Portugal’s Montiero stops Quadri, as Nigeria targets win in doubles at ITTF World Tour in Qatar
The superb outing by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri could not prevent him from being shown the exit in the men’s singles of the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: “Qatar Open holding in Doha after the Nigerian lose narrowly to Portugal’s Joao Monteiro.
The experience of Portugal’s Monteiro was what saved the France-based Portuguese from the brink of defeat against Quadri.
For every point that Monteiro won against Quadri, the Nigerian made the Portuguese to work for as Monteiro won the first game at 11-7. But an improved Quadri leveled up with an 11-9 win in the second game.
The next two matches went in favour of the Portuguese at 11-8, 11-8. Undeterred by this lead, Quadri recovered to match up with 11-8, 11-9 win to put the encounter at 3-3.
The seventh match, the decider was spectacular with both players fighting for each pint. But at the end, the Portuguese escaped with a narrow win of 12-10 to progress to the main draw of the competition.
Before the tie against Monteiro, Quadri had overcame a highly-rated Chinese Taipei’s Wang-Wei Peng with a 4-2 win in his first group match.
A disappointed Quadri said he was not too happy losing narrowly to the Portuguese.
“It was a sad day for me because I was close to making it to the main draw of the men’s singles and I lost narrowly to what I could say is ill-luck. In all, I was not disappointed with my performance but I am sad to have lost in such manner that I was looking for just a point to win,” he regretted.
Continuing he said: “There are lots of differences in Qatar when compared to my performance in Kuwait. Though I am still lacking in the receiving tactic but I was always ready to make blocking anytime I received a service. As I am hoping to be at the German and Spanish Opens and I want to thank the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi for sponsoring us to these competitions, may God continue to help him.”
Unlike Quadri, Kazeem Makanjuola was no match to his two opponents as he was walloped 4-0 by Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin and Egypt’s Omar Assar.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria’s duo of Quadri and Makanjuola are hopeful of good outing in the doubles event after setting up a clash against home boys – Qatar’s pair of Fahed Almughanne and Mohammed Alyafei in the preliminary round of the men’s doubles.
The tournament is the highest prize money tournament in the ITTF World Tours with a total package of $500,000.
200 players from 35 countries are participating in the five-day tournament, which is one of the Super Series in the tour.