by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Zhu Yuling, 23 year old, retained her top spot in the December order of merit but as the New Year started had to relinquish the position in favour of colleague Chen Meng.
Chen Meng now drops one place to no.2 being ahead of Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the two players changing places. Kasumi Ishikawa is now at no.3, Feng Tianwei at no.4.
One step higher for Kasumi Ishikawa, it is the same for her colleagues Mima Ito and Miu Hirano who are the next in line. The player to experience a fall in fortunes is China’s Wang Manyu; she drops from no.5 to no.7.
One place lower for Wang Manyu, not for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching; she remains at no.8 with Chen Xingtong, also from China, now at no.9; formerly Chen Xingtong stood at no.12 and thus enjoys the highest status of her career. She is pursued by Chen Szu-Yu, like Cheng I-Ching from Chinese Taipei who advances one place; Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Japan’s Hina Hayata complete the top 12 names.
Formerly, Doo Hoi Kem was listed at no.9, Hina Hayata at no.14.
Meanwhile, further down the order there is notable progress for Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the winner of the recent 2018 Europe Top 16 tournament in Montreux, she moves from no.40 to no.27. Likewise, Switzerland’s Rachel Moret climbs from no.85 to no.65 and Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko from no.124 to no.84.
However, the name to note is that of Egypt’s Dina Meshref who is establishing new standards for Africa, she advances from no.41 to a career best of no.33.
Conversely there are those who suffer, amongst the elite names, Li Jie of the Netherlands drops from no.10 to no.18, whilst lower down the order Poland’s Natalia Partyka drops from no.53 to no.73.
Disappointment for the Netherlands and Poland; it is similar for Hong Kong; Jiang Huajun falls from no.45 to no.74, Ng Wing Nam from no.48 to no.85.
Changes in the order of merit; the listings being published immediately prior to the draw for the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships which will be staged in Halmstad on Tuesday 27th February.
The leading outfits for the women’s event in order of merit are: China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea Republic, Romania, Austria and Singapore.
March 2018: World Rankings