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receiving fast long spinny BH serves

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blahness View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04/14/2017 at 9:43am
So I play this guy at work who has really deceptive and spinny BH pendulum serves. He serves fast, deep and long almost exclusively to my elbow area and sometimes half long to the FH, and I find that I don't have a good success rate in terms of attacking the serve (partly due to awkward placements and partly due to me just misreading the serve often). If I push his serve back he has a very good follow-up attack on both BH and FH which is very hard to block because he hits it hard with good success rates. Even low quality loops just get counterlooped with reasonable success rates LOL. The serve patterns are almost as if they're modelled after Ovtcharov's haha... I occasionally manage to make quality loops off his serve, but this doesn't scare him off due to the low success rates...Ouch 

I do receive FH pendulum serves (long or short) a lot better because I've faced them a lot more often, and can get a pretty accurate read on them.

Now would like to get some advice how to improve my loop against these kinds of serves. I normally try to stand my ground and try to take the serve off the bounce with a mini-loop as that fits my playing style a lot. So I understand for side-topspin I just have to borrow the topspin, close my bat angle slightly and direct it to an awkward position to him (or should I close my bat more and brush harder?). For side-under, I have to work hard to brush the ball so that it goes above the net haha... I'm not quite sure how to increase my success rates other than facing it more often to get used to it? Or is there some kind of technique that allows me to have a greater margin of error when looping them?
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FH: H3 Neo
BH: TG3 Neo
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NextLevel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2017 at 10:24am
Find someone to serve you similar serves and practice against them.  If you understand table tennis to the degree your posts represent, that will solve your problem pretty quickly.

The one thing when facing serves that go long on your return is to play a standard salute stroke with a more closed paddle but less forward motion over the ball to avoid driving it long.  That imparts more topspin and increases the margin for error.  The faster the ball, the smaller the stroke.

Another thing is to note which side you are contacting the ball first on.  Test whether changing that lets you control the spin better.


Edited by NextLevel - 04/14/2017 at 10:27am
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2017 at 12:31pm
One thing I try and it works for me atleast when facing these kind of serves, is to take a step back, get more time to make a more substantial loop, its always easy to step in, but very hard to step backward, so may be try standing 1 step back than usual ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2017 at 12:45pm
Yes. Sometimes you have tonlwt the ball kick before looping it.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
Nexy Tibhar KJH FL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2017 at 2:43pm
+1 on the advice to take a step back to get more time

I have been practicing serve and receive regularly with an ex-international level player who is way above my playing level.

My serve receive quality goes up when go back a step. It allows me more time to read the spin and make an active shot versus a rushed shot close to the table.

More time will also allow you to experiment with stepping around to use the FH. Maybe that will be better, maybe not. No way to tell unless you actually try it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crowsfeather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2017 at 10:01pm
step back loop/ or drive , negate the spin, change direction and wait for loop-counter loop sequence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2017 at 4:10am
Think that may be the case here... will try standing slightly further away and see how I do. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Purett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2017 at 5:30am
not to much back
rating solid 1000
moving up to 1001
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2017 at 9:30pm
For the last half a year or so, I've been standing a step further back too. It helps SOOO much against people who do long serves. I went from only being able to do weak blocks/push returns to being able to attack the serve.

I find that short serves are usually slow, so even if I take a step back, I have plenty of time to step in. But long serves are usually always fast, which requires more time to react.

Definitely worth a try :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/21/2017 at 10:40am
Ok, so I played with this guy again today, and tried some of the tips here (taking a step back, closing my bat and actively impart more spin on the ball)... he still destroyed me with his serves just because I can't read them properly DeadDead Luckily my serves are pretty nasty too and it just becomes an ugly serve and receive competition with him filled with receive mistakes and 3rd balls with close to no rallies... who wins really depends on who gets more "lucky" and guesses the serve spin correctly more often! 

He is able to serve very heavy backspin with a close to vertical bat, which makes it really difficult to tell from the heavy topspin version, as he relies more on the timing rather than the bat angle. I really cannot imagine how someone can serve such heavy backspin with such a vertical blade angle on the BH serves, this just shows how much I know about them. He also has a really fast and sudden motion which makes it even harder to tell. I guess what I really need is brain training, not hand training! ConfusedConfusedConfused 

Anyone who knows the secrets to deciphering these kind of serves?
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FH: H3 Neo
BH: TG3 Neo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BMonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/21/2017 at 11:06am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Ok, so I played with this guy again today, and tried some of the tips here (taking a step back, closing my bat and actively impart more spin on the ball)... he still destroyed me with his serves just because I can't read them properly DeadDead Luckily my serves are pretty nasty too and it just becomes an ugly serve and receive competition with him filled with receive mistakes and 3rd balls with close to no rallies... who wins really depends on who gets more "lucky" and guesses the serve spin correctly more often! 

