Backhand serve tactic

Ask the coachCategory: Tactics & match-playBackhand serve tactic
Michael asked 2 weeks ago

I have been practicing my backhand sidespin with backspin serve since you posted your most recent video about this particular serve. I am aware that you also demonstrated the backhand sidespin with topspin serve too. I normally serve with forehand or backhand backspin but was impressed with your video demonstration and want to add the backhand sidespin with topspin for variation.

In the video, you were serving both these serves from your forehand side of the table to their wide forehand side, although you did mention about serving to other areas of the table for variation.

What I would like to know is whether you do these types of serves from your backhand side of the table to your opponent’s wide backhand side?

Do you these successful serves from your forehand side of the table because your opponents are generally not used to receiving serves from this angle?

Even if you know your opponent has a stronger forehand than backhand, do you still like using these serves to their wide forehand side, because the return of serve on the wide forehand is different or perhaps harder than doing a normal forehand topspin or forehand drive during the rally? I know you mentioned in the video that these opponents did not really know what to do with these serves.

Do you also have success using these particular types of serve by serving down the line from either your forehand or backhand side?



1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 2 weeks ago

Yes, I will vary where I serve from. So for my backhand serve, I will mostly serve from the forehand side, but sometimes I will do the same serves from the backhand side. The change of angle can cause a little confusion.
 
I’ll do the same with my forehand pendulum serve. Most of the time I will serve from the backhand corner. But occasionally I will do the same serve from the forehand side. I’m amazed how often this is successful. It’s the same serve, but just from a different position. My opponent, unfamiliar with me serving from a different position will often get a little tight or passive and make a weak return.
 
There really is no right or wrong. I encourage you to try out serves from different positions on the table and just see what works for you.