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solutions for this serve

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    Posted: 10/23/2020 at 10:52pm
I encountered someone who is able to serve short and heavy sidetopspin BH serves to the extreme short FH corner. I found it incredibly difficult to control with my FH push, and I don't have a working FH flick :( Tbh even the Waldner FH sideswipe (my preferred option) is not that easy to control when the sidetopspin is super heavy. 

If I move fast enough to use my BH I can punish this with my chiquita, but then it's super hard because he can also serve deep to my BH corner and if I "premoved" in anticipation I would get screwed... 

Potential solutions:

1) learn the FH flick (it's difficult af tho), I can hit it but never understood how to generate topspin with the flick to overcome the opponent's spin...
2) Do a FH chopblock which I think is more within reach, send it to the opposite corner with sidespin and try to defend the next loop (very hard to do against this player coz he has an excellent FH loop)
3) train to be fast enough to use the BH chiquita to punish the serves hard
4) let the ball drop as it exits the side of the table and do an around the net FH loop (also difficult af)

What do you guys use against a serve like this?




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyChop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2020 at 11:18pm
Would you be able to just block it back and work on countering? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Valiantsin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2020 at 11:48pm
came to push from bh, cause it's much easier to do sometimes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Love_my_dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2020 at 11:54pm
In last FZD vs. LJK match, FZD served this serve all the way to the end, purporting to avoid chiquita from LJK. LJK first pushed, then flicked, and finally chiquitaed but mostly got dominated by FZD.

FZD's strategy was to engage LJK to a topspin match that he can manage (i.e., put the ball back on the table and do not make mistake when returning the ball in the defense play, which shows how confident, skillful and thus scary FZD is, and even a powerful player like LJK cannot use FH to get the point in a rally, i.e., FZD is like a wall that LJK cannot break through) and when the topspin return from LJK was slightly weak, FZD changed the rhythm and made the killer shot. ML applied similar strategy in several key matches against FZD, just letting FZD have unforced errors when he uses 100% force to attack. 

This is similar to short-push (backspin or flat) control on the table and then pounce on the opportunity (when the push is drifting a little bit long by the opponent) and make FH killer shot.

When playing against ML in last match, FZD served similarly, but with just pure backspin or flat, to avoid any sidespin that may complicate ML's return, i.e., to slow down ML's return or attack rhythm. This needs outstanding defense techniques so FZD is not got easily killed in an attack, no panicking.

As for the return, Tim Boll has the push to return this BH serve (sidetop- or sideback-spin) from LGY. When returning similar BH serve from Dimitrov, ML can also return the ball to the middle using short push. You need to tilt the blade a little bit to change topspin to backspin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2020 at 11:54pm
Originally posted by Valiantsin Valiantsin wrote:

came to push from bh, cause it's much easier to do sometimes

Haha yes using the BH is way easier than the FH to receive this serve, but if I were that fast I would have used the chiquita already... :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/23/2020 at 11:58pm
Originally posted by JohnnyChop JohnnyChop wrote:

Would you be able to just block it back and work on countering? 

Hmm blocking this serve is kinda like how I "flick" it, I get overwhelmed by the incoming spin so it's inconsistent (or maybe I have shitty touch), just way too easy to make a mistake :( and even if it goes onto the table it's quite low quality and will just get punished...


Edited by blahness - 10/24/2020 at 12:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:04am
Originally posted by Love_my_dog Love_my_dog wrote:

In last FZD vs. LJK match, FZD served this serve all the way to the end, purporting to avoid chiquita from LJK. LJK first pushed, then flicked, and finally chiquitaed but mostly got dominated by FZD.

FZD's strategy was to engage LJK to a topspin match that he can manage (i.e., put the ball back on the table and do not make mistake when returning the ball in the defense play, which shows how confident, skillful and thus scary FZD is, and even a powerful player like LJK cannot use FH to get the point in a rally, i.e., FZD is like a wall that LJK cannot break through) and when the topspin return from LJK was slightly weak, FZD changed the rhythm and made the killer shot. ML applied similar strategy in several key matches against FZD, just letting FZD have unforced errors when he uses 100% force to attack. 

