Koki Niwa

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Koki Niwa
Mondial Ping - Men's Singles - Round 4 - Ma Long-Koki Niwa - 08.jpg
2013 World Table Tennis Championships
Personal information
Nationality Japanese
Born (1994-10-10) 10 October 1994 (age 23)
Hokkaido, Japan[1]
Playing style Left-handed, shakehand grip
Equipment(s) BH: Victas V > 15 Extra, FH: Victas V > 15 Extra, Blade: TSP Swat Power
Highest ranking 5 (Nov. 2017)[2]
Current ranking 6 (January 2018)
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)[3]
Weight 51 kg (112 lb)[3]

Koki Niwa (丹羽 孝希, Niwa Kōki, born 10 October 1994) is a Japanese male table tennis player.[1] He is the gold medalist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and he won the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in 2010 (doubles) and 2011 (singles).[4]

On 21 April 2012, he defeated Ma Long of China, World Rank no 1, to become the first player to be qualified for 2012 Olympics from the Asian Olympic Qualifiers.[5]

Since 2012 he is playing for the German Team TTC matec Frickenhausen.

He won the 2014 Russian Open singles title.

Career[edit]

Junior career[edit]

Niwa had a prolific junior career beginning in 2008. He reached the quarter-finals at the 2008 India Junior Open in Pune, India, and won the doubles title with his partner Yuki Hirano. At the 2008 World Junior Championships in Madrid, Spain, he parterned with Kenta Matsudaira to reach the semi-finals. The following year, Niwa partnered with Asuka Machi to win the 2009 ITTF Cadet Challenge and ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in Tokyo, Japan.

At the 2009 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Niwa reached the quarterfinals in the men's singles event before being defeated by Lin Gaoyuan. Niwa qualified for the 2009 World Table Tennis Championships in Yokohama, Japan by defeating Josef Simoncik in the qualification tournament. Niwa reached the round of 64 before being defeated by Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, he won the gold medal in the Boy's Singles Event, and the gold medal partnering Ayuka Tanioka in the Mixed team event. Niwa won the U21 title at the 2011 Pro Tour German Open in Dortmund by defeating Kim Minseok. At the 2011 Pro Tour Korea Open in Incheon, he defeated Jeoung Youngsik to obtain his second U21 title of the year. At the 2011 World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Manama, he won the gold medal in the men's singles event, defeating Lin Gaoyuan of China.

2012: Breakthrough[edit]

By 2012, the 17 year old world junior champion had been gaining widespread attention. His breakthrough came at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament where he overcame world ranked #1 Ma Long and became the first Asian player to qualify for the Olympic Games.[6] Partnering with Kenta Matsudaira, Niwa overcame the Chinese pair of Wang Hao and Zhou Yu to win the 2012 World Tour Polish Open doubles title.

2013[edit]

Niwa qualified for the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships seeded 15.[7] He reached the fourth round in the men's singles event before being defeated by Ma Long. He partnered Kenta Matsudaira in the doubles event and reached the third round before losing to compatriots Jun Mizutani and Seiya Kishikawa. At the 2013 World Tour Japan Open in Yokohama, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair lost in the finals against compatriots Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura.

2014: First ITTF World Tour Title[edit]

At the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Niwa won 4 out of his 5 matches, contributing to Team Japan's bronze medal. At the 2014 World Tour Grand Finals in Bangkok, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair lost in the final to Korean pair Cho Eonrae and Seo Hyundeok. Niwa won the 2014 World Tour Russian Open title in the men's singles event, defeating England's Paul Drinkhall in the final. The Niwa/Matsudaira pair reached the semi-finals before falling to the Russian pair Fedor Kuzmin and Grigory Vlasov.

2015[edit]

At the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, Niwa reached the 4th round before being defeated by China's Fan Zhendong. In the doubles event, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair reached the semi-finals where they were defeated by the Chinese pairing of Fan Zhendong and Zhou Yu. This marks the last time Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira have partnered in an international tournament.

2016[edit]

At the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lampur, Niwa contributed to Team Japan's success in winning the silver medal. The team lost to Team China in the final. Niwa represented Japan at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men's singles event. He reached the quarterfinals before being defeated by eventual silver medalist Zhang Jike. In the Men's team event, Niwa contributed to team Japan's first silver medal in the category. However, Niwa expressed discontentment with his performance, not winning any singles matches.[8]

2017[edit]

Niwa began the year by winning a bronze medal at the 2017 ITTF Asian Championships in Wuxi, China. In the quarterfinals, he defeated world ranked #3 Xu Xin, but lost to Korea's Jeong Sangeun in the semi-finals. At the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, Niwa partnered with Maharu Yoshimura to win the bronze medal. The Niwa/Yoshimura pair reached the semi-finals where they lost to Chinese pairing and eventual champions Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin. In the men's singles event, he reached the quarter finals, defeating Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the fourth round, and losing to Fan Zhendong in the quarterfinals. At the 2017 World Tour Japan Open, the Niwa/Yoshimura pair reached the finals of the men's doubles event where they lost to the Chinese pairing of Ma Long and Xu Xin.

