The Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships are already here. Two years since Suzhou crowned the best players of the World, and we are back to action again. During these days, tournament-review articles will be posted 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 view of the best players participating in this World Championships edition:
No missing faces this time. Current title holders in Men’s and Women’s Singles (Ma Long, Ding Ning) will try to renew their title. Doubles competitions will have new champions this time though, as none of the previous champions participate together again.
As usual, let’s see some numbers about the players competing in Düsseldorf:
All the competitions’ draws are already in place. Although they are available in full format at the official ITTF website, the most interesting part of them is: who will face each other in the latest rounds of the competition?
If the World Ranking position prevailed 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 until a dreamt final between Boll and Ovtcharov. Apart from that, Ma Long would not face Zhang Jike in the Semi-Finals, which could end up in the most classic final of the 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 for sure be a tight match. Consequently, Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyuan have the most difficult way to the final, facing three Chinese players and Jun Mizutani, the top Japanese player.
Not a lucky draw for Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng, which 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
May 29th, Monday is the starting 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 of the qualifying stage. Apart from her, players from Africa, Oceania and America, which usually compete much less and therefore have 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.
Do not miss tomorrow’s article with the Day 1 review, including interesting stats and insights into the results.
* Cover photo: ITTF