The idea behind this stroke is to control the opponent's topspin attack at a distance from the table. Varying amounts of backspin are used in an attempt to cause the opponent to misread the amount of spin and make a mistake. Typically the ball is returned deep on the opponent's court, to cut down the angles available to the attacker and increase the amount of time the defender has to reach the ball.
Points to look for:
- The feet are placed with the left foot slightly further back than the right foot, to make it easier to put weight on the left leg during the stroke.
- Most of the weight will be on the balls of the feet to allow quicker movement. Too much weight on the heels will slow down movement, and too much weight on the toes will affect balance. Note that the player has moved backwards from his neutral ready position, with the left leg going further back than the right.
- The weight is evenly distributed between the left and right legs.
- The knees are bent and the feet are around one and a half times shoulder width apart. The torso is also leaning slightly forward. This gives a lower center of gravity for better balance, and allows for easy movement in all directions.
- Shoulders are roughly in line with the legs, with the left shoulder slightly behind the right.
- The arms are held roughly shoulder width apart, with around a 90 degree angle at the elbow.