My predictions for the next couple of years

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Predictions:


Ma Long: Other players (especially Chinese players) are definitely catching up with Ma Long in terms of technique. Losing the recent World Cup is not going to help his confidence. Though Ma Long has a very complete technique, I feel that he has always had problems against strong Backhand players. Losing to Wang Hao 3 times in a row in the WTTC did have something to do with nerves but I have always felt that it also had equally as much to do with Wang Hao's backhand and the fact that Wang Hao's big tournament record is legendary. In matches where ZJK is in good condition, they have played many times till the 7th set with Ma Long winning a lot of those battles (an example is the Austrian Open in 2011). Ma Long has also won mostly (but not without a struggle) against FZD. All of these players can accelerate very close to the table and can give him a headache. I also feel that he is under more pressure because everyone expects him to win. It's not going to be easy but I still predict that he has the best chances for winning the WTTC in 2015 and perhaps in 2017. With a fully motivated ZJK, it could be tricky winning the Olympics but I hope that he at least gets a silver medal. He technique is also quite fluid and I hope that he can play beyond the normal Chinese retirement age of 30.


In contrast, he has an easier time against Xu Xin and Timo Boll, who are both Forehand oriented players.


Zhang Jike: Zhang Jike has achieved enough for several careers but he must be eyeing the Olympics in 2016. That will take him beyond other legends like Waldner, LGL, KLH. It is going to be very difficult to stop him if he's fully motivated to win the OG. He might start dominating in 2015 if he is completely focussed on being one of the two players who will qualify for Rio 2016. I have always though that ZJK has perhaps the most complete game. It might be simpler than ML's game but he is stronger in his crossover point and can accelerate very quickly as well. However, I can't imagine that his style is very easy on his body and he might not play competitively as long as some other players, especially because he has already achieved everything that others aspire for.


Xu Xin: He probably has the most monstrous FH in the world but I still rate XX a bit under ML and ZJK even if he has improved a lot and that's mainly because his backhand is not as strong as the other two players. I've read somewhere that he's like a 1.5 winged looper. An advantage for him is that less people are expecting him to win and he might play under less pressure than ML for that reason alone. As unique as XX is, his fitness levels need to be at 100% for his game to work and I can't see him playing at his current level past the age of 30 unless he changes a lot of things.


FZD: Fan Zhendong's style is a lot like ZJK's style and he has improved a lot. I don't want to predict too much here because he might turn out to be even more monstrous than WLQ in his prime. I really like his attitude towards the game as well. I kind of hope that he hits his peak after ML or Timo Boll win the WTTC or the 2016 OG.


Timo Boll: Timo Boll was very impressive in the World Cup and I feel that at this point in his career, he has less technical deficiencies than he has ever. He has also been very impressive in general since the team WTTC in 2014. He has adapted marvelously to the new ball and I hope that he gets a second wind like Waldner did. Tackling ageing while battling against the Chinese players is never going to be easy but I still predict that he will achieve perhaps a bronze or silver medal in the 2015 WTTC and at least a bronze in the 2016 OG. Nobody except Ovtcharov or Chinese players can stop him.


Ovtcharov: He has hit a pretty low phase in his career but even during the WTTC in 2014, I felt that he has quite a lot of catching up to do. ZJK probably played worse than I have ever seen him play in the team finals and I don't think that Dima from that time period would have a chance against the ZJK in the World Cup. He is still young and a lot of european players become great after they hit 28 and I hope that he takes over the Mantle from TB and Samsonov but I can't see him catching up with the Chinese players in the near future. He has won quite often against TB but I feel that that is mainly because he is so familiar with TB's game.
 
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IF the rumors of LGL fixing the WC match between ML and ZJK was real, he would most likely win the 2016 rio game.
From what I've heard from a close to inside source, this is pretty crucial for LGL's career in the chinese sporting scene. All these are speculations and rumors though.

Also, if you've noticed, ZJK's forehand has weakened by quite a bit in the final match against ML, in relativity of his previous performances. Some rumors were floating around the inside circle in regards of this as well, but I would take them with a pinch of salt. ML, by far, still has the most complete game in the current generation of top notch players. That is both his biggest strength and weakness. He doesn't have a go-to technique that can affect his opponent's game as much as, say, ZJK/FZD's backhands.
 
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I think you over rate Timo Boll
World Cup has hardly no Top10/Top20 players (all the numbers 3s, 4s of top countries was taking out)
WTTC will be difficult for Timo to get a medal, with top countries filling 5 players for single.

