USATT Insider poses 11 questions to Zhou Xin
1) Why do you play?
It was an accident. When I was a kid, I often ate little. My parents wanted me to exercise more to improve my appetite. So, they sent me to play ping pong. As for why I still play, I love the sport. I feel I still have a lot in me.
2) Which is your favorite tournament?
The National Games in China. It is considered the most important sport event in China, comparable to the Olympics. It is held every four years after the Olympic year. I played the 2009 one representing Shandong Province. All athletes in all sports feel honored to play in it.
3) Who is your primary nemesis?
Xu Xin who I never beat. We played many times when we were in the Chinese National team. He da man! As for my current nemesis, myself. Having so many hours as a coach, can’t seem to motivate myself to train.
4) What is your favorite game tactic to score?
Many of my students love to practice counter looping. I prefer the third-ball attack. It saves me lots of trouble and energy. (Although I do counter loop when I have to.)
5) Thoughts on the Poly Ball.
I think the fitness requirement is higher for the new balls. I do have an issue with the new balls. Before the switch, lots of people claimed that cellular balls were expensive store and ship because of its inflammability. How come the poly balls are even more expensive now?
6) Toughest Loss?
There were two. First, lost to Li Hu, who is representing Singapore now. It was in the internal Chinese National team competition. We both were in the second team and fought for a position in the first team. The second one was against Ma Long in the 2009 Chinese National Games in the Teams for the Bronze medal. I lost in the fifth (6, 10, -10, -14, 7).
7) Greatest Win?
Over Waldner when I played in the 2009 Swedish Super League. I know he had passed his prime, but I like it anyway. ;-)
8) How you prepare for a tournament?
Well, in terms of techniques, nothing – it’s time to face the music. I do watch my opponents’ videos before the tournaments though. Can’t be overly prepared.
9) When you see a new player at the club, what do you do?
In the first couple of lessons, I would observe the player’s strength and weakness. I would also try to understand the player’s goal and personality. Communicating with parents turns out to be very important, too.
10) Player you would most like to play in a tournament?
Whoever on my way to the 2020 Olympics!
11) If you had to face Lily Zhang or Kanak Jha what would your game plan be?
I can tell you but I’ll have to kill you. They both train/trained with me. Basically, they are unbeatable. Joking aside, I’m amazed how well Lily has been playing considering she spent relatively few hours on fitness. I am very impressed by Kanak’s never-give-up-never-surrender spirit.