-Olympic Champion Ding Ning and 2017 Women’s Champion Bernadette Szocs meet in first round battle as the world’s Top 16 Men’s and Women’s players converge in Johor Bahru-
The world’s top players are set to do battle as T2 Diamond returns to the T2Cavern at Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Bahru.
T2 Diamond is organized in collaboration with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and features the world’s Top 16 men’s and women’s players. The opening leg — Seamaster T2 Diamond 2019 Malaysia — will take place from 18 – 21 July 2019.
Men’s top seed Ma Long will begin his campaign against France’s Simon Gauzy, who replaced injured Timo Boll in the draw. On the women’s side, the Round of 16 will feature a mouth-watering clash between Olympic champion Ding Ning against 2017 T2 APAC women’s champion Bernadette Szocs.
A top prize money of US$100,000 awaits the male and female champions. T2 Diamond will carry a prize purse of US$500,000 for each of the three events.
Under a new match format, a 24-minute match clock will operate and matches played to 11 points (with no tie-breaks or two-point differential) in a best-of-seven format. If no result is determined at the 24th minute mark, a FAST5 format will be introduced with the first player to five points winning the game. Existing games in progress at the 24th minute mark will continue to 11 points. Any remaining games that commence after the 24th minute mark will be played as FAST5 games.
Coloured rubbers will also be allowed, with defending women’s champion Szocs the first to seize on this new ITTF initiative by going with pink rubber for one side of her bat. Other players are expected to follow suit as the season progresses.
Mr Frank Ji, Chairman of T2 Diamond and Special Adviser to ITTF President said: “From T2 APAC and its innovative team play, we now move the competition a notch higher. Our T2 Diamond format means players will need to be at their very best to win and we expect fans to be treated to table tennis of the highest quality.”