We are happy to announce the newest member of our Butterfly Family. After his team mate Tiago Apolonia recently joined us, we are more than happy to welcome the 26 year-old Marcos Freitas, born in Madeira and number 9 in the world ranking! On his recent visit to Butterfly Europe, we grabbed the chance to ask him a few questions.
Hi Marcos and welcome to the Butterfly Team! My first question: How is your name pronounced correctly ? 🙂
Thanks! It’s actually something like /Markosh Fretash/
You are now among the top 10 players in the world and have recently become European Champion with the Portuguese team – what has changed for you?
Our triumph in the finals, the medal and the honours that came with it were of course huge for Table Tennis in Portugal and for me personally. The overall pressure has not changed though.
When you are in the Top 10, people expect you to perform well – that is pressure enough.
How did you experience the finals?
We knew before the game that we stood a chance. Timo Boll performed admirably during the tournament, but I knew that when Germany is faced with a 1:2 score – he would feel the pressure, and I have a real chance to beat him. And I made use of it. It was a great game and a great victory for our team. The fans have pushed and supported us immensely and I do believe the Germans were more than a little impressed by the atmosphere in favour of the home team.
Here is the crucial Games of the Finals. Marcos is facing Timo Boll. The score: 2:1 for the Portuguese team:
Your fans and opponents know about your fighting spirit – you have turned quite a few matches after being down. Why is that?
I simply force myself to think positive and look ahead – from point to point. My opponents know as well that I can still win even if I am down – the more points I score, the tenser they get. This works for me too!
Do you have a role-model in table tennis?
Not in particular, but there are definitely players who have influenced my own game in a significant way. Among them for sure are Vladimir Samsonov (BLR) and Timo Boll (GER), who is left-handed like me.
How do you prepare for a match?
Besides warmup, my preparation is more or less of a tactical nature. If I play against Timo Boll for example, I try to get a left-handed sparring partner, so I can specifically practise game flow of left-vs-left. I also practice important shots – against Timo it is crucial to return his serve aggressively, so I practice a lot of backhand flick shots.
What Butterfly equipment supports you in this?
I am using an Arylate-Carbon blade with Tenergy 05 2.1mm on Backhand and Forehand side of the racket. This combination fits to my playing style, I can play with a lot of spin from close to mid-distance. The Tenergy Rubber is grippy and fast and very stable and precise in Topspin vs Topspin rallys. Its high quality standards allow me to fully concentrate on my game in close situations – I never have to think about the equipment I am using.
In general, I do not like to experiment with my equipment too much – I have full confidence in the Butterfly equipment I am using right now.
What are your goals for the future?
Of course, much like any professional athlete, I wish to win a medal at the Olympic games, and I am working hard for this goal. Aside from that, staying in the Top 10 in the world and constantly improving my game are long-term goals for the future.
Want to stay up-to-date on Marcos’ progress? Check out his website www.marcosfreitas.com – or his facebook page