ITTF December Rankings: Last Rankings of 2018
(by Steve Hopkins)
The December ITTF World Rankings are out, and very little has changed at the top. China’s top players, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, have retained their No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Germany’s Timo Boll retains his No. 3 position. And China’s Lin Gaoyuan retains the fourth position.
Tomakazu Harimoto has moved up on position to No. 5, a new personal best for the young Japanese player. Tomakazu is the beneficiary of a bad month from Dimitrij Ovtcharov who has fallen from fifth to ninth. Brazil’s Hugo Calderano also has achieved a person best with his move up to No. 6. Other points to note: England’s Liam Pitchford has reached his personal best of No. 16, and Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India have both achieved personal bests at No. 30 and No. 31 respectively. The biggest move in the top 50 is China’s Liang Jingkun whose surprise win in Austria has vaulted him from No. 80 all the way up to No. 36.
USA’s Kanak Jha continues his rise in the rankings. Last January, Jha broke 100 for the first time. As the year progressed he reached milestones as he moved to the 80s, then the 70s, and he will finish 2018 with a rank of 51. Jha is the highest ranked player in North America followed by Eugene Wang (CAN), Marko Medjugorac (CAN), Nikhil Kumar (USA), Nicholas Tio (USA), and Jeremy Hazin (CAN).
In Latin America, Calderano (World No. 6) and teammates Tsuboi and Jouti are the top three. Marcelo Aguirre (Paraguay) is fourth and Marcos Madrid (Mexico) is fifth. Brian Afanador is the top ranked Puerto Rican (10th in Latin America and No. 121 in the World Rankings).
The women’s listing has not changed much in December. In fact, the only change in the Top 10 is that No. 11 Feng Tianwei has moved up one slot (as China’s Chen Xiangtong fell from No. 10 to No. 12). There are five Chinese players and three Japanese players in the Top 10. Cheng from Taipei (No. 8) and Feng from Singapore round out the top 10.
The top European player is Sofia Polcanova of Austria at No. 15. The top North American player is Mo Zhang at No. 19 (Americans Wu Yue and Lilly Zhang are second and third highest in this region). Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico (No. 33) is the top ranked Latin American player.
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ITTF Men’s Rankings: http://results.ittf.link/index.php?option=com_fabrik&view=list&listid=69&Itemid=206
ITTF Women’s Rankings: http://results.ittf.link/index.php?option=com_fabrik&view=list&listid=70&Itemid=207