China's Tokyo 2020 men's singles champion Ma Long got off to a strong winning start in the first WTT Grand Smash event in Singapore ©Getty Images

China’s Olympic men’s singles champion Ma Long looked ominously good as he won his opening match at the first World Table Tennis (WTT) Grand Smash event in Singapore.

Ma ruthlessly dispatched the world number 26, Marcos Freitas of Portugal, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5 to reach the round of 32 in table tennis’s new equivalent of a tennis Grand Slam which carries $2 million (£1.5 million/€1.75 million) in prize money - the most ever put up for an officially sanctioned table tennis tournament - and offers singles champions $100,000 (£74,000/€91,000) each.

The Tokyo 2020 gold medallist looks a good bet to be collecting that prize when this tournament at the OCBC Arena concludes on March 20.

But if Ma’s progress was expected, there were surprises elsewhere in the men’s and women’s singles round of 64 in what is being called the Singapore Smash.

Portuguese qualifier Joao Geraldo of Portugal also recorded an upset in the men’s singles, defeating world number three Hugo Calderano of Brazil 10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6.

In the women’s singles, home wildcard Goi Rui Xuan defeated world number 60 Cheng Hsien-Tzu of Chinese Taipei 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8.

It was Goi’s first women’s singles win on the World Table Tennis Series and the 21-year-old, who is ranked 180th in the world, said: "Before the match, I was just telling myself to try to enjoy the game because the opponent is much better than me and more experienced.

"I tried to execute my strategy and it turned out I had the upper hand in my service and attack, and made her uncomfortable when I did different serves."

Goi’s next opponent is Japan’s fellow 21-year-old world number six Hina Hayata, who beat Luxembourg's qualifier Sarah De Nutte 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1.

But there was home disappointment too as Singapore’s 35-year-old women’s world number nine Feng Tianwei lost 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6 to Chinese qualifier Kuai Man, the 19-year-old world youth champion.

The second day of Singapore Smash main draw matches will see the top Chinese pair of Fan Zhendong, the men’s world number one, and Tokyo 2020 women’s singles champion Chen Meng in action.