One thing for 2016 OG, we need to look at is age.
I dont think CNT will field 2 "old" players with ML and ZJK
I think they will have 1 old and 1 young
The 4 above is defiantly the final 4 cut.

Would Timo still be number 2 of Germany? I sure hope not...
 
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I think you over rate Timo Boll
World Cup has hardly no Top10/Top20 players (all the numbers 3s, 4s of top countries was taking out)
WTTC will be difficult for Timo to get a medal, with top countries filling 5 players for single.

One thing for 2016 OG, we need to look at is age.
I dont think CNT will field 2 "old" players with ML and ZJK
I think they will have 1 old and 1 young
The 4 above is defiantly the final 4 cut.

Would Timo still be number 2 of Germany? I sure hope not...

I could be biased because I live in Germany but these are the reasons that I felt that he has a good chance of getting a bronze/silver in the OG:

1. Timo Boll is a clear favourite against any non-Chinese player except for an in-form Ovtcharov. He has a 14:1 win ratio against Mizutani and an 8:1 win ratio against Chuang Chih Yuan and a 3:1 win ratio against Marcos Freitas.
2. With only two players per country in the OG in 2016, it's definitely possible for him to get a bronze medal and perhaps a silver medal. Samsonov, Waldner, Persson stayed competitive late into their 30s and Samsonov is still very competitive. TB will be 35 during the OG and 34 during the 2015 WTTC.
3. I don't think any non-Chinese player can push an in-form ZJK into a 7th set.
4. TB will have to repeat the 2011 WTTC to get a bronze medal in the WTTC (which is only half a year away), which means defeating one strong Chinese player. Not completely outside the realm of possibility.
 
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I could be biased because I live in Germany but these are the reasons that I felt that he has a good chance of getting a bronze/silver in the OG:

1. Timo Boll is a clear favourite against any non-Chinese player except for an in-form Ovtcharov. He has a 14:1 win ratio against Mizutani and an 8:1 win ratio against Chuang Chih Yuan and a 3:1 win ratio against Marcos Freitas.
2. With only two players per country in the OG in 2016, it's definitely possible for him to get a bronze medal and perhaps a silver medal. Samsonov, Waldner, Persson stayed competitive late into their 30s and Samsonov is still very competitive. TB will be 35 during the OG and 34 during the 2015 WTTC.
3. I don't think any non-Chinese player can push an in-form ZJK into a 7th set.
4. TB will have to repeat the 2011 WTTC to get a bronze medal in the WTTC (which is only half a year away), which means defeating one strong Chinese player. Not completely outside the realm of possibility.

IMO, the new ball has hurt Timo Boll's style (spin player).
Yes, he will get older by OG and I'm sure he will slow down even more till then.
I really doubt he will be German number 2 by then...I hope some other player surpass him by performance (we need that for the sport).

For Timo to win a medal at WTTC - he will need to beat 1 to 2 Chinese (Assuming 2 to 3 on each side of the draw), 2 to 3 top asians (Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese), and also Timo may also loose to some Europeans.
The odds are indeed low.

I don't really look at past win/lost ratio, but rather form of player and age vs tournament style. WTTC has the most difficult matches in the knock out stages compared to OG or WCup.

My view: Top 4 = 3 Chinese with a non Chinese
Top 8 = 4 to 5 Chinese with 3 to 4 non Chinese - can Timo make it to Top 8?
 
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I could be biased because I live in Germany but these are the reasons that I felt that he has a good chance of getting a bronze/silver in the OG:

1. Timo Boll is a clear favourite against any non-Chinese player except for an in-form Ovtcharov. He has a 14:1 win ratio against Mizutani and an 8:1 win ratio against Chuang Chih Yuan and a 3:1 win ratio against Marcos Freitas.
2. With only two players per country in the OG in 2016, it's definitely possible for him to get a bronze medal and perhaps a silver medal. Samsonov, Waldner, Persson stayed competitive late into their 30s and Samsonov is still very competitive. TB will be 35 during the OG and 34 during the 2015 WTTC.
3. I don't think any non-Chinese player can push an in-form ZJK into a 7th set.
4. TB will have to repeat the 2011 WTTC to get a bronze medal in the WTTC (which is only half a year away), which means defeating one strong Chinese player. Not completely outside the realm of possibility.

im thinking maybe Quadri Aruna will be a big competitor in these events.Also,dont underestimate Mizutani.
 
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im thinking maybe Quadri Aruna will be a big competitor in these events.Also,dont underestimate Mizutani.

