Tag Archives: ITTF World Tour

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Stuns Japanese Star To Hit Semifinal of Bulgaria Open

Aruna Quadri stunned one of the most decorated Japanese stars in table tennis to reach the semi-final round of the ITTF World Tour tagged Bulgaria Open.

Quadri’s Match was the last quarterfinal in the men’s singles and the Bulgarian fans were treated to an exciting moment as there were unbelievable scenes in Panagyurishte after the Nigerian Table Tennis hero knocked Japanese no.4 seed Jun Mizutani in a seven-game thriller.

Aruna Quadri

After the Match The 2019 Nigeria Open champion expressed his appreciation to the Bulgarian fans for their unrelenting support during the encounter.

Trailing 1-2 on games, Aruna Quadri who is well known for his comebacks and his fighting spirit shone through on this occasion, saving two game points in game four before going on to recover from 4-9 down to win game five 11-9.

Mizutani responded well to claim game six, forcing a decider: 9-6 down Mizutani refused to give up the fight, going on to hold two match point opportunities.

However, Aruna Quadri showed nerves of steel, saving both points before going on to steal the win (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

In an earlier quarterfinal tie, Portuguese qualifier Marcos Freitas is through to the last four in Panagyurishte thanks to a fantastic victory over no.15 seed Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.

At the start of play it was the Chinese Taipei player who looked good for the win, claiming the opening game by an eight point margin but Freitas also enjoyed his spells of dominance over the course of the match.

Ultimately it was game seven that produced the main story: 6-7 down Freitas opted to call a timeout, a decision that proved useful as the Portuguese star fought back to win the decider 11-9 and earn his spot in the penultimate round (3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Aruna Quadri

Japanese teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto takes his place in the semi-finals of the men’s singles draw following a tight affair with fellow Japanese compatriot Takuya Jin.

Down 3-0 on the scoreboard Jin needed to form a response and one did arrive with the qualifier pulling a game back. Then in game five Jin held game point advantage on two occasions but failed to convert as top seed Harimoto held his nerve, sealing the win by a 4-1 margin (11-7, 11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 13-11).

German Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s men’s singles run has ended in the quarter-finals stage in Panagyurishte after the second seed lost out to world no.110 China’s Zhao Zihao in an exciting battle.

The 22-year-old pen-hold grip player from China started strongly and deservedly gained a healthy 2-0 lead.
Up against the ropes Ovtcharov raised his performance, winning two of the next three games to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In game six the two players gave it their all but there could only be one winner and that proved to be Zhao Zihao (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

In the semifinal tie scheduled for Sunday August 18, Aruna Quadri will face China’s Zhao Zihao, while Portugal’s Marcos Freitas will take on Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto.

ITTF Confirms 12 Host Cities for 2019 ITTF World Tour

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed the 12 host cities for the 2019 ITTF World Tour.

The ITTF World Tour is the highest level professional tour for table tennis athletes around the world, and is split into two tiers, six ITTF World Tour Platinum events (top tier) and six ITTF World Tour events.

The six ITTF World Tour Platinum events will have higher prize money, and be of a higher level of presentation, which will ensure the attendance of the world’s best players and more TV distribution.

On the announcement, ITTF Head of World Tour Vicky ELEFTHERIADE stated “The ITTF World Tour has grown from strength to strength over the past few years, especially after the rebranding in 2017, and with the support from our title sponsor Seamaster. We are pleased to see more interest in the World Tour from hosts and other partners each year, and we will continue to push the tour forward to ensure growth in terms of popularity and commercially.”

MA’s Long Run of Dominance Continues at ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

The 12 host cities were chosen out of 16 bidding cities, with Japan upgrading from a regular event in 2018 to a Platinum event in 2019 in Sapporo in the lead up to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The six cities that have won the hosting rights for the 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum events are:

Doha (QAT) : 26 – 31 Mar 2019
Shenzhen (CHN) : 28 May – 2 Jun 2019
Sapporo (JPN) : 12 – 16 Jun 2019
Geelong (AUS) : 09 – 14 Jul 2019
Bremen (GER) : 08 – 13 Oct 2019
Linz (AUT) : 12 – 17 Nov 2019

The six host cities for the ITTF World Tour events are:

Budapest (HUN) : 22 – 27 Jan 2019
Hong Kong (HKG) : 04 – 09 Jun 2019
TBC (KOR) : 02 – 07 Jul 2019
Panagyurishte (BUL) : 13 – 18 Aug 2019
Olomouc (CZE) : 20 – 25 Aug 2019
Stockholm (SWE) : 01 – 06 Oct 2019

ITTF Confirms 12 Host Cities for 2019 ITTF World Tour

The 12 2019 ITTF World Tour events will all offer World Tour Ranking points that will be used to determine the top 16 players in Singles & top 8 doubles pairs who will qualify for the year-ending World Tour Grand Finals from 12 – 15 December 2019 in a city to be determined.

