Doru Gheorghe, Jiaqi Zheng, Jennifer Wu, Lily Zhang, kanak Jha, Timothy Wang and Ross Brown
USATT Insider poses 11 questions to 2015 US Pan Am and Para Pan Am Team Leader Ross Brown
11 Questions with Ross Brown
1) Why do you play?
Because it is the coolest sport in the world. I have played many sports, graduated from high school with 16 varsity letters. After high school, played football, soccer, softball, tennis. Studied martial arts.
To play your best in table tennis requires total concentration, complete relaxation. If you’re not relaxed, you’re fighting yourself, slowing yourself down. Zen.
Ping pong is definitely the coolest.
2) Which is your favorite tournament?
World Cadet Challenge. It’s so exciting to see the young talent from all over, and it’s great to see the US becoming more competitive.
3) Who is your primary nemesis?
Father Time. Other opponents can only defeat me.
4) What is your favorite tactic to score?
Fifth ball attack, using severe topspin to get a ball I can smash.
5) Thoughts on the poly ball:
Big fuss, but winds up being no big deal. Less dramatic change than 40mm ball, that’s for sure.
6) Toughest loss?
My virginity. She didn’t respect me in the morning.
(Alternative answer: All of them. “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” - Vince Lombardi
7) Greatest win?
NA Teams, many years ago, against Julian Waters.
19-all in the 5th, decisive match of the tie. I accidentally broke my racquet. When frustrated, I used to make a throwing motion, pretend I was gonna throw my racquet. On this occasion, my paddle slipped out my hand, broke on he floor.
Julian is such a gracious gentleman. He insisted I borrow a paddle, refused to let match end at 19 all. One of my teammates handed me his. I smashed away the next two points. Poor Julian was thunderstruck. i did not realize until afterward that I had finished the match with pips-out.
8) How do you prepare for a tournament?
These days, as team leader, by making sure all my paperwork is correct and complete.
9) When you see a new player at the club, what do you do?
I think to myself, “Oh, good, a new player at the club.”
10) Player you would most like to play in a tournament?
Surbek, just to feel the spin on my racquet. My friend and coach Richard McAfee, played him in a World Seniors event. Said his topspin was truly amazing.
11) If you had to face Lily Zhang or Kanak Jha, what would your game plan be?
Against Kanak, my only chance would be to kill the ball, go for the eyes. If I could temporarily blind him, I’d have a small chance of winning. But I could never use that strategy against Lily. She’s too pretty. I’d have no chance at all.