With "dark horses" like the recent Quadri Aruna, basically people now start noticing them = studying them in depth = won't be as easy going forward.
FZD was a classic example - first few match then it idled until FZD improved more

For JM, he is good enough, but he some times peaks, some time doesn't
 
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With "dark horses" like the recent Quadri Aruna, basically people now start noticing them = studying them in depth = won't be as easy going forward.
FZD was a classic example - first few match then it idled until FZD improved more

For JM, he is good enough, but he some times peaks, some time doesn't

They have already started http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/f...adri-s-forhand-loop-analysed-by-Chinese-Coach

I'm not too impressed by JM to be honest. His FH is not that compact and he's caught way too often lobbing. Even though he's the best lobber in the world, it's not a great position to be in.

I was very impressed by Patrick Franziska in the WTTC but it's hard to say if he can break into the top 10. In the present, the only non-Chinese who have a chance of winning against ML or ZJK on a good day are:
1. Timo Boll
2. Samsonov
3. Ovtcharov (if he gets his form back).
4. Mizutani
5. Joo Se Hyuk or Chuang Chih Yuan if they have an exceptionally good day.

I can't see this changing in the next 5 months but age will definitely be a huge factor for Samsonov in the 2016 OG.
 
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none of the Japanese players could be a threat to the top Chinese players. They all have similar problems in their games: lack of power. More than one chinese top coach criticised J M' forhand stroke. His arm is too close to his body and cannot generate enough power.
 
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none of the Japanese players could be a threat to the top Chinese players. They all have similar problems in their games: lack of power. More than one chinese top coach criticised J M' forhand stroke. His arm is too close to his body and cannot generate enough power.

Yeah, I don't think there is no questions for Chinese not making it to the Top 4 in the WTTC
But Timo could be knocked out by one of the Japanese

PS, it is also home ground advantage for the Chinese, but I do hope Dima or some non Chinese can get a medal
 
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none of the Japanese players could be a threat to the top Chinese players. They all have similar problems in their games: lack of power. More than one chinese top coach criticised J M' forhand stroke. His arm is too close to his body and cannot generate enough power.
Yes Yang that wrist of JM looks like chicken wing close to the body on fh spin wont generate much.
 
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Ma Long will in my opinion never reach WTTC final. Even if he would, he will never win.
The final will be FZD, ZJK.. If they will be in same half, then MAYBE Ma Long has a chance, but still I think he will lose to someone unexpected .. Its his faith, too bad.
I am afraid that FZD and ZJK will be also the setup for Rio. And - honestly - who can beat them? I was very surprised that Samsonov pushed ZJK to 7th set in last olympics, still not sure to say it was luck or what was that, but respect to Vladi.
Anyways, I dont think anyone can really beat those guys, except for them. FZD will do everything to get to RIO.. EVERYTHING!
Also he will do everything to win WTTC 2015. This will be very interesting. You can see his improvement, his backhand is fierce and forehand too, its really hard to find a weakness.. And ZJK, well, we all know what ZJK can do when he wants to.. ;)
All others are .. nothing but others .. Thats it guys..
 
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Ma Long will in my opinion never reach WTTC final. Even if he would, he will never win.
The final will be FZD, ZJK.. If they will be in same half, then MAYBE Ma Long has a chance, but still I think he will lose to someone unexpected .. Its his faith, too bad.
I am afraid that FZD and ZJK will be also the setup for Rio. And - honestly - who can beat them? I was very surprised that Samsonov pushed ZJK to 7th set in last olympics, still not sure to say it was luck or what was that, but respect to Vladi.
Anyways, I dont think anyone can really beat those guys, except for them. FZD will do everything to get to RIO.. EVERYTHING!
Also he will do everything to win WTTC 2015. This will be very interesting. You can see his improvement, his backhand is fierce and forehand too, its really hard to find a weakness.. And ZJK, well, we all know what ZJK can do when he wants to.. ;)
All others are .. nothing but others .. Thats it guys..

I agree,
Base on what you say is indeed highly likely, and then Ma Long will likely be the best player ever, not able to make it to the Olympics

Xu Xin also stands a chance to be one of the best players ever, not able to make it to the Olypmics - considering his peak now and how penhold age very quickly on the second half of 25 and how the new game requires more power. XX for 2020 is indeed a hard ask with FZD almost guaranty a 2020 spot too.

