01 Jun 2020

Welcome back to another exciting edition of Player Watch, featuring the latest goings on from the world’s table tennis stars.

Here’s a look at what the stars of the show have been getting up to over the past week:

by Simon Daish

Tomislav Pucar joins up with UMMC, Jonathan Groth pens contract extension

One of the European continent’s rising stars over the past couple of years, Tomislav Pucar is the latest big-name player to make the club transfer news. The Croatian, who recently confirmed his departure from German Bundesliga side TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell, signs for Russian giants TTSC UMMC for the upcoming season.


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Happy to announce that next season I will represent the Russian club UMMC 🇷🇺 Looking forward to it 💪

A post shared by T O M I S L A V P U C A R (@tpucar) on

One of Pucar’s future teammates at the club, Jonathan Groth has penned a new contract extension which will keep the Dane at TTSC UMMC for a further three years.

Time to relax

Life is beginning to gather pace again, little by little with each passing day, but it’s important now more than ever to slow down and find time to relax.

As her caption very much suggests, Audrey Zarif is a firm believer in enjoying a “chillday” every once in a while:


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C H I L L D A Y ☘️

A post shared by AUDREY ZARIF (@audreyzarif) on

Tiago Apolonia has been catching the rays, topping up his Vitamin D while he’s at it:


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Vitamin D.. Recharging 🔋 #loveit #sun #nature #energy

A post shared by Tiago Apolónia (@tiagoapolonia) on

Liam Pitchford has also been spending some time in the sun, joined by a friendly face:


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Suns out, guns out ☀️😂🐶

A post shared by Liam Pitchford (@liam_pitchford93) on

Here’s Sarah De Nutte surrounding herself with the wonderful plant life in her native Luxembourg:


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🌺 #beautifulluxembourg

A post shared by Sarah De Nutte (@sarahdenutte) on

Maintaining good hygiene through face masks

Wearing a face mask when you’re out and about is becoming an essential part of our daily routines and the players have been showing off the face masks that are helping them to enjoy more outdoor time.

Omar Assar has been proudly spotting a custom mask in support of current club Borussia Düsseldorf:


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Good morning ☀️ @borussiaduesseldorf

A post shared by Omar Assar عمر عصر (@omarassar) on

Teammate Timo Boll has also been out and about donning the mask:

While Yana Noskova has also been joining in the act:


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Перчатки ✅ Маска✅ Вкусный кофе ✅

A post shared by Yana Noskova (@yana_noskova_) on

Missing the game

One thing spending time under lockdown conditions has enabled us to all do is allow for more time to reflect and reminisce. While training is slowly being reintroduced across the globe, a number of players are itching to resume tournament play.

Desperate to return to action, United States’ Lily Zhang posted a clip of her historic semi-final meeting with Liu Shiwen from the 2019 Women’s World Cup:

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran shared a throwback to a very special day in his life, remembering the moment he received the prestigious Arjuna Award:

Staying with India, another of the country’s stars in 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manika Batra has also had her mind on table tennis:


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#throwback My main focus is to remain focused. 🏓🇮🇳

A post shared by Manika 👑 (@manikabatra.15) on

Rounding this week’s edition of Player Watch, here’s Marcos Madrid sharing a photo from 2006 standing alongside three-time World champion and legendary table tennis figure Wang Liqin:

General News Timo Boll Omar Assar Liam Pitchford Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Jonathan Groth Lily Zhang Manika Batra Tiago Apolonia Tomislav Pucar Yana Noskova Sarah De Nutte Marcos Madrid Audrey Zarif Kirill Skachkov