US Table Tennis Open starts Thursday in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The U.S. Table Tennis Open starts Thursday in Milwaukee.

This year event organizers are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy, a week of table tennis exhibition games in China in April 1971 that helped open China to the world.

U.S. Open officials are holding a private anniversary event Friday at the Milwaukee Art Museum featuring matches between some American and Chinese players from 1971 event. There's a similar event for the public Sunday at the main venue, the Frontier Airlines Convention Center.

The annual tournament features more than 100 tables with more than 700 players from at least 26 countries. It runs through Monday.

The Para Open for physically challenged players will be Friday through Sunday.

Both events are open to the public.

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On the Web: http://www.usopenmilwaukee.com