The World Championships 2017 have been a tournamen of the absolute highest order. In our social stream, we take a look at WTTC results, action on and off the table, and see what our Butterfly stars have been up to these days in Düsseldorf…

June 6

The Dominator

Old and new World Champion is Ma Long from China, the Number 1 in the world rankings and currently best player around – by a safe margin. The finals match, played in front of 8000 excited spectators in Düsseldorf was worthy of a World Championships Finals and one of the best table tennis games of recent times. Ma’s opponent, the no. 2 seeded Fan Zhendong won the first game, but was later on steamrolled by Ma Long, who confidently took games 2,3 and 4. What looked like a walk in the park towards a 4-1 Ma Long victory later turned into an absolute rollercoaster of a match. Fan Zhendong refused to lose so easily, fought back, won 2 games in a row and even pulled ahead with 9-7 in the deciding game. The tide turned once more as Ma Long pulled together all his tactical prowess, physical fitness and technical skills – demonstrating all of it on the match point. Ma Long prevailed, threw his racket in the air and fell to his knees. What a relief, what a match – what a World Champion!

For Fan Zhendong, the World Championships proved to be a great demonstration of what he is capable of. Winning silver in the singles was not enough for him, he even became World Doubles Champion alongside Xu Xin, beating Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono with a deciding 4-1 games in the Doubles Finals match. Congratulations to Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong as well!


June 5

The Final Day

Yesterday, the athmosphere at the Messehalle Düsseldorf was loadad with tension, excitement and cheer, as we have seen world champions crowned and stars prevail..

New World Champion in Women’s Singles: Ding Ning.

The old champion is the new champion. Ding Ning from China won in a high-class finals match against her countrymate Zhu Yuling. As she won the last point, all the tension and pressure fell off her shoulders and she showed genuine relief.. Congratulations to the World Champion!

World Champion in Men’s doubles: Xu Xin / Fan Zhendong

Both players are still in the running in the singles competition, but they are already world champions. Xu Xin / Fan Zhendong overcame the japanese duo of Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono in the finals with 4-1 games. Congratulations to both!

Incredible Quarter Finals

The quarter final match between Timo Boll and Ma Long will surely go down in table tennis history as one of the best and most exciting matches ever. 8000 spectators, frenetically pushing local hero Timo Boll forward saw Boll competing on the same level as the current best player in the world. Only the first game was won relatively easily by Ma Long, whereas Timo stepped up his performance to steal the second. It was an even exchange of punches, seeing a 36-year old Timo Boll completely on his game – moving fast, punching hard and with supreme tactics he managed to equalize by winning the fourth game. At 2-3 games and with a comfortable 8-4 lead, spectators expected to see a final deciding game between the two table tennis titans. Football chants echoed through the hall, life in general was good. But it would be different as Ma Long pulled together all his strength to equalize and finalize the match at 11-9. The favourite prevailed, but spectators and experts paid respects to Timo Boll, keeping on par with the best chinese players for more than 10 years as this is the 3rd generation of opponents he is facing. What a feat!

The same can be said for someone, who is just at the beginning of his career. The 13-year old Tomokazu Harimoto lost his quarter finals match to Xu Xin with 4-1 games, but the result is not what people will remember about Harimoto. Scoring nonchalantly against one of the most unpredictable players in table tennis, counter topspinning shots that most of the Top 100 players would find impossible to return at all – these are the memories that stick. In the end, Harimoto was a little to anxious against such a big player as Xu, he missed a little bit of coolness – but than again, he still has years to learn these things. In 2027, he will still be a young player of 23, and everyone seeing him that day in Düsseldorf are likely to agree: He will be among the best the sport has ever seen. Keep going Tomokazu!

Don’t forget to head on over to our winning game where today will be your last chance to win a hand-signed blade by a Butterfly star player!

June 4

Good Morning Düsseldorf!

Today, on the penultimate day of the World Championships, we will continue to see high class action table tennis and crown our champions in the women’s single competition.

What a great game it was between Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Germany’s Timo Boll. Loads of spectacular rallys and supreme tactics from both sides! In the end Timo Boll prevailed and demonstrated with great technique and footwork, that he still belongs to the very best players in the world. Marcos was able to win the first game and posted problems for Timo with his versatile serve, that proved hard to read for his opponent. The longer the match went on, Timo was able to adjust better and better and his grip on the Round of 16 match would not loosen.