The bids for the ITTF Challenge Series, the ITTF’s development tour for up and rising stars of the sport to challenge themselves and earn international recognition and experience, will be coming out soon.

The Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour is now in full swing, with three events – Hungarian Open, Qatar Open (Platinum) and German Open (Platinum) organized in the first quarter of 2018. The ITTF World Tour continues action in Hong Kong from 24 – 27 May, after the biggest table tennis event on Earth, the Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden from 29 April to 6 May 2018.

ITTF World Tour & T2 Sign Collaboration Agreement

During the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan; the ITTF World Tour and T2 signed a collaboration agreement.

The agreement will see the ITTF World Tour and T2 Asia & Pacific Table Tennis League working together to grow both properties for the betterment of global table tennis.

Mr Frank JI, who is the Founder & Chairman of T2 as well as the Chairman of Seamaster, the title sponsor of the ITTF World Tour stated:

“My goal is to create an environment where our table tennis players are adored and loved by millions across the world and not just by table tennis fans. An environment that would attract more media attention, more TV broadcasters, more fans and more money into the sport. I want table tennis to be one of the biggest sports in the world, and have our players become rich and famous! This is why I created the T2 league and sponsored the ITTF World Tour.”

“I see many synergies between the two properties, which is why this collaboration makes sense, so ITTF and T2 can work more closely together and achieve my goal of table tennis being a flourishing commercial sport,” concluded Mr JI, who is also the Special Advisor to the ITTF President for Commercial Business.

The collaboration will involve the ITTF World Tour, incorporating certain elements from T2, such as using multiple balls during matches, increased player promotion, player contracts and broadcast innovations.

The biggest aspect of the collaboration is that T2 will become the ITTF competition laboratory, whereby the ITTF can test new innovations such as ball tracking spin and speed, as well as the challenge system where players can challenge an umpire’s decision. This could work for edge ball and even fault serves. T2 is a perfect environment for testing to see if concepts are fit for official ITTF competitions.

ITTF to collaborate with T2 Asia Pacific to bring the ITTF World Tour to greater heights

ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated during the signing ceremony: “We are very happy to have people like Frank Ji in our sport, we need more passion, more ideas and more energy. With Mr Frank JI on board, we have been able to innovate and develop the 2017 ITTF World Tour, which resulted in record prize money, record TV viewership and record TV interest.”

“2018 is an important year for the ITTF, so we are looking forward to the collaboration, which will assist the ITTF to take the ITTF World Tour to new heights.”

The first event of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour will be the Hungarian Open commencing on 18 January 2018.

World’s Biggest Table Tennis Tour Opens Bids for 2019

Set to be the biggest and best table tennis World Tour in history; more prize money, better sports presentation and more television distribution than ever before, bids are now open for the most lucrative table tennis tour: the 2019 ITTF World Tour.

It is a fantastic global promotion opportunity for cities and countries to be promoting themselves to a massive global audience.

“The ITTF is inviting all cities and countries around the world to get involved in the biggest tour in table tennis. The world’s best table tennis players, playing in 12 events across the globe provides immense promotional and commercial value to cities. We are looking forward to working with all our hosts and partners to continue the rapid development of the ITTF World Tour”, stated ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT.

The newest table tennis Olympic discipline Mixed Doubles will make its full-time debut on the ITTF World Tour, after a handful events in 2018 as well as new TV innovations and increased money will make the 2019 Tour the best yet.

There are 12 ITTF World Tour events available for bidding in 2019; they are split into two tiers; six ITTF World Tour Platinum events, and six ITTF World Tour events.

With a limited number of events, competition and interest will be high to fill the 12 World Tour stops, so cities and countries are encouraged to bid big!

