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  1. perham is offline
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    #1

    Short Topspin Serve with Pendulum Motion

    I’m trying diversify my pendulum serve, and I’m having trouble keeping my topspin serve short. When I do the last moment shoulder pull, either I get an ok top-side spin serve that goes half long or long, or I get a short serve that is almost no spin. What am I doing wrong? Is it even possible to do this?

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    #2
    I wonder the exact answer too.

    I manage to do top-side spin pendulum serve with placing the ball opponent's short forehand(I assume you use both same hand), then on second jump barely hits opponent's long backand side. The perfect ones without horizontal hitting or with less horizontal hitting.

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    #3
    Serve top spin along the diagonals from corner to corner, first bounce closer to you, soft and spinny, keep it low, and even not so short, the ball will either sink close to the edge, or even double bounce.

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    #4
    The trick is in your impact and bat angle.

    Gotta be soft. I like brushing the back of ball pulling to side and up. Gotta have a real soft grip or it goes long. First bounce location important.

    Experiment. If your stroke is long, good luck. Timing will be tough. Elbow needs to be on your side up against body before impact.

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    #5
    Need to see video to help more but generally the brush has to be very thin to keep topspin pendulum serves short. Especially to forehand.

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    #6
    Do not use the shoulder. Use wrist or and forearm. Do not need massive spin, just more than the opponent thinks. Get the first bouncy closer to the net and the serve Will be short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    Do not use the shoulder. Use wrist or and forearm. Do not need massive spin, just more than the opponent thinks. Get the first bouncy closer to the net and the serve Will be short.
    I doubt that with top spin, even with a very soft touch, you'll get a short serve if the first bounce is close to the net.
    With top spin closer to the net first bounce means deeper second one.
    With top spin the distance between the two bounces is longer than with under spin /provided same force applied/.
    With top spin the ball is faster than with under spin, and the second bounce is lower.
    Because of that the advantage of the top spin serve is not exactly in the very short placement, which in general is difficult to be achieved, but anyway if you want to, you have to make the first bounce not closer to the net, but the opposite, and along the diagonals, trying to make the ball not to lieve the table after the seconf bounce and to keep the ball as low as possible.
    Otherwise, with less or no spin, even if short, the ball can be easily attacked and flipped strong. In this case the only chance is the opponent to missread the ball.

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    #8
    You "doubt"? You mean you actually don't know. I can say for sure that it's exactly the way Lula explains. First bounce should be close to the net to keep the ball short, even on top spin serves. The brush on the contact has to be very thin, and almost zero sponge activation.

    Quote Originally Posted by langel
    I doubt that with top spin, even with a very soft touch, you'll get a short serve if the first bounce is close to the net.
    With top spin closer to the net first bounce means deeper second one.
    With top spin the distance between the two bounces is longer than with under spin /provided same force applied/.
    With top spin the ball is faster than with under spin, and the second bounce is lower.
    Because of that the advantage of the top spin serve is not exactly in the very short placement, which in general is difficult to be achieved, but anyway if you want to, you have to make the first bounce not closer to the net, but the opposite, and along the diagonals, trying to make the ball not to lieve the table after the seconf bounce and to keep the ball as low as possible.
    Otherwise, with less or no spin, even if short, the ball can be easily attacked and flipped strong. In this case the only chance is the opponent to missread the ball.

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    #9
    Your first bounce location on your side of table will vary based on the trajectory of the ball you hit, which will largely be determined by the height at which you impact the ball.

    For my kind of high impact point to make a relatively straight path, I land the ball middle depth to a little past that, I get a short tight serve on my underspin.

    If I impact the ball lower, like at net height or a little lower, then send the ball a little upwards, my first bounce will be closer to the net, much closer. I can do that serve, but am lower consistency than my normal higher impact point.

    Getting the impact right for a short bounce on a topspin serve is much, much more tricky with your touch and impact. The same considerations for ball trajectory apply. Landing the ball precisely on your target landing zone is much more critical than the underspin serve.

