Mihai Bobocica has experienced exciting weeks: The 33 year old Italian fought with TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau for staying up in the TTBL but unfortunately had to miss the 21st match day due to the corona virus. We have interviewed Bobocica about the current situation in Italy and his future plans in table tennis.

Mihai Bobocica

Mihai Bobocica’s contract with TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau expires after this season. (Photo by Wolfgang Heil)

The corona virus is currently determining the news. You missed the 21st match day because of the situation in Italy. Therefore, of course, the most important question is: How are you?

Unfortunately I missed the 21st match because the corona virus spread extensively in Italy and it neither would have been safe for me to travel nor for the people in Grenzau as I could have gotten infected. I am okay so far and staying at home with my wife and son. Unfortunately we can’t see any of our family members because in Italy we are only allowed to travel in case of emergencies and for business. But my profession, table tennis, has stopped completely. I can’t even go to practice.

How do we have to imagine the everyday life of a professional athlete in quarantine? Can you even think of sports?

For ten days I have been in quarantine and I am trying to keep my body and mind fit without letting go of my goals and the plenty of work I have invested up to this point of my career. This moment will pass and of course we have to consider that for us athletes sports are our life so we shouldn’t give up and keep working hard. Even under poor conditions, there are still a lot of things that we can do outside the table, things that can make us better. We’ve seen Timo Boll who isn’t practicing a lot and still keeps improving even at the age of 39 – I’m sure he is doing the right things mentally at home.

Tell us about your contact with other players: Which are the main topics and the solutions?

I don’t really talk about work with the players right now as everyone has a different situation. Some are still lucky and can keep practicing at the table but I guess soon everything will stop since sooner or later the virus will be spread everywhere. It will be the same for everyone and we have to accept it and be ready when life gets back to normal.

The main round of the TTBL has also been cancelled early due to the corona virus, with TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau you have finished the season eleven placed. What is your conclusion of the season?

It has been a tough year for us as a team, we didn’t believe in ourselves individually and as a team and we missed a lot of chances to get a better placement. But in the end our goal was to stay in the league – and that we managed. So, it was a bad season with a lucky end. On the other hand I think that even if we lost a lot of games and I personally lost too many matches it was still an important experience which has made a better player out me and my teammates as well.

Your contract in Grenzau expires at the end of the season. Is there anything you can tell us already about your future plans?

For the next season I am going to play in Italy so I can be closer to my wife and child, especially because we are going to move away from the place we are living right now in the south of Italy to my wife’s hometown in the north. But I am definitely looking forward to get back to TTBL as soon as the situation settles down for my family. The TTBL is the best league in Europe and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.

TTBL TOP 10: Mihai Bobocica


Header photo: Mihai Bobocica (by Wolfgang Heil)