(by Steve Hopkins)
China holds on to the top four spots, with Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, and Lin Gaoyuan each holding their spots. The point separation between Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong is narrowing, so September could be a month to watch the top spot.
The rest of the Top 10 are Harimoto, Calderano, Boll, Liang, Falck and Lin. No. 10 Lin Yun-Ju is in the Top 10 for the first time after his impressive win in the Czech Republic last week. Koki Niwa has fallen a spot to No.11, Dimitrij Ovtcharov is at No. 12, and a long line of generally recognizable players rounds out the Top 10. Nestled in the middle of this list of table tennis stars, is USA’s Kanak Jha who has jumped all the way to No. 22 in the World in this latest ranking list. This is Kanak’s first time in the Top 25 – a new peak on an upward progression that began at No.90 at the beginning of 2018.
The top Canadian players by ranking are Jeremy Hazin (NO. 153), Eugene Wang (No. 179, and Marko Medjugorac (No. 210). After Jha, the top Americans are Nikhil Kumar (No. 175) and Nicholas Tio (No. 219). Brian Afanador of Puerto Rico has risen to No. 85, his highest ranking to date.
On the Women’s List, it is China with the top six followed by Japan with the next three. Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching at No. 10 is the only representative from another country. The top three remain unchanged: Chen Meng, Ding Ning, and Zhu Yuling.
Canada’s Mo Zhang has moved up to No. 22 – she is the top ranked player in this hemisphere. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz is up two spots to No. 28. The younger Diaz sister, Melanie Diaz, has moved up over twenty spots and is now No. 67. Americans Jennifer Wu and Lily Zhang are No. 33 and No. 55 in the rankings.
September is a busy month on the tour schedule, so there could be lots of movement in the rankings. The European Championships, the Parguay Open, and the the Asian Table Tennis Championships are all scheduled for September.
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