The Edgeball Open has been a fast growing table tennis tournament in the Chicago area. Its inaugural tournament in 2015 was well-attended by a variety of high caliber players such as Panagiotis Gionis, who was ranked 24th in the world, and Batstian Steger, who was ranked 26th in the world. Along with these heavy weights were former world number one, Jeane Michel Saive, and polish legend Lucjan Blaszczyk. It was an enormous surprise for the US table tennis community to see such a high level of table tennis. In 2016, the attendance of Joergen Persson attracted many US players and helped solidify the Edgeball Open as a popular tournament to attend.
This year’s Edgeball Open is bound to have some new and exciting developments, so we talked to Englebert Solis (ES), who is the President and CEO of the Edgeball Table Tennis Corporation:
JOOLA: How do you feel about the status of the Edgeball Open within the US Table Tennis Community in the last couple years?
ES: The Edgeball Open has gained significant attention from the US table tennis community in the last couple of years. Ever since we started the Edgeball Open in 2015, we have been getting a lot of inquiries year-round on when the next Edgeball Open will be and which international players are we bringing in.
One of our goals is to see how our homegrown US talents would do against high level international players. So far, the international players won every year.
Another important goal to bring foreign talent to the US so our table tennis community can see them in action in person. With this, we are successful, and it helped grow table tennis in the US within the last three years.
JOOLA: How do you feel about this year’s open and what can we expect different this year?
ES: This year, we are featuring the Women’s Singles event in the main arena. In the previous years, only the Open Singles event was played in the main court.
Since the exciting match between Daniela Dodean (Romania) and Bo Wen Chen (USATT 2594) last year, I started thinking about bringing in women players to the competition.
JOOLA: How many people are predicted to attend (players, audience, and total)?
Our estimate is over 300 players plus 200 non-playing audience.
Thoughts on Thiago Monteiro being one of the players to compete?
ES: Thiago is a great guy, very humble and good with the US table tennis players. Many local players are looking forward to meeting him again. He is playing well lately and even better than I’ve seen him play in the past years, so he should bring a lot of excitement this year.
The 2018 Edgeball Open will take place October 27th and October 28th at the Libertyville Sports Complex 1950 N Highway 45, Libertyville, IL 60048. There will be over $8500 in cash prizes and table tennis players from Portugal, Romania, Korea, Brazil etc. are expected to attend! The sign-up form will be attached below. Special thanks to Englebert Solis for the interview – JOOLA USA wishes you the best in this year’s Edgeball Open!