(by Steve Hopkins, photo ITTFWorld)
After 8 months of waiting, the ITTF Tour is back this weekend. The Dishang 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup, the first of the three ITTF RESTART events gets under way on Sunday. Twenty one of the world’s best women players are emerging from an isolation period (to minimize potential COVID exposure) in Weihai, China. The 21 players include the current World Champion, 17 continental cup qualifiers, with the remaining invites granted based largely upon World Ranking with a maximum of 2 entries per country.
The U.S. has two players participating this year, Lily Zhang and Jennifer Wu. Canada’s Mo Zhang, and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz also join this elite group.
The Group drawing was posted today with 13 players fighting through a group stage for the right to play the top 8 seeds. That means that the top 2 will advance from each group.
The top two seeds in Group 1 are Jeon Jihee of Korea and Ying Han of Germany. The top two seeds in Group 2 are Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico and Lily Zhang of the USA. The top two seeds in Group 3 are Petrissa Solja of Germany and Szu-Yu Chen of Taipei. And the top two seeds in Group 4 are Hyowon Suh of Korea and Bernadette Szocs of Romania.
USA’s Jennifer Wu is the third seed in Group 3. She will have to overcome one of the other players in order to advance – which is no easy task in an event with only the best. The top player in that group is Petrissa Solja (*who won 4-1 when the players met at the World Championships in 2017). Jennifer has never faced the second player, Szu-Yu Chen. Chen is ranked World No. 26 and Jennifer is ranked World No. 32.
The draw has not been posted yet, so the exact path of each advancing player is uncertain. What is certain, is that every match will be closely contested as the event is a collection of only the World’s best.
Check in at ButterflyOnline.com starting Thursday for updates on the progress of this event and other events.
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