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Xu Xin and Sun Yingsha, top seeds in Doha

Wednesday 20 January

Xu Xin and Sun Yingsha, top seeds in Doha

China’s Xu Xin and Sun Yingsha are the top seeds in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events at the forthcoming WTT (World Table Tennis) tournaments, the events which start the year’s international calendar.

Suitable precautions being made, owing to the current pandemic, staged in the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, the WTT Contender tournament will be held from Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th March, the WTT Star Contender from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th March.

Both tournaments are preceded by qualification; for the WTT Contender tournament, the preliminary rounds will be held from Thursday 28th February to Tuesday 2nd March; for the WTT Star Contender event on the weekend of Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th March.

The WTT Contender event comprises a main draw of 32 players in each of the men’s singles and women’s singles events plus 16 pairs in each of the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. In the qualification 96 players are accepted for each of the men’s and women’s singles events plus 32 pairs in each of the doubles’ competitions.

In addition, there is a “Play Down Restriction”; which permits a maximum of four of the top 20 ranked men and women to compete. However, the local organising committee is allocated three wild cards from which in each of the men’s and women’s singles events, players listed in the top 20 may be nominated.

Meanwhile, the WTT Star Contender tournament will comprise a main draw of 48 players in each of the men’s and women’s singles events, plus 16 pairs in each doubles’ competition. The qualifying draw will witness 64 players in each of the men’s and women’s singles plus 32 pairs in each doubles.

The “Play Down Restriction” for WTT Star Contender tournament is a maximum of eight players from the top 20 of the current world rankings in each of the men’s singles and women’s singles events, plus four wild cards at the discretion of the local organising committee.

Notable names from Asia on duty; as well as Xu Xin and Sun Yingsha, in the men’s events the names of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Chuang Chih-Yuan appear in both tournament entry lists. Likewise, for the women appear those of Japan’s Mima Ito, China’s Liu Shiwen, Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon in addition to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching and Chen Szu-Yu.

Meanwhile, added to the lists, notably in the WTT Star Contender tournament the names of Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Jeoung Youngsik are prevalent on the men’s listing as on the women’s are colleague Jeon Jihee alongside Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and the Japanese duo of Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano.

The prize fund in the WTT Contender tournament is US$200,000; in the WTT Star Contender event US$400,000.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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