The problem I think was that I could not close the 3rd and 4th game. I had some chances, but my service didn’t go as I wanted it – and I think that’s why I lost the game. Had I won one or more of those games, the match would have been closer.

Said Marcos after the match.

We highly recommend to watch this game again on the itTV Service of the ITTF:

Today, China’s Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling will face off for the gold medal at the World Championships. Zhu Yuling was able to beat Butterly-Star Liu Shiwen in the semi finals, can she now defeat the World Number 1, World and Olympic Champion?

The most exciting day of his career will likely be today for Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. The youngster will play the last match of today, facing either Lin Gaoyuan or Xu Xin of China. Does he stand a chance to enter the semi finals stage?

Timo Boll certainly has the toughest part – now facing China’s Ma Long, a player gone for more than four years without losing a match to a foreign player. Timo has proven to be in tip-top shape and will definetly have the home-crowd advantage..

The Men’s doubles competition will today see the gold medallist and new world champion. It’s Japan vs China with the two youngsters Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono facing the powerhouse that is Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong.

Here are all matches for today – stay tuned for more action and don’t forget to head on over to our winning game, where we will have two more blades to give away – signed by Butterfly star players!

June 3

14:00h – What a day!

We have seen some incredible action this day 6 of the World Championships in Düsseldorf. First and foremost, did you see the fight Ruwen Filus of Germany put up against Fan Zhendong? If experts on the sport put their bets on Fan suceeding they were right, but what a close match it was and what merit we have to give to Ruwen in terms of technique, attitude and footwork he really held his own against China’s powerhouse! Respect!

Then there again is Tomokazu Harimoto – the 13 year old once again marched onwards and will now appear in tomorrows quarter final stage by beating Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia with 4-1. Again.

Did you check out our winning game on Butterflymag? Don’t miss out on a chance to win a hand-signed blade every day of the WTTC. Participating is simple, maybe today is your lucky day?

Marcos Freitas will later today face Timo Boll – a battle of the titans as both Butterfly players are in top form. Marcos pays respect to Timo, but keeps his confidence:

“A difficult game, Boll is a top player, we are both warm and playing good. I just hope to recover tonight. I have beat him before several times. So I hope to fight for the victory tomorrow.”

09:00h – A new day ..

.. of competition at the World Table Tennis Championships will see Olympic and World Champion Zhang Jike departing Düsseldorf early. The World Ranked No. 3 player lost in an exciting match to Korea’s Lee Sangsu yesterday, with a decisive 4-1 games to boot.

Today, nonetheless will see even more dramatic matchups we can look forward to.

Ruwen Filus will face no 2 seed Fan Zhendong, we are all anxious to see Ruwen play, he has been in stellar form this season, his last international results were off the chart. But can he hold his ground against the powerhouse that is Fan Zhendong? This game should be on everyone’s “must see” list.

Marcos Freitas and Timo Boll will battle for proceeding to the quarter finals. The two Butterfly players rank among the very best players in the world. Both are oriented towards playing rallys rather than scoring fast – a fact the crowd and spectators will surely come to appreciate.

Wong Chun-Ting has moved through the bracket and will now face Jeong Sangeun from Korea. He and Xu Xin represent the honor of the penhold players – will Wong make it?


June 2

16:00h – As are others

Timo Boll also made it through to the Round of 16. With a decisive 4-1 victory in a match of the highest level, the 36-year old superstar from Germany prevailed. In the next round he will either be facing Marcos Freitas (POR) or Tristan Flore (FRA) for a possible attendance at the Quarterfinals at this World Championships. Timo once more demonstrated he rightfully keeps his place among the very best in the world – for well over a decade now.

The no. 2 seeded Butterfly player Liu Shiwen will now play her countrymate Mu Zi – will she keep moving onto the semi final stage without dropping a game?


15:00h – He keeps going

Tomokazu Harimoto is still in this World Championships. In fact, he just entered the round of 16. That’s right, the 13-year old now belongs to the best 16 players in the world. He is currently ranked 69 in the world and is sure to make a huge leap after this tournament, after beating players such as Super Star Jun Mizutani or just recently Liao from Taiwan (4-0). In the next round he will face Lubomir Pistej from Slovakia for a possible breakthrough into the quarter finals. Impressive!

14:00h – Full House

The ESPRIT Arena in Düsseldorf has been steadily filling up empty seats. Now as we enter the finals weekend of the World Championships, the house will be sold out with more than 8000 spectators. Our sales staff at the Butterfly booth already enjoyed a preview of what that will mean. It is busy up there!


