Ultimate Table Tennis 2018, Season 2: Falcons TTC vs Maharashtra United, Telecast, Date, Start Time and Where to Watch Online
Defending champions Falcons TTC are confident of an encore as the second season of CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis Powered by Kellogg's is set to begin at the Balewadi Indoor Stadium in Pune on Thursday.
They take on Maharashtra United in the opening match of the League, put together by 11SPORTS and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), in what promises to be a gripping contest.
Falcons’ top-ranked woman player Matilda Ekholm (World No. 30), however, declared that the team is in perfect condition and are looking forward to a good start. “We have a good chance of picking up points,” she said, after her training session on Wednesday.
“We are a strong team and are all in good shape. I am confident of defending the title,” added the Swede.
The upbeat mood in the Falcons’ camp ahead of their first tie lies in the fact that they had defeated Maharashtra United in both their ties last season. Sanil Shetty, Priyadarshini Das, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Englishman Liam Pitchford were part of the team’s success story last year, and they are all seeking to extend their fine showing to this season as well.
However, Falcons will be wary of rival coach Franciso Santos, as the Portuguese will be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, having been their own coach for Season 1. He will also be aiming for a similar result with his new franchise.
Maharashtra United’s World No. 19 Elizabeta Samara admitted that it will be a tough opener. “They (Falcons) have many good players. But I hope we can manage to win some points. We have been preparing well and we are improving day by day,” said the Romanian, who is on her first visit to India and is looking forward to visiting the Taj Mahal.
Her teammate Madhurika Patkar was focused on the task ahead and felt they were well prepared to take on the Falcons. “We will give our best,” she said.
Maharashtra United will be banking on World No. 18 Kristian Karlsson, the highest ranked international player in the inaugural match, along with the Indians Amalraj Anthony, Selena Selvakumar and Madhurika.
Both teams will play three men’s and women’s singles matches each and one mixed doubles match in the tie.
A hefty prize of Rs 3 crore is up for grabs as the teams battle for top honours over 18 days of intense competition.
During the league phase spread over 15 days, each team will play the other once with six games each in Pune and Delhi. Kolkata will play host to three league matches besides the semifinals and the grand finale on July 1.
Falcons TTC: Men: Sanil Shetty, Liam Pitchford (England), Alvaro Robles (Spain), Ronit Bhanja. Women: Bernadette Szocs (Romania), Matilda Ekholm (Sweden), Sutirtha Mukherjee, Priyadarshini Das. Coaches: Soumyadeep Roy, Vesna Ojstersek (Slovenia).
Here are all the details of the upcoming UTT fixture:
Match: Falcons TTC vs Maharashtra United
Time: 7:00 PM IST (Indian Standard Time)
Venue: Balewadi Indoor Stadium, Pune
Date: 14 June 2018
Television Channel: Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD
Live Stream: Hotstar, Jio TV
You can also follow live commentary of the match on Sportskeeda