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Dink master Altaf Merchant breaks down the MLP Draft — The James Ignatowich Show on SelkirkTV


By James Ignatowich

on Jul 12, 2023

Altaf Merchant discusses MLP draft on The James Ignatowich Show

In the newest episode of The James Ignatowich Show, Episode 25, James welcomes the always-charismatic Altaf Merchant to the show. Don’t miss the electrifying conversation as James and Altaf discuss the MLP Draft, their upcoming partnership, and Altaf’s potential future as an MLP coach or general manager. 

Altaf Merchant's success at the 2023 PPA Atlanta Open: 

The episode kicks off as James and Altaf discuss Altaf’s run at the PPA Acrytech Atlanta Open. Altaf and his partner Austin Gridley took on several tough competitors, including Julian Arnold and Selkirk pro Travis Rettenmaier, and won. 

Altaf pickleball background: 

Altaf shares how he got into pickleball in the Midwest and the pros who helped him on his journey. James credits Altaf for his teaching skills, joking that the only reason he knows how to hit dinks is because of Altaf’s willingness to coach him as he was just starting. 

Preview for NYC MLP Draft: 

Altaf has played in the MLP before and he and James discuss potential draft picks ahead of the MLP draft. Altaf breaks down the dynamics of MLP teams, the strengths he breaks to a team, and what it took for him to recover from being dropped out of the Challenger League last season. 

James + Altaf's upcoming partnership: 

James and Altaf are teaming up for men’s doubles at the upcoming Beer City Open. The two discuss their combined play style and what they expect to bring to the table at the tournament. 

Altaf’s upcoming partnerships: 

Altaf plans to play at several upcoming tournaments and he gives us a look at his partnerships. He also shares the strategy he uses in selecting partners and playing in tournaments while maintaining his full-time job as a senior portfolio manager and father to his three children. 

Best draft layout for MLP: 

James questions whether it’s better to go for a top male or female in the MLP draft and what the male-to-female split should look like in each round. Altaf expounds on the various elements teams consider, including talent, play style, and personalities. 

Will Altaf be a future MLP Coach or GM?: 

James asks Altaf whether he’s considered a future as a coach or general manager in the MLP because he’s a supportive, strategic player. Altaf shares that he’s asked to be a coach in the past and it’s something he’s considering because he feels he can make a positive impact in those roles. 

To watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more, download the Selkirk TV app HERE.

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