China's Zhu Yuling will aim to defend her International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Women's World Cup title on home soil in the edition that gets underway in her home city of Chengdu tomorrow and runs until Sunday (September 30).
Having claimed her career first World Cup title last year after beating her compatriot Liu Shiwen, the four-times World Cup champion, the 23-year-old Zhu - currently world number one - is fixed on a second crown at the Sichuan Province Gymnasium.
"It's been a year since I won the title, of course I hope to win it again, but I think it's important for me to stay calm and just put in my 100 per cent into each match and play my best," Zhu said.
"I think it doesn't matter if I'm the defending champion or not, I am sure every player will try to play their best to challenge me.
"Everyone wants to win against China, so we need to make full preparations."
The top seed will have to fend off competition from strong opposition including Grand Slam champion and two-time World Cup champion Ding Ning, the Rio 2016 champion, to whom she lost in last year's World Championships final.
The Chinese duo could meet early in the semi-finals if drawn into the same half in the main draw tomorrow.
Meanwhile Japanese superstars Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano will head the foreign challenge for the title in China.
Hirano, who shocked the table tennis world by defeating both Zhu and Ding to win gold at the 2017 ITTF Asian Championships, will be looking to repeat her success and reclaim the title that she won in 2016, when she became the first non-Chinese player to lift the World Cup trophy.
Austria's Sofia Polcanova, who took bronze at the recently concluded European Championships, will lead a strong European contingent including ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup champion Bernadette Szocs of Romania.
Action will begin tomorrow with seeds nine to 20 competing in four groups of three players in the group stage qualification rounds.
The top two players of each group will then progress to join the top eight seeds in the knock-out stage.