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Liu Jia aims to see off young pretenders as ITTF World Tour kicks off

A number of future stars will have their eyes on Liu Jia's crown at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open this week.

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Liu Jia will have to fight off a host of young talents if she is to defend her title at the ITTF World Tour season-opening Hungarian Open this week.

World number 11 Liu came from behind to get the better of home favourite Georgina Pota in Szombathely 12 months ago on a historic day for her country, with compatriot Daniel Habesohn winning the men's final to complete Austria's first World Tour double.

However, the new season opens the door for the tour's younger players to really make their mark on the event, and there will be no shortage of future stars on show in Budapest.

Doo Hoi Kem reached the semi-finals of last year's Qatar Open, before going on to win silver at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, and will be involved this week.

Sofia Polcanova also reached a semi-final on the Tour in 2014, going out in the last four at the German Open, while Petrissa Solja made the quarter-finals in Las Vegas.

All three will be hoping for a breakthrough season this year and are no doubt eager to upset some established stars in Hungary.

Sayaka Hirano, Ho Ching Lee and Pota join Liu in the top four entrants for the tournament.

Over in the men's draw, world number 20 Chen Chien-an tops the bill, ahead of Jiang Tianyi.

Habesohn is involved but, starting as 16th seed, will have to go some way to mount a successful defence of his title.

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