It’s a game of inches, and you have to use every fair and legal advantage you can get. It’s easier to see an orange ball against a black background than against a red background, so if you serve with the red side, your opponent may not see contact as well. In fact, if you push a lot with your backhand, you should consider using red on your backhand for that reason.
A few examples:
- A backspin serve often forces a backspin return.
- A topspin serve often forces a topspin return.
- Fast & deep serves often get you into a fast exchange, and can back players slightly off the table. Forehand loopers are often forced out of position by fast, deep serves.
- A fast but dead (spinless) serve not only forces many mistakes, but is often returned softly.
- Short & low serves often set you up for a first attack, often a loop. Short backspin serves are usually pushed, while short sidespin serves are either pushed back (usually high) or attacked relatively weakly (assuming the serve was low).
- Slow but deep sidespin serves, against an opponent who doesn’t loop, sets you up for all sorts of attacks.
- A short and low no-spin serve is hard to either attack or push heavy.
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