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Table Tennis/ Ping-Pong - Forehand Reverse Pendulum Sidespin Serve

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Ready Position
Photo of FH Reverse Pendulum Sidespin Serve - Ready Position

Ready Position

© 2007 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In this tutorial, we will be looking at how to perform a forehand reverse pendulum sidespin serve in table tennis/ ping-pong. As a more advanced serve, the idea is to prevent the receiver from making a strong attack against the serve, and hopefully force a weak return instead that can be third ball attacked.

View the Forehand Reverse Pendulum Sidespin Serve Video - 720x576 pixels version. (5.6MB)

640x480 pixels version (2.8MB)

Points to look for:

  • The serve is called a reverse pendulum serve because the movement of the bat resembles the way the weight on a pendulum (such a grandfather clock) moves back and forth, but the bat moves away from the body, in the opposite direction to the normal forehand pendulum serve.
  • This serve is typically performed from the server's backhand side. This is because the type of sidespin put on the ball will tend to make the receiver's return go towards the server's forehand. Most servers are looking to stay in position after the serve and hit a powerful forehand attack from their forehand side. The use of sidespin helps the server to control the likely placement of the return.
  • The free hand is flat, stationary, and above the playing surface and behind the endline.
  • The bottom three fingers of the racket hand have been loosened, to allow the bat to be moved more freely when serving. This makes it easier to put more varieties of spin on the ball.
  • While there is mainly sidespin on the service, it is normal to have a small amount of backspin on the ball to aid in controlling the serve and to help make it look more like the backspin/sidespin version of the serve.

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