Wednesday 29 April 2015

Choppers Excel in Early Rounds at WTTC 2015

We are seeing so far an amazing World Championships in Suzhou, China. This is the first World Individual Championships since the introduction of the plastic ball which came in 2014. Before the introduction of the plastic ball the rumour was that the plastic ball would favour the defensive player. Are the results so far in the draw and indication that this may be true?

Pattantyus On Fire

Hungary's Adam Pattantyus is showing superb form and has so far had the best world championships he could hope for. In the first round he showed absolute class by upsetting Chuang Chih-Yuan from Chinese Taipei, currently ranked 10th in the world and a solid top 15 player for the past decade. Chuang's early exit rang around the table tennis world as Pattantyus leaped from obscurity into the limelight. He is currently ranked 90th in the world. It wasn't until May 2012 that the hungarian defender entered the top 100 in the world, reaching 77th as his peak world ranking. No doubt that will change after his performance in Suzhou.

Going into the next round he again demonstrated his consistent defence and balance of attacking strokes by defeating Adrian Crisan from Romania. Crisan is a consistent control spinner and has been strong against defenders in the past. Pattantyus faced Lei Kou from Ukraine in the round of 32. The two played at the Czech Open in 2014 with the plastic ball and the hungarian was able to clutch the match 11-6 in the 7th game.

In the men's draw there are 3 more defensive players in the round of 32. Joo Se Hyuk will face Liam Pitchford, Gionis Panagiotis has the tough draw against Ma Long and Chen Weixing will play Gao Ning.

Ukraine Bolsters Defence in the Women's Draw

As Chuang fell to a European defender, his compatriot Lee I-Chen faced defeat at the hands of Ganna Gaponova from Ukraine. Lee stands at 53 in the world ranking, while her successor in the draw sits at 100th position. It will be a defensive showdown for Gaponova as she reaches the round of 32 and will face Wu Yang of China.

Tetyana Bilenko defeats Ai Fukuhara at WTTC 2015
Image from ITTF
Teammate and defensive star, Tetyana Bilenko also made waves in her round of 64 match by defeating Ai Fukuhara. The Japanese legend is currently ranked 8th in the world, compared to Bilenko's current 63rd. Bilenko's highest world ranking to date is 55th, so no doubt she will soar higher after her amazing win. Just like her teammate she will also face another defender in the round of 32, Maria Dolgikh from Russia who has been performing well in the draw also after winning against Lee Ho Ching in the previous round.

The Real Question

Is this enough evidence that the plastic ball is in favour of defensive players? Or are these players just in amazing form? This is a hot discussion at the moment, what do you think? Are the rumours true? Perhaps a few more rounds closer to the final may give more clues :)


  1. Wow.. cool observation.. Any thoughts on why you think plastic ball might give an advantage to choppers?

    Fellow TTD-er

    1. I think it's really down to consistency, there is less power and spin coming at them from offensive players and it becomes easier for them to keep the ball in play. Also the really heavy balls are hard to lift. There are a lot of factors, it's all kind of back and forth at the moment as to whether there is advantage or not etc.


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