Singapore athletes face tough fixtures against World's Best, but relish the challenge and opportunities
Singapore's Feng Tianwei at the draw for Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS
Singapore, 9 March 2022 – The stage is set for some mouthwatering clashes at the inaugural Singapore Smash after the men’s and women’s singles draws were conducted at the OCBC Arena.
Women’s world No. 1 Sun Yingsha opens her campaign on Friday morning, 11 March, against Sabine Winter of Germany, while Singapore’s top female player Feng Tianwei, ranked No. 9, faces off against a qualifier in the evening.
Sun and Feng will play against each other if they win their respective openers. In their quarter is 2019 world champion Liu Shiwen – the world No. 17 faces 10th-ranked Jeon Jihee in the first round on Friday evening.
On the other half of the draw, Olympic champion and world No. 2 Chen Meng will face No. 22 Hitomi Sato. Singapore’s Zeng Jian takes on Melanie Diaz of Puerto Rico.
World table tennis stars Hugo Calderano and Xu Xin at the draw event for Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS
Clarence Chew to face Former World Number 1 Xu Xin
The men’s field will see Singapore Olympian Clarence Chew start against former world No.1 Xu Xin, who is now ranked No. 10. Drawn in their half are men’s top player Fan Zhendong and world No. 9 veteran Timo Boll, who face Tiago Apolonia and Gustavo Tsuboi in their respective first round matches.
Olympic champion Ma Long, the first male player to win back-to-back Olympic singles titles, will play against Marcos Freitas of Portugal in the first round on Friday evening. World No. 5 Liang Jingkun will also feature at Singapore Smash.
Said Xu Xin: “I’m really pleased to be here competing at Singapore Smash. There are so many top players here representing and I’m really glad to be part of the team. I hope we can all perform to the best of our ability and I wish the event a great success."
Singapore's Feng Tianwei will face world number 1 Sun Yingsha. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS
Feng Tianwei to face World No.1 Sun Yingsha
Feng Tianwei, Singapore’s most bemedalled Olympian with one silver and two bronzes, said: “I am very happy to be taking part in the inaugural Singapore Smash and I’m thrilled to be at the OCBC Arena again. The second game against Sun Yingsha is a lottery. I hope to enjoy the process of competing with the world number one.”
World No. 1 Sun Yingsha, who won the inaugural WTT Cup Finals last year, said: “I’m very thankful for all the support from all my fans in Singapore and I hope I’ll be able to put up my best fight at Singapore Smash.”
Singapore's Izaac Quek is one of many young Singapore paddlers who will benefit from exposure at the Singapore Smash 2022 event. PHOTO: INTERNATIONAL TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION
Singapore Starlet Izaac Quek in Action on First Day
Singapore’s Izaac Quek will also be in action on the first day of main draw play, competing against Benedikt Duda of Germany on Friday morning. Other Singaporeans in the event include Olympian Lin Ye, SEA Games men’s singles champion Koen Pang, Zhou Jingyi, Zeng Jian, Wong Xin Ru, Ethan Poh and Goi Rui Xuan.
The men’s and women’s singles qualifiers for Singapore Smash conclude on Wednesday, with the top eight finishers in each field advancing to the main draw. The full draw is available at www.worldtabletennis.com.
Presenters hosting the draw for Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS
Session 1: Starting at 14:00
WS - SUN, Yingsha (CHN) v WINTER, Sabine (GER)
MS - DUDA, Benedikt (GER) V QUEK, Izaak (SGP)
WS - DOO, Hoi Kem (HKG) v EERLAND, Britt (NED)
MS - FALCK, Mattias (SWE) v WANG, Chuqin (CHN)
Session 2: Starting at 19:00
WS - FENG, Tianwei (SGP) v QUALIFIER
MS - LIANG, Jingkun (CHN) v GAUZY, Simon (FRA)
WS - JEON, Jihee (KOR) v LIU Shiwen (CHN)
MS - MA Long (CHN) v FREITAS, Marcos (POR)
WTT Grand Smashes form the foundation of the WTT Series and the Singapore Smash is the first of the four new pillars of professional table tennis. The event boasts US$2,000,000 in prize money, the biggest prize purse at an officially-sanctioned table tennis event.
All spectators to Singapore Smash 2022 are to abide by the necessary Safe Management Measures. Spectators attending Singapore Smash must be fully vaccinated and submit a negative self-administered ART test result before entry into OCBC Arena.
Individuals who are either (1) recovered from a COVID-19 infection within the past 180 days regardless of vaccination status, (2) medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination, (3) unvaccinated children aged 12 and below, can attend the event, and will also have to submit a negative self-administered ART test result before entry into OCBC Arena.