The May World Ranking was released by the International Table Tennis Federation last week with the recently concluded Spanish and Chile World Tour stations as their primary indicators.
In the Men division, Chinese Taipei's Chuang Chih Yuan achieved a notable movement in the rankings as he ascended into the top 10 since August of 2008, replacing the German rising star Dimitrij Ovtcharov. After winning the Spanish Open Men Singles, Chuang Chih Yuan gained 58 points and assumed the tenth spot, forcing Ovtcharov to exchange places and now sits in the eleventh spot. Chuang Chih Yuan did not participate in the Chile Open while Dimitrij Ovtcharov only participated in the Spanish Open and was defeated by Lee Jung Woo in the quarterfinals.
The South Korean rookie, Lee Jung Woo, who defeated the Belorussian veteran Vladimir Samsonov in the Spanish Open semifinal round, increased himself in the rankings and is now in the 19th spot from being the 22nd player, 12 points shy against the Chinese Hao Shuai.
Despite a strong performance in the Spanish Open, Vladimir Samsonov only reached the semifinals and did not appeared in Santiago a week after. This eventually leads him to stay in the 13th spot.
Meanwhile, the winner in the Chile Open, Gao Ning of Singapore earned himself a two-notch increase in the rankings to the 14th spot. Gao Ning was defeated by Vladimir Samsonov in the Spanish Open quarterfinal round. Another Singaporean paddler also made a notable movement in the ranking and he is Zhan Jian. After reaching the quarterfinals in Spain and the semifinals in Chile, Zhan Jian moved 6 places to number 27.
Despite playing only two rounds in the Spanish Open, the Brazilian seed Cazuo Matsumoto made his presence felt in Chile where he lasted until the semifinals. Because of this, Matsumoto leaped from 109th spot to being in the top 100 in the 85th slot.
The Japanese Kazuhiro Chan only reached Round 32 in Spain. However in the Chile Open, Chan redeemed himself and reached the finals before losing against Gao Ning for the title. Eventually, Kazuhiro Chan leaped 22 places to the 38th spot.
The Japanese teenager Koki Niwa seemed to have make his name popular last month after he overcame the once undefeated Ma Long of China in the Asian Olympic Qualifier in Hong Kong. In the rankings, he once again posted an upward increase and is now in the 17th spot, stepping up two places. After participating in Spain and Chile, Kenji Matsudaira also had an upward movement to the 34th place from being in number 41.
Chen Qi is the highest ranking Chinese player outside the top 10 in 12th place. South Koreans Oh Sang Eun and Ryu Seung Min both stepped one place lower to number 15 and 16 respectively. In addition, Hong Kong's Jiang Tianyi is in the 20th place.
Finally, it was status quo for the rest of the top 10. China still dominates with Ma Long, Zhang Jike, Wang Hao, Xu Xin, and Ma Lin all at the top of the ranking. German superstar Timo Boll is in sixth place followed by Jun Mizutani of Japan, South Korean Joo Se Hyuk and China's Wang Liqin.
In the women division, South Korean Kim Kyung Ah is no doubt the biggest winner for the month of April. In both Spanish and Chile World Tour stations, the best chopper in the world successfully clinched the Women Singles titles. Eventually, this led her to move 5 steps up to the 10th place.
Aside from Kim Kyung Ah, another South Korean paddler showed promising results and she is Yang Ha Eun. In Spain, Yang Ha Eun reached the finals before losing against her teammate Kim Kyung Ah and finished as a semifinalist in Chile. In the ranking, Yang Ha Eun jumped 12 places to the 17th spot.
After displaying a powerful performance in the Spanish Open Women Singles, causing an upset against the top seed Feng Tianwei in the quarterfinals, Shen Yanfei's efforts paid off. Being a semifinalist in Spain, Shen Yanfei worked her way up to the 24th spot from being in number 31.
Japanese top players Kasumi Ishikawa and Ai Fukuhara were not very successful in Spain and in Chile. Despite failing to reach the finals in Spain and having an early exit in Chile, Ishikawa maintained her spot in the sixth place. As for Ai Fukuhara, she moved one notch up to the ninth place despite losing in the quarterfinals in both tournaments.
The top seed in Spain and Chile, Feng Tianwei of Singapore was also not that successful in her journey. She was defeated by the host Shen Yanfei in the quarterfinals in Spain and lost to Yang Ha Eun also in the quarterfinals in Chile. Despite this, Feng Tianwei moved one place higher to the 8th spot.
Singaporeans Li Jiawei and Sun Beibei also posted an upward movement in the ranking. Li Jiawei is now in the 13th spot after reaching the finals in Chile while Sun Beibei is in the 20th place after reaching the quarterfinals in Chile.
Wang Yuegu is still the highest Singaporean on record as she is in the seventh spot despite being absent in the Spanish and Chile World Tour stations.
Just like in the men division, China is also in control with Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen, Guo Yan, Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue in the lead.
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn