(by Steve Hopkins)
USA Table Tennis conducted its third Challenge Series event on Thursday. This week, “America’s First Virtual Table Tennis Challenge” matched Adar Alguetti (2541) versus Amy Wang (2505). Table tennis is one of the few sports where men and women compete against each other in major tournaments using the same rating system – and this is the second week in a row where this Series matched a women’s team member against a men’s team member. Last week, Sharon Alguetti prevailed over Liu Juan. This week, Sharon’s brother Adar took up the gauntlet for Team Butterfly.
The two players traded points in a tight first game and with the score tied 10-10, it was Amy Wang who scored twice to secure the early lead. Adar dominated the second game, winning the first seven points and then holding on for an 11-6 win. Adar pulled away early in the third game and coasted to an 11-5 win. The fourth game was tight throughout with the score tied at 7-7 and then 8-8 before Amy pulled ahead for the 11-9 win. Amy lead for most of the fifth game and sealed her easiest victory at 11-7.
The 24 minute clock ran out in the middle of the fifth game, and that means that the final two games would be played to five points only. This is the T2 format that provides expedited rules to the sport ensuring that match times are limited to about 30 minutes maximum.
What is referred to as “fast-5” scoring is designed not just to shorten overall match times, but also designed to create pressure and stress early in the final games. The sixth game was dominated by Adar with a 5-1 win. And the seventh game followed the same pattern, with Adar starting fast and running off five points in a row to win 5-0 to secure the 4 game to 3 game win.
Adar joins his brother Sharon and Kai Zhang to give Team Butterfly a 3-0 lead. There are 11 matches scheduled, so the winning team is the first to secure 6 wins. The next match is scheduled for next Thursday. It will feature Tahl Leibovitz versus Jennifer Wu.
*The video below begins with highlights from Week 2 before moving forward with the full Amy Wang v. Adar Alguetti match.
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