Men's World Cup Update 1: Main Draw Underway - Butterfly Table Tennis
Site Products
Dignics 09C interview with top player Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Men’s World Cup Update 1: Main Draw Underway

(by Steve Hopkins)

The Knock-out Rounds of the Dishang 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup are underway.  Thirteen of the 21 elite players who qualified played a group stage and the top 8 advanced to face the top 8 seeds.

The first two matches in the Main Draw were Ma Long versus 22-year-old Slovenian Darko Jorgic and Dimitrij Ovtcharov versus Liam Pitchford.

At World No. 34, Jorgic was the lowest ranked player to make the Main Draw.  Many might have expected he’d be overwhelmed facing Ma Long in China on this huge stage, but that was not the case.  The Jorgic/Ma match was unexpectedly tight.  In fact, with the game score 2-2, Ma Long had jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the fifth game but felt a great deal of pressure when that lead evaporated.   Ma Long was vocal, looking at his paddle and yelling at himself to get going – uncommon occurrences for this very calm champion.  The score stayed tight with ties at 7-7, and 8-8.  With Ma Long up 10-9, a short service return game Ma Long a smash to seal the game, but a quick reaction by Jorgic returned the smash as a winner and tied the score again.  The next point was a long exchange that went in Jorgic’s favor, but Ma Long saved the point and went on to win the next two points.

Jorgic didn’t recover, so the result is as expected – with one of the World’s best overcoming the surprise qualifier 4-2.  But the score was close, and Jorgic was very close to being up a game with momentum.

From a tactics perspective, Jorgic appeared to be purposefully attacking Ma Long crosscourt.  He played most of his forehand attacks wider and wider on to Ma Long’s forehand, and the revers was true as well – with backhand rallies at steep angles wide pushing Ma Long wide.   Jorgic played mostly a backhand serve landing in the middle and curving into Ma Long’s forehand – perhaps avoiding a strong backhand flip and encouraging a forehand to forehand rally.  Jorgic’s serve returns were often long pushes to Ma Long’s forehand – again, a tactic that may have been designed to steer the rally to forehand versus forehand.  In many matches in the past, Ma Long’s consistent attacks have overpowered other players in long rallies – that was not the case today with Jorgic, and many of the long rallies went to the Slovenian.  A very entertaining first match of the Main Draw.

In other early action, Ovtcharov beat Pitchford, but it took 7 games.  Harimoto swept Robert Gardos 4-0.  Mattias Falck was pushed to the limit by Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong, with Falck needing to score 17 points in the final game to seal the 4-3 win.

The later matches in the top half of the draw will be underway soon.

ITTF TV is following the matches via livestream.

Check in at starting Thursday for updates on the progress of this event and other events.


Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.

Dignics 09C - Now Available

Latest News

Butterfly Training Tips: Forehand Loop Sequence With Jishan Liang

September 16, 2021
More information about coach Jishan Liang here Don’t have anyone to practice this drill with? Learn more about… Read More

Youth Pan Am Update: TeamUSA Wins 3 of 4 Team Events

September 14, 2021
(by Steve Hopkins) The 2021 ITTF Pan American Youth Championships is underway in the Dominican Republic this week. … Read More

TTBL Update: Dusseldorf and Ochsenhausen 6-0

September 14, 2021
(by Steve Hopkins) No one is surprised that defending champion Borrussia Dusseldorf is in first place atop the… Read More

Ping Pod – July Top 10

September 14, 2021 PingPod was born as a pop up on Canal St. When the team saw the joy that… Read More

Coaching Tip of the Week – A Different Measure for a Match Coach

September 14, 2021
(By Larry Hodges) It’s an advantage to have a top coach in your corner during a match. They… Read More

WAB FEATURED CLUB: Spartans Table Tennis

September 13, 2021
(by Steve Hopkins) With their location in Santa Clara, Spartans Table Tennis Club is just North of San… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips: Hand Speed & Footwork With Rachel Wang

September 12, 2021
Hand Speed & Footwork Learn more about Rachel Wang here Don’t have anyone to practice this drill with?… Read More

2021 Butterfly Cup Results and Photos

September 11, 2021
(Article, pics & video by Tony Murnahan) The Butterfly Cup was successfully held on September 3-5, 2021, despite… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.