by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Eight pairs compete in each event in the Seamaster Qatar ITTF World Tour Grand Finals but one place is reserved for the hosts; with no Qatari pair on the horizon, a top seven finish, with the criteria of having competed as a partnership in four events, is needed.
Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth, the Men’s Doubles winners in Linz, appear at no.8 (350 points) but have only played in three tournaments. They are scheduled to compete in Sweden and will thus meet the four appearance requirement.
Furthermore, two higher rated pairs, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike, alongside Fan Zhendong and Zhang Jike cannot meet the four appearance requirement. In effect Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth occupy the no.6 place.
Meanwhile, for Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the Linz Women’s Doubles winners, they are assured of a top seven finish; they appear at no.3 (539 points) having been partners on more occasions than any other formation on this year’s ITTF World Tour.
Austria was no less than their tenth appearance; the nearest duo is Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun beaten by Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato, also from Japan, in round one in Linz.
Similar to Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun can expect a December visit to Doha; they are in second place (982 points).
Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen continue to lead (1,050 points).
The next and concluding tournament on this year’s ITTF World Tour is the Swedish Open; play commences in Stockholm on Tuesday 15th November.
Monday 14th November: Latest Standings after 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open