12:00h – Prep up

Marcos joined by his coach. Together they will try to overcome France’s Tristan Flore in tonights Men’s Single Round of 32. Can they do it?


10:00h – Lights on!

The presentation in Düsseldorf is truly worthy of a world Championships with the light show amping up the crowd of spectators in the preliminary rounds.

09:00h – Results

Jonathan Groth (DEN)

First off, Alexander Shibaev’s preparation seems to have worked out well. He defeated Ricardo Walther with 4-2 games and will tonight face seed no.2 in the World, Fan Zhendong from China, who has yet to drop a game.

Meanwhile, the danish Jonathan Groth pulled through to the third round with victory over Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna – a decisive 4-0. Jonathan will now play Japan’s Koki Niwa.

Two Butterfly Defenders have also succeded in the main draw: Ruwen Filus of Germany beat Joao Geraldo (POR) with 4-1, while Panagiotis Gionis (GRE) overcame Slovakia’s Wang Yang after a tough fight with 4-3, winning both last games with 12-10.

Also demanding has been Elizabeta Samara’s match against Hitomi Sato (JPN), where the Romanian won 4-3 and will now face another player from Japan in the round of 32 – Kasumi Ishikawa.

While for Liu Shiwen, all works out according to plan so far. The no.2 seed marches through the competition without dropping a game so far and will now play North Korea’s Kim Song I to possibly enter the round of 16.

 June 1

19:00h – Match Preview

Ricardo Walther (GER)

At the round of 64 in the Men’s singles competition, a lot of high class action can be seen on all tables. The second round will see the clash of Butterfly Players Ricardo Walther of Germany and Russia’s Alexander Shibaev. The World ranked 50 faces the 34th – where for both players this will be a fateful moment as in the next round China’s Fan Zhendong would most likely be the opponent.

Alexander: I feel well prepared, had a good sleep and meal and was feeling well in the preparation. I hope I can deliver a great fight today!

Whereas Marcos Freitas tries to take things slowly today – while regenerating with his physical therapist to be in the best possible form by tomorrow, where he will face Tristan Flore of France.

We will keep our eyes on the ball!

16:00h – Nothing shot of sensational

The thirteen-year old Tomokazu Harimoto just beat Superstar Jun Mizutani with 4-1 games. Mizutani, the no 6 in the world rankings and seriously among those players expected to go far in Düsseldorf is now out of the world championships, losing to his 13-year old countryman. ButterflyMAG already introduced Harimoto earlier this year and predicted a career full of opportunities ahead. Little did we expect him to start winning the big matches so early on! A fantastic performance and result – now I am really excited to seeing him play the next round against Liao Cheng-Ting, who has already defeated Kristian Karlsson..

14:00h – So close!

What a great match – Men’s doubles Round 3 where the international pairing of Superstars Timo Boll / Ma Long were closely overcome by China’s Xu Xin/ Fan Zhendong. Much like at the WTTC 2015 in Suzhou, Boll/Ma faced the main opponents from China quite early in the tournament as they lack world ranking and seeding points.

Every game was nail-bitingly close – the final result was 4-1 – Who else thinks Timo Boll was in great shape?

Watch Boll and Ma defeat their opponents from India in Round 2 at the ITTF stream;

12:00h – A positive experience

Britt Eerland (NED)

We asked Britt about her match vs. Mima Ito. Of course she is sad, but she puts a very positive spin on her experience in Düsseldorf:

“Of course I am a little bit sad – I had the feeling the tournament just started, I had only been playing for 2 days. I think after some time I will be satisfied as I prepared well and I have played well during this whole season and I did not injure myself! Sometime when I practise too hard I have a  chance of injury, but this time it went really well and I have found a good balance between physical training and matches. If I keep this up, I am confident that I will improve more and in a while I’ll be able to beat even better players. I was hoping to cause some upsets at this World Championships, but of course this is not something you can calculate before the tournament. I did everything I could and the Match against Ito was really close, even though due to her unique style the match felt strange to me. All the games, except the last one were really close, like 12-10, 13-11, 11-9 and I am proud to have kept fighting – which is my strength.

Also, the tournament overall was still a nice experience, I got to see some old friends and play mixed doubles with Benedek Olah from Finland – I really hope I will get this chance again in the future!”

