Training tips from Jens Lundquist - Return of the serve

Most players win many points when they serve. If you can win more points when you receive your results will be much better.
When you go into the receiving position you should be relaxed and in a low position.
When you anticipate the ball stay relaxed and still until the ball is at the net. Then you will be able to see where the ball is going.
If the serve is long it will also be much easier. It is especially important when you receive the reversed spin serve.
The basic to a good return is to attack a half long and long serve.
If the serve is short, go in with the elbow over the table to use the underarm and wrist.

When playing the short ball you have three possibilities to return:

  1. To play the ball back short.
    That will disturb the rhythm of the server and give you an opportunity to attack yourself.
  2. To make a deep push.
    If the deep push is quick you can force the server to either push back or to make a weak first topspin, so that you can take over the initiative.
  3. To flick the serve.
    That is good if the server is close to the table. Be careful to go out too fast after the flick to be able to keep the initiative.

When you play short or play the deep push, take the ball direct after the bounce.
If you flick, take the ball at the top of the bounce.

If you have a good mix of the three, you will have a good chance to score more points as the receiver. Good luck! Jens Lundquist