Portugal Open: Quadri makes seeding list

Aruna Quadri has been seeded number six for the first ITTF Challenge Plus of 2019. He is prominent amongst the 32 players in the seeding list of the men’s singles.

Aside Quadri, Egypt’s Omar Assar is the second African star that made the list. Others will begin their campaigns from the preliminary round.

Other Nigerians taking part in the tournament include Tobi Falana, Jamiu Azeez, Olajide Omotayo, and Kazeem Makanjuola. In the women’s singles, Edem Offiong and Ganiat Aruna are also participating from the preliminary round.

Earlier yesterday, Falana made his debut in the ITTF tournament outside Nigeria and he was beaten in the men’s U-21 by Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky 3-0 (11-1, 11-4, 11-5).

Like Falana, Ganiat Aruna was on the losing end as she was beaten by India’s Archana Girish Kamath 4-0 (4-11, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11). But Jamiu Azeez won his first match in an ITTF tournament outside Nigeria with a 4-2 (14-12, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-8) win over Slovakia’s Samuel Kaluzny in the first round of the preliminary.

Edem Offiong was in superb form with a convincing 4-1 (11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-6) win over France’s Nolwenn Fort.

Quadri and Assar will start their campaigns in the main draw tomorrow and they will be joined in the first round by successful qualifiers from the preliminary round. The tournament’s oldest players, Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov and Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic will be aiming for another title in Portugal.

According to ITTF Editor Ian Marshall, the manner in which Vladimir Samsonov and Aleksandar Karakasevic played in those days seems no different to the present. Vladimir Samsonov is the no.4 seed in the men’s singles event, Aleksandar Karakasevic must compete in the preliminary stages.

Moreover, Vladimir Samsonov is in form; at the recent Europe Top 16 Cup in the Swiss city of Montreux, he came within a whisker of winning the men’s title. In the final against Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, he held two match points in the deciding seventh game before experiencing defeat.

Ayomide Oyewole

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