The service is one of the most important shots in a game of table tennis. When your opponent is serving, he or she has complete control over the shot. Unlike any other time in the game, there is nothing you can do to influence the placement or speed of your opponent’s shot during service. But your return can help you regain control over the table tennis table and dominate the game eventually. This guide will show you what you need to do when faced with a long serve in table tennis:
- Positioning: A long serve gives you ample time to position yourself for a powerful shot. Depending upon what kind of shot you want to play, you will need to get into the right position as quickly as you can and get back to the middle of the table once you play the shot. Moving away from the table tennis table would need you to put more power in your shot, but it also gives you more time to get into the right position.
- Opportunities: A long serve gives you many options of return shots. You can push, block or execute a chop on the ball if you want to stay on the defensive. You can even perform powerful attacking topspin to push your opponent on the defensive. It is best to use your strongest shot when you are presented with a long serve.
- Spin and placement: If your opponent is using too many long serves, the chances are that it is a bait. Make sure that you vary the spin and placement of your returning shot so that your opponent cannot recognize a pattern. You may even change the speed and ferocity of your shot while returning a long serve.
Although there are plenty of options to choose from while you need to return a long serve, try to always use it as an opportunity to perform a quick, strong return. If it is done properly, your opponent would be forced to retaliate with a weak attack, allowing you to attack again and repeat the cycle until your opponent makes a mistake.