Why is Roger Federer so good at receiving serve!?

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Anybody see this video already? What surprised me the most is how good Federer is at returning serve. If it was me against that serve, I would be overthinking it. Do I push? Do I loop? Do I flick? Is the ball going long or short? But it's so easy and natural for him.

What is going on?
The girl's serves have hardly any spin and it's mostly light side top. Since he had some practice against topspins it just takes a bit of coordination to return. You see whenever the girl served backspin he tanked it into the net.
 
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The girl's serves have hardly any spin and it's mostly light side top. Since he had some practice against topspins it just takes a bit of coordination to return. You see whenever the girl served backspin he tanked it into the net.
That may be part of it, but I think there's something wrong with me as well. I still think I would struggle against that girl's serve. Just looking at it makes me think i'm not quite sure how to receive it.
 
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He is one of the greatest tennis players, of course he knows a thing or two about spin and its effects 🤣 I can see him adjusting to different spins and placements already. but another thing is that his racket appears to be quite spin insensitive which always helps.
 
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I mean, he is one of the best tennis players of all time. He has talent for racket sports.

What also helped is that he probably palyed with a beginners bat that has softer rubbers. It gives you more time on the ball which gives you lots of margin for error.

That may be part of it, but I think there's something wrong with me as well. I still think I would struggle against that girl's serve. Just looking at it makes me think i'm not quite sure how to receive it.

Looking at the rubbers you play with, they are probably too hard for you. I have seen countless threads of you asking for advice on something specific you seen to struggle with, and now you are asking how Roger Federer is able to return those serves so easely? The answer is simple: he doesnt play a racket thats too fast for him.

As an EJ myself I have also played with countless different rubbers. One faster than the other. And what I have found, is that even though I wanted to play with a TB ALC with T05 on both sides (Dignics didnt exsist yet), I was way better off with my trusty Stiga Allround NCT with Bluefire M2 on both sides. Allthough it was way of a slower setup, it was easier to keep the ball on the table. I could focus more on placement because my strokes didnt have to be so precises. Especially at your level, placement is more important then speed.

The best player in my club played 3 division last year, and he plays with a Donic Appelgren Allplay with Sriver FX on both sides. This goes to show that you dont need a fast racket to play at a high level. I'm currently using a Sanwei V5 Pro with G1 on both sides myself, and I still think the blade is a little on the fast side sometimes.

So I would highly suggest to you, to put the fast racket away, and try a more controlled setup. Try an allwood all+ or off- blade with medium to medium-hard rubbers.

I apologise for my long rant, but remember I have the best intend of trying to help you fix the issues you are having in your game.
 
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I mean, he is one of the best tennis players of all time. He has talent for racket sports.

What also helped is that he probably palyed with a beginners bat that has softer rubbers. It gives you more time on the ball which gives you lots of margin for error.



Looking at the rubbers you play with, they are probably too hard for you. I have seen countless threads of you asking for advice on something specific you seen to struggle with, and now you are asking how Roger Federer is able to return those serves so easely? The answer is simple: he doesnt play a racket thats too fast for him.

As an EJ myself I have also played with countless different rubbers. One faster than the other. And what I have found, is that even though I wanted to play with a TB ALC with T05 on both sides (Dignics didnt exsist yet), I was way better off with my trusty Stiga Allround NCT with Bluefire M2 on both sides. Allthough it was way of a slower setup, it was easier to keep the ball on the table. I could focus more on placement because my strokes didnt have to be so precises. Especially at your level, placement is more important then speed.

The best player in my club played 3 division last year, and he plays with a Donic Appelgren Allplay with Sriver FX on both sides. This goes to show that you dont need a fast racket to play at a high level. I'm currently using a Sanwei V5 Pro with G1 on both sides myself, and I still think the blade is a little on the fast side sometimes.

So I would highly suggest to you, to put the fast racket away, and try a more controlled setup. Try an allwood all+ or off- blade with medium to medium-hard rubbers.

I apologise for my long rant, but remember I have the best intend of trying to help you fix the issues you are having in your game.
Appreciate the reply, but I can assure you that the reason I'm afraid to return that girl's serve has nothing to do with equipment.

It's more mental, and I don't have the right concept for how to return serve.

I want everything to be black and white. If its backspin, let it be backspin so I can push it or loop it. If its topspin, let it be clean topspin so I can drive it. But if its slightly backspin with sidespin and a weird bounce, then I kinda freeze up and I don't know what to do.

I think I'm doing a little better lately, but mentally I still feel nervous receiving serve.
 
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Good adjustment by Federer. First he used the large backswing that tennis players use and got blown up a little but when the coach told him to shorten up and keep the racket there and just use the body and legs to take the racket back he learned that pretty quickly and got pretty good at blocking and counter hitting the ball.

Still the experience and refined training of the little girl showed but Federer adjusted pretty well, you can see that he has talent for hitting balls with a racket:).
 
