by Simon Daish
Seeded first for the competition, China’s Fan Zhendong saw off qualifier Wang Chuqin in the Men’s Singles final to lift his first ITTF World Tour trophy in the category since 2016.
Victory in Budapest sees Fan Zhendong pick up 1,800 points as one of his best eight finishes over the past 12 months, replacing his round of 16 finish achieved at the Seamaster 2017 Platinum China Open where he was awarded 1,350 points.
Therefore the 21-year-old star will have a net gain 450 points overall to take his total number of ranking points up from 15,870 to 16,320, reducing the distance to current World no.1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov to just 225 points come February’s rankings list.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov will remain at the summit of the Men’s World Rankings table for February but Fan Zhendong could potentially rise above the German in the following month’s publication.
The new rankings system takes into account a player’s best eight performances from the previous 12 months, meaning that in March 2018 both Fan Zhendong and Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s world rankings points from February 2017, with the exception of the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, will expire.
Fan Zhendong will see the 2025 ranking points he gained from his second position finish at the Seamaster 2017 Platinum Qatar Open expire and is unlikely to register enough points at the upcoming 2018 ITTF Team World Cup to be considered as a top eight ranking points performance.
Instead Fan Zhendong will see the 1,350 points from his last 16 finish from last year’s ITTF World Tour event held in China return as one of his top eight tournament results, leaving him with a total of 14,295 points for March 2018.
Two of Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s top eight performances from the past 12 months which amount to a total of 3,600 points will also expire at the end of February leaving the current Men’s World Cup holder with plenty of ground to make up at two upcoming tournaments.
The victor at the 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup will earn 1,800 points while each win at the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup will count for 300 points, meaning that if Dimitrij Ovtcharov wins in Montreux and claims a minimum of three individual victories in London then he will keep his World no.1 status for another month with 15,648 points.