Top Stars Return to the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour in Race to AstanaPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
The Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open to be held from today, 10 – 12 November 2017
The world's top table tennis stars have gathered in Magdeburg, Germany for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open to be held from today, 10 – 12 November 2017 for one of their final chances to earn World Tour ranking points to qualify for the US$1,000,000 World Tour Grand Finals in Astana in December.
With only the top 16 male and female athletes on the World Tour circuit this year who have played a minimum of 5 events across the globe being able to qualify for the prestigious year-ending finale in Astana, Kazakhstan, the German Open sees 8 out of the world's top 10 women and 9 of the top 10 men competing for the title and the race to Astana.
The German Open, which is the final Platinum, and second last World Tour event of 2017, has seen world class table tennis on display over the past three days of qualifications as unseeded players battled to join the 16 seeds in the main draw of 32.
New women's world number one ZHU Yuling (CHN) will lead the women's charge for the title. Fresh from her successful trip to Markham, Canada to claim the Women's World Cup title less than two weeks ago, ZHU will be aiming to repeat her success and claim her career first German Open title here in Magdeburg.
ZHU will have to face off other top stars including her colleague CHEN Meng (CHN) who will be going all out for her chance to claim her third World Tour Platinum title of the year.
Defending Champion WU Yang (CHN), together with the other past German Open Champions Mima ITO (JPN), SHAN Xiaona (GER), FENG Yalan (CHN) and LIU Jia (AUT) will all be looking at becoming the first women to the German Open title twice.
With the new generation of Chinese young players in action in Magdeburg, the 2017 German Open will see these qualifiers challenging the rest of the world's top athletes in the main draw for their chance at the title.
World number two FAN Zhendong (CHN) heads the rest of the world's top 10 men into the men's singles battle for the title as reigning World & Olympic Champion MA Long (CHN) misses out from the tournament to defend his title.
FAN, who won the 2013 German Open when he was only 16-year-old, will be eyeing his second German Open title. The 20-year-old top seed will need to be on his alert as his teammates have their eyes on the title as well. LIN Gaoyuan (CHN) who defeated FAN at the 2017 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup is aiming to repeat his success against the world number two and take his second ITTF World Tour title in Magdeburg. LIN had only claimed his first title at the Hybiome Austria Open earlier in September this year.
Currently at number 17 on the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals standings, XU Xin (CHN) will have the extra push to put on his best performance here in Magdeburg so as to rise higher up the standing in the Race to Astana and secure his ticket to the million-dollar grand finale.
Fifth seeded Chinese superstar ZHANG Jike makes his return to international table tennis in Magdeburg as well, after being troubled by injuries over the past few tournaments this year.
Newly crowned Men's World Cup Champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) will be hoping to keep the title on German soil together with teammate Timo BOLL (GER). BOLL, already being the most successful German Open players having won on four occasions, is looking at a record fifth in front of the sellout home crowd.
The men's singles draw saw several interesting matches to come, as old rivals OVTCHAROV and ZHANG are set to meet in the quarterfinals, XU looking to avenge his lost to Japan's Jun MIZUTANI at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Team Final, and BOLL aiming to repeat his 2017 Men's World Cup success over LIN to reach the semifinals.