    For me, it is much easier to use the higher impact point. I need to train the lower impact point as a variation, it also has advantages if I can master that impact and timing.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RidTheKid
    You "doubt"? You mean you actually don't know. I can say for sure that it's exactly the way Lula explains. First bounce should be close to the net to keep the ball short, even on top spin serves.
    Not exaxtly right, the wording was "closer to the net" and this is sometimes the solution. If the first bounce is very close to the net, then sure, the serve may become very short but also very slow giving your opponent valuable time. Worst case, it might bounce just a bit too close to the net on the other side, just a bit too high and become very easy to attack. My goal is to aim for the middle or 2/3 into the table for a little faster serve that just barely double bounces. Getting my opponent to doubt if the serve becomes half-long is always nice.

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    #11
    Need to develop more contact and feel as i always suggest.

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    #12
    Sure if we talk strategy, I was only talking about the technique to get the serve to be short on top spin serves.


    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    Not exaxtly right, the wording was "closer to the net" and this is sometimes the solution. If the first bounce is very close to the net, then sure, the serve may become very short but also very slow giving your opponent valuable time. Worst case, it might bounce just a bit too close to the net on the other side, just a bit too high and become very easy to attack. My goal is to aim for the middle or 2/3 into the table for a little faster serve that just barely double bounces. Getting my opponent to doubt if the serve becomes half-long is always nice.

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RidTheKid
    Sure if we talk strategy, I was only talking about the technique to get the serve to be short on top spin serves.
    So was I, there is not always just a a single solution.

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    #14
    Where I come from the definition of "short serve" is a serve with a double bounce (or more) on the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    So was I, there is not always just a a single solution.

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RidTheKid
    Where I come from the definition of "short serve" is a serve with a double bounce (or more) on the table.
    Yes? Your point being?

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    #16
    Your aim was to make a serve that barely double bounces you wrote. OP's questions wasn't regarding tactical choices but technique how to keep the serve short (double bounce), not "barely double bounce because that is not considered a short serve. Not semantics.

    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    Yes? Your point being?

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RidTheKid
    Your aim was to make a serve that barely double bounces you wrote. OP's questions wasn't regarding tactical choices but technique how to keep the serve short (double bounce), not "barely double bounce because that is not considered a short serve. Not semantics.
    Bullshit, a barely double bounce is still a double bounce and considered a short serve. You can change the world 'barely', with 'just' or whatever the word you want. It bounces twice, the second bounce being on the table.

    Question: to make a short serve, must the first bounce be as close as possible to the net on your side?

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    Bullshit, a barely double bounce is still a double bounce and considered a short serve. You can change the world 'barely', with 'just' or whatever the word you want. It bounces twice, the second bounce being on the table.

    Question: to make a short serve, must the first bounce be as close as possible to the net on your side?
    Yes to make a short serve the bounce on your side should be close to the net.

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    #19
    It's not my best serve but a useful one and I can pull it off.

    When I do this serve I just try to focus on making the 1st bounce middle of the table or close to the net and it's okay if this serve is slow. If the serve bounces close to your end line it'll be next to impossible from not having it go long. So that 1st bounce has to be close to the net. This is a slow serve for me.

    Even if it's not the spinniest short side/topspin serve I have. You could call this serve of mine dead to slight side/top, I'm really less concerned with how much spin is on it rather more so is it short, is it slow (like a backspin serve is) and can I get lucky in that they're tricked and push it. I suppose the more spin will happen the more you finely graze it.

    Side note. Always be ready to counter a flick when doing this in case they're not fooled at all.

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    Bullshit, a barely double bounce is still a double bounce and considered a short serve. You can change the world 'barely', with 'just' or whatever the word you want. It bounces twice, the second bounce being on the table.

    Question: to make a short serve, must the first bounce be as close as possible to the net on your side?
    We call that half long.

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