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Appreciate the reply, but I can assure you that the reason I'm afraid to return that girl's serve has nothing to do with equipment.

It's more mental, and I don't have the right concept for how to return serve.

I want everything to be black and white. If its backspin, let it be backspin so I can push it or loop it. If its topspin, let it be clean topspin so I can drive it. But if its slightly backspin with sidespin and a weird bounce, then I kinda freeze up and I don't know what to do.

I think I'm doing a little better lately, but mentally I still feel nervous receiving serve.
Alright then, lets leave the equipment part out of it, and then focus on the mental part.

I need a little more info though. You say you freeze on sidespin serves. What happens next?

It is normal though to be unsure about the opponents serve, it can sometimes take more then 2 games to figure it out, leaving you trailing 0-2, just because you had trouble with the serve.

The key is to try and see what works, and if something doesnt work, try something else. Of course its easier said then done when in the middle of a game. Try to remember what you did, and what went wrong.

“Oh I pushed it, but it went really high over the net, maybe I should flick next time”. Now you flick that same serve, the ball goes into the net. So next time, maybe try to push again, with an almost vertical angle. If you dont do this, its just like you are recieving every serve, like its your first time seeing it.

And sometimes the best recieve is nor black or white.

Story time:
I had this 1 opponent in a league match that had this short topspin serve I couldn’t properly attack (it was also illegal as hell because he was literally throwing the ball onto his bat to generate more spin). If I tried to flick it, it would go out. If I tried to topspin over the table it would go into the net. The serve dipped really fast after the bounce, so it was hard to get over the ball. The only way I would return his serve was to put my bat against it and gently play it back. It felt like if I did anything more then that, the ball would fly out as well. But this return was so weak that the opponent would just whip the ball right past me.

So 0-2 down now, and even though I could at least return his annoying illegal serve, the return was exactly what he wanted. What do you do then? I tried a different approach. Instead of just putting my bat against it, I waited a little longer and started it to slice it a little bit with side and backspin, similar to a chopblock actually. And what do you know? He tried to whip the ball past me like before, but he missed. The ball didn’t have the pace nor the spin he wanted to come back. So I started to sidespin chop all his topspin serves, and he didn’t know what to do with it. I turned his own serve against him and I won 3-2.

Of course this wasn’t the whole story of that match, but the reason I bring it up is because returning a serve shouldn’t always be black or white. You have to figure out what you opponent wants you to return.

When you serve, you serve to your own strengths. But when you recieve, you should try to prevent playing into your opponents strength. And the usual response to a short topspin serve, is to flick it. And even if you have the best flicks in the world, if your opponent wants you to do so you are playing into his strength. But if you give them some dodgy side-backspin ball, you might dismantle their entire game plan.

So next time you get one of these dodgy sidespin serves, dont feel obligated having to push, flick or topspin accordingly to the spin thats on it.

I hope that helps.
 
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Anybody see this video already? What surprised me the most is how good Federer is at returning serve. If it was me against that serve, I would be overthinking it. Do I push? Do I loop? Do I flick? Is the ball going long or short? But it's so easy and natural for him.

What is going on?
yes Roger is pretty good at TT, but in reality pineapple was in control, and doing the topspin serve because the counter hitting rally was good tactics for and also allowed the guest to continue with the shots he had been warming up, and especially because it makes the chop serve more effective as a surprise. If she had done chop serve most of the time Roger would have got used to it and a pushing rally would result from which some one would have to open with a topspin, make resulting in more errors by Roger.
I think Federer should start a TT club and form a family team with his kids, that would be an exciting scenario for Swiss TT
 
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Appreciate the reply, but I can assure you that the reason I'm afraid to return that girl's serve has nothing to do with equipment.

It's more mental, and I don't have the right concept for how to return serve.

I want everything to be black and white. If its backspin, let it be backspin so I can push it or loop it. If its topspin, let it be clean topspin so I can drive it. But if its slightly backspin with sidespin and a weird bounce, then I kinda freeze up and I don't know what to do.

I think I'm doing a little better lately, but mentally I still feel nervous receiving serve.
as a equipment expert and coach, I can say, you are not bonding with your equipment, so equipment has everything to do with your issues more than you think.

I agree with the other user touching base on your EJ virus and constant seeking of the holy grail.
There is never going to be something perfect, so it is to get the nearest and then stop the EJ nonsense and bond properly with the equipment and develop from there.

I do not see any evidence of you seeking to grow. But then you talk about "mental" and "reading".
If you can't trust your equipment, you can't trust your execution, of course you will have a mental problem and if you can't read spins, then you aren't really a 2000 level player and wins against 2000 level player is probably more like than actual "spin"
 
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He might be using less spin-sensitive rubber. IDK
Maybe not.
a lot of celebrities do hire table tennis coaches
so it won't be your basement/garage stuff.
plus, Mr Federer probably have more pro TT gear than the average forum user here, for all we know (it is very possible).
he could even have a table and high end robot at home
 
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