The Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships are finally here. It’s two years since Suzhou crowned the best players of the world, and now we are back to the action again. Over the coming days, we will be posting tournament-review articles here, so be sure to subscribe to our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to catch the most interesting insights.
This article will serve as an introduction to the championships, providing some info about what is to come in the following days, the draw and the Day 1 preview.
The following video from the ITTF Channel gives a brief overview of the best players participating in this World Championships edition:
No faces missing this time. The current title holders in the Men’s and Women’s Singles (Ma Long and Ding Ning) will try to retain their titles. The doubles competitions will have new champions this time though, as none of the previous champions will participate together again.
As usual, let’s take a look at some numbers on the players competing in Düsseldorf:
All the competition draws are already in place and they are available in full format at the official ITTF website. The most interesting thing to consider, however, is: who will face each other in the later rounds of the competition?
If the World Ranking position prevails in all the matches, which happens 75% of the times, the projected draws would be:
First of all, there would not be a German clash unless Boll and Ovtcharov beat all odds to reach the final. Apart from that, Ma Long would not face Zhang Jike in the Semi-Finals, which would end up in the most classic final in recent years if the latter defeated Fan Zhendong.
Apart from the seeded players, Lin Gaoyuan from China, who qualified for these Championships at the Marvellous 12 trials, would face Xu Xin in the Round of 16, which could be a tight match. Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyuan have the most difficult route to the final, facing three Chinese players and Jun Mizutani, the top Japanese player.
Not a lucky draw for Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng, who would need to defeat three Chinese players in a row to reach the final. The expected revenge of the Asian Championships between Ding Ning and Miu Hirano would happen in the semi-finals.
However, the fifth Chinese player, Mu Zi, starts the competition in the qualifying groups, which becomes a nightmare lottery for the rest of the players, as they could face her in the first round or later in the upcoming rounds.
Day 1 preview
Monday May 29th is the first day of the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships. The action starts at 9:00 AM local time (GMT+2) and finishes around 21:45 PM. The competitions and rounds to be played are:
- Men’s Singles Qualifying Groups: Matches 1 & 2
- Women’s Singles Qualifying Groups: Matches 1 & 2
- Men’s Doubles Preliminary: Round 1
- Women’s Doubles Preliminary: Round 1
- Mixed Doubles Preliminary: Rounds 1, 2 & 3
None of the seeded players start the competition tomorrow. However, Mu Zi from China will be one of the attractions at the qualifying stage. Apart from her, players from Africa, Oceania and America, who usually compete less resulting in low ranking positions, will try to find a spot in the main draw. These group includes Ojo Onaolapo, David Powell, Olofunke Oshonaike, Nicolas Galvano, Hu Heming, Ahmed Saleh, Katherine Low, Paulina Vega, Marcelo Aguirre or Kanak Jha.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s article with our Day 1 review, including interesting stats and insights into the results.
* Cover photo: ITTF