I'm sure such situation has never happened in TT ever before, and it sure will occure more often - espeically CNT 4 year cycle and around 5 to 10 near players will come in every cycle.
You only have 1 shot at the Olympics basically

Ma Long.....no Olympic.....really sad

This is the reason why ITTF will kill TT in China
LGL and co already warned ITTF, and already with other factors in China, TT has lost its numbers.....
 
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I'm sure ZJK, ML, FZD and XX will be in 2015 WTTC and probably XX will not this one.
Most likely LGL will select a young and an older player for Rio. If FZD perform well in 2015 WTTC and 2016 WTTTC he will surely be the young one. I think XX will not get there because ZJK and ML are far better than him. So the older player will be ZJK or ML which depends on their performances in 2015 WTTC and 2016 WTTTC. Since ZJK has a much better record than ML in major tournaments i think ZJK have more chance to be in 2016 OG.
 
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I'm sure ZJK, ML, FZD and XX will be in 2015 WTTC and probably XX will not this one.
Most likely LGL will select a young and an older player for Rio. If FZD perform well in 2015 WTTC and 2016 WTTTC he will surely be the young one. I think XX will not get there because ZJK and ML are far better than him. So the older player will be ZJK or ML which depends on their performances in 2015 WTTC and 2016 WTTTC. Since ZJK has a much better record than ML in major tournaments i think ZJK have more chance to be in 2016 OG.

All speculation.what makes you think 1 young 1 old?also xx is not considered old.he is inbetween.BTW,when was the last time china never send a penholder to the olympics?
 
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for the non-chinese, i believe only Dima has chance, because he has attack power. other people rely on the bad form of the chinese, that can possibly happen, but wont be fun if it does.i wished FZD can become the best ever, becos his technique is just admirable. it is a top-up of ZJK's technique imo. but the thing was, he did kinda break down n lost 2 matches in a row this year in a team event or something? that is not good. LGL understands the pressure in big games so well that he won't let that happen. so FZD can only win his ticket by WTTC 2015. he needs to win thatML has proved himself many times in big matches now in last 2 years. but two 28 yr old (ML and ZJK) in 2016 OG, probably not. FZD got chances, lots depend on his performance.ZJK will most likely be in 2016. So i think 2016 OG is between (ZJK, ML) or (ZJK, FZD)FZD wud prob be given the chance for world cup next yr possibly if he's not out of form. I hope he gets it.
 
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I think when China chooses their players to send to OG, they will send players who can win non-Chinese players. They don't care much if another Chinese can beat Ma Long or Zhang Jike or Xu Xin, they only cares if he has a very high chance of beating all non-Chinese players. Fan ZhenDong is improving fast but he still too inexperienced and sometimes he still struggles against strange non-Chinese opponents that are well below his level (e.g. in Youth Olympics and Asian Games). If China sends a 19-years-old player to OG 2016, they can get another upset like Wang Hao in OG 2004.

FZD has an outside chance of making OG single but I think if Ma Long, Zhang Jike and XuXin can keep their current form, two of them will be in OG 2016 single. Perhaps Ma Long and Zhang Jike, they are still hungry for success and directly compete with each other. Zhang Jike wants to be the first ever to complete the second Grand Slam while Ma Long is desperate for a big title, especially after beating ZJK.
 
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I think when China chooses their players to send to OG, they will send players who can win non-Chinese players. They don't care much if another Chinese can beat Ma Long or Zhang Jike or Xu Xin, they only cares if he has a very high chance of beating all non-Chinese players. Fan ZhenDong is improving fast but he still too inexperienced and sometimes he still struggles against strange non-Chinese opponents that are well below his level (e.g. in Youth Olympics and Asian Games). If China sends a 19-years-old player to OG 2016, they can get another upset like Wang Hao in OG 2004.

FZD has an outside chance of making OG single but I think if Ma Long, Zhang Jike and XuXin can keep their current form, two of them will be in OG 2016 single. Perhaps Ma Long and Zhang Jike, they are still hungry for success and directly compete with each other. Zhang Jike wants to be the first ever to complete the second Grand Slam while Ma Long is desperate for a big title, especially after beating ZJK.

exactly my thoughts.
 
says bebakhshid.
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All speculation.what makes you think 1 young 1 old?also xx is not considered old.he is inbetween.BTW,when was the last time china never send a penholder to the olympics?
I'm just guessing.But i think there will be 1 old 1 young because LGL want to have an experienced for the next Olympic circle. If he send two old players, for the next OG he will not have an experienced one.BTW, penholders were always the best in CNT but this time i think XX is behind ML, ZJK and even FZD.Anyway we have to wait and see what happens.
 
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