WTT Star Contender: Aruna battles Japanese star

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has been pitched against Japan’s Masataka Morizono in the second round of the men’s singles at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender taking place in Doha, Qatar. To set up a second-round (round of 32) clash against Aruna, the world 48th ranked Japanese defeated Swedish star Jon Persson 3-1 in the first round match.

Aruna who had a bye to the second round following his quarterfinal finish at the WTT Contender will be meeting the Japanese for the third time in the last six years.

In their first meeting at the 2014 Spanish Open, the Japanese walloped Aruna 4-0 while in their second meeting at the 2015 Czech Open, Aruna triumphed with a 4-1 win. Both players will be aiming to advance to the last 16 where any one of them may face Japanese sensation Harimoto Tamakasu in the round of 16. Also on Monday, March 8, the experience was sufficient for Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh after the 2020 African Cup champion defeated Japanese sensation Yukiya Uda 3-1 (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) to advance to the second round of the men’s singles. Saleh, ranked 50th in the world, beat the 35th rated Japanese national champion to proceed to the second round. The Egyptian veteran will now face WTT Contender Series champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany today on table one!!

Like Saleh, Egypt’s Dina Meshref recorded her first win in the women’s singles after beating Korea Republic’s Hyojoo Choi 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-8) to progress to the second round and the six-time African champion will now face Chinese Taipei’s Szu-Yu Chen on table one today. However, Omar Assar was twice unlucky in his quest to record his first win at the WTT tournament as he was edged out in a closed contest by Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko 3-2 (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7) in the first round of the men’s singles.



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