A new year was ushered in and with it came the final adoption of the new ITTF World Ranking system. The system which follows closer to Tennis, focuses on tournament finishes rather than on individual results, this means that players will need to remain active on the international circuit if they are to maintain a high world ranking.
Already with the implementation of the new system we have seen some interesting changes, and among the many new placements was USA's Kanak Jha. After an impressive year, particularly in the World Table Tennis Championships where reached the 2nd round of the main draw, Jha finds a new home at the 90th ranking position in the world.
Like many other players it was a satisfying moment for the young American who has set his sights on top 100 from a young age.
"I am extremely happy with my new ranking, it's been my dream since I was very young to be in the top 100 in the world. I think the new system has definitely helped my ranking a lot. This gives me motivation to keep training hard and hopefully keep improving." - Kanak Jha, 2016 US Olympian.
Without a doubt there will be some adjustment in the coming months as players fight their way towards the top, some lesser active players suffering some significant placement losses - the likes of Jeoung Young Sik of South Korea ending up outside the top 100 players in the world as a prime example. Very early stages for the new system and no doubt it will see some accuracy corrections as the World Tour kicks off for 2018, a point echoed by Kanak Jha:
"I think the new system is an interesting change from the old system. It will encourage players to play more tournaments. I think currently there are some players who are significantly higher or lower than they were with the old ranking; but of course this is the first month with the new system."
Despite his impressive new placement, Kanak Jha doesn't let it distract him and as always is very focused on furthering his goals and controlling the things within his grasp.
"There is not much change with my planning in terms of the new system. I will continue to play many tournaments. I think it's important to not overthink about ranking because it can affect you negatively when you do this." - Kanak Jha, 2 time US National Champion.
We certainly look forward to seeing what Kanak can achieve in 2018!