Sathiyan Gnanasekaran surprisingly succeeded with ASV Grünwettersbach in the Liebherr cup finale, other triumphs should follow. We exclusively interviewed the 27 year old Indian and he gave insight into his experience of the cup finale, his future in the TTBL and the development of the Indian national team.
The big triumph in the German cup with ASV Grünwettersbach happened three and a half weeks ago. Have you already come to realize what exactly happened on January 4?
It was a huge success for the club, myself and all the ASV fans. It was definitely like a dream come true as we were the complete underdogs and going on to win our maiden Pokal was amazing. It will always be very close to my heart.
In your opinion, what was the key for the wins against Saarbrücken and Ochsenhausen?
I think the entire team played very well and it was a team effort, that’s for sure. But I guess the doubles win of Dang Qiu and Tobias Rasmussen in both matches was very important for us and also probably my win against Shang Kun was crucial as we started off with a win and that gave the team a lot of confidence.
How did you experience the atmosphere in the arena? Especially the ASV fans could hardly be ignored ...
It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for me and I will remember it for my lifetime.
Your contract in Grünwettersbach expires after this season. Where do you see your future?
I really love this club and it is more like a family with ASV. But there are also many international events and I have some commitments in my country as well. So I’m not sure to continue in the TTBL next year as I have also an offer from the Japanese T.LEAGUE for the next season.
Thinking about ASV Grünwettersbach usually means thinking about a club with a special, very family-like atmosphere. What does this club mean to you individually?
This club treats you like you are one of their family members, very supportive and encouraging. Especially the energy with the fans is super amazing and it was pure joy to play for ASV.
In the world ranking you have steadily climbed up in the past years. Where can your development go in the future?
I have always improved in my world ranking. I would like to be in the top 10 in the next two years.
Which qualities do you still need to develop to enter the absolute world-class level?
I should definitely work on my skills like serves, receives and also on physical fitness to impart more power in my strokes.
With UTT there is a league in your home country in which players from the TTBL regularly participate. How do you look at the development and at the relevance of the league?
UTT is one of the best things that happened to Indian table tennis and as you can see it has grown immensely in the last three years. It has made India a sporting destination as lot of top players do take part and it is a great learning experience for all Indian table tennis players as well. It will really play an integral part in improving the standard of Indian table tennis globally and also help the sport gain more popularity in our country and globally.
UTT pursues the vision of an Olympic medal for India in 2024. How do you see the evolution of table tennis in your home country?
Definitely, you can see a lot of Indians now doing well in junior sections as well as in Men and Women teams in international circuits. With the right method of training, exposure and experience, it seems definitely possible to win an Olympic medal in 2024.
Header photo: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (by BeLa Sportfoto)