The time when a player is most likely to miss easy shots is at the very start of the match. That’s when a player may not yet be fully warmed up or used to his opponent’s shots yet. So it’s often best to let the other guy serve first, let him mess up on his serve & attack at the start, and then get your chance to serve, when you are more into the match.
Many players understand the need to serve short (in addition to long serves), since short serves stop the opponent from looping. More advanced players learn the control to serve “half-long,” so the second bounce, given the chance, would be right about the end-line. However, many players who serve short do not think about the placement. There are five: short to the extreme forehand, middle forehand, middle, middle backhand, and extreme backhand. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each. (Some of these are written as if both players were righties. It would be a long article if I covered all possibilities.)
How high should you toss the ball when you serve? At all levels there’s a huge range, from tosses that challenge the six-inch rule to ones that go up to the rafters. And yet most top players toss the ball up to perhaps head-high. What are the advantages of these different tosses, and how high should you toss?
Where should you contact the ball when serving? This is one of those subtle things that many players spend their entire playing lives or careers never realizing they are giving their opponents an advantage. Where you contact the ball makes a significant difference on how your serve goes out and how it is returns. Here are three things to consider when serving.
The high-toss serve used to be one of the most popular serves at high-level table tennis, and pretty common at the intermediate level as well. There are still plenty of players who use it, but it is not as common as before. Why is this? But first, you should understand what the serve is, and its advantages and disadvantages.