30 Sep 2019

The top seed and very much the player in form having recently emerged successful in Yogyakarta at the 2019 ITTF Asian Championships; Xu Xin, in more ways than one, is number one.

It is the position he holds in the men’s singles event at the forthcoming 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open which commences on Thursday 3rd October after two days of qualification.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, he reserves that position on the world rankings and on the ITTF World Tour men’s singles standings; he head the list (1,713 points) and is destined for a place in the Grand Finals to be staged in December in Zhengzhou.

Likewise, colleague Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed in Stockholm can also look forward to displaying his skills in the prestigious end of year tournament. He presently occupies the no.3 spot (1,250 points); it is a situation that applies in reality to Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed; the position he also reserves on the Standings (764 points).

Cement places

Equally, with Germany and Austria, both Platinum level tournaments to follow and thus carrying higher points than Sweden; in Stockholm, China’s Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed, colleague Liang Jingkun, the no.5 seed, alongside Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.8 seed and Patrick Franziska, the no.11 seed, are seeking performances that will cement their places amongst the final list. It is the same scenario for the host nation’s Mattias Falck, the no.6 seed.

Currently on the standings, Fan Zhendong is in the no.8 spot (444 points), one position below Liang Jingkun (460 points). Dimitrij Ovtcharov occupies the no.11 place (356 points), Patrick Franziska is next in line (355 points); Mattias Falck stands at no.9 (380 points).

All are in strong positions in their bid to qualify for Zhengzhou, as is Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.9 seed in the men’s singles event in Sweden; presently on the standings, he is named at no.13 (311 points).

Knife edge

However, for three remaining names that appear in the seeded order, Grand Finals qualification is on a knife edge.

Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.10 seed, presently stands at no.14 (257 points), Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.12 seed, is at no.17 (222 points), one place below the qualification line. It is a similar situation for Jang Woojin’s colleague, Lee Sangsu, the no.13 seed, on the standings he is named at no.18 (205 points).

Long shot

Meanwhile, for the players that complete the seeding, qualification for the Grand Finals is somewhat of a long shot. On the men’s singles standings, England’s Liam Pitchford appears at no.22 (148 points), Frenchman Simon Gauzy at no.25 (131 points), the host nation’s Kristian Karlsson at no.34 (72 points).

Also note the name of Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.7 seed, he is listed at no.19 (190 points); conversely, consider China’s Sun Wen, he has only played in three ITTF World Tour tournaments this year but his name appears on the entry list for Sweden and for the following week in Germany. Thus he will complete the mandatory five appearances.

Presently on the Standings, he is in the no.16 position (225 points); he could well be the surprise name to gain a place in the Grand Finals.

2019 ITTF World Tour Standings: Prior to commencement of Swedish Open

World Tour 2019 Swedish Open xu xin

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Day 1 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open