by Simon Daish
The rankings system takes into account a player’s best eight performances from the previous 12 months, meaning that in June 2018 world rankings points from May 2017, with the exception of the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, will expire.
Crowned Women’s Singles champion in Hong Kong, Wang Manyu is in pole position to rise to third in the Women’s World Rankings list.
For Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, she must reach the Women’s Singles final in Shenzhen and hope that Wang Manyu falls at the quarter-finals stage or earlier if she is to deny the Chinese competitor third position in June’s table.
Sun Yingsha and Ding Ning both have opportunities to book their places inside the top 10: placed in opposite sides of the draw, the two players require penultimate round finishes at the very least to achieve that goal.
Not competing in Shenzhen but Liu Shiwen has dramatically improved her chances of becoming World No.5 with her recent outings in Thailand and Hong Kong promoting her points tally to 14139. However, it is still possible that one of Mima Ito or Miu Hirano can prevent that scenario from unfolding but only if either one of the Japanese stars lifts the Women’s Singles trophy in China.
Occupying sixth position in the Men’s World Rankings table, Ma Long has a great opportunity to jump up the ladder with a strong outing in Shenzhen.
Participation alone will hand Ma Long with his eighth event and can see him move up to 15840 points, equivalent of World Ranking position two, if he captures the Men’s Singles title. However, if Ma Long falls at the quarter-finals, where he could potentially meet Timo Boll, then he won’t gain the necessary points to break into the top three.
Another player who will benefit greatly just for making an appearance in China is Fang Bo, who is set to register his seventh event in the list of his eight best performances which means that every ranking point he earns in Shenzhen will go towards his overall points total. For Fang Bo to enter the top 20 he will need at least a semi-finals finish – but expect upwards movement from the 2015 World Championships runner-up regardless of where he finishes at the tournament.
Following an outstanding display at the Seamaster 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Open, Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin is set to move above the 8000 points mark come June’s rankings publication and could propel himself as high as the top 30 with a semi-finals finish or better in Shenzhen.