(by Steve Hopkins/Photo courtesy of ITTF)
The Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships is in Budapest, Hungary this week (April 21-28). Events include Singles (Men’s, Women’s) and Doubles (Men’s, Women’s, Mixed). The early action was in Doubles as well as the Singles preliminary group rounds. Singles knock-out rounds begin on Tuesday.
USA’s Victor Liu pulled off two upsets in his group play on Sunday to become one of the biggest early stories. Out of all 79 Groups, Victor is the only third seed to advance (and the only player to have two upsets in group play). Neither of the other Americans advanced from the groups, with Nicholas Tio finishing third in his group and Nikhil Kumar finishing second. Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador advanced through his group easily, but teammate Daniel Gonzalez was upset by North Korea’s Yu Song Ham and did not advance.
Kanak Jha was seeded into the knock-out rounds – he will play Mihai Bobocica of Italy on Tuesday. Victor Liu will face Japan’s Masataka Morizono. Brian Afanador will face Liam Pitchford of England.
In Women’s singles, USA’s Jennifer Wu will play Maria Malanina of Russia. Lily Zhang will play Maria Tsaptsinos of Greece. USA’s Amy Wang has also fought her way through the group stages to the main event and she has drawn Tianwei Feng of Singapore. Canada’s Alicia Cote will face Jia Liu of Austria. Canada’s Mo Zhang will face Mariia Tailakova of Russia. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz will face Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli.
Check in at ButterflyOnline.com for results throughout the event.