He is able to serve very heavy backspin with a close to vertical bat, which makes it really difficult to tell from the heavy topspin version, as he relies more on the timing rather than the bat angle. I really cannot imagine how someone can serve such heavy backspin with such a vertical blade angle on the BH serves, this just shows how much I know about them. He also has a really fast and sudden motion which makes it even harder to tell. I guess what I really need is brain training, not hand training! ConfusedConfusedConfused 

Anyone who knows the secrets to deciphering these kind of serves?
The paddle isn't the only thing you look at. Personally I don't even think it should be the first thing you look at; it should be the second. I think you should get your eyes low watch the flight of the ball very carefully. Watch how it comes over the net, look at how it rises compared to how it falls. Underspin tends to fall most slowly; it appears to float for a split second as it crosses the net. No/side spin tends to be pretty equal rise and fall speed. Topspin tends to fall faster than it rises like it's jumping towards you. If he keeps serving long, there should be time to watch.

When I play people who just have crazy spin serves, I have a bad habit of just touching the ball to try and control the spin; bad idea. Make sure you keep imparting your own spin. Don't worry about their next shot, just get it in play and work yourself into the offensive position on the next shot.

If you're standing back as you say, one easy thing for long underspin serves is to wait and let them fall below the height of the table surface, then spin them up onto the table. Waiting will help the spin start to dissipate and the trajectory of the ball falling will be easier to brush along. Obviously that's not the ideal serve return, but it will get things going.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/21/2017 at 11:29am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Ok, so I played with this guy again today, and tried some of the tips here (taking a step back, closing my bat and actively impart more spin on the ball)... he still destroyed me with his serves just because I can't read them properly DeadDead Luckily my serves are pretty nasty too and it just becomes an ugly serve and receive competition with him filled with receive mistakes and 3rd balls with close to no rallies... who wins really depends on who gets more "lucky" and guesses the serve spin correctly more often! 

He is able to serve very heavy backspin with a close to vertical bat, which makes it really difficult to tell from the heavy topspin version, as he relies more on the timing rather than the bat angle. I really cannot imagine how someone can serve such heavy backspin with such a vertical blade angle on the BH serves, this just shows how much I know about them. He also has a really fast and sudden motion which makes it even harder to tell. I guess what I really need is brain training, not hand training! ConfusedConfusedConfused 

Anyone who knows the secrets to deciphering these kind of serves?

Yes, I do.  Get the TTEdge app and it will all make sense, he is hitting more towards the tip with slice on the backspin and more across the back of the ball on the sidespin/topspin.  The contact for backspin will be closer to his left hip, and for topspin, it will be closer to his right hip. The angles are different, it is just harder to see if you are not used to the subtle variations in contact.

The TTEdge app basically transformed my ability to read and return serves, before I was almost hopeless, now I am hopeless against great servers but since I have my own nasty serves, the playing field is far more level.

I have a nasty backhand serve myself, especially my topspin version, so this is a serve I know well.  Just focus on hitting the left side of the ball and coming over the ball no matter what happens, over time, you will see the ball slow down when the backspin is heavy, even if it seems to be coming really fast.

Maybe I will post some video sometime.

I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
Nexy Tibhar KJH FL
FH: Karis M B
BH: Karis M R
Lumberjack TT Exponent
No train, no gain.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote onehander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/21/2017 at 1:01pm
I would do as NextLevel suggests:  get a partner and practice against this deep serve.  It's not like a switch that you flick on and you can solve it.  It will take practice time.  

Deep serves should be punished.  I used to serve mostly deep serves and wondered why so many pros opt to serve short.  Then I met a really good looper who loop killed all of my deep serves during a match.  After that incident, I practiced my short serves extensively.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TTHOUSTON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/22/2017 at 10:50am
IMO, "Step back" is difficult than "Step forward" with your back and your knee still bend down. Are you agree?
So stay 1 step behind before he serve. If he serve long, you will have time to loop, if he serve short on your forehand you can step up for return.
Agree with everyone said keep practice 1 hour per day.


Edited by TTHOUSTON - 04/22/2017 at 10:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/23/2017 at 8:10pm
Thanks NextLevel, the tip regarding left hip vs right hip does make sense now that I think about it. Will give the TTEdge app a go too!
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FH: H3 Neo
BH: TG3 Neo
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