(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
After fifteen consecutive months with Fan Zhendong on top, the July rankings have revealed a new World’s Number 1. Xu Xin is on top of the rankings this month. Lin Gaoyuan maintains the second position, and Fan falls to third. Only 275 points separate the top three, so there may be more movement in the coming months.
Tomakazu Harimoto is fourth, Ma Long is fifth, Liang Jingkun moves up to sixth, Hugo Calderano moves up to seventh, and Timo Boll, Mattias Falck and Woojin Jang fill out the final spots in the Top 10. Kanak Jha remains the top player in North America, with the American filling the No. 37 spot. Canada’s Jeremy Hazin (No. 174) is the second highest ranked North American.
There is no major shakeup in the Women’s rankings. In fact, slots 1-10 are all unchanged with the top five players from China (Chen, Liu, Ding, Zhu, and Wang). Canada’s Mo Zhang (No. 27) and USA’s Jennifer Wu (No. 40) and Lily Zhang (No. 69) are the top three North American’s. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz is the highest ranked player in Latin America with a rank of No. 29.
With the Korean Open and Australia Open this month, there are lots of opportunities to accumulate points and move up in the ranking lists. Xu Xin has already won in Korea, extending his hold on the top spot (and he is through to the Round of 16 at the Australian Open as well). After a year of stability, this may be the start of an interesting time with opportunities for other players to climb into the top few ranking spots.