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WTT Middle East Hub Set to Sizzle with Stellar Fields Announced

Doha, Qatar will host some of the biggest names in table tennis as part of the upcoming WTT Middle East Hub taking place between 3 – 13 March 2021 at Lusail Sports Arena. The Middle East Hub marks the first official events of the WTT era. The brand-new event series is set to revolutionise the sport of table tennis, with players and fans positioned at the centre of WTT’s mission.

The Middle East Hub will feature two tiers of the new WTT event structure. The 2021 calendar will kick off with WTT Contender Doha before players move onto the first WTT Star Contender event the following week, providing the perfect preparation for some of the world’s leading stars to be challenged by the best up-and-coming athletes in table tennis.

Among the world-class talent set to light up Doha in the men’s events are XU Xin (China, world-ranked #2), Tomokazu HARIMOTO (Japan, WR #5), Hugo CALDERANO (Brazil, WR #6) and LIN Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei, WR #7). Best European on list is Mattias FALCK (Sweden,WR#8) followed by Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (Germany, WR#12).

Meanwhile, SUN Yingsha (China, WR #2), Mima ITO (Japan, WR #3), LIU Shiwen (China, WR #7) and CHENG I-Ching (Chinese Taipei, WR #8) will be headlining both of the women’s events. There are no European players in top 10.

QTTA, as hosts of the Middle East Hub, will have the opportunity to include more of the world’s leading players or local stars. These will be announced shortly, as well as the doubles fields for both events.

KEY EVENT INFORMATION

WTT Contender Doha

Dates

Main Draw: Wednesday 3 March – Saturday 6 March 2021

Qualifying Draw: Sunday 28 February – Tuesday 2 March 2021

Draw Size

The WTT Contender event will feature a singles main draw of 32 players per gender and 16-pair doubles per gender and in the mixed doubles. The qualifying draw will feature 96 players per gender in the singles and 32 pairs in the mixed doubles.

Prize Money USD 200,000

WTT Star Contender Doha

Dates

Main Draw: Monday 8 March – Saturday 13 March 2021

Qualifying Draw: Saturday 6 March – Sunday 7 March 2021

Draw Size

The WTT Star Contender event will be comprised of a singles main draw of 48 players per gender and 16-pair doubles per gender and in the mixed doubles. The qualifying draw will feature 64 players per gender in the singles and 32 pairs in the mixed doubles.

Prize Money USD 400,000

With these events being the first held for the majority of players after many months, the WTT Board has increased the prize money, paid by WTT, for the Middle East Hub.

A total prize money pool of USD 600,000 will see USD 200,000 allocated to WTT Contender Doha, while a sum of USD 400,000 will be on offer at WTT Star Contender Doha.

KEY EVENT MODIFICATIONS

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, WTT is constantly evaluating the global situation and has made adjustments as follows:

WTT Contender Doha

Top 20 Play Down Restriction Increase

The Top 20 Play Down Restriction will be increased from a maximum of two Top 20 Players to a maximum of four Top 20 Players.

Allocation of Host Wildcards to Top 20

The LOC will be permitted to use all of its three allocated wildcards (increased from one) to nominate any additional player from within the Top 20 to participate in the event.

WTT Youth Nomination

WTT will replace the WTT Youth Nomination with a general WTT Nomination.

Mixed Doubles Draw Size Increase

The original draw size of 8-pairs mixed doubles has been increased to 16-pairs.

WTT Star Contender Doha

Top 20 Play Down Restriction

The Top 20 Play Down Restriction will be increased from a maximum of four Top 20 Players to a maximum of eight Top 20 Players.

Allocation of Host Wildcards to Top 20

The LOC will be permitted to use all of its four allocated wildcards (increased from one) to nominate any additional player from within the Top 20 to participate in the event.

Mixed Doubles Draw Size Increase

The original draw size of 8-pairs mixed doubles has been increased to 16-pairs.

 Player safety is at the forefront of all WTT events and strict COVID-19 measures will be implemented at the Middle East Hub in view of the ongoing pandemic.

Ettu Partners