Dealing with high backspin balls

Ask the coachCategory: Tactics & match-playDealing with high backspin balls
Peter asked 7 months ago

Hi Tom,

I noticed you previously did a video previously on the way to deal with high backspin balls, by using topspin, as flat hitting the ball would cause it to go into the net, as there is backspin on the ball.

My question is what happens if you are older player in your fifties or over who has never used topspin strokes previously in a match? How would these type of players deal with a high backspin ball, if they are not comfortable with doing topspin strokes? Would you recommend they do an aggressive push to the opponent’s wide backhand, wide forehand, forehand corner or backhand corner instead?

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 7 months ago

You are correct, in this video I suggest dealing with high backspin balls by using a topspin attack.  
This is the ideal, but there other options.
You can use a drive shot. It is a little more risky – the shot may go into the net or go off the end of the table – but if you get your timing and bat angle right, then it can still work.
Another options, as you suggest, would be to push the ball back. This will get the ball back onto the table, but is unlikely to put your opponent under pressure. And you give up the opportunity to play at attacking shot and win the point.
So, I think a topspin attack is the best option, followed by a drive.