Backhand Serve or Forehand Serve?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by pyaarawala, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Serving backhand to the outside corner in doubles when your receiving opponent is standing near the front service line may not be such a good idea, unless the opponent has poor footwork. The reason why is that this wide serve opens your formation, which is an attacking formation when you serve low, into a defensive formation as a push return to a spot to the side between the server and his partner will split your attacking formation. Why would you want to do that? Yes, you can use this wide serve as a variation but only against a player who is poor in returning such a serve.
    A good short backhand serve in doubles should not have a flat trajectory, which is common when you hit the shuttle sideways when serving. This is because a flat trajectory is easy to attack with a fast push. The flatter the serve the easier it is to push. However, if you serve backhand with the cork/base square to the racquet stringbed, then the serve will be less flat. It will rise up more, and if the serve is near perfect it will crest at the net and then drop sharply towards the receiver's front service line. This is the type of doubles serve that cannot be attacked or even pushed, irrespective of where the receiver stands, even if his racquet is almost touching the net.
     
  2. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    1. The trajectory to peak at the net is independent of the direction the shuttle faces at serve, or in fact, possible even a forehand serve. In fact, the shuttle can peak just before the net so it is already descending at the net.
    2. As long as the shuttle clears the net, it can theoretically be attacked. In your example, the opponent already reached the net and has his racket almost touching it... I'm surprise he didn't do a netkill. A block from there will be equally deadly.
    3. You can push even if the shuttle is slightly below the net.
    You are correct though that the outside serve is not ideal against fast opponent. Good replies from there will be a straight mid-court push, or a "straight" netplay to the corner. You have to move to cover those so that will leave you vulnerable to a cross-court net. It's still a good variation to have around.
     
  3. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    1. You can actually try this out, a short backhand serve with the base/feathers hitting the stringbed vs the base hitting the stringbed at 90 degrees. Of course there is a difference in the trajectory. The latter serve is the type of serve shown by a Tony Gunawan picture in this forum recently. Such a serve if well executed, makes the shuttle turns around faster in a tumbling movement, goes up steeper and falls down sharper and sooner. Of course such a well executed serve is impossible to attack, because it will only get into the net. All serves if well executed will crest at the net but the trajectory will be very different especially between a forehand vs a backhand serve.

    2. I beg to disagree. A well executed backhand short serve is impossible to attack. If you go all out you will hit the serve return into the net. Your only option is to do a net tumble, that is if you are fast enough to hit it before it falls too far down the net.

    3. There are many degrees of the shuttle being below the net. A tumbling one that dips at the crest cannot be pushed, because such a push return will also get into the net.

    BTW, it is much easier to serve a short backhand serve hitting the side of the base but much more difficult to hit it square to the stringbed because of its greater bounce. Hitting the base square to the stringbed gives you the full bounce of the racquet. Not so when hitting it at the side of the shuttle base.
     
  4. chrisnchips

    chrisnchips Regular Member

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    practice both,

    if you can do short serves that look like they'll go out... that's my pick. (aiming for the far front corners keeping it real low angle as it drops on the other side). flick serves don't always have to be high. I find it a good way to catch players off guard, no matter what level (so far), to flick serve a fast one backhand to their opposite shoulder... but this only works if you can catch them off guard, be ready for a fast return.

    also.. i think it differs slightly when to use a long and a short serve. one odd difference i choose to go by is when i start getting tired and decide if i want to possibly return a clear, drop, drive, or smash... and seeing what strategy to match with it.
     
  5. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    I already use that style of service. Certainly, it's difficult (not impossible) to push a tumbling net return. You see that a lot in the top singles games. This is irrelevant, of course, since we are talking about serves.

    Perhaps, you can point out, by example, a player who can serve well consistently (>50%). I know that Tony Gunawan cannot since most of his serves are attacked.
     
  6. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    Notice in singles games though, the players don't serve from the service line, but from half court. This makes the serve flatter and slower, so the other player has time to walk up to the front of the court, and hit a flat push because the serve is so flat.
     
  7. SecondBest

    SecondBest Regular Member

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    Serving from further out is typical of Mixed Doubles.
    Singles players do the same as they have to cover more ground.
     
  8. SecondBest

    SecondBest Regular Member

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    Sigit Budiarto had a very good backhand serve.
    Gao Ling also had a very good serve but it often looked suspect.
    Hendra Setiawan is one of the those with a clever serve.
     
  9. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    It is true that the short backhand serve in singles is an entirely different animal from that used in doubles. In singles the trajectory is very flat and rather long, and the shuttle does not drop sharply after cresting the net. Such a singles serve gives the receiver more response/reaction time than in the case of doubles.
     
  10. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    One of the all time great doubles service exponent was Indonesia's Ricky Subagja, Rexy's former doubles partner. His doubles service was very precise and very fast, with the shuttle sort of hurtling downwards towards the receiver's front service line in the blink of an eye.
     