Doubles Partners[edit]

Niwa / Matsudaira[edit]

Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira were doubles partners from 2008 to 2015. Their playstyle is characterized by both players' unorthodox playstyles, with Niwa frequently incorporating "chiquita" banana flicks and Matsudaira frequently using his tomohawk service. Both players frequently use their backhand to win points.

The pair first competed in the international scene at the 2008 Polish Youth Open in Cetniewo. In 2012, they defeated the Chinese pairing of Wang/Zhou to secure their first men's doubles titles in the ITTF world tour scene. The pair won a joint bronze medal at the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships. Niwa and Matsudaira have not partnered on the international scene since 2015.

Niwa / Yoshimura[edit]

Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura have been frequent doubles partners starting in 2016. The pairing first rose to prominence at the 2016 Summer Olympics Men's Team Event where the pair contributed to Japan's silver medal. At the 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi, the pair reached the semifinals before losing to Fan Zhendong/Lin Gaoyuan. At the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships Men's Doubles event, the pair won a joing bronze medal. The following month, at the 2017 World Tour Japan Open, Niwa/Yoshimura reached the finals before losing to Ma Long/Xu Xin in three straight games.

Rivalries[edit]

Niwa vs. Chen Chien An[edit]

Niwa and Chen have met 9 times in the international scene, with Niwa leading 5--4. Their first encounter was at the 2009 Harmony China Open where Niwa won 4 games to 1. They met another two times at the 2011 Harmony China Open where Chen defeated Niwa in the U21 Men's singles final, and Niwa defeated Chen in the Men's singles main bracket. In their most recent encounter, Chen won 4 games to 2 over Niwa at the 2017 Asian Cup main tournament bracket, and Niwa won 3 games to 0 in the group stage.

Niwa vs. Kim Minseok[edit]

Niwa and Kim have met 10 times with Niwa leading 6--4. Their first encounter was at the 2009 Korea Open U21 Men's singles event where Niwa won in full games. Niwa and Kim have met 3 times in the semi-final stages of U21 pro tour events. At the 2011 Pro Tour Germany Open U21 Men's singles final, Niwa won in full games over Kim. Their most recent encounter was in 2015 where Niwa won 4 games to 1 at the 2015 World Tour China Open.

Niwa vs. Lin Gaoyuan[edit]

Niwa and Lin have met 5 times with Lin leading 3--2. In their first encounter, Lin won in full games at the 2009 World Junior Table Tennis Championships. At the 2011 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Niwa took revenge against Lin and won 4 games to 2 to win the tournament. The 2017 Seamaster World Tour Platinum Austria Open marked the first time in 6 years that the two had met. Lin won 4 games to 1 over Niwa.

Career statistics[edit]

ITTF Major tournament performance timeline[edit]

Key
W F SF QF #R RR

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (S) Singles Tournament; (D) Doubles Tournament; (MD) Mixed Doubles Tournament; (T) Team Tournament.

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
World Cup QF QF
World Championships S 2R 2R 4R 4R QF
T SF SF F
D SF
MD 4R
World Tour Grand Finals S 1R 1R QF 1R 1R 1R
D F F
Olympic Games S QF
T QF F

ITTF Career Singles Finals: 1[edit]

Result Date Tournament Tier Opponent Score
Win November, 2014 Airports of Regions Russian Open;

Russia

World Tour England Paul Drinkhall 12-14, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7

ITTF Career Doubles Finals: 10[edit]

Result Date Tournament Tier Partner Opponents Score
Win July, 2010 Japan Open;

Japan

Pro Tour Japan Kenta Matsudaira Hong Kong Jiang Tianyi

Hong Kong Leung Chu Yan

6-11, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4, 14-16, 11-1
Win October, 2010 JOOLA Hungarian Open;

Hungary

Pro Tour Japan Kenta Matsudaira Japan Jun Mizutani

Japan Kaii Yoshida

11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8
Runner-up July, 2011 Japan Open;

Japan

Pro Tour Japan Kenta Matsudaira China Lin Gaoyuan

China Wu Jiaji

6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11
Win November, 2012 Polish Open;

Poznan, Poland

World Tour Japan Kenta Matsudaira China Zhou Yu

China Wang Hao

8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10
Runner-up June, 2013 Japan Open;

