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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 02:41 
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What do you do when a opponent has a serve combination (e.g. top/backspin pendulum) you can't read. Played against an opponent last week whose pendulum serve looked identical for back and topspin. even my teammate watching from the side couldn't tell the difference


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 10:19 
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jpc wrote:
What do you do when a opponent has a serve combination (e.g. top/backspin pendulum) you can't read.

Ask him to teach it to you.

jpc wrote:
Played against an opponent last week whose pendulum serve looked identical for back and topspin. even my teammate watching from the side couldn't tell the difference

With a pendulum serve, backspin is made by contacting the ball with the racket on the downswing. Topspin is made by contacting the ball on the upswing. It's possible you're mistaking the topspin serve with a no-spin/low backspin serve which looks the same as the backspin serve except contact is made closer to the handle to give the ball less spin. It's easier to tell the difference between backspin/topspin than backspin/low backspin, at least for me.


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 19:55 
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GMan4911 wrote:
jpc wrote:
What do you do when a opponent has a serve combination (e.g. top/backspin pendulum) you can't read.

Ask him to teach it to you.

jpc wrote:
Played against an opponent last week whose pendulum serve looked identical for back and topspin. even my teammate watching from the side couldn't tell the difference

With a pendulum serve, backspin is made by contacting the ball with the racket on the downswing. Topspin is made by contacting the ball on the upswing. It's possible you're mistaking the topspin serve with a no-spin/low backspin serve which looks the same as the backspin serve except contact is made closer to the handle to give the ball less spin. It's easier to tell the difference between backspin/topspin than backspin/low backspin, at least for me.



I don't think I was clear enough, I meant what do you do during a match when you can't read your opponents serves.


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 20:30 
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Give up a point - put a dead vertical bat to the ball and watch for
- tell signs (sometimes a player throws the ball up higher with a particular type of serve, or bends over more, or leans back - sign of backspin being put on the ball)
- how the ball bounces off the table on their side and again mine - if it's got an arc to it and dies quickly chances are it's top / side spin. if it's flatter and skids through a bit, chances are it's backspin
- how the ball bounces off my dead bat. Having a neutral angle and not pushing at the ball you get an idea from how the ball bounces off you're rubber what spin was put on the ball - goes straight down it's backspin, pops up it's top spin if it varies to either side it has side spin (or any combination of these)

You've got 3 games minimum to play. Even if you lose 11:0 11:0 11:00 you'll face a minimum 15 serves from them so you've got time to see.

Failing that, I resort to brute force and go simply off length. If the second bounce is off the end of the table I'll try and top spin it back hard and overpower their spin - whatever it is. If it works, chances are you can intimidate your opponent in to not trying that serve again.

A much better player than me simply top spins every serve back with a high margin for area - he gives his returns lot's of air and spin. He works on the principle, if the serve is backspin his top spin return will still have enough to help the ball back over the net. If the serve has topspin on, his return will go back higher but the top spin he gives back will be sufficient to bring the ball down on the other side of the table and kick up violiently at the opponent.

Others take a step back, let the spin drop off the ball and push the ball back. It can pop up high but if the return is deep enough it's usually loaded with spin and although it looks an easy kill, it's also easy for the server to make a mistake.

Also watch the arm movement. As a typical guide (unless you're opponent is adept at disguise), you angle your bat to point in the direction the servers bat is coming from.

Ultimately though, the ball or more specifically the balls reaction off your bat will be your biggest guide. What that ball does should be the clues you need to know what you need to do.

Remember, failure isn't making a mistake, it's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results so vary your returns and be prepared to sacrifice some points to look for clues on your opponents serve technqiue and where and how the ball bounces.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 21:02 
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Great advice Debater! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Debater wrote:
A much better player than me simply top spins every serve back with a high margin for area - he gives his returns lot's of air and spin. He works on the principle, if the serve is backspin his top spin return will still have enough to help the ball back over the net. If the serve has topspin on, his return will go back higher but the top spin he gives back will be sufficient to bring the ball down on the other side of the table and kick up violiently at the opponent.

That's exactly what I do when I can't read a serve (no I'm not the 'much better' player that Debater is referring to :oops: :lol: ).

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2017, 01:03 
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jpc wrote:
What do you do when a opponent has a serve combination (e.g. top/backspin pendulum) you can't read. Played against an opponent last week whose pendulum serve looked identical for back and topspin. even my teammate watching from the side couldn't tell the difference


Sounds like Brett's serve... :lol: See the phone app. (I've faced it in person, didn't get a singe one back..)

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2017, 01:54 
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This is the one vid that springs into mind, isn't it, Iskandar?

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PostPosted: 15 Jan 2017, 13:51 
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If the serve's short it can actually be very effective to place it to the middle. Your opponent has to decide whether to go for backhand and forehand and it's more difficult for them to make an attacking stroke.

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