Ultimate Table Tennis 2018: Manika Batra, Sathiyan G and Sanil Shetty in focus as new format: The Ultimate Table Tennis League is all set to begin from this 14 June in Pune prior to the great expectations from the Indian paddlers, because of the heroic efforts in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia.
In this Ultimate Table Tennis 2018, Manika Batra has actually popularised the table tennis game, in India with her stunning performance at the Games with the men’s players subsequent to her consistent performances in the Games and the World Championships in Stockholm.
The involvements of these paddlers in the second season of Ultimate Table Tennis actually draw plenty of the eyeballs from all spectators and viewers this year on 2018.
This season, UTT will witness a shorter format with the number of matches in a tie being reduced to seven, from nine the last year of 2017.
2 matches consisting of foreign versus foreign players have been removed from the lineup and now each tie will consist of 21 games with the team in order to win 12 or more games is the winner of the tie. This means that this season the performance of Indian paddlers is the vital one and due to the 4 of the 6 singles matches will be Indian player versus the foreign player with the seventh match will be played in a mixed doubles event with each pair consisting one Indian and one player from the abroad anyway.
The shorter format can also be more exciting for the viewers with high-voltage action will be being seen in the season.
Just like the last season, UTT this year will feature six teams with each team will be blessed with the 4 Indian players and four foreign players equally divided in the male and female category.
The defending champions, like, Falcons TTC can begin as favourites, having selected three of their players from the first season.
This will be surely going to be easier for them to get going in this league with the ‘Giant Slayer’ Sanil Shetty, Liam Pitchford, was the Most Valuable Player of last season and current India rank one Sutirtha Mukherjee is marked come back in the yellow colors for Falcons TTC.
Sanil will be most likely also leading the charge in the mixed doubles pair. The addition of Romanian Bernadette-Szocs and the experienced Swede Matilda Ekholm will be further strengthening their squad.
The other team which appears very formidable this season is Dabang Smashers T.T.C. They have gone for youth and enthusiasm in this season, boasting the youngest squad in this group.
Now The team can look up to the Indian duo of Sathiyan Gnansekaran and Manika Batra in order to take charge.
In the world ranking, both are India’s highest ranked players – rising up the world charts during last year on 2017. Manika was exceptional in the Commonwealth Games winning the gold medal and she also managed to beat a number of good foreign players, including World No 9 Feng Tianwei twice in the team and also in individual events.
Likewise, Sathiyan Gnansekaran has been consistent in the world circuit winning two ITTF pro-tour titles and he also played a crucial and pivotal role in India’s Commonwealth Games gold and the World Championship matches in Stockholm.
This will be yet to see whether their young foreign players – which include eighteen-year-old Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico, two Japanese paddlers Yoshida Masaki and Sakura Mori along with Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium – are able to handle the pressure which UTT or not in order to bring to the fore.
On the other hand, Newly formed Warriors T.T.C. will count on the experience of Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan and Sharath Kamal, India’s stalwart, to win them plenty of games.
The Empowerji Challengers and the RP-SG Mavericks look reliant on their star players to perform. Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong- the highest ranked female player in season two – was good last season and she also plays an important role, should the Mavericks wish to qualify for the knockout stages while the Challengers is expected that the highest ranked player in UTT – Simon Gauzy of France puts in great performances. Maharashtra United has a balanced squad.
This will look for an overall team effort in order to win them during the league stages of the UTT.
All in all, this season will see a lot more excitement for the Table Tennis. This tournament will be held in three stages between 14 June and 1 July with the first stage in Pune from 14 to 19 June followed by Delhi from 20 to 25 June and the last stage that is all set to conduct and held in the Kolkata from 26 June to 1 July.
The knockout phase of the tournament is also consist of two semifinals on 29 and 30 June between the top four teams of the league stage and in Kolkata, the final will be played on 1 July.