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"The 2018 Australian Open will be staged in Geelong, Victoria from the 24-29 July. As part of the 2018 Seamaster ITTF World Tour, the Platinum Series event will see the world’s best table tennis players coming to Australia to compete for over 315,000USD in prize money."
The top Chinese players Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xue Xin together with the former world champion Zhang Jike who is on the comeback trail, will try to get revenge on Japanese wonder kid Tomokazu Harimoto. Tomo has beaten all the Chinese players in the last two months which is almost unheard of.
In Geelong, only 3 players from the top 20 in the world will be missing. They are from Hong Kong and the tall Karlson Swedes. I just hope the Chinese don't do a runner like in 2017. If Harimoto wins the Aussie Open, it will confirm his precocious talent and no doubt the Chinese will be stressed out that a competitive player has appeared on the scene to challenge their world dominance. What is more poignant is that Tomo's parents were state level players from China, probably felt piqued for missing out on national selection so now they've produced a son that will win world and gold medals for Japan. That will teach 'em!
Australia has two players David Powell and Heming Hu ranked less than 200 but in the new ranking system, these players received nearly the same number of points in the Oceania championships as Ma Long did playing in the mainstream events. Nevertheless, in the recent Commonwealth Games Heming demonstrated great quickness and skill taking games off India's Achanta. He is one local to keep an eye out for.
My predictions are Fan Zhendong to win it from Ma Long or Harimoto depending on which half of the draw they are seeded in. The Chinese hate losing and have probably analyzed Tomo's competition videos to death and practised against similar styled players or trained a top player to adopt Harimoto's playing style to practise tactics against. They have the assistance of at least three coaches who were all previous world level champions. Their problem is not to find someone to coach their players but to cull the plethora of ideas and tactics on how to beat the Japanese kid.
This tournament is so exciting that I've already bought the air and accommodation bookings.
Note - click on any player's name to view their profile. Click the table link where you can buy tickets and apply to be a volunteer at the event. Apologies to our female fans for not discussing the women's entries but they are just as incredible.
|Player||Cntry||WR Points||WR Position|
|ACHANTA Sharath Kamal||IND||7824||47|
|THAKKAR Manav Vikash||IND||1615||243|
|ZHANG Shaoping ^^||AUS||57||935|
|MENG Qi ^^||NZL|
|KIM James ^^||AUS|
|VON EINEM Samuel||AUS|
|LEE Seonghun ^^||AUS|
- Created: 28 June 2018 28 June 2018
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