Discuss

Do you need help with your table tennis game? Post a topic and get advice from Tom Lodziak and other forum members.

Notifications
Clear all

How often should you use long serves?

15 Posts
8 Users
1 Likes
451 Views
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

There seems to be a general belief that you short serve short / half long most of the time and only serve long occasionally. But at the amateur level long serves can be hugely effective and only the very top players can punish them consistently. So why don't more players serve long more often?

What's your thoughts? How often do you serve long? Do you have a particularly good long serve? If so, how do you use it?


   
Quote
Vim Fuego
(@vim-fuego)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
 

Long fast serves with high spin are great in lower divisons and still effective right up to the top division. You need to be even more aware of placement, the longer the serve. This is because serving long into opponent's hitting zone makes it easier for them to make a quality return. You must make them move their feet. Hit into wide corners and opponent's pocket. If you can make topspin look like backspin, you will find opponent often overhits return.


   
ReplyQuote
Cristian
(@cristian)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 4
 

I'm in a low division so a use 2 or 3 long services per set. It depends of the rivals, if they attack both of my long services I stop, usually i test one long service to each corner and to the body. It also depends of the rival placement. Fast and in the last second works fine for me with the right opponents.


   
ReplyQuote
chung.lao
(@chung-lao)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 9
 

Generally I don't do that many long serves because I am relatively weak in topspin v.s. topspin rallies. I try to do at least one long serves in the first game to see how my opponent reacts. I will use more long serves if they struggle with returning it.

On the other hand, if my opponent is better than me in the short game (e.g. they have a strong flick), then I'd do more long serves to try to scare them off moving in and flicking too early. It's all about what tactics would maximise my chance of winning. If it's chopping then so be it.


   
ReplyQuote
IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 

Hi,

I usually keep serves short or half long, and chuck in the occasional long serve.

But sometimes you don’t have to keep the serves half long all the time. When your opponent is expecting the short or half long serve, they usually move into the table, to push or flick. If you are serving predominantly  heavy back/side spin serves more pushes usually come. Sometimes you can let your serve drift long half long, this can be harder to control as the ball can carry a little more spin and speed.

Their push return goes longer and therefore you get more chances to open up. If they read the length well, then go back to serving short half long.


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@ib66 Having faced your serves many times, I can vouch for how effective your half long serves are! It is very difficult to return the ball short, so you very often set up an opportunity for a third ball attack.


   
ReplyQuote



IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 

Hi Tom, I had one of the worst serve practice sessions at home today!!! Very strange, couldn’t serve over the net, 1 out of 5 went over!!!


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@ib66 This can happen. Were you over-thinking the technique? This can interfere with body movements and timing. Or were you trying something new?


   
ReplyQuote
Tinykin
(@tinykin)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 1
 

@ib66 It's been raining 🌧️ recently. So your bat and/or your table may be damp.


   
ReplyQuote
Omega
(@omega)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
 

Have read your recent newsletter with article regarding long serves.  Fully agree, long serves work much better.  Even at the WTT championships they are using long serves much more often.


   
ReplyQuote
IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 

@tinykin

Hi Tinykin,

 😀 yeah very funny!!!

I suffered concussion after falling over in a doubles game!! it kicked in 3 days later. had issues typing as well as being very short tempered. Had to go into A&E to get checked out, CT scan gave all clear.


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@omega Interesting you observed more long serves being used at the WTT championships. Maybe a shift in service strategy is taking place at the pro game. We'll have to observe if this continues. For others, here is the long article I wrote about using long serves: https://www.tabletenniscoach.me.uk/how-often-should-you-use-long-serves/


   
ReplyQuote



Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  
Posted by: @ib66

I suffered concussion after falling over in a doubles game!! it kicked in 3 days later. had issues typing as well as being very short tempered. Had to go into A&E to get checked out, CT scan gave all clear.

@ib66 Ouch! That would explain your poor service practice. That must have been some collision. What happened?


   
ReplyQuote
IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 
Posted by: @tom-lodziak
Posted by: @ib66

I suffered concussion after falling over in a doubles game!! it kicked in 3 days later. had issues typing as well as being very short tempered. Had to go into A&E to get checked out, CT scan gave all clear.

@ib66 Ouch! That would explain your poor service practice. That must have been some collision. What happened?

Was moving backwards after playing a stroke, tripped up on my own feet, fell backwards horizontally, back of head smashed into partners knee, arse hit floor hard then head smacked into the floor!!!

mild whiplash to neck, middle of back sore / tight & mild concussion.

Partners knee swollen like a water melon, he is out of action for a couple of weeks.

It was comical though, the other players thought it was hilarious, when I looked up my partner was holding his leg hopping about trying to find a seat, just like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, after Jerry has whacked Tom's foot with a hammer!!!

Could have been worse, you never know what is going to come along and bite you!!!!

At least no permanent damage was done.


   
ReplyQuote
Nev57
(@nev57)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 4
 

I noticed more long serves at the WTT Championships too.  I do use them a lot , but they can be walloped back by some . I try to have a long and a short serve with what looks like the same action but the short one is slowed down at the last second to produce a short serve ( hopefully ! )  and maybe a different placement .


   
Tom Lodziak reacted
ReplyQuote
Share: