Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has defeated Indian national champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to book a place in the second round of the men’s singles at the first official World Table Tennis (WTT) Tournament taking place in Doha.
Aruna, who is Africa’s only surviving player at the tournament, dismissed the newly-crowned Indian national champion in a manner that confirmed his quality as he dominated the match from the start to the end.
The Indian superstar who had boasted of his readiness to send the Nigerian packing in the first round was stunned by Aruna’s performance.
An elated Aruna described the win as awesome. “I am happy because everything seems to work well for me in the match. I had taken my time to study his game and everything I picked worked well for me in the encounter. I am looking forward to the next match and I hope to approach every match with all seriousness,” Aruna said after the match.
With this win, Aruna will now face a familiar face in Portugal’s Joao Geraldo who had a walk-over over Slovakia’s Yang Wang who was disqualified for breaking COVID-19 protocol put in place by the organisers.
In the women’s singles, it was not a good outing for six-time African women champion, Dina Meshref of Egypt as she was beaten by Korea Republic’s Hyowon Suh 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5). Meshref and Omar Assar are still in the race in the mixed doubles event of the championship.
The $200,000 prize money WTT Star Contender events will take place over six days and WTT Contender events will deliver four days of action, with each event featuring men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions.