Doubtless, KoKi Niwa is one of the most promising players so far not only for being at the top of the U18 and U21 world ranking but also for his ride in the adult ranking. 17 years-old player started 2011 in the 83th pace and after his good performance, he finished the year at the 23rd spot.
However, it wasn't a surprise because Niwa has collected many titles during these years. He won the Junior Final Circuit as he was just a cadet but paradoxically, he never clinched the singles gold medal at a World Cadet Challange. In 2010 the Japanese player attracted worldwide attention as he won the title in singles and team at the Youth Olympic Games. However, Niwa got the most important title of his career so far as he won the World Junior Championship last year.
Besides, the Japanese star together with Kenta Matsudaira have collected several titles in doubles events and are in the third place of the Doubles World Ranking after Ma Lin/Zhang Jike and Ma Long/ Wang Hao. With all these achievements in just six years, Koki Niwa is the new Japanese hope for beating Chinese players.
But we also have to remember other promising stars such Jun Mizutani and Kenta Matsudaira. Mizutani got many titles at cadet and junior events, so he was expected to finish with Chinese dominance. Despite the Japanese player has an enviable playing style and is among the best ten players in the world, he isn't a big threat for China. Something similar happened to Kenta Matsudaira, who attracted attention with his backhand tomahawk service. The 19 years old player was the first Japanese, who won a World Junior Championship and some years later, he surprised everyone as he was about to beat Ma Lin at the World Championship in Yokohama 2009. However, since then he hasn't been able to give the big step in the world ranking.
So Koki Niwa, just 17 years old, is the man called to break down the Chinese wall and to lead Japan to Olympic victory in the near future.
Photo and info. source: newshopper.sulekha.com - ittf.com