DHFL Maharashtra United’s Joao Monteiro was one of the most entertaining players to play in the inaugural edition of CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis. We caught up with the 33-year-old during his time in India and he spoke about everything from what made him choose table tennis to the pros and cons of the game that he’s faced.
Monteiro took us back to his roots and what got him into the fast-paced table tennis life, “The first introduction with ping pong was with my cousins in Switzerland, they had a table in their house and we played almost all summer every day. After some time, my first coach came to the primary school where I was studying and conducted some fiscal tests to all kids in the school. From the 120 kids, he chose the best 20 and I was among them and then brought us to one club to teach us to play table tennis.”
The 33-year-old also spoke about what made table tennis special, “I love the variety of spin you can give to the ball, I think that’s what make table tennis special. Unfortunately, with the new balls, the ball doesn’t get as much spin as before.”
With many young athletes working hard to set foot on the big stage, the Portuguese paddler said that love and passion towards the game will help them become successful. “Practice hard and give your best every time you to improve and be the best player you can be, but the most important thing is to enjoy and love playing because without love and passion for the sport, it is difficult to be a good player.” Monteiro noted.
He continued by saying “Table tennis is like a relationship. First you meet and get to know it, after you fall in love with it and in the end, you cannot live without it. At least for me. The only bad thing about table tennis for me is too be away from my wife and daughter.”
Here are the other excerpts from the interview –
What is your favourite movie/TV show?
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite band?
One place you would love to travel to?