The draw for the World Ping Pong Masters has been made, with the brand-new event set to begin at midday on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Mix from Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
The opening match will see youngsters Vlad Farcas of USA and England’s 18-year-old Ethan Walsh go head-to-head, with the winner to face No.1 seed Andrew Baggaley, the four-time World Champion from Milton Keynes.
Eight players were seeded directly through to the last 16, with the remaining players facing off over a best-of-three sets match in the preliminary round.
German international star Sabine Winter will face the winner of Bryan Aiglemont (France) against World Teqpong Champion Alfredas Udra (Lithuania).
“It is a very exciting game and it is a lot of fun,” said Winter. “I am really enjoying my time here and looking forward to playing tomorrow.”
Her German compatriot Alexander Flemming with face either Tomas Sadilek (Czech Republic) or Lucian Filimon (Romania) in the last 16.
“Everybody is strong,” said the three-time World Championship runner-up. “I will watch the first matches to do some analytics and we will see what happens in the evening.”
England’s Baggaley added: “It is really exciting to have a new event. The World Championships have been an amazing platform for us players and we are thankful to have another event.
“It’s an endurance this sport, there are so many rallies. My matches have gone to the wire so it is definitely a test physically and mentally. We are all prepared and raring to go.”
The 2021 World Ping Pong Masters will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Mix, DAZN, Matchroom.Live and networks around the world. Further details are available at www.worldpingpongmasters.com
All players, staff and officials Players, officials and staff were tested on arrival at the event. All those tested remained in isolation until the results were confirmed. Strict rules on social distancing and hygiene remain in place, in line with government guidelines. All those who were tested will now remain inside the ‘event bubble’ and will not leave until the conclusion of the event.
Players are competing under Elite Sports Person Exemptions and were met on arrival to the UK and driven directly to the venue for Covid-19 testing. All players were also tested before travelling to the UK and were only allowed to board their flights after receiving a negative test result.