The six ITTF World Tour Platinum events will be of the very highest level, affording greater prize money. Therefore the result is more international exposure for the hosts as the world’s best players will compete.

At the end of the year, the top 16 players on each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles Standings will qualify for the over US$1,000,000 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals; an event which boasts the highest prize money for any table tennis event on the planet.

The ITTF World Tour has consistently been a great avenue for countries and cities to gain global reach, promotion and recognition:
80 Broadcast countries
1000 Broadcast hours
Extensive prime time broadcast in key countries such as China
1,378 Players on tour
100,000 Spectators
16 million Online video views
22 million Facebook impressions
To become a part of the world’s biggest table tennis tour, which is only going to become bigger and better, go to ITTFWorldTour.com to find out more information and submit your bid.

Ovtcharov Claims Fourth 2017 ITTF World Tour Title on Home Soil

Newly crowned Men’s World Cup Champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) has won his fourth ITTF World Tour title of the year in dramatic fashion at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open today, 12 November 2017, in Magdeburg, Germany.

The second seeded OVTCHAROV had made his way to the final after sensationally defeating world number two FAN Zhendong in front of the 4,700 sold-out crowd in the semifinals, to set up an all-German final with Timo BOLL (GER) who had a 4-0 win over Korea Republic’s LEE Sangsu.

In the rematch of their epic encounters at the 2017 China Open and the Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men’s World Cup Finals, the two German heroes faced each other in an enthralling seven-game clash.

The match saw a tight chase between both players and it was eventually OVTCHAROV who repeated his success against BOLL 4-3 (9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) to claim his career third German Open (2012, 2014 & 2017), and fourth World Tour title of the year (Indian Open, China Open, Bulgaria Open & German Open).

“Every time against Timo it gets tougher and tougher, I feel every match is basically on the knife’s edge in the last game. I’m aiming to become world number one in the ranking, so I have a strong will to win the tournament,” shared the 28-year-old after his victory. “Timo is my good friend, my idol, I practiced with him so much in my whole career, I think without him I wouldn’t have come so far as I’m here and I’m grateful for that.”

The Chinese men’s team have had one of their weakest event in years as they were knocked out earlier in the tournament, showing a shift in power at the top of the men’s game.

In an all-Chinese Women’s Singles Final, China’s CHEN Meng had to face world number one ZHU Yuling (CHN) to fight for a third World Tour Platinum title of 2017. Fresh from her Women’s World Cup victory in Markham, Canada, ZHU raced to a 3-1 lead to dominate the match, but CHEN was determined to bag the title. CHEN fought her way back into the game and eventually pulled off an amazing comeback to win 4-3 (9-11, 8-11, 13-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-4) to achieve her goal.

Taking her first German Open title, CHEN stated “I’m very happy to be able to win the title at German Open. This match was very tight, there’s only a 2-point difference for many of the games, so I think both of us played our level. When I was trailing 1-3 behind, I did not give up and kept thinking of solutions on the court.”

Dimitrij Ovtcharov claims his fourth ITTF World Tour title of the year with a 4-3 victory over teammate Timo Boll

Japanese pair Miu HIRANO and Hina HAYATA took home the Women’s Doubles title on their first doubles attempt, defeating Chinese Taipei duo CHEN Szu-Yu and CHENG I-Ching 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).

Korea Republic claimed the last trophy available in Magdeburg, overcoming Japanese teenagers Tomokazu HARIMOTO and Yuto KIZUKURI 3-2 (8-11, 3-11, 11-5, 16-14, 11-6) in the Men’s Doubles Final.

The 2017 German Open is the final Platinum event of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour which features 12 events across the world in 2017 plus a World Tour Grand Finals, which only the top 16 male and female players, as well as the top 8 Men’s & Women’s Doubles pairs from the 12 World Tour events qualify for.

With the conclusion of the German Open, top stars now head to Stockholm for the 2017 Swedish Open, which is the final chance for them to earn valuable World Tour ranking points to qualify for the US$1,000,000 World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan from 14-17 December 2017.

Aruna Quadri Returns To International Scene At German Open

Premier Lotto brand ambassador, Aruna Quadri will on Wednesday November 8 makes a return to the international stage as the Nigerian battles with the world’s best at the ITTF World Tour tagged German Open holding in Magdeburg.

As the only active Nigerian star on the international scene, Aruna Quadri on Monday travelled to Germany to compete in one of the prestigious ITTF World Tour which serves off on Tuesday November 7 with preliminary round.

