Table tennis is back in the spotlight for another action packed day of action in Ukraine, Russia, and Czech Republic. Sports are beginning to trickle back around the world, including the launch of the Chinese Professional Baseball League recently. There are also a handful of friendly tennis matches available, and the PGA Tour announced that they’d begin to play in mid-June again.
It’s not much, but it’s small progress that will eventually lead to big progress. There are some people who believe that sports won’t return in North America in 2020, though I find that incredibly unlikely. We’ll get sports, even if it’s just golf, but it’s going to be a long while until fans are allowed to attend events.
Fans do not attend table tennis matches in the Moscow Liga Pro or Czech TT Star Series, so that’s not a problem for them. Their biggest audience is from sports bettors watching the live feeds at their online sportsbook. Some websites, including Bet365, offer live streams of matches for viewing. That’s the extent of their viewership.
With sports bettors scrambling for action, table tennis is seeing some of the biggest interest ever in the sport. This isn’t elite level table tennis either. There are a handful of fairly talented players in Czechia and Russia, but it’s not the China Super League. There’s a fairly dedicated fanbase in Asia already for table tennis, which does see fans show support at matches.
Tomas Tregler will be back at the tables on Thursday after a discouraging day on Friday. He got swept in a rare display by the usually sure handed Tregler. Tregler is one of the most dependable table tennis players in the Czech Republic, but did not look like that on April 10, with a few bad losses.
He’ll look to respond on Thursday with a couple of matches on the docket. Tregler has an elite match against Tomas Konecny and will follow against Dmitrij Prokopcov at 4:25 a.m. EST. Head below for our free Czech TT Star Series pick for April 16, 2020.
Dmitrij Prokopcov vs. Tomas Tregler Betting Odds:
Dmitrij Prokopcov vs. Tomas Tregler Prediction:
It’s not like Tomas Tregler to get swept, but the time off likely served him well. As of March, Tregler was the 5th best table tennis player in the Czech Republic. According to that ranking a little over a month ago, Tregler was a spot behind Konecny. Prior to slipping up last Friday, Tregler had a nice run going with a record of 20-7 in his previous 27 matches. He fell to 20-10 in his last 30 matches because of the porous day on Friday. Despite the poor day, I’m confident that Tregler can get back into the swing of things on Thursday.
Dmitrij Prokopcov is a fairly formidable opponent, and he was one of the players who beat Tregler this past Friday. It wasn’t a close match by any means either. Prokopcov dominated for a win by 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 in straight sets. However, Tregler beat Prokopcov 3-1 and 3-1 on April 3 and March 31. When he is focused, Tregler has been a better player than Prokopcov.
Prokopcov has been about as mediocre as you can get with a record of 12-12 in his last 14 matches. Even though Tregler had that rotten day, he has still been a better overall player than Prokopcov. Expect Tregler to return to his office on Thursday with a much better perspective and drive. Going 0-3 in a day can do that to you. Look for him to get his confidence back, and notch at least one win today. Beating Konecny is no guarantee, but I like his chances against Prokopcov.