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Table Tennis: Star field set for US$1m World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai

Japan’s Masato Shiono rose to fame after his surprise win in this year’s Japan Open and is now preparing for January’s US$1 million World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai. Photo: Alex Lomaev/ ITTF.

Japan’s Masato Shiono rose to fame after his surprise win in this year’s Japan Open and is now preparing for January’s US$1 million World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai. Photo: Alex Lomaev/ ITTF.

December 3, 2013: World No. 1 Ma Long of China has topped the men’s singles qualifiers for the GAC Group 2013 World Tour Grand Finals, which will be held in Dubai from January 9-12, 2014.


The top 16 men and 16 women from the World Tour standings who have played at least five events – along with one player from the UAE as host nation – will contest the singles competitions at the US$1 million season finale, the world’s most lucrative table tennis event.


The men’s and women’s doubles both have eight teams, while the U-21 men’s and women’s singles will each have eight players.


Ma topped the men’s singles qualifiers after winning three events on the Super Series, the highest of the three World Tour tiers, while compatriots Xu Xin, Wang Hao and Zhang Jike – World Nos. 2, 3 and 4 respectively – are also in the field.


Rising Chinese star Fan Zhendong, 16, finished second in the qualifying table after he became the youngest winner of a World Tour event at the Polish Open in November and won gold at the following week’s German Open, less than 12 months after winning the World Junior Championship.


The World Tour Grand Finals also caps the amazing, late rise to fame of Masato Shiono. The Japanese defender was so far down his country’s rankings that he had to pay his own entry fees for this year’s Japan Open, but shocked the sport by becoming the first player to progress through qualifiers and win the event.


The 27-year-old then used his prize money to travel to four other World Tour events and a victory at the Czech Open helped secure his berth in Dubai.


In the women’s singles, World No. 2 Ding Ning of China finished first in the World Tour standings after winning three titles in 2013.


China’s World No. 1 Liu Shiwen, Japan Open champion Ai Fukuhara of Japan and Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia of China finished second, third and fourth in the top 16. Liu and Ding are also the top-ranked qualifiers in the women’s doubles.


Japanese prodigy Mima Ito, 13, is the youngest player to line up in the senior events in Dubai, but is only just older than compatriot Miu Hirano, also 13, who will be her partner in the women’s doubles.


Masataka Morizono of Japan led the men’s U-21 standings, with Taiwan’s Hung Tzu-hsiang in second. Ng Wing-nam of Hong Kong topped the women’s U-21 standings, just ahead of Petrissa Solja of Germany.


The ITTF will host its inaugural 2013 Star Awards in Dubai in conjunction with the World Tour Grand Finals.


World Tour Grand Finals – Qualifiers


Men’s Singles

1. Ma Long (China), 2. Fan Zhendong (China), 3. Xu Xin (China), 4. Masato Shiono (Japan), 5. Yan An (China), 6. Zhang Jike (China), 7. Wang Hao (China), 8. Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany), 9. Abdel-Kader Salifou (France), 10. Kazuhiro Chan (Japan), 11. Chuang Chih-yuan (Chinese Taipei), 12. Koki Niwa (Japan), 13. Kim Min-seok (Korea), 14. Taku Takakiwa (Japan), 15. Kenta Matsudaira (Japan), 16. Cazuo Matsumoto (Brazil); Host Nation: Abdulla Al Mohaiseni (UAE).


Women’s Singles

1. Ding Ning (China), 2. Liu Shiwen (China), 3. Ai Fukuhara (Japan), 4. Li Xiaoxia (China), 5. Seo Hyo-won (Korea), 6. Feng Tianwei (Singapore), 7. Viktoria Pavlovich (Belarus), 8. Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), 9. Zhu Yuling (China), 10. Li Jiao (Netherlands), 11. Elizabeta Samara (Romania), 12. Lee Ho-ching (Hong Kong), 13. Jiang Hua-jun (Hong Kong), 14. Cheng I-ching (Chinese Taipei), 15. Jeon Ji-hee (Korea), 16. Maria Dolgikh (Russia); Host Nation: Majd Albooshi (UAE)


Men’s Doubles

1. Gao Ning / Li Hu (Singapore), 2. Alexey Liventsov / Mikail Paikov (Russia), 3. Chiang Hung-chieh / Huang Sheng-sheng (Chinese Taipei), 4. Robert Gardos / Daniel Habesohn (Austria), 5. Kazuhiro Chan / Kenji Matsudaira (Japan), 6. Kim Min-seok / Seo Hyun-deok (Korea), 7. Yang Zi / Zhan Jian (Singapore), 8. Chen Chien-an / Chuang Chih-yuan (Chinese Taipei)


Women’s Doubles

1. Ding Ning / Li Xiaoxia (China) 2. Cheng I-Ching / Huang Yi-Hua (Chinese Taipei) 3. Zhenqi Barthel / Shan Xiaona (Germany) 4. Park Yoongsook / Yang Haeun (Korea) 5. Linda Creemers / Li Jiao (Netherlands) 6. Jiang Huajun / Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong) 7. Miu Hirano / Mima Ito (Japan) 8. Feng Tianwei / Yu Mengyu (Singapore)


U-21 Men’s Singles 

1. Masataka Morizono (Japan), 2. Hung Tzu-hsiang (Chinese Taipei), 3. Patrick Franziska (Germany), 4. Maharu Yoshimura (Japan), 5. Quentin Robinot (France), 6. Julien Inderherberg (Belgium), 7. Simon Gauzy (France), 8. Wu Zhikang (Singapore)


U-21 Women’s Singles 

1. Ng Wing Nam (Hong Kong), 2. Petrissa Solja (Germany), 3. Misaki Morizono (Japan), 4. Lee Ho-ching (Hong Kong), 5. Shiho Matsudaira (Japan), 6. Sofia Polcanova (Austria), 7. Yang Ha-eun (Korea), 8. Lin Ye (Singapore)


Source: ITTF

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