Previous Winners, Seeking Repeat of Earlier Fortunes
2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open
Courtesy of ITTF
Selected by head coach, Kong Linghui, for the final of the Women’s event at the recent Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, the names of Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning both appear on the entry list for the forthcoming 2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open.
Proceedings commence in Doha on Wednesday March 23rd.
Gold and Silver Medalists
Notably of the players competing in this year’s event, they are amongst the most successful in the history of the tournament; both have experienced the satisfaction of being the winner of the Women’s Singles event and the disappointment of being the runner up.
Always either the pain or the pleasure has been gained or suffered at the hands of a colleague.
In 2011 Liu Shiwen beat Ding Ning in the title deciding contest, having the previous year experienced defeat at the same stage when opposing Guo Yue.
Defeat for Ding Ning but that record was put straight in 2013 when she reversed the decision of two years earlier. She beat Liu Shiwen to secure the title.
Notably, with just one exception, Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning are the only players on duty this year to have reached the ITTF World Tour Qatar Open Women’s Singles final; the exception is one year ago when Romania’s Elizabeta Samara beat Germany’s Han Ying to arrest the title.
Now in 2016, Elizabeta Samara faces a prodigious task if she is retain the prestigious crown; the only player ever to achieve the feat is Zhang Yining, in the eyes of many the greatest female player of all time; she won in 2008 and 2009. In the former year she beat Guo Yan in the final, in the latter Guo Yue.
Such is the high quality of the entry in 2016 that Elizabeta Samara, the player who last October was crowned European champion, is not named amongst the 16 seeds!
Champions Not Seeded
Equally there are other illustrious names who have won ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles and must compete in the qualification stage of proceedings.
Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun must start at the very beginning. Likewise, Japan’s Yuka Ishigaki and Miyu Maeda must play in the preliminary stage as must Hungary’s Georgina Pota and Szandra Pergel. Also, faced with the same situation are Poland’s Li Qian, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, Portugal’s Shao Jieni and Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin.
A daunting task ahead for the defending champion, it is the same for Han Ying, the runner up one year ago and for Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, last year’s a beaten semi-finalists.
Feng Tianwei is the no.6 seed, followed immediately by Han Ying; Japan’s Mima Ito is next in line with the Korea pairing of Seo Hyowon and Jeon Jihee completing the top 10 names.
Top of List
Meanwhile, as per the current Women’s World Ranking, Liu Shiwen heads the list pursued by colleagues Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling.
Japan’s Ai Fukuhara and Kasumi Ishikawa are the respective no.4 and no.5 seeds.
Four previous winners on duty in the Women’s Singles event but in the Women’s Doubles competition there is only one pairing in action, who have in the past, secured the title in unison.
Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, the top seeds won in 2010.
Meanwhile, Tie Yana and Jiang Huajun who won the Women’s Doubles event last year appear on the entry list but not together; this year Tie Yana partners Doo Hoi Kem and occupies the no.2 seeded spot, Jiang Huajun joins forces with Lee Ho Ching and reserves the no.3 seeded position.
Feng Tianwei and Zhu Yihan complete the names of the top four seeds.
Bernadette Szocs Defends Title
Prior champions; in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event there is just one previous winner in action.
Similar to her compatriot Elizabeta Samara in the Women’s Singles competition, Bernadette Szocs defends her title. She is the no.9 seed in an event that sees the top five names all from Japan.
Miu Hirano is the top seed, followed by compatriot, Hitomi Sato; Yui Hamamoto and Miu Kato. Hina Hayata, the recent winner in Kuwait is the no.5 seed.
Final Entries: Men, Women
Full Schedule: Matches of Day 1