Newcomers and Established Teams Build Strong Squads for Upcoming Season

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Teams Finalize Squads

The upcoming season of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) is set to begin on August 22nd in Chennai, with eight teams vying for the championship. The Player Draft, held on July 10th in Mumbai, saw teams strategize and build their squads for the tournament.

Newcomers Make Their Mark

Jaipur Patriots, a new team in the league, secured the top pick in Round 1 and selected Sreeja Akula, the current World No. 25 and the first Indian to win a WTT Contender singles title. Ahmedabad SG Pipers, another new franchise, opted for World No. 10 Bernadette Szocs of Romania in the second round.

Familiar Faces Return

Defending champions Goa Challengers retained Harmeet Desai and added Yangzi Liu of Australia, while runners-up Chennai Lions brought in Sakura Mori of Japan and Frenchman Jules Rolland. U Mumba TT once again picked Nigerian star Aruna Quadri and Asian Games bronze medallist Sutirtha Mukherjee.

International Flavor

The league will see a total of 16 foreign players in action, including Alvaro Robles of Spain and Lily Zhang of the USA for PBG Bengaluru Smashers, and Mihai Bobocica of Italy for Goa Challengers. Dabang Delhi will rely on Andreas Levenko of Austria alongside Sathiyan G.

Balanced Squads, High Expectations

Team officials expressed satisfaction with their draft picks and are confident about their chances in the tournament. Jaipur Patriots COO Imran Shaikh believes they have a strong squad and can go all the way, while PBG Bengaluru Smashers owner Punit Balan is happy with the experienced duo of Robles and Zhang. U Mumba CEO Suhail Chandhok is pleased with the balance in their squad, and Dabang Delhi CEO Durganath Wagle feels their strategy worked out well.

With a mix of experienced players, young talent, and international stars, the 2024 UTT season promises exciting competition and thrilling matches.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09