Enormous challenge for the Portugal’s starsPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
The World Tour Grand Finals in the Pavilhão Multiusos de Odivelas in Lisbon
The World Tour Grand Finals commence in the Pavilhão Multiusos de Odivelas in the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon on Thursday 10th December and conclude on Sunday 13th December.
The Finals involves the best players from the GAC Group 2015 World Tour, which comprises of 22 events in 22 countries during the year. The top 15 men and 15 women (plus one man and one woman from the host country Portugal), the top 8 men’s and women’s doubles pairs, as well as the 8 best under 21 boys and girls will be making the trip to this $500,000 event.
Host nation’s hope lays on semi-finalist earlier in the year in Qatar and the Czech Republic- Marcos FREITAS, but he faced a very difficult draw in the Men’s Singles event. The Portuguese star faces in the first round of the Men’s Singles event China’s MA Long, the World no.1, the World Champion and the recent winner of the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup.
A tough draw for Portugal in the Men’s Singles event, it is very much the same in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition; YU Fu meets China’s DING Ning, the reigning World champion!
Seeding for the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals is based on the final positions on the end of year standings, not on the World ranking; MA Long finished the year at the top of the Standings, Marcos FREITAS at no.11. However with the non-availability of Japan’s Maharu YOSHIMURA who has experienced injury problems in recent months, of those present in Lisbon Marcos Freitas is in fact no.10 on the list.
Men’s Singles – Round One
Ma Long (China) v Marcos Freitas (Portugal)
Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany) v Jun Mizutani (Japan)
Zhang Jike (China) v Lee Sangsu (Korea)
Jung Youngsik (Korea) v Yuya Oshima (Japan)
Fan Zhendong (China) v Kim Donghyun (Korea)
Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong) v Chuang Chih-Yuan (Chinese Taipei)
Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus) v Koki Niwa (Japan)
Xu Xin (China) v Jang Woojin (Korea)
Women’s Singles – Round One
Ai Fukuhara (Japan) v Misako Wakamiya (Japan)
Jeon Jihee (Korea) v Yang Haeun (Korea)
Liu Shiwen (China) v Seo Hyowon (Korea)
Mima Ito (Japan) v Chen Meng (China)
Ding Ning (China) v Yu Fu (Portugal)
Han Ying (Germany) v Elizabeta Samara (Romania)
Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan) v Shan Xiaona (Germany)
Zhu Yuling (China) v Feng Tianwei (Singapore)
Men’s Doubles – Round One
Jung Youngsik / Kim Min Seok (Korea) v Tang Peng / Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong)
Marcos Freitas / Andrej Gacina (Portugal/Croatia) v Masataka Morizono / Yuya Oshima (Japan)
Jeong Sangeun / Lee Sangsu (Korea) v Tiago Apolonia / João Monteiro (Portugal)
Chiang Hung-Chieh / Huang Sheng-Sheng (Chinese Taipei) v Cho Eonrae / Kim Donghyun (Korea)
Women’s Doubles / Round One
Lin Ye / Zhou Yihan (Singapore) v Miu Hirano / Mima Ito (Japan)
Shan Xiaona / Petrissa Solja (Germany) v Jiang Huajun / Tie Yana (Hong Kong)
Ding Ning / Zhou Yuling (China) v Doo Hoi Kem / Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong)
Jeon Jihee / Yang Haeun (Korea) v Shao Jieni / Yu Fu (Portugal)
Under 21 Men’s Singles
Group A: Jang Woojin (Korea), Yuya Oshima (Japan), Benjamin Brossier (France), João Geraldo (Portugal)
Group B: Zhai Yujia (Denmark), Kim Donghyun (Korea), Masaki Yoshida (Japan), Kohei Sambe (Japan)
Under 21 Women’s Singles
Group A: Hitomi Sato (Japan), Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong), Zhou Yihan (Singapore), Zhang Jian (Singapore)
Group B: Yui Hamamoto (Japan), Lin Ye (Singapore), Bernadette Szocs (Romania), Shao Jieni (Portugal)