by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Sun Yingsha is listed at no.2 (500 points) alongside Chinese national team colleague, Wang Manyu (500 points) and one place behind Chen Meng (831 points), the players she beat respectively at the semi-final and final stages in Tokyo.
Earlier this year Chen Meng won in Qatar beating Wang Manyu in the final, having in the opening ITTF World Tour tournament of the year been a quarter-finalist in Hungary.
Next in line is Singapore’s Feng Tianwei (400 points), like Wang Manyu she has now made three ITTF World Tour appearances this year. In addition to her second round departure in Tokyo, when beaten by Sun Yingsha, she was a quarter-finalists in Qatar, the winner in Korea.
Impressive in Japan from Sun Yingsha but on this year’s Seamaster ITTF World Tour but no player has been as impressive as Ma Long; two appearances, two wins beating colleague Fan Zhendong in the final in Qatar and now in Japan. He leads the Men’s Standings (1,000 points); Fan Zhendong is in second place pursued by compatriot Fang Bo (331 points) and Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov (300 points).
Similar to Ma Long, the two appearances this year for Fan Zhendong have been in Qatar and Japan. Likewise Dimitrij Ovtcharov has been on view on two occasions; he departed in round two in Qatar but later in the year won in India. Two ventures, it is one more for Fang Bo. He reached the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event in Qatar; in both Hungary and Japan, he bid farewell one round earlier.
Meanwhile, on the Men’s Doubles Standings, despite a semi-final defeat on home soil in Japan, Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima retain top spot (588 points); Ma Long and Xu Xin, the winners in Tokyo enter the list at no.2 (300 points).
In a somewhat similar vein, Korea’s Jeon Jihee, despite being the runners up in Japan, continue to lead the list (350 points); China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha enter at no.3 (300 points) alongside compatriots Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the winners in Qatar. The combination of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota retain second place (319 points); not present in Tokyo, earlier in the year they won in India.
New entries high in the order; it is the same on the Under 21 Women’s Singles Standings but not on the counterpart Under 21 Men’s Singles Standings.
Winner on home soil in Incheon earlier in the year, Korea’s Lim Jonghoon retained his unblemished record to win in Tokyo; he leads the field (500 points). Conversely on the Under 21 Women’s Singles Standings, Yuki Umemura, the winner on home turf in the Japanese capital, enters at no.2 (300 points) alongside Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the winner in Qatar.
Minnie Soo Wai Yam, also from Hong Kong, beaten by Doo Hoi Kem in the Qatar final and in the penultimate round in Tokyo by Yuki Umemura, leads the line (325 points). Additionally, she played in India where she was the runner up.
In order to qualify for the end of year Grand Finals, in the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, a player must have competed in a minimum five ITTF World Tour tournaments throughout the year; for the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, at least four appearances as a partnership is the requirement.
At the Grand Finals, a total of 16 players compete in each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events; overall it is eight pairs in Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles competitions.