Fremont Table Tennis Academy attended the 2021 US Open in Las Vegas with 5 students playing the rating and age events. It was a great experience for them as they are new to the big tournaments. Four of them were playing a major tournament for the first time and Sumedh for only the second time after the US Nationals in July. Priyanshu, Anant, Tega, Sumedh, and Raghav attended. Raghav was one of the youngest participants in the tournament at age 9 and played for experience and had some great matches. They played in rating events from Under 1000 to Under 1900. Sumedh and Raghav also played boys 11 years and under events and Tega in girls 15 years.
The Under 1000 event was the main event for all students except Sumedh who was slightly over 1000 on eligibility date. Anant lost to the eventual champion in the group and that was the only match and event he played. Raghav was a big surprise and was ahead 2-0, 10-8 in one match against the girls 11 years team gold medal winner and he ended up winning the match 3-2. However, if he had won 3–0, he would’ve advance to the final 16 in a 3-way tie. Tega and Priyanshu both won all their round robin group matches and Tega also won one match after so was in quarters and then suddenly both weren’t allowed to play!! The tournament organizers forgot their own rules for the tournament and said players with seed ratings over 1000 are not allowed to advance. However, for every tournament, players with eligibility ratings below the rating event (in this case 1000) and seed ratings above the rating of the event are fine to play and advance. However the tournament committee said “this is our decision and we’re sticking to it” and didn’t accept their mistake. Every umpire agreed that they should have been allowed to advance. I would say Tega and Priyanshu had at least a 50% chance for a medal as they were 1 and 2 more wins away, respectively, from winning a medal if they were given fair treatment.
Tega, Priyanshu, and Sumedh definitely had chances to win medals in Under 1200, Under 1400, and Under 1600 as well but lost narrowly. Sumedh lost to Priyanshu in the round of 16 in Under 1200. Tega beat the Under 1700 bronze medalist in the girls 15 years event. Priyanshu beat 3 players over 1400 with 2 being over 1500. Sumedh competed about even with players upto 1700. There were some quarterfinals and round of 16 finishes from students.
Overall, students are very happy to have played and experienced this tournament. There were a lot of matches that could have gone either way.