Stefan FEGERL seeded third in LinzPhoto: ITTF
2016 ITTF World Tour
The penultimate World Tour tournament of 2016, ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open started today.Top seeds in Men’s Singles Event are Koki NIWA of Japan and Tiago APOLONIA of Portugal. In Women’s Singles Event CHENG I-Ching of Taipei, Mima ITO of Japan and JEON Jihee of Korea leds the elite.
Hosts will be hoping to see their representatives go all the way to glory in Linz, and for two of the country’s players there will be no qualification round required to make an appearance in the main draw.
Stefan FEGERL is the third seed in Linz. The other seeded Austrian to compete at the 2016 Open is CHEN Weixing (20th), who will join FEGERL in the main event. Alongside them, there are 12 of the host nation’s players who will compete in the Men’s Singles qualification group stage: David SERDAROGLU, Daniel HABESOHN, Alexander CHEN, Simon PFEFFER, David VORCNIK, Thomas GRININGER, Maciej KOLODZIEJCZYK, Christian FRIEDRICH, Michael TRINK, Christian LUGINGER, Krisztian GARDOS and Narayan KAPOLNEK.
Beside the competition for the medals in Linz, the run for the place in the 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals also will be in focus. Only two more ITTF World Tour tournaments remain in 2016; after Linz the caravan will move to Stockholm for the 2016 Swedish Open.
Some of the world’s biggest names have already ensured their invitations to the World Tour Grand Finals, but there are still a few places up for grabs in the Men’s and Women’s Singles categories.
Andrej GACINA (CRO) and Tomas KONECNY (CZE) will move into the final two World Tour competitions knowing that if they outperform Japan’s Koki NIWA in the Men’s Singles events in Linz and Stockholm, then an invitation to Doha could potentially be heading in their direction.
There are still opportunities for Tiago APOLONIA (POR), HO Kwan Kit (HKG) and Simon GAUZY (FRA) to make an appearance at the Grand Finals. If one of the above players reaches the Men’s Singles final of the Austrian Open then a spot at next month’s showdown could move into sight; however, if their progress in Linz is halted at the semi-finals stage then the hopes of the three competitors could hinge on their results at the Swedish Open.
The Women’s Singles category for the World Tour Grand Finals has already seen the likes of DING Ning (CHN), Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN) and FENG Tianwei (SIN) meet the qualification criteria for Doha 2016. The battle for tournament spaces has yet to conclude though, with one interesting scenario in particular gaining the attention ahead of the Austrian and Swedish Opens: