Recently, in the Zen-Noh 2019 Team World Cup, Timo Boll has lost to Maharu Yoshimura 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 13-11). Yoshimura has won a lot of points directly with his serve.
Yoshimura’s Serve is deceptive
Masaharu Yoshimura in Japanese is 吉村真晴選手.
His serve is very well known since it’s very difficult to read the amount of spin in his serve. Even the top Chinese player has some difficulty with Yoshimura’s serve.
For example, Xu Xin.
Xu Xin has a very hard time to read Yoshimura’s heavy Underspin Serve. And then Yoshimura changed to the slight Topspin Serve.
From this slow-motion, you can clearly see that this is the underspin serve. The racket angle is open. And he brushed the ball at the bottom. So it’s a heavy underspin serve.
And at the same time, you can see that it’s very hard to read the contact point. Because Yoshimura hides the contact point with his head. This is illegal. And this is the main reason that his serve is very effective.
The name of Yoshimura’s serve?
Yoshimura uses the head of the racket to contact the point. This position will increase the spin of his serve. So he can make a very heavy underspin serve.
In the beginning, the head is the racket points downward. But in the end, the head of the racket will point upward. That’s why his serve is called “Upside Down” serve. In Japanese, this serve is called (アップダウンサーブ).
Why Yoshimura’s serve is so effective?
His serve is very effective because he used the same motion for both topspin and backspin serve. On the left, is topspin serve, and on the right is backspin serve.
You can clearly see that. It’s very hard to read the spin.
- He contacts the ball very quickly.
- He accelerates by using the wrist. His wrist is completely free during the serve.
- And at the moment of contact, he hides it by lowering his head.
- The contact point is very near to his head.
- The racket is pointed upward, so he can easily accelerate to spin the ball.
The secret of Yoshimura’s serve?
The secret of his service is the racket angle. Look at this slow motion. In the beginning, he performs both topspin and backspin serve with the same motion. Put the elbow upward, free your wrist, and ready to contact the ball near your head.
Point the head of the racket downward for both TopSpin and Backspin serve.
But at the contact moment, for the topspin serve, the racket angle is vertical, about 90 degrees (on the left). And for the heavy underspin serve, open more the racket, about 145 degrees (on the right)
And finally, accelerate the ball to spin it. Rotate the wrist. The more you accelerate, the more spin you will generate. The head of the racket is rotated from downward to upward. That’s why this service is called “upside-down serve”.
Yoshimura’s serve Legal or Not Legal?
As I explained in the previous article, it’s at the borderline. The decision of the umpire is very subjective. Some umpires will say it’s illegal. But in some situations, Yoshimura showed the contact point during the match.
But by watching the slow motion, you can clearly see that the contact point is hidden to the opponent. It’s visible on the umpire’s side. But it’s not clear on the opponent’s view.
So what do you think? Is it effective! Just practice this “Upside down” serve. This can help you win more. Or is it illegal? Please comment below to show your opinion.