Leading US players continue to make their mark on the international stage as the December World Rankings from the ITTF were released yesterday.
Wu took a small increase in position but made an all-important leap inside the top 50 women players in the world. She moves from 50th to 46th.
Wu, who has been living, training and competing in Austria and has an impressive record in the singles rankings there, has been performing exceptionally this season. She recorded 2 big wins over 2010 World Cup finalist Elizabeta Samara from Romania in the European Champions League, as well as making a very significant case against Han Ying, who she narrowly lost to, a player ranked in the top 10 in the world frequently between 2014 and 2017.
Wu was runner-up at the recent Pan American Championships, as well as making the last 32 at both the Czech Open and Croatia Open. Wu started 2018 strong with some good results at the World Team Cup and further at the World Team Championships in Sweden, where she helped the US team guarantee their place in Division 1 at the next installment of the prestigious event.
Also making major moves is USA's Kanak Jha. The 2018 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist maintains his World Number 1 ranking in the Junior Boys, while making a sizable increase from 65th to 51st in the Men's World Raking.
Jha who recently turned heads by winning the Men's Singles event at the 2018 Pan American Championships, sits just one spot outside the top 50 players in the world, a career high and a strong reflection of his dedication to development. Alongside Wu, he is based overseas and is continuing to compete in the league in Germany, his team currently sits at the top of the league table in division 2 of the German League.
While Wu and Jha highlight the growing international performances of the US National Team, Lily Zhang also pushed her way back into the top 100 players in the world, gaining over 40 places, while this year's US National Finalist Angela Guan pushed into the top 200 at 181st.
The younger players are also punching their way higher up the rankings - 2017 US National Finalist Nikhil Kumar gained 99 places to sit at 260th, while Nick Tio - also based in Grenzau, moved up an astounding 300 places to 281st.
We are incredibly proud of the commitments and development of our players as they wear the American flag out on the world stage, displaying not only constantly improving skill, but also the highest level of sportsmanship and attitude.