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How to deal with a long serve in table tennis?

How to return the long serve in table tennis?

Hello, welcome back. I’m EmRatThich. Today, let’s learn from the professional players (Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Ma Long). The best option to deal with the long serve is to attack the serve strongly.


Best way to deal with the long serve

There are a few strategies you can use to deal with a long serve in table tennis:

Use a forehand loop: If the serve is to your forehand side, you can use a forehand loop to return it. This shot is hit with power and topspin and can be effective for returning long serves that are higher and to your forehand side.

forehand loop to attack the long serve
forehand loop to attack the long serve

Use your footwork: Good footwork is essential for returning long serves in table tennis. You should be ready to move to the ball and get into position to hit a good shot. Position yourself correctly: Make sure you are in a balanced position and are able to reach the incoming ball. You may need to adjust your position slightly to the left or right depending on the spin and trajectory of the serve.



use the footwork - step around to attack the long serve
use the footwork – step around to attack the long serve

Read the spin: Pay attention to the spin on the serve and try to anticipate which way the ball will bounce. A topspin serve will generally bounce higher, while a backspin serve will bounce lower. Try to predict the serve: Look at the way your opponent is holding the paddle and the position of their body. This can give you a clue about where they are likely to serve.

read the spin
read the spin

Return the ball deep: If you are able to return the long serve, try to do so deep into your opponent’s court. This will give you more time to set up for the next shot and put pressure on your opponent.

return the ball deep
return the ball deep

Practice: As with any stroke in table tennis, practice is key. Practice returning long serves and get a feel for how to control the ball. This will help you to become more confident and consistent in your returns.

practice attacking the long serve
practice attacking the long serve

In general, it is important to be patient and not try to hit the ball too hard when returning a long serve. Focus on getting the ball back on the table and setting up your next shot.

Watch this video:


Watch this video.


How to deal with short serve

With the short serve, the best way is to:

Lin Gaoyuan backhand flick
Lin Gaoyuan backhand flick


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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