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Other Events - 24 Feb 2017

Dimitrij OVTCHAROV: Fatherhood opened my eyes

Photo: Courtesy ITTF

Double European champion speaks about many interesting things in his interview to Times of India


Double European champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, the winner of recent Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open, gave an interview to Times of India`s Mukesh THAPLIYAL. One of issues, among others, was possibility to make table tennis more interesting to the fans.


“I think there are too many breaks between points due to only one ball and also it has a lot of spin. Sometimes the opponent misses slow spinning balls and the spectators don't know why it was missed as it was not a 200 mph service. But now the balls are changing from April 3 and we will have only ABS balls. It's a new quality of plastic which has less spin and I believe the rallies will get better and easier to understand for the spectators”, said OVTCHAROV speaking to Times of India.


German had a warm reception in New Delhi and he felt big support from the stands. Four-time Olympic table-tennis medalist and World No. 5 spoke also about his experience of playing in Chinese Super League:


“In Europe I hardly lose a match even though we have really strong guys. In China, suddenly you meet people you have never heard of before. They are extremely young and they play so well. The whole level is so high as each of the 30-40 players are really strong. At times, some of them show up at World Tour events but they are of course extremely nervous since they don't get so many chances to play, and that is one reason they don't play successfully. But when they are at home in China playing in their well-known conditions, they play tremendously well. For my personal table tennis skills, there is no better place than to play in Chinese Super League”.


OVTCHAROV, who took three titles in a row in February, explained how table tennis players manage to continue their successes even after 30:


“Athletes worldwide have got so much of knowledge as to how to take care of themselves and prolong their career. Earlier a tennis player was older when he was 27 but now Roger FEDERER is winning at 35 and he is the best tennis player in the world. Andy MURRAY is on the top of the world at 30. I hear all the time in tennis that Serena WILLIAMS is breaking the record of an oldest, oldest and oldest.... Everything is getting older. It's just how you take care of yourself. I don't see that anymore in table tennis since we are lot more professional. Once you get more professional you can play longer. It's difficult to answer about the peak age as Asians and Chinese start their game at the age of four while in Europe we first go to school and then take the game at the age of 16. European players mostly peak after 30. It also depends upon luck and how one's career goes".


One of questions was about yoga`s role in his practices…

“I try to meditate every morning after I wake up. Not for longer durations since I am always very active but at least 5-10 minutes I give for myself to find peace for the day. I also do longer yoga sessions twice a week”.


After all, Dima stressed that fatherhood changed him a lot:

“Yes. Earlier I used to be very down whenever I lost a match. I still feel very down but fatherhood just opened my eyes and showed me that life is not only about this little ball. There are other fantastic things which are more important. It gives me calmness”

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