by Simon Daish
There are bound to be plenty of dramatic moments and talking points on day three, so here are a few encounters to keep a close eye on.
The reigning World and Olympic champion Ma Long will be looking to make a strong start to his Men’s Singles campaign in Düsseldorf, and the world no.1 has been drawn to face Italy’s Mihai Bobocica in the Round of 128.
Ma Long will enter the match as the overwhelming favourite to succeed, but it isn’t the most straightforward of encounters for the top seed and Mihai Bobocica’s aggressive game style will ensure that the tie is entertaining to watch.
Another eye-catching story of the day is the participation of 13-year-old Japanese star Tomokazu Harimoto, who will take on Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck in his World Championships debut.
Oozing with confidence following his terrific campaign at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open, where he finished second only to Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Tomokazu Harimoto is expected to deliver a strong outing in Düsseldorf but Cédric Nuytinck will have other ideas and will be looking to cause an upset. Another stern test – will Tomokazu Harimoto come through the match unscathed?
One of the standout fixtures in the Women’s Singles Round of 128 sees two continental champions go head-to-head as Miu Hirano faces Olufunke Oshonaike.
Japan’s Miu Hirano has grown into one of the most exciting young talents in the sport and recently lifted the Women’s Singles trophy at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships aged just 17, but her 41-year-old opponent from Nigeria will provide a big challenge as the three times African Senior champion Olufunke Oshonaike will look to make good use of her experience at major tournaments to prevail.
Down in the lower half of the draw is another intriguing duel between the seventh seed Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei and Egypt’s Dina Meshref.
Rated as one of Africa’s brightest stars Dina Meshref is well known for her high-paced attacking game and, with Cheng I-Ching suffering an ankle injury as recently as February, could there be a dramatic upset on the cards?
The Women’s Doubles draw resumes with Round of 64 action in Düsseldorf, and arguably the most anticipated match of the stage sees China take on Romania.
Thirds seeds Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling are expected to be major contenders for silverware in the category, but they face a difficult encounter against the partnership of Adina Diaconu and Bernadette Szocs whose attacking skills should not be underestimated. Regardless of the end result, the match is certain to excite – so keep your eyes peeled!
Who will take the headlines on Day Three at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships? Who will cause an upset? Be sure to follow the action live via: https://tv.ittf.com