Published: 10:07, February 9, 2023 | Updated: 10:07, February 9, 2023
China's Fan, Chen to defend WTT Singapore Smash titles
By Xinhua

Sun Yingsha (left) of China hits a return during the women's singles final match against her teammate Chen Meng at the WTT Cup Finals in Xinxiang, central China's Henan province, Oct 30, 2022. (PHOTO BY GAO ZHIYONG / XINHUA)

BEIJING - Chinese paddlers Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng are aiming to defend their titles at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash to be held in March.

The 2023 WTT Singapore Smash will also feature prominent names including women's world No 1 Sun Yingsha of China, world No 5 and No 6 Hina Hayata and Mima Ito of Japan, Germany's Han Ying, Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico and Austria's Sofia Polconova.

"I'm looking forward to competing again at Singapore Smash 2023. It is always an honor to be returning as the defending champion," Chen said in an interview with the WTT website.

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"There's a very strong field of players and I'm expecting the competition to be tough, but this is what we train for and it's a good chance for us to put this training into practice," added the reigning Olympic women's singles champion.

In his title defense, Fan is expected to face a stern challenge from his compatriots, world No 2 Ma Long and third-ranked Wang Chuqin, as well as Japanese prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto and Brazilian ace Hugo Calderano, who won back-to-back WTT Contender titles last month. The sixth-ranked Truls Moregard of Sweden, German legend Timo Boll and Liam Pitchford of England are other paddlers to look out for in Singapore.

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The 2023 Singapore Smash will feature 64 players in the men's and women's singles, and 24 pairs each in the men's, women's and mixed doubles, with a singles qualifying competition to feature a further 64 male and 64 female paddlers.