Serving deep becomes progressively more risky as you advance in level. Top players can loop any deep serve regardless of spin, because their strong strokes overcome it and substitute their own topspin. Yet quick deep serves have a definite place in one’s arsenal, if only to encourage a weak attack from your opponent that can be counter-attacked.

Here’s one key to serving deep successfully. Work to conceal the direction and depth of your serving as much as possible. The reason is that it takes some time for opponents to move into position to attack a deep serve, especially with the forehand. Yet some players make no effort to hide where they are aiming their serves, perhaps worrying only about the spin they will place on the ball. This is a mistake that makes it much more comfortable for your opponent to move into position and rip.

So take some time away from your opponent by holding back clues on the direction and depth of your serves until the last moment. A surprise location is as much of an advantage as a surprise spin, especially at higher levels of play.


About Carl Danner: Carl Danner is a rare gem you find in table tennis. As a former nationally ranked and rated player, he offers a lot of insight into the game, especially when it comes to understanding the physical mechanics, movements, and techniques involved in becoming a better player. Director and Secretary US Table Tennis Association Foundation from 2004 to 2008 and current USATT High Performance Committee Chair, Danner is passionate, qualified and committed to growing the sport of table tennis.