09:00h – Recap of Yesterday’s results

World Championships are always exciting to watch, because there is so much going on around you. You never know which games to follow for fear of missing out on something. Let us together recap some results of the Butterfly stars yesterday. Sadly, our best wishes could neither help Tiago Apolonia, nor Britt Eerland, as both suffered defeat in Round 2..

Britt lost to youngster Mima Ito from Japan with 2-4 games, while Tiago suffered defeat in a very hard-fought match and had to concede to his opponent from Ng Pak Nam from Hongkong in a nail-biting finish:

6-11, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7, 12-10, 12-14, 6-11

Some other results of yesterday:

Marcos Freitas – Papageorgiou (GRE) 4-1

Liam Pitchford lost to Nima Alamyian (IRI)

Patrick Franziska  keeps up his confidence with a clear victory over Peter Sereda (SVK) 4-0

Timo Boll had to face Scotsman Gavin Rumgay, and he knew Gavin would only go down guns blazing. In the end, Timo kept the upper hand throughout: 4-0

Bastian Steger – Lin Yun-Ju TPE 4:3

Jonathan Groth – Ahmed Saly EGY 4-1

Butterfly Star Kristian Karlsson unfortunately lost to his opponent Liao (TPE)with 1-4

Mathilda Ekholm has also been eliminated from the World Championships, losing to Dana Chechova with 1-4


May 31

10:00h – Blades, blades, blades!

Check out our WTTC blade lottery! Everyday during the WTTC competition we give away one hand-signed blade of a Butterfly star per day.

Participating is simple and easy! So go ahead, maybe you’ll be the lucky winner today!

Win a „WTTC blade“ – each WTTC day!

13:00h – The calm before the storm..

Butterfly Booth @WTTC 2017

Have you visited the Butterfly booth at the WTTC venue in Düsseldorf? It’s well worth the walk, you can find lots of great offers, professional advice and high-quality products. Also, there’s a good chance of sighting some VIP Player as all the Butterfly stars will visit – and so should you! This is what it looked like in the morning, just before the doors of the ESPRIT Arena opened for action on WTTC Day 3..

.. and this is what it looked like a few minutes later.

15:00h – Confidence is key..

Tiago Apolonia is on his way to the venue for a match against Ng Pak Nam from Hongkong. Let’s see how he performs.

Tiago Apolonia

18:00h – Britt Eerland everywhere

Britt Eerland is having her own WTTC Diary over on her Facebook page. Head on over and follow her throughout the WTTC Site in Düsseldorf. Walking to practise, on the shuttle bus to the Hotel and somewhere in this huge complex that is Düsseldorf Messe, Britt will suddenly stop, pull out her phone and take a selfie. The reasoning is actually not to be in the spotlight, but quite sweet. Since her boyfriend could not join her in Düsseldorf, she takes these pictures to keep him involved in her day-to-day business at the World Championships..

We wish Britt best success in her tournament and will of course keep an eye on the performance of the Butterfly Star from the Netherlands.

Britt Eerland is using TIMO BOLL ZLF blade with TENERGY 05 on both sides.





May 30

15:00 – Let’s get it on!

Kristian Karlsson on his way to the next match. Does he seem nervous to you? Excited is more like it.


May 29

09:00 – It’s a Party!

What. a. night. Butterfly Start-up partys the night before the competition starts are already somehwhat legendary among players, teams, coaches and Butterfly friends. Last night, right at the WTTC venue, Butterfly held its “Welcome Party 2017”. With some 400 guests visiting from all over the world, the evening felt a little like the “who is who” in table tennis. Let’s have a look at some snapshots from yesterday:

17:00 – Things looking calm, the location is being prepared. You can already smell the food is close to being presented! The location was Tulip Inn Hotel in Düsseldorf located close to, well, inside the WTTC venue really. This banquet room in Butterfly decor was soon to house around 400 guests from all over the world!

19:00 – Our Butterfly agent in Russia, Alex Lomaev, has posted a video already!

13:00 – But it’s work, also.

Marcos, Tiago and Juao were on their feet early today. Watch their practice session – does anyone seem tired? I don’t think so!



About The Author


Seb has succeeded in living his passion for table tennis. A long-time player, he connected to professional table tennis as commentator for the ITTF, travelling to top events such as World Championships and reporting live from the action. In 2014, Seb became part of the Butterfly Team, working in international Sales and Marketing at Butterfly Europe in Germany.

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