Ma Long and Ding Ning's first place just mirrors the great 2011 of both players. Despite no clinching the gold medal at the World Championship in Rotterdam, Ma Long managed to reach the top by winning almost all the ITTF events where he participated. On the other hand, Ding Ning started her leadership after defeating Li Xiaoxia in the final in Rotterdam and supported it by winning the World Cup.
In the second place of the men's world ranking is Zhang Jike, who clinched the title in the World Championship. However, the young Chinese player failed to keep his high level in the next competition. Despite this, Zhang Jike captured the World Cup title after beating Wang Hao in the final. Then Wang Hao comes in third place and is followed by German Timo Boll, Xu Xin and Wang Liqin, who is out of the race for the Olympics.
The seventh place is for Ma Lin, who don't have a good 2011 because he lost several matches to foreigners such as Quentin Robinot, Alexei Liventsov, Kirill Skachkov, Jun Mizutani, among others. Joo Se Hyuk is in the eight place after exchanging spot with Jun Mizutani. Finally, Dimitrij Ovtcharov closed the top ten list.
Probably the biggest loser for 2011 is the Belorussian veteran Vladimir Samsonov. At the start of 2011, Samsonov sat in the sixth place but after one year, he is out from the elite 10 and slid eight places down to the fourteenth slot. While Samsonov, posted a big decline, the French Adrien Mattenet leaped from 38th place last year to the 19th slot.
Although the Danish star Michael Maze was missing in action for the most part of 2011, he was just down with two notches in number 20. Michael Maze indeed posted a two slot increase since last month. Meanwhile, the Germans Patrick Baum and Bastian Steger posted no movements at all as they still occupy the 21st and 22nd slots respectively.
The Russian Alexey Smirnov dropped five places to the 28th slot while the other Russian Kiril Skachkov climbed from the 53rd place last season to the number 29 at the start of 2012. Kiril Skachkov was the reason for Ma Lin's defeat in the World Team Cup. The French Quentin Robinot and Simon Gauzy also skyrocketed for the year 2011. Robinot jumped 120 slots to the 120th slot while Gauzy, from 219, accelerated to 129.
As for the Chinese players outside the top 10, Olympic champion Chen Qi is first in the 12th place. He was actually up to two places from last year. Meanwhile Hao Shuai is in number 18 dropping two places. As for the younger players, Lin Gaoyuan climbed 50 places up while Yan An now ranks 61st from being outranked at the start of 2011.
In the women's world ranking, Ding Ning is followed Li Xiaoxia, who was the runner-up at the Wold Championship and Cup. The third place is for Guo Yan, who is followed by Liu Shiwen, winner of the ITTF Grand Finals. Feng Tianwei retained her fourth place, while Guo Yue did the same with the sixth place. However, Kasumi Ishikawa was replaced in the seventh place by Singaporean Wang Yuegu. Ai Fukuhara is in the ninth spot followed by Hong Kong's Tie Yana.
The Chinese Wu Yang exchanged places with the Japanese Sayaka Hirano making the Chinese paddler ahead in the 11th slot. Meanwhile, the highest European player in the world ranking is Wu Jiaduo from Germany. She moved two places up to the 16th slot. However, Li Jiao of Netherlands slip one place to 18 and now ties with Feng Yalan of China. Another Chinese Wen Jia moved two places up to the 20th slot while the Chinese turned Korean Jeon Ji Hee also posted an increase of two places to 25.
Photo and info. source: thehindu.com - ittf.com