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"This is a big part of my life," was how James McGill '72 described the Adams House Ping-Pong Tournament. McGill, a self-acknowledged dark horse who hasn't played a single game all year, is currently sweeping through the tournament.
Despite having lost his favorite paddle and not having played on the Adams House table previously, McGill has not lost a single game in the three-week-old tournament.
Yet he remains pessimistic about his chances of winning the championship. "I haven't played well so far," he said yesterday. "I've been playing all defense. I don't think I've hit more than one slam in the whole tournament."
The tournament was set up by Robert Mendelsohn '73, who is also a leading contender for the title. "My reason for starting the tournament was a social one," he said. "We wanted to dig the Adams House ping-pong players out of the woodwork. But the competitive element is certainly there too."
Mendelsohn niects McGill next for what promises to be one of the tournament's most exciting matches. Appraising the match Mendelsohn said, "McGill is pretty good but I don't anticipate having too much trouble." Although Mendelsohn thought he could beat McGill with a good offensive attack he said he may play defense just to see if McGill could actually play the offensive.
McGill credits his surprising success to a varied arsenal of strong serves and to his success at psyching opponents. "Psychological factors are very important in ping-pong," McGill said. "Talk before a game can be especially important. In my first match I mentioned I'd been in other tournaments and that seemed to shake up my opponent a lot."
McGill added that "reading the opponent is helpful. If he walks in with a sandpaper or hard-rubber paddle you know he can't be too good."
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