Next time you are at the table tennis club or at a tournament, watch some matches from the side, so you are looking directly along the net. Watch how low the serves cross the net. Do this at multiple tables for players of various levels. You may be surprised at what you see! Most top players will serve relatively low to the net – but there may be some variation there. At the lower levels, the serves cross the net consistently higher.
The importance of serving low is often way underestimated. Higher serves are, of course, easier to attack, but the more interesting contrast is between a sorta low serve (often attacked) and a very low, almost net-skimming serve (very hard to attack). But serves that aren’t low to the net aren’t just easier to attack; they are also easier to push aggressively.
Some top players have seemingly simple serves, often mostly serving backspin or no-spin serves. But what makes them effective is they are served very low to the net, so the receiver can’t make an effective or consistent attack. And so the server knows he’ll likely get a passive return to attack. Others may have trickier serves, but because they aren’t net-skimmers, they are easier to attack – and the server can’t rely on getting a ball to attack as often. Here is a Tip that might help, Serving Low.
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