by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, whether the top seeds prevail or not, new pairings will be crowned; no pair in any of the three disciplines has ever been crowned World champion, most unusually, no pair is defending the title won two years ago in Suzhou.
At the Qoros 2015 World Championships, China’s Xu Xin partnered colleague Zhang JIke to Men’s Doubles gold, after having earlier clinched the Mixed Doubles title in harness with Korea’s Yang Haeun. In the Women’s Doubles event, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling reserved the top step of the podium.
Now in 2017, the name of Zhang Jike does not appear on the Men’s Doubles entry list, nor does that of Xu Xin on the Mixed Doubles line-up. In the Men’s Doubles event Xu Xin partners Fan Zhendong; in the Mixed Doubles Yang Haeun is in harness with Lee Sangsu.
Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin occupy the no.3 seeded position behind the combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth; Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu reserve the no.4 seed spot.
In the Mixed Doubles, next in line to Lee Sangsu and Yang Haeun is the Hong Kong pairing of Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem. Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson and Matilda Ekholm are listed in the no.3 spot pursued by a second Hong Kong partnership of Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Doubles the names of both Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling appear but with different Chinese partners. Liu Shiwen joins forces with Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling partners Chen Meng.
Cheng Meng and Zhu Yuling are the no.3 seeds, one place behind Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching; Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen are the no.4 seeds.
Accepted there are players on duty who have won doubles titles at World Championships but they are not with the partner with whom they gained success.
Notably in the Men’s Doubles event Ma Long, the winner in Rotterdam in 2011 in harness with Xu Xin, partners Germany’s Timo Boll; they are the no.17 seeds. Likewise, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An, who allied with colleague Chuang Chih-Yuan to win in Paris in 2013, is in action. He joins forces with compatriot, Liao Cheng-Ting. They are the no.12 seeds.
The seeding may surprise some people but every month the World Doubles Ranking is updated; it takes into account the fact that players may compete with different partners. Therefore pairs receive points as do individuals.
The best eight results gained as pair or individual in Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events on the ITTF World Tour and ITTF Challenge Series are considered, as well as at ITTF Continental tournaments and World Championships where Mixed Doubles also comes into the equation.
In order to determine seeding, the points the players in question have gained as a pair, as well as the sum of the points gained as individuals are considered; the higher figure is the one used
If neither player has points registered in a doubles event, the individual World Ranking points are considered but such pairs will never be seeded higher than those with doubles ranking points. If points are level for seeding, the previous month’s World Doubles Rankings or if necessary individual World Ranking points are the determining factor.
Notably for Mixed Doubles, the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles individual points are also taken into account with a 0.7 ratio, alongside the Mixed Doubles events of the most recent World Championships and ITTF-Continental events.
World Ranking: Description and Points Table (Monday 8th May)