2013 World Table Tennis Championships, Paris
February 16, 1988|
Qingdao, Shandong, China
|Playing style||Right-handed, shakehand grip|
|Equipment(s)||Butterfly Viscaria FL,DHS Hurricane 3 Neo National (FH-Black),Butterfly Tenergy 80 (BH-Red)|
|Highest ranking||1 (June to December 2012)|
|Current ranking||168 (May 2018)|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||73 kg (161 lb)|
Zhang Jike (simplified Chinese: 张继科; traditional Chinese: 張繼科; pinyin: Zhāng Jìkē; born 16 February 1988) is a Chinese table tennis player. As of May 2018, he is ranked 168th in the ITTF rankings . After participating in three consecutive open On May and June ( Hong kong Open , China Open ,Japan Open ) his ranking has risen to 76 in ITTF new ranking system.
Zhang became the fourth male player in the history of table tennis to achieve a career Grand Slam when he won gold in men's singles at the Olympic games in London 2012. The first three are Jan-Ove Waldner (in 1992), Liu Guoliang (in 1999), and Kong Linghui (in 2000). Zhang won the Grand Slam in only 445 days. He won, consecutively, first WTTC 2011, then World Cup 2011, and then London Olympics 2012, which made him the fastest player ever to win a Grand Slam. After the first Grand Slam, he won WTTC 2013 and World Cup 2014, which makes him the player who is closest to achieve a second career Grand Slam. He is one of the three male players who hold the most major titles in the table tennis history, at five. He is the only one who won 5 major titles in a row in the table tennis history. In August 2016, Zhang Jike stated his intention of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On February 16, 1988, Zhang was born in Qingdao, Shandong Province to Zhang Chuanming (张传铭) and Xu Xiying (徐锡英). His father is a table-tennis coach. He was named after the Brazilian soccer player Zico.
According to his father, the first time Zhang played table-tennis was on March 5, 1992, at age of 4.
Equipment and playing style
Zhang Jike is a Butterfly sponsored athlete. He uses Butterfly Viscaria for his blade, a Butterfly Tenergy 80 (red) on his backhand, and DHS Hurricane 3 neo National blue sponge (black) on his forehand.
Zhang Jike is a two-winged shakehand attacker, using a combination of quick topspin drive attacks, counters, and loops. He is primarily a speed-oriented player, using the harder blue sponge H3 for maximum drive. He stays very low to the ground and is exceptionally quick on his feet. Among all the Chinese National team players, he is known for having the best backhand technique, often using it in the forehand corner, especially when returning heavy under-spin serves and pushes. His backhand on-the-table flick is widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
When Zhang Jike initially joined the national team, the coaches were apprehensive about his forehand technique and thought about changing it completely. But Xiao Zhan, the then personal coach of Zhang Jike, noticed the explosive technique of his forehand and backhand strokes and instead retained them. Zhang Jike's spin oriented technique provides him a unique topspin advantage against opponents.
Zhang's serves are unpredictable and quite deceptive. His most famous serve is probably the reverse-pendulum short serve into both corners of the table. The side-spin on the serve, together with his deadly backhand flicks, lightning footwork and top-class anticipation has proven to be a frightening combination as he "opens up" top spin rallies to his advantage.
It is noticeable that he would play with a backhand oriented game plan against big forehand loopers like Ma Long or Fan Zhendong. He would keep his opponents in their backhand corner and go for down-the-line blocking winners as the opposition steps around to use a forehand loop, or just simply use his superior control to pile up pressure on the opponent, resulting in bad shot selections and unforced errors.
One of Zhang Jike's most valuable asset is his mental toughness. His ability to win big points in major competitions under pressure, has amazed audiences.
In 2014, Zhang's world ranking dropped to 5th as a result of consecutive early world tour exits and title drought. Head coach Liu Guoliang criticized him for his lack of focus and techniques development. However, Zhang managed to lead his hometown team, Shandong, to the 2014 Chinese Table Tennis Super League championship, and he won the World Cup again in October. His prize money, $45,000 USD, for winning the World Cup was taken as a fine as himself proposed for destroying the barriers in celebration. This fund will be used to set up Fair Play Award.
In 2016, Zhang Jike defeated world No. 1 ranked and current World Champion Ma Long 4-1 in the finals match of the Kuwait Open.
- Singles (as of May 1, 2015)
- Olympic Games: Winner (2012); Runner-up (2016).
- World Championships: Winner (2011, 13).
- World Cup: Winner (2011, 14); Runner-up (2010).
- Pro Tour Winner (6): China Open, Suzhou (2010); German Open (2011); Korean Open (2012), Slovenian Open (2012), Kuwait Open (2013). Runner-up (3): Qatar Open (2010); China Open, Suzhou (2011); Austrian Open (2011); Kuwait Open (2016).
- Pro Tour Grand Finals: Runner-up (2011); SF (2009).
- Asian Championships: Runner-up (2009, 12).
- Asian Cup: Winner (2010).
- World Championships: Winner (2015).
- Pro Tour winner (6): Kuwait Open 2010; Slovenian, English, UAE, German, China (Suzhou) Open 2011.
Runner-up (7): Kuwait, Qatar Open 2008; China (Suzhou) Open 2009; German Open 2010; Qatar, China (Shenzen), Austrian Open 2011.
- Pro Tour Grand Finals: Winner (2011).
- Asian Games: Winner (2010, 14).
- Mixed Doubles
- World Championships: Runner-up (2009).
- Asian Games: QF (2010).
- Asian Championships: Runner-up (2009).
- "ITTF player's profile". International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "ITTF world ranking". International Table Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "Athlete's Profile". 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "ITTF Statistics". International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved 2011-11-13.
- "China's Zhang wins men's table tennis gold". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- 国足兵败竟改张继科一生！父亲怒令别踢球换乒乓. Sina (in Chinese). 3 August 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- 张继科童年：昔日小不点如今大满贯 Retrieved 2016-09-06
- Zhang Jike on Sina Weibo
- Zhang Jike at the International Table Tennis Federation
- Jike Zhang at the International Olympic Committee
- Zhang Jike at Sports Reference
- Zhang Jike at Table Tennis Guide