Japan

World Tour Super Series Japan Kenta Matsudaira Japan Jin Ueda

Japan Maharu Yoshimura

11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 8-11
Runner-up August, 2013 Harmony Open;

China

World Tour Japan Kenta Matsudaira China Ma Long

China Xu Xin

11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 5-11
Runner-up March, 2016 Qatar Open;

Qatar

World Tour Super Japan Maharu Yoshimura China Fan Zhendong

China Zhang Jike

8-11, 9-11, 7-11
Runner-up April, 2016 Polish Open;

Poland

World Tour Major Japan Maharu Yoshimura JapanMasataka Morizono

Japan Yuya Oshima

14-16, 8-11, 8-11
Runner-up June, 2017 LION Japan Open;

Japan

World Tour Platinium Japan Maharu Yoshimura China Ma Long

China Xu Xin

9-11, 3-11, 7-11
Win September, 2017 Austrian Open;

Austria

World Tour Platinum Japan Jin Ueda Germany Filus Ruwen

Germany Walther Ricardo

11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8

ITTF Junior & U21 Singles Titles: 8[edit]

No. Date Tournament Tier Opponent Score
1. July 2008 Tahiti Junior Open, French Polynesia Junior Circuit Cadet Boys Japan Asuka Machi 11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7
2. July 2008 Tahiti Junior Open, French Polynesia Junior Circuit Junior Boys Japan Yuki Hirano 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 7-11
3. November 2008 Cadet Challenge & Junior Circuit Finals Junior Boys Egypt Assar Omar 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8
4. March 2010 German Open Pro Tour U21 Japan Hiromitsu Kasahara 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5
5. October 2010 JOOLA Hungarian Open, Hungary Pro Tour U21 notavailable Liu Yanan 11-4, 11-1, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9
6. February 2011 German Open, Germany Pro Tour U21 South Korea Kim Minseok 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6
7. June 2011 KRA Korea Open, Korea Pro Tour U21 South Korea Jung Young-sik 11-5, 11-7, 9-11,9-11,6-11,11-7
8. November 2011 Volkswagen World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Bahrain Junior Boys China Lin Gaoyuan 3-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9

ITTF Junior & U21 Doubles Titles: 5[edit]

No. Date Tournament Tier Partner Opponents Score
1. July 2008 Tahiti Junior Open, French Polynesia Junior Circuit Cadet Boys Japan Asuka Machi New Zealand Kong Lingnan

New Zealand Wu Kevin

11-9, 11-5, 11-4
2. July 2008 Tahiti Junior Open,

French Polynesia

Junior Circuit Junior Boys Japan Asuka Machi Japan Yuki Hirano

Japan Kohei Morimoto

6-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-6
3. September 2008 Indian Junior Open, India Junior Circuit Junior Boys Japan Yuki Hirano Japan Kaito Fujimoto

Japan Kohei Morimoto

5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7
4. October 2009 Cadet Challenge & Junior Circuit Finals Cadet Boys Japan Asuka Machi Hong Kong Chiu Chung Hei

China Yin Hang

11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7
5. December 2010 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Slovakia Junior Boys Japan Asuka Machi France Simon Gauzy

France Quentin Robinot

11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4

Record against top-10 players[edit]

Niwa's match record against those who have been ranked in the top 10, with those who have been No. 1 in bold:

Wins over top 10 players[edit]

No. Player Rank Date Event Rd Score Niwa Rank
1. China Ma Long 1 April 2012 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament F 8-11,11-4,11-8,12-10, 5-11, 11-9 19
2. China Yan An 8 August 2013 World Tour Harmony Open, China 4R 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 13-11 18
3. Japan Jun Mizutani 5 November 2014 World Tour Airports of Regions Russian Open, Russia SF 11-6,11-4, 11-9, 11-8 15
4. China Xu Xin 2 March 2015 GAC Group Asian Cup 11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10 12
5. Hong Kong Wong Chun Ting 8 August 2016 Summer Olympic Games 4R 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 22
6. China Zhang Jike 4 February 2017 World Tour Platinum Qatar Open 2R 11-1, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 19
7. China Xu Xin 3 April 2017 2017 Asian Championships QF 12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7 13
8. Germany Dimitrij Ovtcharov 5 June 2017 World Table Tennis Championships 4R 11-13. 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ITTF players' profiles". ITTF. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "ITTF World ranking Record for NIWA Koki (JPN)". ITTF. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Athlete's Profile". 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "ITTF Database". ITTF. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Man for the Big Occasion, Koki Niwa Beats Ma Long, Secures Olympic Place". ittf.com. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  6. ^ [1]. olympic.org. Retrieved on 8 October 2017.
  7. ^ [2] ittf.com. Retrieved 8 October 2017
  8. ^ [3] shueisha.co.jp. Retrieved 8 October 2017.