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2023 USATT TX STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: ATTC BRINGS HOME TEXAS MEN'S TITLE

By: Jeff Nguyen


AUSTIN TABLE TENNIS CLUB CLAIMS 4 TEXAS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES AND 16 OF 67 PODIUM POSITIONS

  • Men's Singles - Shahin Akhlaghpasand

  • Girls U15 - Ananya Singaraju

  • Seniors O60 Singles - Mike Kenny

  • U1600 - Yihang Tang


Photo Credit: Vlad Farcas, Ma Jiahua



TOURNAMENT RATINGS HERE

TOURNAMENT RESULTS HERE


One hundred thirty-two players from over 20 Texas clubs gathered at SATTC and the Antioch Sports Complex in San Antonio to participate in the 2023 Texas State Table Tennis Championships on April 21 - 23. The format of this tournament included 17 events: age group, para, rated, hard bat, men's and women's singles, and doubles. Several of the events were held at SATTC on Friday and Sunday, while the men's and women's singles along with high entry count events were held at the larger Antioch Sports Complex on Saturday. The Antioch location appeared to be more conducive to spin as the ball kicked more strongly off the tables and pushes were harder to lift. Typically basketball court flooring is dusty or quickly gets dusty. Once this happens players don't get good grip with their shoes and slide around - but not at Antioch. The floor was cleaned and had high levels of grip throughout the tournament without the need for wet paper towels to wipe the bottoms of shoes. Many thanks to Vlad Farcas and San Antonio Table Tennis for hosting the 2023 Texas State Championships!!!


A large swath of players from various rating ranges came to compete. 28 players were 1000 or less, 80 players between 1100-1900, and 24 - 2000 level players were present. Generally there are half the number of 2000's at standard tournament. This makes for a very strong competition for Men's and Women's singles. By the Men's round of 16 and Women's Semi-Finals only 2100+ players remained.


Four rating groups had large upsets against higher rated folks with rating gains of at least 20 points. The 1000 and under group gained 140 points on average, the 1100 group gained 82 points on average, the 1400 group gained 34 points on average, followed by the 1600 group where they gained 20 points on average. Seeing the 1000 & 1100 group make significant increases is very encouraging as it shows a large group of juniors and folks new to table tennis are making good progress with their games. While the 1400 & 1600 group's progress shows how they are getting more competitive with their higher rated peers.



If we look at the change in ratings from a different perspective, eight players left the 1000 and under group. This group contained several unrated individuals, three of which going the 2000 group.


The 1600 group added four individuals, with ATTC Junior Program's Shandra Qiu being the most notable with a 211 point improvement. Shandra is a two-winged fast attack player. Once the rally switches to topspin, many players have difficulty with the increase in tempo and ball speed she imparts.


The 1800 group lost four players, with one player moving down to 1700, one player moving to 2000, and two players moving to 1900.


One notable change in group membership is the 2000 group, as making 2000 is a hallmark situation in an individual's playing career. Three of these individuals were unrated players from Texas Wesleyan University (everyone knew they were at least 2000). Nicholas Yuji Yamane, Heitor Buscariolo, and Thiago Uieda study at TXWU and recently competed in the NCTTA College Nationals where they finished 2nd in the Coed Division. They have all trained since they were young and have strong attacking games. It's great that they made it out and we all hope to see more of them on the tournament scene! Sandro Fuenzalida, former Chilean Junior National player and current coach at Alamo Table Tennis, finally had an opportunity to compete against a larger field of high level players and show everyone what he can do. He gained 220 points to leave 1800 and finish at 2090. Sandro is a two winged-looper, with a very smooth mechanics - his training as a youth definitely shows through! He still looks underrated after watching his 5-set matches against 2300s, so it will be exciting to see where he ends up in the next several tournaments. Finally Johnnie Lopez from HITTA rejoins the 2K club. Johnnie is a forehand attacking player with anti-spin on his backhand. Johnnie uses his dynamic changes in spin and strong forehand attack to put his opponents on the back heel.



This tournament was definitely very competitive as easy point gains were very difficult to achieve. Many of individuals are from a junior program with a strong training background, or maintain a strong playing level through individual training at university, private lessons, or general club play. It's great to be a table tennis player in Texas and to have this level of competition. Generally when we compete outside of the state at national tournaments or other club tournaments we tend to do very well. New junior programs in Austin, DFW, San Antonio, and Houston have brought more competition by training youth, along with providing coaching services to adults. This has been a huge contributor to the success of table tennis in Texas over the past 15 years.


Now for some random and interesting facts about ATTC membership at the State Champs:

  • Austin Table Tennis stepped on the podium 16 of 67 times -- that's 24% of medals

  • 7 of the podium finishes were from the Austin Table Tennis Junior Program

  • ATTC took home 4 State Championship Titles!!! Make sure to say congrats to our new STATE CHAMPIONS!!!

