17 Apr 2020

A return to the top of the order for Fan Zhendong but the Chinese player to make the greatest impact in the higher echelons of the men’s world rankings, issued for April, is 19 year old Wang Chuqin.

He climbs five places to no.12 and thus matches the best of his career, he started the year in January in the same position.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Equally amongst the leading names there is progress for England’s Liam Pitchford, runner up at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open; he moves from no.22 to no.15 and thus approaches his career best of no.12 last year in August.

Seven places higher for Liam Pitchford, it is the same for India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan. The winner at the ITTF Challenge Series tournament in Oman, Sharath Kamal Achanta now appears at no.31, Chuang Chih-Yuan is one place higher.

Also, amongst the top 50 names on men’s list, there is notable progress for Japan’s Yukiya Uda and for Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko; Yukiya Uda advances five places to no.35, Krill Gerassimenko, four places to no.46.

However, neither can match, Sweden’s Jon Persson, he climbs 11 steps up the ladder to no.43 and thus like Yukiya Uda enjoys the highest ranking of his career. The prior highest for Yukiya Uda was no.40 earlier this year in March, for Jon Persson, no.49 in October 2018.

Significant progress for Jon Persson (Photo: Hussein Sayed)

 

Japanese depth underlined

Meanwhile, amongst the most prominent names on the women’s list, in addition to the climb of Japan’s Mima Ito to the no.2 spot behind China’s Chen Meng; there is progress for her colleagues Honoka Hashimoto, Miyuu Kihara and Saki Shibata.

Honoka Hashimoto advances from no.42 to no.36, Miyuu Kihara from no.53 to no.49, Saki Shibata from no.39 to no.37. Now, with Mima Ito at new career heights, Kasumi Ishikawa at no.9, Miu Hirano at no.11 and Hitomi Sato at no.17, in addition to Miyu Kato at no.22 and Hina Hayata at no.29, the increasing depth of quality in Japanese ranks is underlined.

Likewise, Singapore’s Yu Mengyu advances five places and is now at no.50; Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin climb three positions. Elizabeta Samara is at no.31, Yang Xiaoxin at no.44.

Progress but the names to note are very much those of Germany’s Shan Xiaona and China’s Qian Tianyi; Shan Xiaona advances seven places to no.43, Qian Tianyi three steps to no.21. Only three steps but significantly, her highest career listing, the previous best being no.24 earlier this year in February.

Highest of career for Qian Tianyi (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Climb greater

Creditable progress but further down the order when the top 200 names are taken into account, the climb is much greater.

On the men’s list, China’s Xu Chenhao moves from no.147 to no.101, Zhou Yu from no.198 to no.157, Yan An from no.131 to no.109. In a similar vein, Croatia’s Wei Shihao advances from no.226 to no.191, Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen from no.186 to no.159 and Serbia’s Zsolt Peto from no.174 to no.153.

Not as pronounced but arguably more prevalent, higher up the order it is a climb of 17 places for Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Spain’s Alvaro Robles, two positions less for India’s Harmeet Desai. Anton Källberg is now at no.57, Alvaro Robles at no.62 and Harmeet Desai at no.72.

Additionally making their mark in the top 100, Russia’s Kirill Skachkov climbs from no.66 to no.53, Finland’s Benedek Olah from no.95 to no.85, Croatia’s Frane Kojic from no.100 to no.90. Notably as with Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw who moves from no.75 to no.69 and Poland’s Marek Badowski from one place to no.82, it is the highest career listing for Frane Kojic.

Ibrahima Diaw, setting totally new standards for Senegal (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Approaching career high

Meanwhile, on the women’s rankings, the most significant progress within the top 100 names is that made by China’s Sun Mingyang; she advances a most impressive 44 places to no.83 and approaches her best of no.66 in December 2017.

Major, progress, it is the same for the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Yuan Jia Nan of France, as it is for Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Andrea Todorovic alongside Turkey’s Sibel Altinkaya and Spain’s Galia Dvorak. Likewise, the Indian trio of Sutirtha Mukherjee, Sreeja Akula and Krittwika Roy all make strides.

Karin Adamkova moves from no.136 to no.110, Yuan Yi Nan from no.136 to no.110, Izabela Lupulesku from no.115 to no.97. Meanwhile, Andrea Todorovic advances from no.137 to no.121, Sibel Altinkaya from no.199 to no.183, Galia Dvorak from no.93 to no.78. A climb of 15 places for Galia Dvorak, for each member of the Indian trio it is one less; Sutirtha Mukherjee is now at no.95, Sreeja Akula at no.151, Krittwika Roy at no.176.

Pertinently Sutirtha Mukherjee climbs from an immediate prior career high to a new career high. Similarly, it is new horizons for England’s Tin-Tin Ho. She climbs five places to no.98; her previous best being no.94 last September.

Suthirtha Mukherjee, consistent progress (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Making way

Higher places but, of course, there are those who must make way.

On the men’s list, in the top 200 names, Denmark’s Zhai Yujia, Korea Republic’s Hwang Minha, China’s Xue Fei and Germany’s Steffen Mengel are the most notable casualties. Zhai Yujia falls from no.135 to no.206, Hwang Minha from no.149 to no.180, Xu Fei from no.115 to no.142 and Steffen Mengel from no.116 to no.140.

Higher up the order, notably, Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck drops from no.51 to no.71, Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon from no.52 to no.70. Major falls; amongst the top 50 names, the major drops are rather less in number. The most notable is Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar who slides from no.30 to no.37 and the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek; formerly at no.44, he is now at no.50.

The situation is somewhat the same on the women’s rankings; the most significant drop being that of Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong. She falls from no.74 to no.123; similarly, Sabine Winter drops from no.88 to no.127, Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus from no.160 to no.193 and Spain’s Liu Xin from no.173 to no.204.

Likewise, it is down the order for Japan’s Satsuki Odo and Tetyana Bilenko of Belarus; each drops 13 places. Satsuki Odo is now at 103, Tetyana Bilenko at no.113. Significant falls, higher up the list, as with the men, the drop is less pronounced. Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm falls from no.37 to no.48, Portugal’s Fu Yu from no.48 to no.55.

A drop down the order for Fu Yu (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Owing to the current suspension of ITTF events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest ITTF Rankings are frozen until play resumes.

In Depth World Ranking Wang Chuqin