This is similar to short-push (backspin or flat) control on the table and then pounce on the opportunity (when the push is drifting a little bit long by the opponent) and make FH killer shot.

When playing against ML in last match, FZD served similarly, but with just pure backspin or flat, to avoid any sidespin that may complicate ML's return, i.e., to slow down ML's return or attack rhythm. This needs outstanding defense techniques so FZD is not got easily killed in an attack, no panicking.

As for the return, Tim Boll has the push to return this BH serve (sidetop- or sideback-spin) from LGY. When returning similar BH serve from Dimitrov, ML can also return the ball to the middle using short push. You need to tilt the blade a little bit to change topspin to backspin.

Yep I saw how Ma Long handles this serve, Fan Zhendong was serving heavy reverse sidetopspin to Ma Long's short FH a lot during the 2017 WTTC final and Ma Long just confidently pushed them all short (it's basically the chopblock movement), just incredible control.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov also abuses this serve a lot knowing that many players just can't control the sheer amount of sidetopspin he can put on the short serve, then just attack the 3rd ball hard. Ma Long, incredibly still manages to push them all short lol...guy just has insane touch...

Tbh if I can master this, it's actually the best because I don't do all that well in the topspin rallies against my peers, I would much rather drag them into the short game and wide angles where they're most uncomfortable, then finish them off with a high quality loop.


Edited by blahness - 10/24/2020 at 12:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:31am
drop shot with  a 70 degree angle. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Valiantsin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:34am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by Valiantsin Valiantsin wrote:

came to push from bh, cause it's much easier to do sometimes

Haha yes using the BH is way easier than the FH to receive this serve, but if I were that fast I would have used the chiquita already... :(
I meant move like to push from fh but just stretch arm and push from bh it's easier than bh chiquita.
1 more variant is to push to op bh, mean that it will trap to his fh because of sidespin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:41am
Originally posted by Valiantsin Valiantsin wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by Valiantsin Valiantsin wrote:

came to push from bh, cause it's much easier to do sometimes

Haha yes using the BH is way easier than the FH to receive this serve, but if I were that fast I would have used the chiquita already... :(
I meant move like to push from fh but just stretch arm and push from bh it's easier than bh chiquita.
1 more variant is to push to op bh, mean that it will trap to his fh because of sidespin.

I know what you mean now... Yeah it would be easier than the chiquita for sure...but I think in terms of the footwork I think it still leaves my deep BH quite exposed... But it's way easier to control using the BH (push, chiquita, fade) for sure...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:42am
Originally posted by yogi_bear yogi_bear wrote:

drop shot with  a 70 degree angle. 

Damn you have good touch haha... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff(ATTC) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 5:26am
This is a really tough serve to receive.  We have a club mate with a great BH service down the FH line.  Hard to flip since the spin is tremendous and deceptive.  Receiving with FH is tough since good wrist flexibility is needed (which is lacking for me).  BH receive is much easier but is risky if you don't put good quality on the ball - it would make sense to place the ball in the middle or FH to limit the BH angle on the opponent counter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 8:31am
Hi,

An important consideration is to avoid significant footwork "solutions".  It is not reasonable for even most professionals and certainly not non-professionals to develop such movement capabilities as the very swiftest in the sport are able to do.

In the above video, the receiver knows where the serve location is prior to the serve.  This video is helpful in understanding the techniques available, however it is premised upon creating the perfect ball-to-body relationship which is highly facilitated by knowing the serve's location prior to the serve.

Seek a balanced coverage of the table.

