Team JOOLA’s Zhou Qihao, the esteemed member of the Chinese National Table Tennis team, is heading closer to the top. Photo Courtesy of Pink Pong Pictures/Remy Gros.
A year of close collaboration between the team and Qihao brought about the creation of his signature JOOLA blade. The Zhou Qihao Hyper ARY-c 90 has been his blade of choice since the Chinese National Championships where he won the Men’s Doubles Crown.
New blade in hand and navigating the many experiences of the international table tennis scene, Zhou is hitting his stride.
Initially the results had come slowly, the pressure of international opponents and expectation weighing heavy. Now the confidence has arrived and he is looking unstoppable.
In 2022 he claimed his first WTT Feeder title in Panagyurishte, the first step on his confidence-building mission.
Recent weeks have seen him begin to bring a higher level to the table. In Lagos, Nigeria, his first ever WTT Contender title was earned.
A consistently strong performance saw him defeat Benedikt Duda, Patrick Franziska, Jonathan Groth and then in the final Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
All tough opponents, particularly Ovtcharov – former World Number 1, but Zhou showed his character and class in every match.
From incredible backhand counters at the back barriers, to chop blocks, down the line rips and an amazing variety of technical skills, Zhou Qihao has become one of the players to watch on the tour.
Zhou’s 73% win record for 2023 has seen him push up the world rankings. He currently sits at his career best of 24th in the world in the latest WTT Men’s Singles rankings.
Last week in Zagreb he pushed into the top 8 with wins over Lee Sangsu and Team JOOLA compatriot Daniel Habesohn, finally losing out to eventual winner Lin Gaoyuan in the quarterfinal.
He now sits in the round of 16 in Ljulbjana, having made short work of Kazakshtan’s Kirill Gerassimenko earlier today. Tomorrow a big challenge as he sets up a showdown with Ma Long.
We will be excited to see what he can bring to the table against a player who many consider to be the greatest table tennis player of all time. Now it’s time for Zhou to prove his skill against the top circle of the world’s best players, and make his name a permanent fixture among them!