China's Ding Ning, who began the New Year in the coveted top place on the respective Women's World Rankings, head the seeding for the Women's Singles events at the Hungarian Open in Budapest, the tournament which starts the GAC GROUP 2012 World Tour.
Matters commenced in the Hungarian capital city on Tuesday 17th January, with the qualification stages of the singles events, the conclusion being on Saturday 21st January when the champions are anointed.
The year 2011 was the year of Ding Ning, three Women's Singles titles on the ITTF Pro Tour, the winner of the Volkswagen Women's World Cup and, in Rotterdam, crowned World champion.
It could hardly have been better; the only major title to elude her grasp was the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals title, beaten by Liu Shiwen in the final.
The win recorded by Liu Shiwen was very much a reminder in a year when she had been overshadowed by Ding Ning; having been listed at no.1 on the Women's World Rankings in September 2010, she had slipped down the list and had been overtaken by her eight months elder colleague.
Certainly it was a timely win with the Olympic Games in mind but if there are two players who need wins, it is the two who have already qualified for the London Olympic Games, Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yan.
Li Xiaoxia has not won a Women's Singles event on the ITTF Pro Tour since succeeding in Suzhou in August 2010 at the Harmony China Open.
Meanwhile, although Guo Yan won three Women's Singles titles on the ITTF Pro Tour in 2011, she missed out on two big occasions.
At the GAC GROUP 2011 World Championships, she suffered a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Liu Shiwen, at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals she was beaten at the same stage by Singapore's Wang Yuegu.
Womens Singles WR*
1 DING Ning CHN 1
2 LI Xiaoxia CHN 2
3 GUO Yan CHN 3
4 LIU Shiwen CHN 4
5 WU Yang CHN 12
6 LI Jiawei SIN 14
7 FAN Ying CHN 15
8 SUN Beibei SIN 19
9 PARK Mi Young KOR 24
10 JEON Ji Hee ^ KOR 27
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images