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 9:11am
Originally posted by vvk1 vvk1 wrote:

Perhaps this might help:


From the reaction of the ball on the bat it seems that the server was serving sidespin and not sidetopspin. The heavy sidetopspin serves are the most problematic because it's insanely difficult to control with the short push.. tho the principles are the same, you have to push the bat towards the right. I feel like against lower level players who don't have that heavy spin I can control it easily, against higher level players it's insanely difficult to control the spin. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 9:12am
Originally posted by Jeff(ATTC) Jeff(ATTC) wrote:

This is a really tough serve to receive.  We have a club mate with a great BH service down the FH line.  Hard to flip since the spin is tremendous and deceptive.  Receiving with FH is tough since good wrist flexibility is needed (which is lacking for me).  BH receive is much easier but is risky if you don't put good quality on the ball - it would make sense to place the ball in the middle or FH to limit the BH angle on the opponent counter.

Yes it's a very difficult serve to receive if you don't have a good FH flip to punish it :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 9:14am
A friend taught me the secret of the forehand flip tonight, and I finally got the concept. You need to rotate your body into the shot. It's not just wrist and arm action. Once I got that I felt so much more comfortable flipping :) 

Why does nobody teach this in online tutorials?! Without the body rotation you won't be able to produce enough power to make the stroke stable :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vvk1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 9:49am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by vvk1 vvk1 wrote:

Perhaps this might help:


From the reaction of the ball on the bat it seems that the server was serving sidespin and not sidetopspin. The heavy sidetopspin serves are the most problematic because it's insanely difficult to control with the short push.. tho the principles are the same, you have to push the bat towards the right. ... 

I think the server actually does vary the spin. The original video in the russian-language version of the channel clearly shows that:


It's just that the receiver is a much higher level player (Aleksey Liventsov, 2017 Russian National champion and a member of Russian National Team) and can actually handle all kinds of spin that the server can throw at him.

Quote
...I feel like against lower level players who don't have that heavy spin I can control it easily, against higher level players it's insanely difficult to control the spin. 

Well, that's why they are higher-level players, isn't it :-) If you're trying to chop it ML-style, then your chop motion must be fast enough to override the serve spin, otherwise you're not really controlling anything. And it takes time to develop a really fast push with a very small motion. 

I quite like this video because it teaches you several options for returning this class of serves.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:04pm
I'm glad you found a way to FH flip this serve.  For sidespin only, and especially topspin versions I teach FH flipping using primarily your elbow.  When you close your blade, the elbow angle is forward and up and a wuick snap with your forearm - with brushing contact - will create a relatively simple, but good quality flip.  Like footwork is (as always) very important.  You need to step in with you shoulder and head forward.  Getting too close (side to side) to the ball makes this tougher as does being to far and having to stretch.  Wrist can also be added once the stroke is smoothed out.

Not that you necessarily need it now, but there is also a very easy way to handle this serve.  Instead of trying to push (or flip) it, step in and simply "touch" the upper back part of the ball using your forehand.  Doing this uses the spin to bring the ball back over the net - it will still jump left, but don't stress about that.  Being gentle keeps the ball from nissing or going too wide (where it could relatively easily be looped) left.  Where you touch the ball and the amount of sidespin originally on the ball determine how much "left" the ball goes.  It is important not to "fight" the ball's tendency to go left and to be GENTLE.  Most players with "only decent" short games (particularly forehand flip) won't be able to hurt you if you keep your return low (er even low-ish) and fairly short.  This is an easy, not very technical return, but it is very effective.  It will take some practice to develop the touch and to figure out where YOU need to touch the ball.

I use this serve a lot and players that just calmly "touch" it back ruin most of my fun.  I much prefer players who try to flip it - even when they often can.  Non-elite FH flips are usually not THAT nasty and are almost always towards my FH.  Those using the BH flip or Chiquita can be tougher, but they are often out of position if I can block or counter deep to their "real" BH.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 12:20pm
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

I'm glad you found a way to FH flip this serve.  For sidespin only, and especially topspin versions I teach FH flipping using primarily your elbow.  When you close your blade, the elbow angle is forward and up and a wuick snap with your forearm - with brushing contact - will create a relatively simple, but good quality flip.  Like footwork is (as always) very important.  You need to step in with you shoulder and head forward.  Getting too close (side to side) to the ball makes this tougher as does being to far and having to stretch.  Wrist can also be added once the stroke is smoothed out.

