(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 began on Tuesday.
Despite some positive results in the group play and the early rounds, Tuesday ended the run for most of the U.S. competitors. USA’s Victor Liu pulled off two upsets in his group to reach the knock-out stages, but he fell to Japan’s Morizono 4-0. USA’s Kanak Jha was seeded into the knock-out stage and won his first match over Italy’s Bobocica 4-1, before falling to Ma Long. In fact, Kanak had a very strong showing in his 4-1 loss where he won the first game over one of the premier elite players in the world. Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador also fell on Tuesday, losing 4-3 to Liam Pitchford.
Jennifer Wu is the last American in the tournament. Jennifer won both matches on Tuesday and is now set to face Japan’s Hitomi Sato in the Round of 32. Lily Zhang won her opening match, but then fell to Japan’s Mima Ito, one of the tournament’s top seeds and World No. 7. Amy Wang fought hard to reach the knock-out rounds and drew a very tough opponent, World No. 10 Tianwei Feng of Singapore. Amy won the first two games, but eventually fell 4-2.
Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz was dominant in both
of her Tuesday matches, but will face tournament top seed Ding Ning on
Wednesday. Canada’s Mo Zhang won both matches including squeezing past Dina Meshref of Egypt (4-3).
There will now be one round per day in the singles events with Quarterfinals on Friday, Semifinals on Saturday, and the Final on Sunday afternoon.
Check in with ButterflyOnline.com for updates throughout the tournament.