Feels like my first international event: Dani


As the international table tennis tournaments kick-off for the 2021 season with the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha, India’s paddler Mudit Dani will take on Finland’s Olah Benedek in the the first round of men’s singles qualification on Sunday.

Coming after a long lay off away from the sport due to pandemic, the Doha tournament will be a different experience for all the players as they resume playing at international circuit.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to restart over here. I feel the same butterflies in my stomach when I played my first ever senior tournament. Though this time I’m more prepared. And it’s a surreal feeling to be back here where I played the tournament [Qatar Open] just before the pandemic hit the world,” 22-year-old Dani said.

Dani said that he worked on his technique and fitness during the lockdown. “The break gave me an opportunity to work a lot on strength training, technique, body movements and physical aspects. I also worked on my third-ball technique and service receive. That is something I look forward to seeing how it works out in the game,” said Mudit. The third-ball attack is a trick players use to gain points while serving through utilising the return ball.

Achanta Sharath Kamal, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee are among the 13 Indians who will be seen in action at the WTT Contender Doha.