Aruna Quadri has been handed one of the toughest opponents in the ongoing ITTF World Tour Hong Kong Open as the Nigerian will slug it out with 2018 Czech Open Champion, China’s Zheng Peifeng in the first round of the men’s singles.
Quadri, who was seeded 15th in the men’s singles, will today start his campaign from the first round and he will face the Chinese qualifiers who had earlier edged out France’s Benjamin Brossier, Spain’s Alvaro Robbles and England’s Paul Drinkhall on his way to the main draw.
The Chinese right-hand pen-holder narrowly escaped beating Frenchman Brossier 4-3 in the first round of preliminary but he was massive against Spaniard Robbles and Englishman Drinkhall with a convincing 4-0
win over the European stars.
In 2018, the Chinese star fought his way from the qualifiers to beat Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed in six games (13-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6) at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open in Olomouc, to win his first career title.
Already, the only surviving African in the preliminary round – Egypt’s Omar Assar was shown the exit in the third round of the preliminary while Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw has been shown the door in the first round
of the preliminary by England’s Drinkhall.
With Quadri already gaining automatic entry to the men’s singles Round of 32, the question was whether Egypt’s Assar could join his fellow African in the main event but the answer was no.
Despite establishing an early lead in his final qualification fixture but Assar failed to pick up another game as
Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic made the perfect response, winning four games in a row to seal the victory (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).
The 32 seeded players will all be in action today in the first round of the championship and they are expected to test might with the 32 qualifiers that fought their way into the main draw.