17 Apr 2024

In just 1 week, from April 15 to 21, 2024, the Galaxy Arena in Macao, China will host the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup. This exciting venue will set the stage for the highly anticipated return of the singles World Cups with a new and innovative playing format promising an exciting and competitive tournament. Here is a breakdown of how the tournament will unfold:

A look at the players

With 48 players set to ignite the stage, an increase from the 16 players in previous World Cups, ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup Macao 2024 promises an electrifying showcase of table tennis prowess. The current World Champion and the U19 World Champion will automatically qualify with the remaining 46 players qualifying either through performance in the continental cups or world ranking. This expansion not only allows a greater number of players to have the opportunity to participate but also gives an opportunity for younger players to enter the World Cup stage as early as possible.

Stage 1: Group Battles

In the first stage, all players will be divided into 16 groups, each comprising three players who will compete in a round robin match. The top 4 seeds are automatically placed in Groups 1 to 4. The remaining players will be drawn into the groups using a modified snake system drawing, four at a time in ranking order. To maximise diversity, players from the same association will not be placed in the same group.

Matches in Stage 1 will comprise four games, with scores resulting in 4-0, 3-1, or 2-2 outcomes. Final ranking will be determined in terms of Regulation 3.7.5, based on win-loss ratios in games and then in points as far as is necessary to determine the order in the Stage 1 groups.

With just one qualifying spot available per group, every game and point in this stage becomes crucial. This format not only amplifies the stakes of each match but also introduces new layers of interest and strategy to the event, offering audiences a unique table tennis viewing experience.

Stage 2: Knockout Showdown

Following Stage 1, the top performer from each group will progress to Stage 2. The first-place finisher of Group 1 will be placed in position 1, first-place finisher of Group 2 will be placed in position 16, first-place finishers of Groups 3 and 4 will be drawn into positions 8 and 9, with the rest to be drawn randomly.

This stage will feature an electrifying knockout draw with a best of seven games format, where players will compete head-to-head until a champion emerges. This differs from the group stage’s format, as the result of a single match will determine whether a player can advance further. Notably, there will be no separation by association in this stage, adding an extra layer of unpredictability to the matchups.

With the stage set and the new playing system unveiled, anticipation for the World Cup is building. As players from around the globe prepare to showcase their skill, fans eagerly await the thrilling battles and unforgettable moments that lie ahead. View the full playing system here and stay tuned for updates as the world’s top table tennis athletes compete in the return of this prestigious event.

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