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ITTF World Tour 2018

The new, revamped ITTF World Tour 2018.
Where the best players in the world compete for the biggest money prizes.

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

2018 ITTF World Tour logo

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

It was a huge success, so in 2012, after 15 years of solid growth, they took it to the next level and re-named it the ITTF World Tour.

And in 2017 a new format was introduced with more prize money and even better organised events.

The World Tour now consists of two tiers plus the end-of-year Grand Finals with the ITTF Challenge Series separate from the World Tour.


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New Format, Better Organisation

The 2018 World Tour consisted of two tiers of competition together with the end-of-year Grand Finals.

The two tiers were the World Tour (maximum 6 events) and the World Tour Platinum (maximum 6 events) which fed into the end-of-year Grand Finals.

2018 ITTF World Tour logo 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum logo 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals logo

The World Tour Platinum series events were allocated to the six best bids submitted by cities/affiliated Associations, whilst the World Tour events were allocated to the next six best bids.

The Platinum tier attract the best players and the highest media attention whilst the competitive ITTF World Tour featured both top players and the up-and-coming future stars.

The World Tour Grand Finals consisted of the top 16 men and women players (singles & doubles) who earned enough points on the World Tour to qualify for the most important event of the tour - the exciting year-end finale.


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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 to earn 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 US$1,001,000 was up for grabs.


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12 Tournaments around the World

2018 saw the ITTF World Tour limited to 12 high quality events.

The top rated events were the World Tour Platinum series whilst the regular events were named - ITTF World Tour.

There were 6 Platinum series events and 6 regular events.

The minimum prize money offered at each Platinum event was US$ 120,000 whilst the minimum prize money offered at each regular event was US$ 70,000.


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The Format

The tournaments held the following events:

  • Men's singles
  • Women's singles
  • Men's doubles
  • Women's doubles

    and two optional events...

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

The men's and women's singles were limited to 32 players in the main draw, whilst the men's and women's doubles were limited to 16 pairs in the main draw.

The Under 21s events (where played) were limited to 32 players in the main draw.


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2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

The number of players at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals was as follows...

  • Men's and women's singles will each have 16 players.
  • Men's and women's doubles will each have 8 pairs.

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 would also invite one man and one woman from the association hosting the 2018 World Tour Grand Finals if they have competed in at least 5 tournaments.

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.
  • The ITTF will also invite one man and one woman doubles pair from the association hosting the 2018 World Tour Grand Finals if they have competed in at least 4 tournaments.

Players or pairs who finished equal on points for the last positions to qualify would be decided by their position on the last available ITTF World Ranking list. If players or pairs are still equal, reference will be made to the previous World Ranking list and so on.

 

I'll be focussing here on the Men's Singles (MS) events only.


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ITTF World Tour 2018

DATES WORLD TOUR EVENTS 2018 MS WINNERS
  WORLD TOUR PLATINUM SERIES
8-11 March Qatar Open (Doha, Qatar) Fan Zhendong (China)
23-25 March German Open (Bremen, Germany) Ma Long (China)
31 May-3 June China Open (Shenzhen, China) Ma Long (China)
19-22 July Korean Open (Incheon, South Korea) Jang Woojin (South Korea)
26-29 July Australian Open (Gold Coast, Australia) Xu Xin (China)
8-11 Nov Austrian Open (Linz, Austria) Liang Jingkun (China)
 
WORLD TOUR
18-21 Jan Hungarian Open (Budapest, Hungary) Fan Zhendong (China)
24-27 May Hong Kong Open (Hong Kong) Kazuhiro Yoshimura (Japan)
7-10 June Japan Open (Kitakyushu, Japan) Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan)
16-19 Aug Bulgaria Open (Panagyurishte, Bulgaria) Xu Xin (China)
23-26 Aug Czech Open (Olomouc, Czech Republic) Zheng Peifeng (China)
1-4 Nov Swedish Open (Stockholm, Sweden) Fan Zhendong (China)
   
13-16 Dec ITTF World Tour Grand Finals (Incheon, South Korea) Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan)

 


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The Grand Finals

The ITTF World Tour Grand Finals were held in Incheon, South Korea from 13-16 December 2018.

Here is the list of the men who accumulated sufficient Grand Prix points and meet the additional qualifying criteria of competing in at least five events (tournaments) and were therefore invited to take part in the 2018 Grand Finals men's singles event.

