03 Feb 2018

Ready for action at the China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux; if Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, Ukraine’s Kou Lei, Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia need a morale booster, they have received such an injection.

All present at the recent Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest, all make significant progress.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Kristian Karlsson advances from no.22 to no.19, Kou Lei moves from no.34 to no.26; similarly Jonathan Groth climbs from no.36 to no.29 and Tiago Apolonia from no.40 to no.34.

It is a list where a good performance in Budapest has been rewarded. In particular, amongst the top 50 names, Germany’s Patrick Franziska, a quarter-finalist in Hungary moves from no.43 to no.38. Somewhat similarly, Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting climbs from no.45 to no.40.

Progress and lower down the order, even greater progress; a climb of at least ten places is witnessed for a worthy group of players who competed in Budapest. Sweden’s Anton Källberg ascends from no.71 no no.57, colleague Pär Gerell from no.111 to no.96. Likewise, Portugal’s João Geraldo advances from no.76 to no.65, India’s Amalraj Anthony from no.87 to no.77 and Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung from no.110 to no.89.

Not to be omitted it is very much the same for Brazil’s Eric Jouti, now at no.92 and Russia’s Kirill Skachkov who completes the top one hundred names. Formerly, Eric Jouti was at no.103, Kirill Skachkov at no.113.

Progress but for two players who during their careers have reached the final of the Men’s Singles event at a World Championships, it is a journey in the opposite direction. China’s Fang Bo, the runner up in 2015 in Suzhou, drops from no.21 to no.30: the living legend, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, silver medallist in 1997 in Manchester, falls from no.25 to no.32.

Changes but not at the very top of the list where the status quo prevails; Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov continues to head the list with colleague, Timo Boll, once again in third place; sandwiched in between is China’s Fan Zhendong, the winner in Budapest.

Similarly, the latter’s colleagues Lin Gaoyuan and Xu Xin remain next in line to Timo Boll. Japan’s Koki Niwa is at no.6 one place ahead of China’s Ma Long and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting who share the no.7 position. Frenchman Simon Gauzy remains at no.9 with Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira and Tomokazu Harimoto followed by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas completing the top 12 names.

No changes at the very top of the order, it is the same on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings where Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa continues to head the order ahead of Korea’s Cho Seungmin and colleague Yuto Kizukuri. Similarly, the leading names on the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings are unchanged from the previous month; Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin continues in top spot followed Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish and Egypt’s Mohamed Azzam.

However, on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings there is change at the top. India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar climbs one place to head the list; likewise it is one step higher for the next in line, China’s Wang Chuqin and Kanak Jha of the United States.

Conversely for top name of one month ago it is a notable fall; Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang now appears in the no.8 spot.

Meanwhile, Germany tops the Men’s Team World Rankings, ahead of China and Japan.

World Rankings Complete listings for February 2018 plus detailed explanations

World Ranking Kristian Karlsson Jonathan Groth Tiago Apolonia Kou Lei