Aussie Open – Day 3

by on Jul.03, 2012, under News

The first match of the day was the Men’s Team VIC vs NSW. This was going to be tough for both teams as everyone is almost the same level and they know each other’s game well. It was a great day for Shibaji Datta defeating Justin Han and Kiet Tran in 3 sets! It wasn’t a good day for Justin losing 2 of his games to Powell and Datta only winning against Robert Frank in 5 sets. Shibaji Datta has had a great come back to the sport after having small break and only playing in small comps and local pennants. He has proven valuable to the VIC Team. Robert has also been playing well. He is getting into some fast looping rallies. For a guy his size 6ft2-3in 90kg (sorry if I’m wrong about the weight Bob!) he moves very well getting to each ball. As I’m the same size as Bob I know hard that actually is.

Man those Korean’s are fast! That’s what I kept hearing today. The Men’s Team match between NSW and KOR was incredible! Justin Han scored a great win against Kim Jang Ho getting a lucky edge at 10-6 in set 5. I really don’t understand how Justin can do the topspin’s he does. One shot comes to mind: Justin did a backhand down the line, ball gets looped wide to his forehand, Justin steps and reaches and somehow gets to it and loops in back cross court on the line 10 inches from the net!? Think about that. Korea defeated NSW only losing 1 game. I was able to record the Korean’s warming up for about 10 mins before the match which drew a large crowd of amazed people! Video coming soon.

Just as the Korean’s finished cleaning up NSW it was Men’s Team VIC vs QLD on Table 6. All the matches were close games with most going 5 sets. Bruno Levis from QLD has had a huge impact on the Open claiming great victories along the way. He recorded a great win against Shibaji Datta winning in 5 sets. Robert Frank got a huge scare from Wade Townsend to win in 5 sets but it was the match against Bruno that had the whole club cheering each point until Robert won 16-14 in the fourth set! While watching the match from the viewing room I overheard two officials talking about player etiquette as they watched Robert and Bruno shake hands after Robert won. They were talking how players now don’t shake hands anymore but do like a slap. I agree, you can tell a lot from a person if you shake their hand. To me a slap feels like the players don’t really respect each other or the game they just played. What do you think?

While watching the last match with Shibaji Datta vs Wade Townsend I was chatting to HWATT Director Simon Gerada. I asked him how his U21 Team was going and with a proud smile he replied “kicking ass”! We got chatting about Table Tennis and how we would change the world and all that. I noticed Shibaji was having a bad moment and was looking over to his team mates for a bit of encouragement and Frank, Powell, Heming and Cathcart were cheering him on. I mentioned to Simon how I have noticed of the last 3 days only the VIC Team were always sitting at the table they were playing at cheering on their team mates. As a player myself there is nothing worse looking over your shoulder for a bit of encouragement and seeing your team is chatting away or face down in an IPhone or worse not even there! This is the level of support Victoria gave:

I said to Simon that most kids would be off walking around chatting to their friends but here they were sitting down cheering on a team mate in need. As Simon pointed out the oldest person there was Robert Frank at 21. He said he witnessed yesterday a whole team leave when their team mate was still playing!? For us this was a proud moment. I just hope the right people see this image and share it like I have. For match results click http://www.tabletennisqld.org/


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