Vladimir Samsonov or ‘Vladi’ is one of the most well known players on the World Men’s Table Tennis circuit.
He was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1976 and at 43 years young, is one of the more senior players on the Tour, his current ranking of 27 shows you just what a player he is!
‘Vladi’ was the runner up in the Word Championships in 1997, won the European Championships in 1998, 2003 and 2005 and was a World Cup Winner in 1999, 2001 and 2009!
TTFit have done some research on the great man which we hope you find interesting:
The Chinese gave him the nickname of ‘Tai Chi Master’ due to his sheer variety of play. He has all the elegance of a martial arts grand master and always seems to be in perfect balance!
He also has the nickname of ‘Mr ECL’ (European Champions League). This is due to him holding the title on no less than 12 occasions with Borussia Dusseldorf and the fact that he participated in the League for 15 straight years!
During his Junior career, between 1988 in Novi Sad and 1993 in Lublisana, Vladimir won EVERY title available at the European Youth Championships! Phenomenal!
He has been ranked in the top 10 in the world longer than any other player apart from ‘The Mozart’ of Table Tennis, the great Jan-Ove Waldner! In fact, from 1995 – 2011 he had an unbroken run of 191 months in the top 10 list! He also held the # 1 World ranking in no less than 18 publications of the list!
Vladi can speak 5 languages, German, French, Spanish, Serbian and English.
He held the distinction of winning the most ITTF Pro Tour titles (27) until the legendary Ma Long won his 28th and surpassed him!
The great Belarusian is also a superb role model for any young player as he won the ‘Richard Bergmann’ Fair Play Trophy award at the World Championships a record 3 times in 2003, 2007, 2013. He has only ever had a 4 or 5 yellow cards in his whole career, one famously for tying his laces without asking the referee!
His best achievement at the Olympic Games was in Rio when he reached the Semi Finals at 40 years young! Unfortunately, he left without a coveted medal, and he has openly admitted this is a one of the reasons he is still playing!
Samsonov’s game is based on great placement, variety and he has a Rolls Royce look about him. He can change speed and spin, has an amazing block and touch and has an uncanny ability to make his opponent miss before he does! Like the great Tennis player Federer, Vladimir has always strived to find ways to improve, ways and methods to keep up with the modern game and the younger generation. He is a true icon of the game!
He was once asked what his secret was and joked ‘I drink a special drink every 3 hours or so’. Whatever he drinks, we should get some!
Please check out some of his best clips on Youtube, you won’t be disappointed!