Ma Long and Ding Ning going to defence their titles
The Invincibles?
In general, a bet on the table tennis Singles Champion coming from China will not win you much money. Almost any of the competitors from the Middle Kingdom could win the Singles title, especially title defenders Ma Long and Ding Ning.
Florian Leidheiser 26.05.2017

In general, a bet on the table tennis Singles Champion coming from China will not win you much money. Almost any of the competitors from the Middle Kingdom could win the Singles title, especially title defenders Ma Long and Ding Ning.

For quite a while, Ma Long has swept the board in international table tennis. He is the current World Champion and Olympic Champion. In 2016, the 28-year-old was dubbed ‘The human alien’ by the FAZ newspaper. Even before he first won the World Singles title in 2015, he was an international star and had been at the top of the world rankings for a long time. However, the culmination came at the World Championship title in Suzhou. Previously, it was believed that the sensitive Ma didn’t have the strength of nerve to win a large Singles tournament. Nobody says that any longer. Since then, Ma Long has been Olympic Champion three times (2016 Singles and Team, 2012 Team), World Champion eight times and is the absolute favourite in Düsseldorf. In seventeen duels, Dimitrij Ovtcharov has never beaten him. “If the ball comes over the net a couple of times, then I have the upper hand. The problem is, he so often destroys me with the first shots, that I only rarely manage to get into a rally,” says world-ranked No. 5, Ovtcharov, about Timo Boll’s Doubles partner at these World Championships.

Ma Long’s compatriot Ding Ning is equally as formidable at large tournaments. The women’s title defender and Olympic winner from Rio is expected to be the one to beat. Like Ma Long, the powerful left-hander came back stronger after suffering painful defeats. In 2010, together with China, she lost the World Championship Finals against Singapore – a no-go for the gold medal subscribers from the Middle Kingdom. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Ding Ning lost in the Finals to Li Xiaoxia but got her revenge four years later in Rio.

Despite being the hot favourites, Ma Long and Ding Ning are fairly sceptical going into the World Championship. At the Asian Championships at the beginning of April, both suffered surprise defeats. Ma Long lost for the first time in four and a half years to the relatively unknown South Korean, Jeong Sang Eun; Ding Ning was beaten by the just-turned 17-year-old shock winner, Miu Hirano (Japan). In addition: more recently the national team has had to deal with illnesses and injuries. Is the ‘Chinese Wall’ beginning to crack? Certainly not.

The losses at the Asian Championships led to General Head Coach, Liu Guoliang, preparing the team even more meticulously. The stars were isolated for several weeks with no outside contact. The emphasis was on training and distractions were forbidden. The only exception: focussing on the opposition. Liu Guoliang posted a picture from the training hall of a several-metre-high board. On it was a black list of the Chinese Men’s competitors, broken down into three groups. Amongst others at the top of the list were Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll.

So for both Ma Long in the men’s game and Ding Ning in the women’s, the strongest competition for the World Championships title in Düsseldorf will come from their own stall.

Ma Long is the king of Düsseldorf

He has done it: Ma Long is and remains the best table tennis player on the planet. The 28-year-old defended his world title spectated by 8000 people in the sold-out exhibition hall Düsseldorf. In the finals, he won against his countryman Fan Zhendong in thrilling seven sets.

Ding Ning defends title - local heroes out

Ding Ning made the triple: after her victory 2013 in Rotterdam and 2015 in Suzhou she added title number three to her collection. Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong are World Champs as well, while the local heroes Boll & Ovtcharov lost their matches.

A dream comes true

Today Petrissa Solja made the entry into the semi-finals in the mixed competition, thus securing a medal. With their Chinese partner Fang Bo, the left-hander won in the round of the last eight against Matilda Ekholm/Mattias Karlsson from Sweden within five sets.

Weikert elected for four more years as ITTF-president

He has done it! Thomas Weikert was elected bei the delegates of the ITTF for four more years as ITTF-President. It was a pretty close voting, with the better end for the german.

400 million spectactors expected

The regional broadcasters Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) provide the TV feed for the national ARD and ZDF. The ITTF is expecting the number of worldwide 400 millions of spectators. Social media via also brings the World Championships to a worldwide audience.

The WTTC 2017 seeding lists

Following the issue of the World Rankings for May; top seeds two years ago in Suzhou and the eventual winners, China’s Ma Long and Ding Ning head the seeding for the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships. Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima are named as the top seeds in the Men’s Doubles event at the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships which commence in Düsseldorf on Monday 29th May.

Home game for ARAG

At the LIEBHERR 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf ARAG will be Major Sponsor again just like five years ago in Dortmund as well as in Bremen in 2006. We asked Connie Peters, Senior Director Marketing at ARAG SE, why the family entreprise in Düsseldorf supports the "home game" and what they wish from the World Championships

Der Zeitplan en detail

Die LIEBHERR Weltmeisterschaften werfen ihre Schatten voraus. Inzwischen wurde auch der detaillierte Zeitplan für die acht Turniertage zwischen dem Deutschen Tischtennis-Bund (DTTB) und der International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) abgestimmt.

LIEBHERR WM: DTTB-Teams im EVENT & FAIR Hotel Tulip Inn nur einen Katzensprung von den Centre Courts entfernt

Wenn am 29. Mai die LIEBHERR Weltmeisterschaften 2017 in Düsseldorf (29. Mai bis 5. Juni) beginnen, übernachten der komplette WM-Kader inklusive des Präsidiums des Deutschen Tischtennis Bundes (DTTB) sowie weitere internationale Top-Teams im EVENT & FAIR Hotel Tulip Inn in der Arena Düsseldorf. Alle 288 Zimmer des in die Arena integrierten Hotels sind von 28. Mai bis 6. Juni für das sportliche Großereignis belegt.
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