Quadri who led his club – Portugal’s Lisbon to another win at the weekend in the Portuguese league is aiming for a good outing in the competition but he needs to scale the hurdle of qualifying from the preliminary round after he was drawn in Group 12 against European stars.

The 16 seeded players have already been drawn into the main draw, but Aruna Quadri who is seeded 28 in the tournament will start his campaign from the preliminary round as he battles Czech Republic’s Michal Obeslo and Hungary’s Bence Majoros for a place in the knockout stage of the preliminary stage.

Obeslo and Majoros will start their campaign on Tuesday November 7, while Aruna Quadri will battle for the top spot against the Europeans on Wednesday November 8.

Aruna Quadri

Still smarting from his team – Portugal’s Lisbon 3-1 away defeat in the ETTU Champions League to a Russian side led by the trio of Germany’s OVTCHAROV Dimitrij, Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov, Aruna Quadri will be aiming for the a place in the ITTF World Tour grand finale as well as ends the year on a good position in the December world ranking.

Three players have been drawn into 46 groups with the top player in each group advancing to the knockout of the preliminary round. 16 players are expected to join up with the 16 seeded players in the main draw of the competition which kicks off on Thursday November 9 at GETEC-Arena in Magdeburg.

However, Egypt’s Omar Assar withdrew before the draw of the tournament was conducted at the weekend and this tournament will afford Aruna Quadri to shoot up his world ranking with an appreciable performance.

Also in their quest to prove themselves, China’s trio of Zhang Jike, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin will be on duty in Magdeburg.

Lin and Wang Claim First ITTF World Tour Titles in Austria

LIN Gaoyuan & WANG Mangyu, China’s next generation of table tennis superstars took their first step to stardom today by becoming champions at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open in Linz, Austria.

Fresh from his 2017 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup victory just last week in India, LIN was on fire against YAN An (CHN) in the final, racing to a 3-0 lead to start his road to glory today 24 September 2017.

Despite YAN having much more experience than the 24-year-old LIN, the up and coming star of global table tennis dominated the match to start to finish to claim his first ITTF World Tour 12-10, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7.

LIN, who had to fight through qualification to even make the main draw of the event stated: “I’m very happy to be able win my first World Tour title, claiming another title after the Asian Cup with such a tight schedule.

“I was looking forward to making my first appearance at the World Tour final, but nervous at the same time, especially playing against Yan An, he has won World Tour titles in the past. I think I played well on court in the final. I have played in so many World Tour events, and now finally with a title, it’s a dream come true for me.”

In the Women’s Singles battle for Gold, it was a matchup between two up & coming stars WANG Manyu (CHN) and GU Yuting (CHN), both fighting for a career first ITTF World Tour title.

The more experienced WANG, who had made it to the finals at the Qatar and Australian Open earlier this year, eventually prevailed over first time World Tour finalist GU to take the title 4-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-2, 11-9).

“Even though I won 4-0, three of the games were won by a narrow 2-points difference, so it’s not as easy as the overall 4-0 seems,” stated the 18-year-old.

“Of course, I’m happy with the victory, I have lost 2 final matches on the World Tour this year, so this victory is definitely a breakthrough for me. It’s my first World Tour title, with a first, there will be a second, a third and so on. I hope this will be a good start for me.”

Chinese duo CHEN Xingtong & SUN Yingsha toppled top seeded Japanese pair of Honoka HASHIMOTO and Hitomi SATO to claim another Women’s Doubles title in 2017 with a 3-2 (4-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4) victory.

Newly crowned Champions celebrating their victories with a selfie

Lost in the Women’s Doubles final, Japan fought hard for the Men’s Doubles title in Linz, with Koki NIWA and Jin UEDA taking the crown 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8) over German pair Ruwen FILUS and Ricardo WALTHER on their first partnership.

There are just two ITTF World Tour events left for the world’s top players to gain #Race2Astana points for the Seamaster 2017 World Tour Grand Finals to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

With the conclusion of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Austrian Open, the world’s top table tennis stars have some time off before preparing for the Men’s & Women’s World Cups later next month:

Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men’s World Cup – 20-22 Oct 2017, Liege (BEL)
Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women’s World Cup presented by Polar Naturals – 27-29 Oct 2017, Markham (CAN)