Milwaukee is gearing up for an epic battle between North America and South America at the 2018 Badger Open, taking place Sept. 14-16 at the Milwaukee County Sports omplex.
The two top-seed table tennis players are four-time Badger Open Champion Eugene Wang from North America and Brazilian player Thiago Monteiro. This will be Thiago’s first appearance at the Badger Open and perhaps returning champion Eugene’s toughest competition.
“The excitement of this match-up is growing and widespread,” said Linda Leaf, tournament director of the Badger Open. “I just received a call from a Minnesota player who wanted to verify that Eugene and Thiago will be playing, because the player plans on driving to Milwaukee just to watch the match.”
Top players from around the United States and Canada have already confirmed their spots in the 2018 Badger Open, and they will compete on 50 tables at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. A total of $14,000 in prize money awaits the more than 200 players competing, with $3,700 reserved for the open singles champion.
But table tennis is not the only sport to enjoy. The Badger Open offers 29 events for all levels of play and all ages. This includes a recreational event Saturday where basement ping pong players are encouraged to come and show off their skills. Players can pay an entry fee of $35 ahead of time or at the door through 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Spectators are welcome for just $5 admission.
2018 marks the 11th year of the Badger Open, and the first year with new sponsor JOOLA North America.
“JOOLA is a great partner,” Linda said. “And one fun event for everyone will be the World Mini Table, which are table tennis championships on JOOLA mini tables.”
This year also welcomes a new table tennis club to the Milwaukee metro area. The National Youth Table Tennis Association (NYTTA) is a non-profit organization and the sponsoring club for the 2018 Badger Open. NYTTA is open for play and offers coaching for all levels and all ages.
For more information about NYTTA and the 2018 Badger Open, visit nytta.us/badgeropen2018.