Fan Zhendong is eyeing a second title in a row in Austria ©Getty Images

World number one Fan Zhendong will bid for a second consecutive title on the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour at the Austrian Open, which begins tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Chinese won at the German Open last month and is top seed for this week's action at TipsArena Linz.

Fan's victory in Germany was his first this season and came against team-mate and rival Xu Xin, who has won three singles titles on the circuit this term.

Xu will not compete in Linz, in what is the last World Tour event before the season-ending Grand Finals in Chinese city Zhengzhou next month.

China's Lin Gaoyuan, the winner this season in Hungary and Hong Kong, will start as second seed with Japan's 16-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto, the winner in Bulgaria, ranked third.

Austria's best ranked player on home soil is 15th seed Robert Gardos, while China's reigning Olympic champion Ma Long, the winner of two World Tour events this year, will also not compete.

The Austrian Open is one of six platinum tournaments on the World Tour circuit, the highest level.

It follows in the footsteps of the ITTF World Team Cup, which concluded in Tokyo yesterday with men's and women's victories for the Chinese.

Zhu Yuling is the women's top seed in Linz ©Getty Images
Zhu Yuling is the women's top seed in Linz ©Getty Images

China's Zhu Yuling is the top seed in the women's tournament although she has not won a World Tour event this year.

Her team-mate Liu Shiwen is ranked second with Mima Ito of Japan third.

World number one Chen Meng, the defending champion in Austria, has won four World Tour tournaments for China this year but will not play, nor will three-time winner Sun Yingsha, the German Open champion.

Xingtong Chen, the ninth seed, does play, however, and will look for a third title of the season as another strong Chinese contender.

Action begins tomorrow with the qualification rounds.

The top 16 men's and women's singles players, and the top eight men's, women's and mixed doubles pairs, will be invited to compete at the Finals in Zhengzhou.