Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Kicks Off in HungaryPhoto: ITTF
The 2018 ITTF World Tour is officially underway with the first stop of the tour, Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, kicking off in Budapest, Hungary, from 18 – 21 January 2018. The 2018 Hungarian Open will be the first out of 12 events of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour where the world's best table tennis players compete to earn valuable World Ranking points and World Tour ranking points to be the top 16 to qualify for the prestigious World Tour Grand Finals at the end of the season.
World number two FAN Zhendong (CHN) will be on a mission in Hungary to take the crown in order to catch up with newly crowned World number one Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and continue his pursuit for the top spot on the ITTF World Rankings. The top seed, who has held on to the world number two position since November 2015, will be the hot favorite for the title to move a step closer to overtaking OVTCHAROV on the new ITTF World Rankings. The 20-year-old will face 2017 World Junior Champion XUE Fei (CHN) in the first round of action towards his goal today.
The legendary Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) who currently holds the record for the most number of World Tour titles at 27 Gold, will lead the European charge to challenge FAN in Budapest in search of another Gold to add on to his collection. China's CHEN Xingtong looks at defending her Women's Singles title from 2017. The task will be challenging for the ninth seed, as she will have to fend off competition from her team mates including SUN Yingsha, WANG Manyu & world number one CHEN Meng who are all eyeing to take the first Gold of the year.
Local hopes fall on Georgina POTA, Szandra PERGEL and qualifier Dora MADARASZ as they will all be putting up their best performance in front of the home crowd for their chance to win the title on home soil.
Action for the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open starts today, 18 January, with the Doubles round of 16 and Singles round of 32 matches, and the Gold medal matches being played off on Sunday, 21 January, at the Budapest Olympic Hall.