Mixed reviews for UTT after first day

While Ultimate Table Tennis League has captured the imagination of the sport's aficionados in a big way, the League’s first day action generated varied reactions from former players and officials.

Sharath Kamal of the RP-SG Mavericks in action on the first day.   -  R. RAGU

While Ultimate Table Tennis League has captured the imagination of the sport's aficionados in a big way, the League’s first day action here on Thursday generated varied reactions from former players and officials.

Former India paddler Neha Aggarwal, said the crowd turn-out was a big let-down given the fact that the city has a legacy of producing great players. “I was surprised with the number of people who came to watch the match,” she said.

The 2008 Olympian said the women's matches involving Indians was one-sided, but added that would be a learning curve for them. The format of nine matches in a tie, felt Neha, was a bit tedious and time-consuming.

Agreed S. Raman, former National
men's singles champion. “Not everyone can watch an entire match that goes on for two and a half hours given the fact that it goes on past 10.30 p.m.," he said.

On the unimpressive crowd support, Raman said TT clubs from the city should  show their support. “May be the Clubs should tie up with state associations. But all and said, the league is a great boost for TT,” he said.

The 10-second rule between serves and the format didn't go down well with a few. “Players will be under pressure, and it is not good, and the league follows not all the rules of ITTF ( International Table Tennis Federation), and there it creates quite a few problems. And the format is confusing and how many spectators will understand it?" asked an official.

Raman, however, appreciated the 10-second rule saying that ITTF should consider implementing it in its tournaments.

Kamlesh Mehta, Director of 11Even
Sports Private Limited said it was a great atmosphere to play the sport. “Great lighting, good facilities for players and what not. I wish I played here!” said the eight-time men's National singles champion. On the poor turn-out, he said: "It was around 900, which is not bad for the first day."

As far as the the 10-second rule and towelling once in a game is concerned, UTT has received recommendations from a few players, Kamlesh said. "But it is too early to say anything. After a few more days, we will get to know the full picture. We are open to suggestions," he said.

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