  11. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    Tony Gunawan is right up there with them. In fact, all of the top doubles players have geat consistent service but I'm not just looking for just good service.

    I am asking for examples of the serves described by Tanapeek where due to the trajectory, they are impossible to attack. I admit doubting that such a thing exists but Tanapeek is more experienced than I am and if such a serve does exists, I'd love to learn them.
     
  12. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    Err... IIRC, his serves are still attacked like all other doubles serves. I'm looking for examples of the types of serves you explained that are impossible to attack.
     
  13. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    Well, I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who uses it (I'm not a great expert on pro doubles players. I'm more of a singles fan), but the backhand short serve with a very flat trajectory is incredibly hard to attack. However, if it goes a little too loopy, it'll be killed easily.
     
  14. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    What do you mean by attack? Downward drive? Kill? TG never gets those, which is what taneepak explains by "attackless". If the opponent cannot push flat or steeper, then that's what taneepak means. I think you mean by "cannot be attacked" that they must be lifted? You can still push up, but its not really a true "attack".
     
  15. pyaarawala

    pyaarawala Regular Member

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    I just tried doing backhand serves yesterday at my badminton club, and it didn't work out so great. Had somewhat of a big loop. My opponents didn't take advantage of it by killing it so I kept on practicing it. But one question, are you supposed to keep your right foot forward and flat and your left foot on your toes or is that just a habit that people have when they serve backhand?
     
  16. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    TG is one of my all-time favourite doubles players and I watched a lot of his games. His serves are still subject to attacks and pushs. Even my own serve can adequately prevent downward pushs or kills.

    See the above quote from taneepak. He is explaining a serve that cannot be attacked even if the opponent has his racket next to the net. Ignoring my claim that all shots are can be attacked at the net, if I I can get examples of such a serve, I want to learn it.
     
  17. smashingmark

    smashingmark Regular Member

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    Question is how does a line jugde know where the servers waiste are when he's wearing a shirt? :p I notice the point of contact is mostly done at the naval area these days...

    Ciao
    smashingmark
     
  18. Shifty

    Shifty Regular Member

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    most judges just guess i think. it has always been a bit hazy and pro have been pushing the definition of "waist" for a long time. Tony G's serves have always been his weakness. you really need to practise them a lot to get good. Fu haifeng has an awesome serve. quick and precise.

    as for the footing thing, it's up to you really. some like their feet level, others have their right foot first. play around and see what you like
     
  19. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    I have been waiting for Taneepak's explanation on this issue as well for ages. :rolleyes:

    In another thread (maybe it's been a year?), Taneepak also stated with authority, the perfect short serve that cannot be attacked. Up to now, he did not explain why servers do opt to flick when the 'perfect' short serve would leave no option to the receiver but to lift.

    Likewise, I am all ears to his expert authoritative opinion on the perfect short serve. Maybe you are luckier and more worthy of his time for his teachings.

    Are we now for Tanbadminton, instead of Tai Chi? :eek:
     
  20. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    The type of doubles serve to strive for is to serve the shortest path, and the bird should attain its maximum height just before reaching the net-tape, which at this point cannot be attacked because that will be a fault. Then, the shuttle should commence to fall and drop just inside the diagonally opposite court at the intersection of the front service line and the centre line (the "T"). Pls note the shuttle must commence to fall at the crest or even before the crest if a bit higher. If you can achieve this ideal, not even the most aggressive of receivers will cause you much difficulty, since he can play the shuttle only when it has fallen below tape-height.
    Contrary to popular belief, an aggressive receiver standing poised very near the front service line with upraised racquet ready to rush the shuttle back at you should your serve rise so little as half an inch above the tape, should not be held in fear if you approach your serve with deliberation. To counteract this perfectly legitimate intimidation, it is necessar to cultivate a deliberate routine when serving in doubles. First, check that your feet are not on a boundary line. Secondly, look at your opponent (his feet are less intimidating than his face) to see if he has left an opening by standing too far back or too far to one side, and to see where he holds his racquet. Many receivers in the left hand court for instance tend to stand too far to the left in order to cover a weak backhand; thus they leave an opening near the centre line. Thirdly, look at the tape and target area to imprint the height and length needed in the mind, which activates the muscles. Lastly, try to forget your menacing opponent, look only at the shuttle as you swing at it, and strike it firmly. Be confident!
    The above routine need take only a few seconds and if not carried to extremes, is quite legitimate. Such a routine has a two-fold effect : by its very deliberation it helps ensure a careful and accurate service; and by that same deliberation, it may unsettle the impetuous receiver so that he anticipatorily leans slightly too far forward or backward before the shuttle is hit, thus upsetting his timng.
     

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