USA's Kanak Jha is set to make another appearance at the ITTF Men's World Cup, this year staged in Chengdu, China. As the youngster climbs the ITTF World Rankings and continues to cause upsets among the world's top players, the Men's World Cup is a worthy challenge for the current world number 26.
Last year in Paris, Jha recorded his best World Cup result to date, defeating Nigeria's Quadri Aruna in a 4-2 upset to advance into the main draw and losing out 4-1 to China's Lin Gaoyuan in the Round of 16.
This year Jha is the 16th seed, in a contest of champions which includes 7 of the world's top 10 male players.
The field is led by defending cup champion and current World Number 1, Fan Zhendong of China.
While US fans will be squarely focused on Jha to see how he can perform in the strong field of play, there will also be attention upon grand slam champion Ma Long, who returns to the big stage after injury, surgery and physical rehabilitation. No doubt fans will be keen to see how the world number 4 holds his own against such a challenging group of opponents.
The event kicks off on November 29, with the top 8 players heading into the main draw, leaving the remaining 12 players to fight for qualification positions. Four groups of three will decide the 8 to advance, with two from each group going to the main draw. Unlike last year, Jha is this year seeded to advance, though he likely won't be phased by the pressure, usually opting to take things one step at a time.
We wish Kanak the best of luck!
Draws to be released here on the official Chengdu Airlines 2019 ITTF Men's World Cup Event Page.