Overview

The WTT Contender Series, with its distinctive black and blue branding, features two event tiers – WTT Star Contender and WTT Contender – that are set to deliver world-class competition. Players will battle it out for ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking points, as up-and-coming stars of the sport look to rise up the ladder. Matches will be played in more traditional table tennis settings.WTT Contender Series events will be the heartbeat of the WTT Series and provide a critical pathway for players to progress through the rankings and the new structure into WTT Champions and Grand Smash events.

WTT Star Contender events will take place over six days and WTT Contender events will deliver four days of action, with each event featuring men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

WTT intends to have up to six Star Contender and up to 14 Contender events as part of the WTT Contender Series each calendar year, with fans getting their first look at the WTT Contender Series in the upcoming Middle East Hub in Doha, Qatar.

Event Size

WTT Star Contender events will be comprised of a singles main draw of 48 players per gender, 16-pair doubles per gender and 8-pair mixed doubles.

WTT Contender events will feature a singles main draw of 32 players per gender, 16-pair doubles per gender and 8-pair mixed doubles.

Each WTT Star Contender event organiser will have the opportunity to determine their singles qualifying draw size from three pre-determined draw sizes: 32, 48 or 64, while doubles qualifying is fixed at 16-pairs.

Each WTT Contender event organiser will have the opportunity to determine their qualifying draw size from 48, 64 or 96 player options, while doubles qualifying is fixed at 16 or 32 pairs respectively.

Top 20 Play Down Restriction

The Top 20 Play Down Restriction (PDR) is a new rule introduced for 2021 and designed to ensure that the players ranked 21 and lower have the opportunity to challenge their peers for progression through the ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings.

WTT Star Contender events will be limited to a maximum of four Top 20 players per event, while WTT Contender events will be restricted to a maximum of two Top 20 players per event.

WTT events will also be permitted to provide one of its allocated event wildcards to an additional Top 20 player, giving fans the opportunity to see their favourite Top 20 players competing at WTT events and being challenged by the contenders.

For the upcoming Middle East Hub, WTT has elected to increase the Top 20 Play Down Restriction to eight Top 20 players for WTT Star Contender Doha and four Top 20 for WTT Contender Doha.

Top 20 Play Down Restriction Regulations

Each WTT Star Contender event will be permitted a maximum of four players from the Top 20 at the time of the entry deadline. These players will be accepted into an event based on the following criteria:

  1. Top 20 players from the host country of the event will be accepted first.
  2. Top 20 players who were ineligible to play a Champions or Grand Smash event in the six weeks prior to the event entry deadline due to National Entry Restrictions.
  3. Top 20 players in order of ranking.

National Entry Restriction

Each WTT event will implement a National Entry Restriction (NER) designed to ensure that as many players from as many national associations are provided with the opportunity to participate in events and earn rankings points and prize money. This also provides fans with the opportunity to see more players from around the world competing in WTT events.

For WTT Star Contender events, the National Entry Restrictions are as follows:

Singles:           A maximum of 6 singles players permitted across the main draw and the qualifying draw.
Doubles:          A maximum of 8 players permitted across the main draw and the qualifying draw with a maximum of 3 all-national association pairs.
Mixed:             A maximum of 4 players permitted in any national association combination.

For WTT Contender events, the National Entry Restrictions are as follows:

Singles:           A maximum of 4 singles players permitted across the main draw and the qualifying draw.
Doubles:          A maximum of 8 players permitted across the main draw and the qualifying draw with a maximum of 3 all-national association pairs.
Mixed:             A maximum of 4 players permitted in any national association combination.

Host wildcards and Top 20 players do not count towards the National Entry Restriction.

WTT Event Structural Changes Introduced

WTT has made structural changes to the way that WTT events will be implemented. These will reinvigorate competitions by making them fairer, more exciting, more competitive and to give fans the opportunity to see more of their favourite players in action in the main draw.

A summary of the key changes are below:

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, WTT is constantly evaluating the global situation and may need to make adjustments where necessary.

Click here for more information about WTT Events.

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World Table Tennis

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