Not that you necessarily need it now, but there is also a very easy way to handle this serve.  Instead of trying to push (or flip) it, step in and simply "touch" the upper back part of the ball using your forehand.  Doing this uses the spin to bring the ball back over the net - it will still jump left, but don't stress about that.  Being gentle keeps the ball from nissing or going too wide (where it could relatively easily be looped) left.  Where you touch the ball and the amount of sidespin originally on the ball determine how much "left" the ball goes.  It is important not to "fight" the ball's tendency to go left and to be GENTLE.  Most players with "only decent" short games (particularly forehand flip) won't be able to hurt you if you keep your return low (er even low-ish) and fairly short.  This is an easy, not very technical return, but it is very effective.  It will take some practice to develop the touch and to figure out where YOU need to touch the ball.

I use this serve a lot and players that just calmly "touch" it back ruin most of my fun.  I much prefer players who try to flip it - even when they often can.  Non-elite FH flips are usually not THAT nasty and are almost always towards my FH.  Those using the BH flip or Chiquita can be tougher, but they are often out of position if I can block or counter deep to their "real" BH.

bes

Hmmmm I used to try arm only FH flips, it was terribly inconsistent and I couldn't feel much control over them and the quality was in general poor...It wasn't until my friend told me to rotate into the shot that I found myself able to override the incoming spin and to make my own strong spin similar to a loop. I don't really trust inverted strokes without brushing in general. 

Of course the chiquita is the best option when it can be used... It always produces the strongest attacking shots in the game, but like you said it's generally bad to chiquita from the FH side coz the deep BH becomes a huge open area for the opponent.... 

I don't really understand the bump idea tho...is it like a reduced energy sidespin dropshot like stroke (kinda like the ones Ma Lin did to Maze's lobs in the 2005 WTTC?). 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by vvk1 vvk1 wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by vvk1 vvk1 wrote:

Perhaps this might help:


From the reaction of the ball on the bat it seems that the server was serving sidespin and not sidetopspin. The heavy sidetopspin serves are the most problematic because it's insanely difficult to control with the short push.. tho the principles are the same, you have to push the bat towards the right. ... 

I think the server actually does vary the spin. The original video in the russian-language version of the channel clearly shows that:


It's just that the receiver is a much higher level player (Aleksey Liventsov, 2017 Russian National champion and a member of Russian National Team) and can actually handle all kinds of spin that the server can throw at him.

Quote
...I feel like against lower level players who don't have that heavy spin I can control it easily, against higher level players it's insanely difficult to control the spin. 

Well, that's why they are higher-level players, isn't it :-) If you're trying to chop it ML-style, then your chop motion must be fast enough to override the serve spin, otherwise you're not really controlling anything. And it takes time to develop a really fast push with a very small motion. 

I quite like this video because it teaches you several options for returning this class of serves.


Haha yeah I recognised him, he's the one who beat Ma Lin that one time... I think he wouldn't be able to receive so smoothly against say Ovtcharov's BH sidetopspin serve... 

But yeah I got some good ideas from the video, thanks :) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/24/2020 at 10:17pm
Originally posted by DonnOlsen DonnOlsen wrote:

Hi,

An important consideration is to avoid significant footwork "solutions".  It is not reasonable for even most professionals and certainly not non-professionals to develop such movement capabilities as the very swiftest in the sport are able to do.

In the above video, the receiver knows where the serve location is prior to the serve.  This video is helpful in understanding the techniques available, however it is premised upon creating the perfect ball-to-body relationship which is highly facilitated by knowing the serve's location prior to the serve.

Seek a balanced coverage of the table.

Thanks.

Yeah I don't think any of us amateurs are fast enough to do BH chiquitas from the extreme FH short corner and recover to the deep BH for the next shot, and still be able to handle surprise potential deep fast serves to the BH.... Just way too difficult :( I have no idea how the pros move so fast like lightning.... 

