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.
Next to Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike complete the top four names with Xu Xin arguably being the member of the illustrious Chinese quartet with a point to prove; in Suzhou he was beaten in the fourth round by Fang Bo who duly advanced to the final losing to Ma Long.
Notably in 2017, Fang Bo has not secured his place in the Chinese selection for the Men’s Singles event in Düsseldorf.
Undoubtedly on home soil, eyes will focus heavily on Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll; Dimitrij Ovtcharov is the no.5 seed, Timo Boll, the no.8 seed. Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting being the players sandwiched in between.
In Suzhou, Timo Boll advanced to the quarter-final round where Fan Zhendong ended progress, Dimitrij Ovtcharov departed in round two beaten by Korea’s Lee Sangsu. The German player to shine was Patrick Franziska, like Timo Boll, a quarter-finalist. He was beaten by Fang Bo; in Düsseldorf he is the no.39 seed and to emulate the feat of two years ago, he will need to perform similar heroics.
Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Japan’s Koki Niwa, Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus complete the top 12 names. Frenchman Simon Gauzy pursued by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira are next in the order of merit. Tiago Apolonia, like Marcos Freitas from Portugal is the no.16 seed.
Runner up in Paris and Suzhou, Liu Shiwen, as she was on both those occasions, is once again the no.2 seed; Chinese national team colleague Zhu Yuling and Singapore’s Feng Tianwei complete the top four names following the top seed Ding Ning.
Two years ago in Suzhou, both Zhu Yuling and Feng Tianwei reached the quarter-finals, Zhu Yuling losing to Liu Shiwen, Feng Tianwei departing at the hands of Mu Zi. Notably, Mu Zi appears in the Chinese selection but her name does not appear on the current World Rankings owing to an absence from the international scene. Thus she is not seeded.
Similarly Wu Yang, who also reached the last eight in Suzhou, has not secured her place in the Chinese Women’s Singles line-up; alongside the now retired Li Xiaoxia, she is a notable omission.
However, Mima Ito beaten by Li Xiaoxia at the quarter-final stage is present; she is the no.10 seed being one of four Japanese players named in the top ten, the same number as China. Kasumi Ishikawa is the no.6 seed, one place behind China’s Chen Meng with Miu Hirano being the no.8 seed, one spot ahead of Hitomi Sato. Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching is the no.7 seed.
Meanwhile, for the host nation, Petrissa Solja leads the line; she is the no.14 seed; immediately ahead appear the names of Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, Austria’s Liu Jia and Hu Melek. Li Jie of the Netherlands and Singapore’s Yu Mengyu complete the top 16 names.
A total of 64 players is named in each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles seeding lists; 32 players are non-seeded and 32 players have to qualify on the first two days for the main draw of 128 players.
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.
In the Women’s Doubles event, the pairing at the top of the list is that of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota; for the Mixed Doubles it is Korea’s Lee Sangsu and Yang Haeun.
However, whether the top seeds prevail or not, new pairings will be crowned; no pair in any of the three disciplines has ever been crowned World champion, most unusually, no pair is defending the title won two years ago in Suzhou.
At the Qoros 2015 World Championships, China’s Xu Xin partnered colleague Zhang JIke to Men’s Doubles gold, after having earlier clinched the Mixed Doubles title in harness with Korea’s Yang Haeun. In the Women’s Doubles event, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling reserved the top step of the podium.
Now in 2017, the name of Zhang Jike does not appear on the Men’s Doubles entry list, nor does that of Xu Xin on the Mixed Doubles line-up. In the Men’s Doubles event Xu Xin partners Fan Zhendong; in the Mixed Doubles Yang Haeun is in harness with Lee Sangsu.
Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin occupy the no.3 seeded position behind the combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth; Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu reserve the no.4 seed spot.
In the Mixed Doubles, next in line to Lee Sangsu and Yang Haeun is the Hong Kong pairing of Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem. Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson and Matilda Ekholm are listed in the no.3 spot pursued by a second Hong Kong partnership of Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Doubles the names of both Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling appear but with different Chinese partners. Liu Shiwen joins forces with Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling partners Chen Meng.
Cheng Meng and Zhu Yuling are the no.3 seeds, one place behind Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching; Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen are the no.4 seeds.
Accepted there are players on duty who have won doubles titles at World Championships but they are not with the partner with whom they gained success.
Notably in the Men’s Doubles event Ma Long, the winner in Rotterdam in 2011 in harness with Xu Xin, partners Germany’s Timo Boll; they are the no.17 seeds. Likewise, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An, who allied with colleague Chuang Chih-Yuan to win in Paris in 2013, is in action. He joins forces with compatriot, Liao Cheng-Ting. They are the no.12 seeds.
The seeding may surprise some people but every month the World Doubles Ranking is updated; it takes into account the fact that players may compete with different partners. Therefore pairs receive points as do individuals.
The best eight results gained as pair or individual in Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events on the ITTF World Tour and ITTF Challenge Series are considered, as well as at ITTF Continental tournaments and World Championships where Mixed Doubles also comes into the equation.
In order to determine seeding, the points the players in question have gained as a pair, as well as the sum of the points gained as individuals are considered; the higher figure is the one used
If neither player has points registered in a doubles event, the individual World Ranking points are considered but such pairs will never be seeded higher than those with doubles ranking points. If points are level for seeding, the previous month’s World Doubles Rankings or if necessary individual World Ranking points are the determining factor.
Notably for Mixed Doubles, the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles individual points are also taken into account with a 0.7 ratio, alongside the Mixed Doubles events of the most recent World Championships and ITTF-Continental events.