Rank Points Events Player (Family Name, Given Name) Assoc
1 1750 8 XU, Xin China
2 1500 5 FAN, Zhendong China
1039 6 MA, Long Injured - withdrawn China
3 947 5 LIANG, Jingkun China
4 909 10 HARIMOTO, Tomokazu Japan
5 655 9 JANG, Woojin South Korea
6 641 5 LIN, Gaoyuan China
7 638 7 CALDERANO, Hugo Brazil
8 491 7 MIZUTANI, Jun Japan
9 486 10 FRANZISKA, Patrick Germany
10 462 9 LIM, Jonghoon South Korea
11 444 8 LEE, Sangsu South Korea
12 432 8 WONG, Chun Ting Hong Kong China
13 396 6 LIU, Dingshuo China
14 388 10 NIWA, Koki Japan
15 363 5 BOLL, Timo Germany
16 349 9 OSHIMA, Yuya Japan
R E S E R V E S
17 337 8 PITCHFORD, Liam England
18 316 8 YOSHIMURA Kazuhiro Japan

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Playing format for the 2018 Grand Finals

The events were played on a knockout basis.

The seeding of the players was determined by the final order of the World Tour points standing.

All matches were the best of 7 games.


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Prize Money

The total prize money at the 2018 Grand Finals was $1,001,000

For the men's singles, the breakdown was follows:

Position Amount (US $)
Winner 100,000
Runner-up 55,000
Losing Semi-Finalists 35,000
Losing Quarter Finalists 25,000
Last 16 15,000

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Equipment used

The equipment used for the Grand Finals was...

  • Tables - Double Fish Volant King (Blue)
  • Balls - Double Happiness 40+ Three Star (White)
  • Flooring - Tinsue TLO 500R (red)

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Date of the draw

The draw was made on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 15:00 hours.

 

First Round

Thursday/Friday
13/14 December 2018

Winner Result Loser
XU, Xin
11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7
4-1 WONG, Chun Ting
LIN, Gaoyuan
11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 16-14
4-2 LEE, Sangsu
MIZUTANI, Jun
11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 11-0 (retired)
4-0 LIU, Dingshuo
LIANG, Jingkun
11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11
4-0 BOLL, Timo
 
HARIMOTO, Tomokazu
11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7
4-1 FRANZISKA, Patrick
JANG, Woojin
11-5, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5
4-0 LIM, Jonghoon
CALDERANO, Hugo
11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7
4-3 OSHIMA, Yuya
FAN, Zhendong
11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10
4-0 NIWA, Koki

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Hugo Calderano defeats Yuya OshimaHugo Calderano defeats Yuya Oshima

 


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Quarter Finals

Friday/Saturday
14/15 December 2018

Winner Result Loser
LIN, Gaoyuan
11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 11-13, 11-2, 11-9
4-2 XU, Xin
MIZUTANI, Jun
7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9
4-2 LIANG, Jingkun
 
HARIMOTO, Tomokazu
12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9
4-1 JANG, Woojin
CALDERANO, Hugo
11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9
4-2 FAN, Zhendong

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Lin Gaoyuan winner over Xu XinLin Gaoyuan, winner over Xu Xin

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Tomokazu Harimoto defeated Jang WoojinTomokazu Harimoto defeated Jang Woojin

 


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Semi Finals

Saturday 15 December 2018

Winner Result Loser
LIN, Gaoyuan
11-5, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10
4-0 MIZUTANI, Jun
 
HARIMOTO, Tomokazu
11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5
4-0 CALDERANO, Hugo

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Lin Gaoyuan too good for Jun MizutaniLin Gaoyuan too good for Jun Mizutani

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Tomokazu Harimoto fires a backhand winner against Hugo CalderanoTomokazu Harimoto fires a backhand winner against Hugo Calderano

 

Final

Sunday 16 December 2018

Winner Result Loser
HARIMOTO, Tomokazu
11-4, 13-15, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9
4-1 LIN, Gaoyuan

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Tomokazu Harimoto after winning the final pointTomokazu Harimoto after winning the final point

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Tomokazu Harimoto with the winners trophyTomokazu Harimoto with the winners trophy

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals - Lin Gaoyuan and Tomokazu Harimoto receive their trophiesLin Gaoyuan and Tomokazu Harimoto receive their trophies

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Arena2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Arena

 

2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Arena2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Arena

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MORE PAGES ABOUT
THE ITTF WORLD TOUR
For more information about the ITTF World Tour, take a look at my other articles...

ITTF Pro Tour (1996-2011)

 

ITTF World Tour (2012-2016)

 

ITTF World Tour (2017 onwards)

 

 

Other Major Tournaments

Olympic Games

 

World Championships

 

World Cup

 

European Championships

 

Commonwealth Games

 

 

 

See Who Performed Best

World Rankings

 

Table Tennis Events Calendars

 

Table Tennis Officials


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