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Thread: "Top-spin" backhand low serve
03-03-2011, 07:41 AM #1
"Top-spin" backhand low serve
I've noticed some of the juniors at our club using a slightly different technique for backhand low serve.
They strike the shuttle with the racket nigh-horizontal, which I know is now allowed. However, the racket head is moving appreciably up as well as forwards. It's similar to how I would play a "top-spin" shot in tennis or squash.
Does anyone know if this is now the considered wisdom on b/h low serve? If so, what advantages does it give?
From my observation, it seems unstable. Far too high a percentage go into the net.
03-03-2011, 08:25 AM #2
03-03-2011, 04:36 PM #3
This type of serve is not commonly taught, but is used by some of the worlds top players. In particular, look at Fu Haifeng and of course the great Gao Ling. Gao Ling is widely acknowledged to have one of the best serves of any player. There is nothing inconsistent about THEIR serves. It is the same as ANY low serve: lots of practice makes it perfect However, the addition of topspin can conceivably bring the shuttle downwards a little quicker than a regular trajectory, making the serve harder to attack by ones opponent. However, it is perhaps more challenging to master. Ultimately, as long as you serve excellently, and consistently, it doesn't matter. If our serves are not that good, we need to practice
06-11-2011, 06:48 PM #4
It's not so much top "spin" it's just angling the racket differently.
I pride myself on my consistently good doubles serve and I've had top 20 players (yes only in England, so they're not that good - LOL) having trouble returning it (mental fist pump when they stuff 3 of them in the net in a row ).
Certainly for my standard or anything below, such as "not-top" club level, I'd say have the racket face pointing up slightly or straight ahead at the very least. Remember, you have a net to go over.
The angle will be different for everyone. The important thing is to keep the angle THE SAME every time (and adjust to the net in the hall (it may vary occasionally). A racket facing downwards will invariably be less consistent because there is less room for error of the angle of the "swing" and pace of the shot.
06-11-2011, 10:18 PM #5
is this what youre talking about @ 2:30?
btw, she has an amazing flick serve o.O
06-12-2011, 12:07 AM #6
The video shows slice/backspin, not topspin.
06-12-2011, 06:26 AM #7
The "top spin" serve I am referring to is this one:
(see Gao Lings serve starting at 2.14. Great close up, definitely played with top spin as you would in tennis)
This serve is quite distinctive, and not many professionals use it. That I can think of, only Fu Haifeng also uses this serve.
06-12-2011, 11:24 AM #8
I disagree with 'top spin' giving any additional affects over that of slice - because that's all it is, just the other way around.
I also don't see much top spin on the serve - looks like the racquet is rotated before striking.
Last edited by amleto; 06-12-2011 at 11:29 AM.
06-12-2011, 02:12 PM #9
Amleto: I would agree that there is not much top spin on that serve, but I believe there is some. I believe the shuttle is struck with the final part of the rotation (when the racket is nearly horizontal, but still moving). However, thats just my take on it. The laws of badminton serving are defined as they are at the moment to STOP people playing a serve with excessive topspin, not to prevent it altogether (by making sure that the racket shaft must be pointing downwards - stops people coming "over" the shuttle).
I would say there are differences between conventional sliced serves and a "top spin" serve because the trajectory is slightly different throughout(because the slice is acting the other way around, as you said). However, I would agree that there is no clear advantage of one over the other - if you learn to serve properly, who cares how you do it?
When I compare a regular slice with a topspin, to me, it looks as though the topspin shuttle behaves more like a parabola, whereas a sliced shuttle tends to travel upwards more and then falls very steeply. Like I say though, thats just my take on the differences. I personally prefer no slice at all - much easier for me to control consistently (because thats the one I practice)!
06-12-2011, 02:35 PM #10
It might be considered one depending on what perspective you have on it, but generally they're both a little different. The back hand low serve as you called it, is a basic shot, where it's easier to aim and get the shuttlecock to where you want it to go. Of course, a top spin serve is capable of doing this as well, but it takes a lot more practice. People use the word "topspin" to define when the shuttlecock is just about to come into contact with the racket, then you use your wrist and rotate it, along with the racket, giving the shuttlecock a little sweep. The topspin is usually used to trick people into thinking that it's going to be a net shot, and then flicking it for the back. If what you're talking about is what Gao Ling used the serve in MSeeley's video, then the topspin there is used as a trick shot. Many people are aware of it these days though. Although I may be wrong about it being a trick shot in the video, but generally in real life, it's used as a trick shot.
As for advantages, the topspin gives the shuttlecock a sweep, therefore the terminal position of the shuttlecock should be closer to the serve line than a backhand serve, which of course is very good. Also as I said before, it generally is used as a trick shot, so using it in a game might give you the win for the rally sometimes. I don't suggest doing a high topspin serve in doubles though mainly because it will go a lot higher than usual.
Hope this helped you a little.
06-14-2011, 09:11 AM #11
The Gao serve, I think she drops her elbow and angles the racket face slightly down on hitting, not partiularly imparting and real slice to the shuttle. You can (under the new rules) "topspin the drive serve" , although it is likely to be borderline legal.
06-14-2011, 05:38 PM #12
forehand 'net slice' (aka net brush aka top spin) or backhand slice will make shuttle spin same direction. If you do both, and make the shuttle head at the same initial direction + speed, there will be no difference in shuttle flight of one compared to the other.
Last edited by amleto; 06-14-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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