14 Apr 2024

The draw has been set for ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup Macao 2024, with Stage 1 matchups starting things off with a bang. Get set to witness 96 of the world’s best athletes fight it out to get an elusive spot into the next stage, with only the winner of each group moving through to Stage 2. As we get ready to kickstart the event tomorrow, stay updated with schedules and results here.

Fans turned out in full force for the occasion with over 4.3 live million viewers from around the world tuning in to the broadcast to see the outcomes of their favourite players. The stellar viewership hints at the strong anticipation and excitement awaiting around the corner when matches get underway tomorrow.

In the Men’s Singles, top seed Wang Chuqin is set to commence this inaugural Men’s World Cup campaign against Kirill Gerassimenko and An Jaehyun in Group 1. With flawless head-to-head records against both opponents (2:0 against Gerassimenko and 5:0 against An), Wang appears to have a favourable path to progress to the next stage. With two previous titles in Macao at the WTT Champions Macao 2023 and 2022, Wang is setting the stage for an impressive performance next week that is sure to delight fans.

The defending champion, Fan Zhendong, will embark on his title defense against Wong Chun Ting and Benedikt Duda. With an impressive 16-match win streak, Fan aims to continue his momentum by securing his 17th and 18th victories early in the tournament. Recently claiming the WTT Feeder Varazdin 2024 title and a Mixed Doubles ticket to the Paris Olympic Games, Wong is currently in top form and will pose quite a challenge to the World No. 2.

‘First of all I’m really glad to see the World Cup coming back after three years and for every athlete the World Cup will be a good opportunity to show ourselves and I will try my best and I hope that I can play to my best abilities.’ Fan Zhendong.

Over in Group 14, fans can be treated to an exhilarating showdown between Anton Kallberg, Lim Jonghoon and youngster Izaac Quek. With Kallberg and Lim’s last faceoff at the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup 2023 where Lim claimed three games, Kallberg will undoubtedly face a fierce challenge and must bring his A-game to the table to secure his spot in the next stage.

In the Women’s Singles, top seed Sun Yingsha faces her initial challenges in Group 1 against Chen Szu-Yu and Zhu Chengzhu. Having encountered both opponents multiple times and emerging victorious in each encounter, Sun’s campaign in the World Cup is expected to commence without major obstacles. Nonetheless, given the new four game format, the outcome on the table remains unpredictable, leaving room for any player to seize victory.

‘I think personally the four game match is really quick in terms of the playing system and you need to control the rhythm of the play and for every athlete the playing system is new.’ Sun Yingsha.

In Group 4, defending champion Chen Meng will confront Sreeja Akula and Natalia Bajor as she strives to reclaim her title. This encounter will represent the first meeting between the 2020 Women’s World Cup winner and either Akula or Bajor. Notably, Akula and Bajor have only faced each other once before in 2019, where Akula emerged victorious with a narrow 4-3 margin.

2016 Women’s World Cup winner, Miu Hirano will kick off her 2024 World Cup run facing off Jia Nan Yuan and Jocelyn Lam in Group 14. A sense of intrigue surrounding this group, this will mark the first encounter for any of these players on the international stage.

With only one spot up for grabs in Stage 2, fans can anticipate three days packed with intense table tennis action as players compete for the coveted Stage 2 spot in this innovative playing format.

Prior to the draw ceremony, ITTF President Petra Sörling, ITTF Deputy President Liu Guoliang, and ITTF Group CEO Steve Dainton addressed the media, setting the tone for the upcoming tournament. President Sörling emphasised the significance of the event, stating, “Three years. This is how long since ITTF last held a Singles World Cup…the wait is finally coming to an end.” Steve Dainton echoed this sentiment, adding, “We’re about to embark on a journey that will bring table tennis to unprecedented heights. Special gratitude to the Sports Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government and to our Presenting Partner, Galaxy Entertainment Group, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in bringing this vision to life.” Liu Guoliang added, “We also hope that through this World Cup, the ITTF and the Macao SAR Government can work together to not only host the World Cup but also enhance friendship and cooperation, so that table tennis can continue to take root and sprout in Macao.”

General News

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