Joao Monteiro: Age does not matter in sport

Giving the example of Vladimir Samsonov, who won the Australian Open recently at 41 years, Monteiro said age, in any sport, does not matter.

On the UTT, the world number 48 said it is an experiment that the TT world has not yet seen.   -  K.V. Srinivasan

At 33 years of age and ranked 48 in the World, Portugal’s Joao Monteiro, representing Maharashtra United in the Ultimate Table Tennis League, says he still has a lot to offer, and his best is yet to come.

Giving the example of Vladimir Samsonov, who won the Australian Open recently at 41 years, Monteiro said age, in any sport, does not matter. “When Samsonov can win, everything is possible especially if you do your best,” Monteiro told Sportstar in an exclusive interview here on Saturday.

Unlike several players, Monteiro likes to show his emotions. In fact, after defeating Samsonov in the men’s singles quarterfinal of the ITTF-Europe top-16 Cup last year, the Portugese screamed and ran towards his coach, who was seated  in the gallery, before congratulating his Belarusian opponent.

“Generally I am  an emotional player. I would like to show my emotions. That’s how I am,” he  said. Was the win against Samsonov his best? “No,” the left-handed paddler affirmed. “In that tournament, I had beaten the world’s top ranked players on my way  to the final (he lost to Dimitrij Ovtcharov). This proved that I belong to the  best,” he said.

Being a part of the gold winning team for Portugal in the 2014 European team championship in Lisbon was another emotional moment. “The entire crowd was pushing for us. There was more pressure. It was a big moment for the Portugal’s sport and the country’s table tennis,” he said.

On the UTT, Monteiro said it’s an experiment that the TT world has not seen. “It is good for Indian players as they will play with top foreign players. Since each match will be best of three games, the focus will be intense. From the fans’ point of view, it will be interesting,” he said.