by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It is now 26 consecutive months, since returning to the pinnacle in March 2015 that Ma Long has appeared at the head of the pecking order. Overall, it is the 56th occasion when he has headed the list.
He first reached pole position in January 2010 and since that time his lowest status has been no.5; a ranking he held for a five month period from April to August 2011.
No change for the top four names; it is the very same for the leading 12 names. Japan’s Jun Mizutani remains at no.5, being once again followed by Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Korea’s Jeong Youngsik. Fang Bo, also from China remains at no.9 with Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Germany’s Timo Boll and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus completing the star names.
Evergreen, Vladimir Samsonov remains at no.12 despite winning the Men’s Singles title at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open. Conversely, there is progress for the player he beat in the final. Poland’s Wang Zengyi moves from no.67 to no.56 and approaches his prior best of no.40 last February.
Progress for Wang Zengyi as a result of his efforts in an ITTF Challenge tournament; it is the same for the finalists in Thailand two weeks later.
Japan’s Jin Ueda, the winner, moves from no.91 to no.75; Singapore’s Gao Ning, the runner up, advances from no.55 to no.51. It new heights for Jin Ueda, his prior best being no.88 in November 2014; for Gao Ning, at 34 years old, now in the twilight of his career, heis some distance from a status he may never again attain. In April 2008 he reached the no.9 spot.
New heights for Jin Ueda; it is the same for Ukraine’s Kou Lei. Although not in in international action in March; he moves from a prior best of no.22 to no.20.
Meanwhile, on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Fan Zhendong retains first place for the 41st consecutive month, the 42nd overall. He first attained top spot in January 2013, before regaining the precious position in December 2013 and never letting go!
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu share second spot; notably the three medallists in the Men’s Singles event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games occupy the first three places.
Top spot again for Fan Zhendong; it is the same for Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. He heads both the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings and the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings.
On the former, colleague Yuto Kizukuri, advances one place to no.2; Romania’s Cristian Pletea climbs from no.7 to no.3; at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open Cristian Pletea beat Yuto Kizukuri in the Under 21 Men’s Singles final. China’s Wang Chuqin, at no.2 one month ago, is no longer listed owing to international absence.
Changes amongst the leading names on the Under 18 Boys’ World Ranking, not on the Under 15 Boys’ listings; Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Korea’s Cho Daeseong are once again next on the list.
World Rankings: Tuesday 4th April
World Rankings: Basic Description
World Rankings: Rating Points and Bonus Points Tables
World Rankings: Ranking Default Policy for No Show
World Rankings: Policy for Inclusion in 2017 ITTF Calendar