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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 00:11 
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Compared to serving with spinny inverted, serving with my Dr Evil is a very different kind of thing. I'd say that with inverted/LP combo my main serves are:

1) FH Pendulum with left-hand side from my BH corner to their BH, short or long
2) FH Pendulum with top, long to BH corner
3) FH Pendulum with right-hand side from my BH corner, down the line
4) BH slicy/choppy server with either inv or LP, short.
5) Tomohawk from FH corner to BH corner, with RH side
6) FH Pendulum with underspin from my BH corner to their BH, short.

I find I can't really replicate any of these serves with hardhat.

What I can do is a long fast serve to either corner or to elbow, or a short dropped serve. But the second has no spin on, and can be easily hit. The former can also be hit.

So... what serving strategies do you use (particularly thinking against sponge players)?

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 01:17 
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If you want to get a good amount of spin on serves with hardbat, you end up telegraphing more of what you're going to do. The subtle movements you do with an inverted serve just won't yield the same amount of spin. If you watch championship matches from the 50s, you'll see that they really placed no importance on the serve.

You can definitely get some spin, but varying your speed and placement are even more important.

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 01:38 
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Yes, it seems that the serve is really about getting the ball safely into play. I'm not going to be playing for a third ball attack, and I'm unlikely to be able to deceive or spin sufficiently to force an error on return, so I guess I really just want to get the ball in play in a way which won't allow an outright winner on return, but with sufficient variety that the opponent can't stand to where I'm going to serve and flick a winner.

I'll definitely look out some older games to see if I can get some ideas. Do you have any specific things you try?

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 01:45 
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A short (double-bouncer) underspin serve is good, since it's pretty much impossible to attack. A long, very fast dead serve is also fairly effective at starting a hitting exchange right off the bat.

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 01:59 
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Hmmmm, if you do a long stroke, grabbing the ball in the back of the stroke and once grabbing it, rolling with it, you should be able to get some spin, but yes, I think the best have been identified already here.

I try to make all my serves work with either inverted or pips to add to the "variety", but not having any inverted on that blade, you have lost those additional permutations.

When I was trying to play hardbat (sandpaper in my case) on both sides, I would try to get my opponent to give me lots of spin on his return so I could "adjust" it for him and turn it around and send it back altered. So if he pushes, I look for underspin, so that means I try to smack it if possible. And if he topspins, I usually want to chop it somehow, to give him heavy underspin. And if he returns me no spin balls, I would try to give him back low no spin balls till he eventually gets frustrated and tries to attack (with spin), and then use his spin against him.

No expert here, just memories from long ago of how I had to play to be competitive against the loopers.

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 01:59 
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Go on YouTube and watch the serves of Jay Turberville, who played Dr. Evil on both sides of a cheapo LKT Instinct blade for years, even against sponge players.


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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 02:21 
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Jay has a nice style! I shall watch and learn!

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 02:50 
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Interesting article by Larry Hodges:

http://www.tabletenniscoaching.com/node/83

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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2014, 03:47 
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That one is especially good because you can really slow it down to watch it in very slow motion, full screen. I like how he attacks the pushes and sends balls way wide to make strong attack shots difficult.

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