If you are aiming to win a table tennis match, you must have to deliver a good serve. Table tennis service has variations. To ace a serve, you should have minimal knowledge about different table tennis serves types. There are lots of ways to serve a ball. If you are a beginner, you cannot grasp them all at once. It is the most crucial stroke in this game as you will be able to control the direction of the ball, or you will get to choose where the ball will land on your opponent’s side. We will divide this article into two main sections. Primary level serves and killer serves. First one will help you to burnish your skills. Another one will guide you to push yourself from a basic level to the pro level.
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1. How to serve?
How to serve?
If you are a beginner, before getting into different serves types, you should know how to do this? You have to deliver legal service to start this game. It is easy to make a serve valid. Place the ball on your palm. Toss it out of your free hand and hit it with the racket. Make sure to hit the ball from the behind of the end line. The ball must travel at least six inches in the air and bounce once on your side of the table. You cannot hit the ball straight over the other side of the table while serving it. Make sure not to touch the table with your non-playing hand. You must have to follow these rules to get your serve legally correct.
1. Primary level serves
Once you know how to deliver a legal service, you can work on some basic styles to furnish your skills. Let’s talk about a few of them.
2. Backspin serve
This style will confuse your opponent. Place your body in such a position so that you are facing pretty much ninety-degree away from the table. Bend your knee and spread apart naturally. The primary technique is to cut underneath the ball. Come with your racket underneath the ball and brush it slightly at the right time. Have a pinch grip to flick your wrist as quickly as possible. It is essential to keep the serve short for making it bounce twice on the other side. The opponent will struggle to know whether it is long or short serve.
3. Underspin serve
It is one of the popular types of serves. Place the top of your racket slightly pointed downward to make your wrist more flexible. Face forward and place your left leg ahead of your right leg. Bend your knees. Toss out the ball out of your hand. Turn your lower arm and body toward the table together. Hit the ball from underneath.
4. Side underspin serve
Side underspin serves demand to set your paddle head to be pointed down to generate side spin force. Add a tilt to your paddle. Move it slightly to the right side. While hitting the ball move your wrist forward and then towards the table. Try to hit the left underneath side of the ball. Make sure that your racket goes underneath the ball.
5. Side topspin serve
Here you will be hitting the ball from the center of your racket. To do that you have to bend your wrist. So that you can place your paddle in such a position to hit the ball from the center point. While hitting the ball move your wrist forward and then slightly upward to the table to generate topspin. For side top spin contact the middle left part of the ball.
6. Long fast serve
Try to stay low to the table at the beginning. Imagine a target on the corner of your side of the table where the ball will bounce. Keep the aim close to yourself. After releasing the ball out of your palm, free yourself up and hit the ball with your racket fast enough to make the ball reach at the end of the table. In this way, the other player would not get much time to think about how to hit it back.
7. Killer serves
Once you consume the basic styles of serving a tennis ball, start working on the advanced service methods. These will allow you to trick your opponent very quickly. There are many table tennis serves types that fall under this category. Explaining each of them is out of the scope of this article. We have described four of them that will help you to climb the ladder faster.
8. Punch serve
It is like doing a punch while hitting the ball. Place your right leg forward if you are left-handed or vice versa. Then you have to rotate your body into the serve. You can make the paddle contact with the ball from underneath which is backspin side spin, from the side which is pure sidespin. Or your paddle can contact the ball coming in the upward direction which is side spin topspin. Bring your arm back and forward like a punch. Lastly, execute. Try to mix these up to confuse your opponent.
9. Kicker serve
It will help you to induce errors. Throw your ball up. When it comes down, the top part of your paddle should make contact with the ball. While trying to contact, your wrist should be turned slightly downward. So that your wrist can flick the ball while brushing it. Once you do this, your racket should finish somewhat below the ball. Use your wrist to make the extra amount of spin. The name comes from its action. It tends to kick upward and forward on your opponent’s side of the table. It will jump ahead at a slightly different pace, speed, and height.
10. Super wide side spin serve
It is a wide side spin serve off the side of the table that can extend your opponent’s movement. In this case, you will stand at the one corner of the table, and your target should be the other corner of the other side of the table. It is a mixture of sidespin and backspin. Place your racket flat enough and make it a little bit tilted. Try to contact the ball with the front part of your paddle and make the first bounce quite close to the net to generate the desired width. That’s all you need to get that wide shot.
11. Ghost serve
It is the adaption of backspin serve, also known as heavy backspin serve. Here once you hit the ball, it will be shot back towards you. Try to flatten the bat. In some case, you may want it to exaggerate it even more. Work on your grip. Three of your fingers will come off form the bat. Focus on your index finger and thumb. These two should be adjacent to each other on the rubber. Throw the ball in the air and move your wrist backward. Make sure that the racket is open and give forward motion to it while contacting the ball. Hit the underneath portion of the ball to create our desired effect.
Mastering the art of serves in table tennis is not an easy task. A player has to follow the primary rules and has to adapt the tricks. To learn different table tennis serves types, one has to work on his or her grip, wrist, movements, hits, and timing. It is not enough. The practice is the key. No matter how well you know the techniques, you would not be able to perform them without it. An excellent service will give you a great start. It will boost your self-confidence. A player, who is not a good server, has a very little chance to win this game. Keep playing until you get it right.