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Table Tennis Basic Strokes - The Backhand Topspin Serve

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Ready Position
Photo of Backhand Topspin Serve - Ready Position

Ready Position

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In this tutorial, we will be looking at how to perform a basic backhand topspin serve. This serve is used to get the point started successfully, and prevent the receiver from making a strong attack against the serve.

View the Backhand Topspin Serve Video - 720x576 pixels version. (4.9MB); 640x480 pixels version. (2.6MB); 320x240 pixels version. (1.45MB)

Points to look for:

  • The feet are placed almost square to the endline of the table, with the right foot a little further back than the left foot.
  • The knees are slightly bent, and the legs should be a little more than shoulder width apart to give better balance and faster recovery after the serve is completed. The player has his feet a little too close together in this photograph.
  • The ball is placed on the palm of the free hand, which is flat and stationary. Also notice that the free hand is behind the endline and above the level of the playing surface.
  • The torso is slightly bent forward, to allow better balance.
  • The bat is held ready beside the free hand, with the playing elbow bent at around 90 degrees.

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