Amateurs need to be a lot more balanced for sure, so the FH receive is usually the better option imo...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/27/2020 at 10:00am
Blahness,

"I don't really understand the bump idea tho...is it like a reduced energy sidespin dropshot like stroke (kinda like the ones Ma Lin did to Maze's lobs in the 2005 WTTC?). "

The "Bump" vs side-topspin is one of those things that is easier to show/demonstrate than to explain.  In the first part of the Russian video - he basically did this against some side-under serves.  Imagine similar contact, but with the blade slightly (sometimes more than slightly) closed when returning side-topspin serves.  I was hoping the video would eventually get to heavier top-side, but I didn't see it.

The return I'm suggesting is quite safe against most "non-elite" players, but those with really good short games can flip these returns so makek sure you are ready.

I like how they did the video - if you have a practice partner (or coach) who can serve backhand side-topspin, doing multiball serve practice would let you figure out several ways to deal with these serves.  Most robots could also be programmed to do this which would also be a big help.

I find the toughest part to be READING the amount of bottom or topspin.  The large sidespin component of the service motion makes it more difficult to read the "Primary"* spin.  The actual returns are pretty simple (technically), but depend on decent touch and a pretty accurate read on the "Primary" spin.

bes 

*Primary spin is topspin or backspin (or lack of!).  If you goof this up the ball will either pop (or float) up or drop into the net, so you HAVE to get this right (right enough?).  The sidespin portion is the Secondary spin.  Getting it badly wrong will also cost you the point, but simply aiming towards the middle of the table will usually keep the ball on the table. When returning backhand sidespin serves to your FH, it is often fine to aim "more down the line" and ignore or just live with the ball kicking left due to sidespin.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/27/2020 at 8:08pm
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

Blahness,

"I don't really understand the bump idea tho...is it like a reduced energy sidespin dropshot like stroke (kinda like the ones Ma Lin did to Maze's lobs in the 2005 WTTC?). "

The "Bump" vs side-topspin is one of those things that is easier to show/demonstrate than to explain.  In the first part of the Russian video - he basically did this against some side-under serves.  Imagine similar contact, but with the blade slightly (sometimes more than slightly) closed when returning side-topspin serves.  I was hoping the video would eventually get to heavier top-side, but I didn't see it.

The return I'm suggesting is quite safe against most "non-elite" players, but those with really good short games can flip these returns so makek sure you are ready.

I like how they did the video - if you have a practice partner (or coach) who can serve backhand side-topspin, doing multiball serve practice would let you figure out several ways to deal with these serves.  Most robots could also be programmed to do this which would also be a big help.

I find the toughest part to be READING the amount of bottom or topspin.  The large sidespin component of the service motion makes it more difficult to read the "Primary"* spin.  The actual returns are pretty simple (technically), but depend on decent touch and a pretty accurate read on the "Primary" spin.

bes 

*Primary spin is topspin or backspin (or lack of!).  If you goof this up the ball will either pop (or float) up or drop into the net, so you HAVE to get this right (right enough?).  The sidespin portion is the Secondary spin.  Getting it badly wrong will also cost you the point, but simply aiming towards the middle of the table will usually keep the ball on the table. When returning backhand sidespin serves to your FH, it is often fine to aim "more down the line" and ignore or just live with the ball kicking left due to sidespin.

bes

Yeah the Russian video didn't get into heavier sidetopspin which is where many of the problems occur (side or sidebackspin is a lot easier to receive)
When talking about this stroke is the bat pointing upwards/forwards during ball contact or pointing towards the side? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parth shrivastava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/27/2020 at 11:46pm
you can simply receive it with forehand counter and then ready for his attack or next ball
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/28/2020 at 2:46am
Originally posted by Parth shrivastava Parth shrivastava wrote:

you can simply receive it with forehand counter and then ready for his attack or next ball

That's pretty much a FH flick lol....LOL
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