USA Table Tennis

Apr 14 Tip of the Day - Flat Flip vs. Topspin Flip

By Larry Hodges | Nov. 27, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Ai Fukuhara

Ai Fukuhara (JPN) at the 2013 German Open


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Larry Hodges

Flat Flip vs. Topspin Flip

Suppose you face an opponent who serves short, and loops your long returns, even if you flip them. To stop this, you could learn to push short. But this can be tricky, and often leads to mistakes. Plus, it’s very difficult to push a sidespin serve short, and even harder against a topspin serve. (Yes, you can serve short topspin so it would bounce twice on the table, although usually only advanced players can do this.)

A way to stop this is to vary your flips. You can do this with changes of direction, or even mis-direction. But another way of stopping it is to learn to flip both flat and with topspin. A "flat" flip means you put little or no topspin on the ball. A topspin flip is rolled with topspin, and the topspin gives more control. If you use both of these variations, you can throw off an opponent’s timing. You will lose some control on the flat flip, so don’t hit it too hard – but the advantage of the timing difficulties you give your opponent can make the shot valuable.

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