15 Jun 2020

Welcome back to Player Watch where we bring you the latest news surrounding the stars of the show. It's been an eventful week with the German top flight men's club season drawing to a close, #TableTennisUnited launching and a host of birthdays.

Let's take a closer look:

by Simon Daish

1. FC Saarbrücken crowned champions

The 2019-2020 German Bundesliga 1. Reached its conclusion on Sunday 14th June as 1. FC Saarbrücken beat TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen 3-1 to claim the title.

Patrick Franziska, Shang Kun and Darko Jorgic were the three players fielded for the newly crowned champions on what proved to be a truly historic day as Saarbrücken took home the title for the first time. Congratulations!

#TableTennisUnited

Last week ITTF, in corporation with ITTF Foundation and World Table Tennis (WTT), unveiled the #TableTennisUnited campaign to support the athletes, coaches, umpires, national associations and field projects who are all in need of a helping hand in these difficult times.

The campaign is backed by the sport’s biggest stars, a number of whom took to social media during the week to promote #TableTennisUnited:

Learn more about the #TableTennisUnited campaign here.

Back to it

More of the Pros have been able to return to the training over the past week with restrictions continuing to lift in certain countries.

Olufunke Oshonaike was delighted to make her return to the table and also showed off her magnificent singing skills:

While Elizabeta Samara rejoiced at being able to hit the gym for the first time in three months:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Back to the gym after 3 months! Happy me!! #mehappy #alwaysfit @fitgymconstanta

A post shared by @ eliza04samara on

Melissa Tapper talks table tennis role models, her toughest opponent and more.

Last week the ITTF had the pleasure of speaking to Australian Paralympic star Melissa Tapper about all-things table tennis.

Touching on a number of subjects, Melissa revealed how she’s been persevering with her training despite the lockdown restrictions as well as her future aspirations and much more. Be sure to check out the full interview here.

Make sure to check out ITTF’s exclusive interview with Melissa Tapper (Photo by Matt Roberts)
Birthday celebrations

Rounding off this edition of Player Watch we have a number of birthdays to celebrate.

Wales’ Charlotte Carey celebrated her 24th on Thursday (we are loving the balloon dragon Charlotte!):

 

View this post on Instagram

 

✨24✨ Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday! I had a lovely day 💕

A post shared by Charlotte Carey 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@charlcareytt) on

Elsewhere, up-and-coming Japanese star Miyu Nagasaki entered her adult years as she turned 18, while the ITTF also passes on its birthday congratulations to India’s Manika Batra (25) and Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm (38).

Birthday celebrations for Miyu Nagasaki (pictured), Charlotte Carey, Manika Batra and Matilda Ekholm (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)
General News Ding Ning Quadri Aruna Patrick Franziska Matilda Ekholm Elizabeta Samara Miyu Nagasaki Sharath Kamal Achanta Olufunke Oshonaike Manika Batra Melissa Tapper Charlotte Carey