By Larry Hodges. One of the most under-practiced aspects of serving is depth control. Most intermediate and advanced players know that serving short stops an opponent from looping. As players advance, they begin to see the advantage of serving short with the second bounce as deep as possible. This makes it harder for the opponent to flip or drop short, to return at a wide angle, or rush the server.
As they advance, players also begin to see that a deep serve that goes very deep, so the first bounce is near the opponent’s endline, is much more effective than a long serve that bounces more in the middle of the table. The deeper the bounce, the more you jam the receiver, force him off the table, cut off angles, and give yourself more time to react to his shot. (Deep serves can either be spin serves, fast serves, or a combination of both.)