served:
1.Throw the ball very high because this serve is based on the acceleration that the ball gets due to the gravity.
2.Besides the movement of your body or your racket that needs to be done in order to deceive your opponent, brush the ball upwards on the side which points to you (if you wish to add some side effect, brush the ball upwards and on its left side for example); your racket will make an angle of almost 90 degrees with the table (the racket is almost perpendicular to the table) for this serve; contact point: the center of the ball.
3.The ball goes with some sort of a topspin and a short serve with a low bounce can be achieve pretty easy.