We know USA as a great country for sports (NBA, NHL, etc.) even in Universities. Where does tennis table place in this sports system? Is it growing? Kanak Jha: «Of course table tennis is not one of the biggest sports in the USA, it is considered more of a recreational sport overall. But it is definitely growing as a sport in the USA. There are a lot of young players coming up in the USA, many more clubs are opening up, many more coaches, so I think right now we are on the right track and it is getting more popular».
In your mind, what are the most important qualities to become a Top player? «For me, the Top players are extremely good inside the short game, I mean with the first two balls, like service and next ball or receive and next ball. If you can really improve in this area, be really tight in this, then you have good chance to become a Top player».
You are 17 years old and already the number one in the USA also in the senior ranks. Does this mean a lot of pressure for you? «Of course it is nice, but I don’t think too much about being number one senior right now. I am focused on this tournament, and generally on the competitions I take one step at a time».
For this year, what are your objectives? «Right now, the goal of course is doing well here at the World Junior Championship. After this, I have the youth Olympic Qualifications in December where I hope to qualify myself. These are my two main goals of the year for what’s left in the year».
Can you tell us something in Italian to end the interview? «Not yet, but maybe in a few days you come back and I will know something (laughs)».