    1. Men's Singles - Shahin Akhlaghpasand

    2. Girls U15 - Ananya Singaraju

    3. Seniors O60 Singles - Mike Kenny

    4. U1600 - Yihang Tang


HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Shahin for taking the Men's Single's Title!!! This is the first time that Austin Table Tennis has had this honor. Shahin had very difficult battles in the semi-finals against a very aggressive Andrew Cao, and in the finals against the seasoned professional - the Texas Premier Chopper - Li Kewei. Shahin used his years of experience and fighting spirit to fight his way to 1st place. Shahin will be playing tournaments at Westchester and OCTTA in the next several months in preparation for US Nationals in July. Make sure to tell him CONGRATULATIONS and best of luck in his preparations!!!


There were also several extraordinary individual performances with the number of medals they took home and the number of matches played.


Highest Medal Count

  1. Cesar Serna - 3

  2. Ananya Singaraju - 2

  3. Mike Kenny - 2


Most Matches Played

  1. Ananya Singaraju - 25

  2. Cesar Serna - 20

  3. Teddy Bricker 18

In order to make these lists two things needed to happen: 1.) sign up for many events, AND/OR 2.) get on the podium for the event you signed up for. Doing either is pretty difficult physically with the volume of matches and also mentally. Staying sharp and executing your game is difficult to do when tired. Especially for the old guys - you can almost hear their knees creaking when they play. Give these folks a CONGRATS if you see them at the club!!!



INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Men's Singles

TEXAS STATE CHAMPION - Shahin Akhlaghpasand

3rd/4th = Jonathan Li


Girls U19

2nd - Ananya Singaraju


Girls U15

TEXAS STATE CHAMPION - Ananya Singaraju


Boys U15

3rd/4th - Swar Patel


Hard Bat RR

3rd - Cesar Serna


Seniors O40 Singles

2nd - Cesar Serna

3rd/4th - Johnny Gamez

3rd/4th - Mike Kenny


Seniors O60 Singles

TEXAS STATE CHAMPION - Mike Kenny


U4200 Doubles

3rd/4th - Teddy Bricker / Brandon Babot


U1850

3rd/4th - Neave Joy


U1600

TEXAS STATE CHAMPION - Yihang Tang

3rd/4th - Sikander Aggarwal


U1000

2nd - Mohit Ganji

3rd/4th Morris Lo



TOP GAINERS LIST

Five of the eight top gainers on this list are juniors that train regularly in the ATTC Junior program. You can see how hard the kids and the Coaches are working by seeing their results in this tournament. If you happen to see a coach at the club - buy them a snack. They're on their feet at least 8 hours a day!


For the three adults that made this list, three of them are returning closer to their highest ratings, and one of them made their highest rating. Jiahua, Jonathan, Johnny, and Danny have been regular members of our club and spend a decent amount of time practicing and playing matches. Congrats guys and keep it going!!!


The list is noticeably shorter as this tournament was very competitive with smaller shifts in rating on average. But for the kids that were training - they were the exception. The list below contains the following information: Name - Club Affiliation - New rating (point gain) Highest Rating (HR)


  1. Shandra Qiu -- ATTC Junior -- 1639(+211) HR

  2. Jiahua Ma -- ATTC Adult -- 1384(+195) HR

  3. Aaryan Polisetty -- ATTC Junior -- 1581(+155) HR

  4. Mohit Ganji -- ATTC Junior -- 1056(+119) HR

  5. JJ Zhao -- ATTC Junior -- 858(+102) HR

  6. Jonathan Li -- UT Table Tennis -- 2375 (+32)

  7. Johnny Gamez -- ATTC Adult -- 1772(+30)

  8. Danny Woon -- ATTC Adult -- 1668(+30)

  9. Ananya Singaraju -- ATTC Junior -- 1714(+28) HR


Given how tough this tournament is it's important to go into and out of the tournament with a clear picture of where you are and where you want to be.


Take time to reflect.

Start by building an objective perspective of your circumstances.


When competing, it's important to understand where you are in your training, how things are going on in life, and what you want to achieve. When you take stock of where you're at it's easier to set expectations and be accountable to and for yourself because you'll have a clearer picture of where you are at. It's important to do this before and after a tournament so you can evaluate yourself and see if adjustments to training, expectations, or goals need to be adjusted. It's also normal to feel frustrated if expectations are not met -- but -- poor results are only fatal if you don't persist. As long as you re-evaluate yourself, learn, change, and keep pushing it's highly likely you'll see some success (which is better than none).

1 Comment


Guest
Apr 27, 2023

Nice

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