15 Apr 2024

The ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup Macao 2024 has opened in exhilarating fashion as players look to book their spots into Stage 2, with athletes pulling off incredible comebacks and a number of surprising upsets leaving fans stunned.

Kicking off the day, Korea’s Shin Yubin began her World Cup debut with a challenging start, losing the opening game 0-11 against Singapore’s Zeng Jian. However, she managed to narrowly avoid defeat and eventually turned the match in her favour, winning 3-1 (0-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9). Despite securing victory, Shin only managed to accumulate two more points overall (33-31). With the new playing system implemented in Stage 1, every point carries significant weight, and Shin finds herself in a less than favourable position to secure a spot to the next stage.

‘First of all, it was my first game, so I think it was a little difficult and took me a while to adjust. But I think it’s the same for any player, so it’s important to adapt quickly to this stadium. There are a lot of preliminary games, but we don’t know what will happen, so I think we need to do well from the beginning for the second match, we don’t know what will happen, so I think we need to prepare well.’ Shin Yubin 

In the first upset of the day, Egypt’s Ahmed Salah clinched two games against 10th seed Dang Qiu in Group 11. The match concluded with a draw 2-2 (8-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6) marking the first draw match in Men’s Table Tennis history and the first of many in this tournament, with Qiu narrowly edging Salah out in total points, massing 36 points compared to Salah’s 32 points. With the importance of every point, especially in a draw outcome, Qiu heads into the next group match on top. 

‘I feel good about the result of the first match, I got 2-2 with the ranking number one in the group. It’s a good start, and it makes me believe that I can make good results. The playing system is new. It’s an amazing atmosphere for playing. It’s good vibes. I will try to get more sets to qualify for the round of 16.’ Ahmed Salah 

Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar’s shocked crowds to come back from a 2-0 deficit to secure two games against 8th seed China’s Lin Gaoyuan and draw the match 2-2 (10-12, 7-11, 13-11, 11-8). Lin was only just able to come up on top by one point (42-41) which is more important than ever in the new playing system as every point will count towards who will be going into Stage 2. Pucar will face off against Chuang Chih-Yuan which will be crucial in this campaign to secure a ticket to Stage 2. 

‘He is a stronger opponent and is not easy to combat. In the third and fourth set, it was really close, and I managed to win. I’m really happy. I managed to win two sets. The new playing system, I think, is better for the lower ranked opponents, because they have more chances to make some better results against higher ranked opponents. Tomorrow I will play against Chuang Chih-yuan. I won the last 2 times against him, but it could be his match also, because it was 4-3 and 3-2. For me, this match, I think will be tough. I will try to prepare as much as I can.’ Tomislav Pucar.

In the last Women’s Singles match, Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut upsets 8th seed Mima Ito to draw the match 2-2 (12-14, 11-9, 11-3, 6-11), marking the first draw result in the Women’s Singles of the World Cup. Sawettabut walks away with the upperhand winning three more points than Ito (40-37) putting her in a prime position to qualify for stage 2. She will face America’s Amy Wang tomorrow to determine her position in the group and whether she can progress to the next round. 

Concluding day 1 with an unexpected twist, An Jaehyun surprised the audience by clinching two games against the World No.1 and top seed, Wang Chuqin, despite initially falling behind 0-2, finishing the match in a draw at 2-2 (9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8). Despite Wang’s rocky start, he managed to secure one more point than An (39-38), placing him at the top of Group 1. An faces Kirill Gerassimenko tomorrow and must fiercely compete to secure enough games and points for advancement to Stage 2.

With Stage 1 matches heating up tomorrow and finishing on Wednesday, the next few days will certainly be packed to the brim with action. Play resumes at 9:30 (GMT +8) local time on Tuesday. 

General News

No results found.