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Sunday, 6 July 2014
Fairfielder has big US Open win

   Lifelong Fairfield resident, Rich Dewitt had an upset win in the recent US Open in Grand Rapids Michigan that gained him congratulations from US Team Coach and former US Mens Champion Dan Seemiller among others. 

   Rich, 1998 Connecticut Men's Singles Champion, and along with fellow Fairfielders, Don Feltenberger, Michael Lazerev and Cotter Micheals, one of the original players when the Fairfield Table Tennis Club began in 1995, had 7 wins and 5 losses in the 630 player international field.

   But his win over USATT 2415 rated Niraj Oak of Houston was not only a significant upset based on Rich's 2189 rating going into the tournament, but also Niraj's only loss to a player under 2685 in the tournament.

  Typically. the odds of an upset diminish greatly when there are hundreds of USATT rating points difference in the computer based USATT match based player rating system, with odds exceeding 10 to 1 against this upset. 

 With his unique, extremely steady backhand and close to the table defensive style, Rich has often played the spoiler with upset wins over US and foreign trained players in major tournaments, including a 22 win 2 loss career best performance at the 2006 US Open Teams where a series of them temporarily boosted him to a 2445 rating placing him in the top 50 among all active US players at the time.  

  Why did former 1980's era US champion and World ranked #19 Dan Seemiller notice this result, if Rich has a reputation for upsets? Because Dan, who while now a full-time coach,  like Rich now a 'veteran' player, also still competes, especially in the many Senior age category events included in events like the US Open, and the US National ('closed') Championships, and had lost to surprise 2010 US Team Member Naraj last December in the US National Championships, as Niraj won the US Over 40 Men's Single crown. 

 (article at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/At-43-Amdavadi-makes-it-to-US-TT-team/articleshow/5942735.cms )

   Unlike other upsets, where Rich's methodically steady low spin game often surprises, and sometimes wears down, more aggresive Top-spinning players, this time Naraj was outlasted by a player who, like him had a defensive playing style.

  Maybe Naraj hadn't heard that Rich and childhood friend Richard Bowling had been listed in the Guiness World Records for a witnessed ralleye lasting over 10 hours without a single missed shot ?! 

Posted by netta_ct at 4:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 April 2015 2:19 AM EDT

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