Group Stages Take Shape for USA at World Team Championships
by Joshua Dyke
The group stages are starting to take shape with three matches down in the books thus far in the USA men’s and women’s Group 1's at the 2022 ITTF World Team Championships.
The U.S. men’s team is tied for second place with Slovenia at 5 points in the group 1 standings. U.S. two group wins over Thailand 3-2 and Puerto Rico 3-1. Their first loss was recorded against China in the early stages of the event.
The U.S. men’s side is most recently coming off their match three victory over Puerto Rico in which Levinski and Liang notched three wins in matches over Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez.
A pivotal match is on the horizon for Earl James Alto, Mishel Levinski, and Jishan Liang as the USA will be attempting to break the tie with Slovenia in match four of Group 1.
With USA and Slovenia on the next match card for Group 1, the match should determine the group's second-place finisher. The stakes of the match rise with how the tournament seeding and knockout rounds are structured.
Barring any welcome yet unforeseen events, China is a favorite to take first place in the Group 1 round robin with their next match against 0-3 Thailand. A second-place finish in Group 1 is in favor of the teams in the group as well.
If the USA squad takes second place in Group 1 or becomes one of the two highest ranked third-placed teams in the group stages, they will not see China in the first knockout round after competing in the same group round robin. This outcome gives the second-place team of each group time to build momentum if a knockout round rematch occurs.
Tue, 4th Oct - 4:00 AM ET, 1:00 AM PT
Men's Teams - Group 1
SLO vs USA
As Group 1 for the USA women’s team takes shape, one game back from Group 1 second-place to Malaysia and Puerto Rico, the USA women’s team faces a must-win situation in match four against Puerto Rico.
The USA women will also be awaiting the outcome of China versus Malaysia with the hopes of China taking the match to propel the U.S. into the second-place conversation of Group 1 and to have an opportunity to remain in competition for the knockout rounds of the tournament.
In addition to the first and second seeds from each women's group making the knockout stages, the top four third-place finishers will be seeded in the first knockout round of the 2022 ITTF Team Championships.
USA’s Sarah Jalli, Tiffany Ke, Yishiuan Lin, and Lily Zhang have the opportunity for a get-right game against Peurto Rico in their Group 1 match four.
The U.S. women’s hot start against Canada halted after suffering back-to-back losses against Malaysia and China. The USA women will be eager to get back on the path to the knockout rounds. They will have to get through a formidable PUR team in Adriana Diaz, Melanie Diaz, and Daniely Rios, who are going into the match as the heavy favorites.
Tue, 4th Oct - 1:00 AM ET
Mon, 3rd Oct – 10:00 PM PT
Women's Teams - Group 1
USA vs PUR