USA Table Tennis Tip of the Day Tip of the Day - Fas...

Tip of the Day - Fast, Down the Line Serve

By Larry Hodges | Sept. 05, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Larry HodgesFast, Down the Line Serve

Reprinted from the April, 1997 issue of Table Tennis Talk

Having trouble keeping that tricky sidespin serve short? Against most players, you probably can get away with it, but then there's always __________ (fill in the blank), who always loops your serve. What should you do?

Whip that ball down his forehand line, and call an ambulance for your opponent, who's probably sprawled on the floor diving for the ball! Most players who step around their backhands to loop a serve move before the ball is actually contacted. Make them pay for this!

When the match is between a lefty and a righty, of course, the dynamics change. Now it's a fast cross-court serve that will catch an opponent, and you should substitute "cross-court" for "down-the-line."

A fast, down-the-line serve is probably the most underused of serves. There are many ways of doing this, but the following basics will get you started.

1) Use the same motion for the serve as any other serve.

2) Make sure your paddle is aimed cross-court (diagonally) until the last moment.

3) Contact the ball as low to the table as possible.

4) Make the first bounce hit as close to your endline as possible.

5) Keep the ball as close to the sideline as possible.

6) Get ready to follow up the serve with a strong attack.

7) Get a bucket of balls, and Practice!

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