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ITTF World Tour

2012 saw the launch of the ITTF World Tour with a $2,500,000 prize fund for players who consistently perform at the highest level.

ITTF World Tour logo

In 1996 the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) launched a brand new premier competition - The ITTF Pro Tour.

And in 2012, after 15 years of solid success, they took it to the next level and re-named it the ITTF World Tour.

Designed for the best table tennis players in the world, the new ITTF World Tour - sponsored by the China-based car manufacturer Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) - had a total prize fund of $2,500,000 and an end of season finale with a prize fund of $1,000,000 - the highest ever in the history of the sport.

2012 ITTF World Tour sponsored by the GAC Group

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Points mean prizes

The ITTF World Tour was a Grand Prix series in which players competed in International Open tournaments around the world and earned grand prix points and prize money according to how well they performed.

The best performers (who also meet the qualifying criteria) were then invited to the end of year Grand Finals where a prize fund of one million US dollars was up for grabs.


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15+ Tournaments

2012 saw a slight change from the previous ITTF Pro Tour format.

A much bigger prize fund was available at the end of year Grand Finals, (US$1,000,000 - up from US$365,000 in 2011) with the winners of the men's and women's singles titles each receiving US$104,000 - the highest available in the sport of table tennis.

The 2012 main tour had 15 International Open Tournaments, starting with the Hungarian Open in Budapest in January and finishing with the Polish Open in November.

However a Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit was also added for 2012 (and there were plans to introduce similar satellite circuits for the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region in 2013).

So, the primary World Tour events were the 15 International Opens, but they were supplemented by 6 smaller "qualifying" Euro-Africa satellite events (See the full list of ITTF World Tour and Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit events below).


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The Format

Each tournament held events for:

  • Men's singles
  • Women's singles
  • Men's doubles
  • Women's doubles
  • Under 21 years Men's singles
  • Under 21 years Women's singles

Players who finished in the top 64 places at each primary World Tour tournament were awarded grand prix points (and prize money) according to their final positions.

The 15 tournaments were graded according to their importance, with the winners of the singles titles receiving between 5,000 points at the least important events (Hungarian Open, Spanish Open, Chile Open and Czech Open) and up to 24,000 points for the top event (China Open 2).

The players who accumulated the most points were in a strong position to be invited to the end of year Grand Finals.


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2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

The number of players at the 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals were as follows...

  • Men's and women's singles each had 20 players (16 qualified from the World Tour, 4 qualified from the Euro-Africa Circuit).
  • Men's and women's doubles each had 8 pairs.
  • Under 21 men's and women's singles each had 8 players.

And the qualifying criteria were...

SINGLES

  • The top 15 men and 15 women who accumulated the most grand prix points and competed in at least 5 tournaments.
  • The ITTF also invited one man and one woman from the association hosting the 2012 World Tour Grand Finals if they competed in at least 5 tournaments.
  • If a player from the host association was already amongst the top 15 players or did not meet the participation criteria, then the 16th player in order of grand prix points would be invited.
  • The top 4 men and 4 women who accumulated the largest number of points at the 2012 Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit events were also invited.

DOUBLES

  • The top 7 men's doubles pairs and 7 women's doubles pairs who accumulated the most grand prix points, as a pair, and competed in at least 4 tournaments.
  • In addition, the ITTF invited one men's doubles pair and one women's doubles pair from the association hosting the 2012 World Tour Grand Finals if they competed in at least 4 tournaments.
  • If a pair from the host association was already amongst the top 7 pairs or did not meet the participation criteria, then the 8th pair in the order of grand prix points would be invited.
  • In the case that one player appears in two or more double pairs, only the highest qualifying pair will be considered.

UNDER 21 YEARS

  • The top 7 U21 men and 7 U21 women who accumulated the largest number of grand prix points and competed in at least 4 tournaments in two continents.
  • In addition, the ITTF invited one U21 man and one U21 woman from the association hosting the 2012 World Tour Grand Finals.

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The Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit

The 2012 Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit commenced with four tournaments in Europe and two in Africa.

There were also plans to introduce similar circuits for the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region in 2013.

At the conclusion of the 2012 Euro-Africa Circuit, the leading four players in each of the Men's and Women's Singles Standings (irrespective of number of appearances), were invited to compete in the 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.

These four players would be drawn in the first round against the four lowest qualifiers on the 2012 ITTF World Tour Standing.


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The 2012 ITTF World Tour

Announcing these exciting changes, Judit Farago (ITTF CEO, Executive Director - Competitions) said:

These are exciting times for the ITTF. With the greatest ever prize money at the World Tour Grand Finals and increased quality of competition, it clearly demonstrates our ambitions to take our sport to the next level.

Our plans are also to complete our satellite tour with the Americas and the Asian-Pacific from 2013 onwards and at the same time to further improve the level of our premium events on the World Tour. This will create opportunities for many players to compete further on the international circuit, whilst at the same time making the World Tour a truly spectacular showcase for our sport.

 

You can get the details of all the tournaments which made up the ITTF World Tour in 2012 with the winners of the Men's Singles, and all the results of the Grand Finals here.


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Revamped for 2017 onwards

In its 20th year, the ITTF announced that with effect from 2017 the ITTF World Tour would have a new logo, new branding and a new structure to better promote table tennis globally and you can read about it here. 2017 ITTF World Tour


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THE ITTF WORLD TOUR
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