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Receiving Services

Learn how to win points when you're not serving

Serve reception has the same importance as the serve execution. The returns against the opponent's serves will decide the development of the point. In order to take the initiative in a rally we have to be able to return the serves in such a way which will give us the opportunity to attack. So, if we want to make good attacks in our turn of serve receptions, we have to make good returns against the opponent's serves. Nowdays the return of a serve is difficult enough because of the complexity of the serves. The improvement in the serve technique including the different rubbers has lead the players to invent new reception techniques. Top level players spend a lot of time (may be the same as in serve execution) to build stronger returns. There are many varieties of serve returns. Some of them are drives, shorts chops, topspins (if the ball is far from the net near the bottom line) etc. However the most common and important one is the flick return. Flick returns consist of two different types: a) with a little topspin b) with no spin. It depends of the type of serve which type of flick we will use. However one think have to be always on our mind. The succesfull flick is the unexpected flick. This can bring the opponent out of his balance and give us the opportunity to win the point immediately or with an attack. We have to send the flick to the weak side of the opponent and if it is possible near the bottom line and never in the middle of the opponent court.

Training for flick techniques:
a) Multi ball practice (with the trainer).
b) Single ball practice (with another player). We can practice both serve execution and reception with this method. There is not a ideal way to make a flick return because of the serves' variability. However in general for right-handers the right foot is moving towards the ball during the return regardless of the position of the ball. The opposite stands for left-handers.

Dimosthenis Messinis
Denis' Table Tennis World

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