by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike complete the top four names with Xu Xin arguably being the member of the illustrious Chinese quartet with a point to prove; in Suzhou he was beaten in the fourth round by Fang Bo who duly advanced to the final losing to Ma Long.
Notably in 2017, Fang Bo has not secured his place in the Chinese selection for the Men’s Singles event in Düsseldorf.
Undoubtedly on home soil, eyes will focus heavily on Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll; Dimitrij Ovtcharov is the no.5 seed, Timo Boll, the no.8 seed. Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting being the players sandwiched in between.
In Suzhou, Timo Boll advanced to the quarter-final round where Fan Zhendong ended progress, Dimitrij Ovtcharov departed in round two beaten by Korea’s Lee Sangsu. The German player to shine was Patrick Franziska, like Timo Boll, a quarter-finalist. He was beaten by Fang Bo; in Düsseldorf he is the no.39 seed and to emulate the feat of two years ago, he will need to perform similar heroics.
Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Japan’s Koki Niwa, Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus complete the top 12 names. Frenchman Simon Gauzy pursued by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira are next in the order of merit. Tiago Apolonia, like Marcos Freitas from Portugal is the no.16 seed.
Runner up in Paris and Suzhou, Liu Shiwen, as she was on both those occasions, is once again the no.2 seed; Chinese national team colleague Zhu Yuling and Singapore’s Feng Tianwei complete the top four names.
Two years ago in Suzhou, both Zhu Yuling and Feng Tianwei reached the quarter-finals, Zhu Yuling losing to Liu Shiwen, Feng Tianwei departing at the hands of Mu Zi. Notably, Mu Zi appears in the Chinese selection but her name does not appear on the current World Rankings owing to an absence from the international scene. Thus she is not seeded.
Similarly Wu Yang, who also reached the last eight in Suzhou, has not secured her place in the Chinese Women’s Singles line-up; alongside the now retired Li Xiaoxia, she is a notable omission.
However, Mima Ito beaten by Li Xiaoxia at the quarter-final stage is present; she is the no.10 seed being one of four Japanese players named in the top ten, the same number as China. Kasumi Ishikawa is the no.6 seed, one place behind China’s Chen Meng with Miu Hirano being the no.8 seed, one spot ahead of Hitomi Sato. Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching is the no.7 seed.
Meanwhile, for the host nation, Petrissa Solja leads the line; she is the no.14 seed; immediately ahead appear the names of Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, Austria’s Liu Jia and Hu Melek. Li Jie of the Netherlands and Singapore’s Yu Mengyu complete the top 16 names.
A total of 64 players is named in each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles seeding lists; all other players must qualify for a place in the main event; the first round in each event being a draw of 128 players.
Liebherr 2017 World Championships:
Seeding and entry list for Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events