Doha: Day two of qualifying for WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 resolved all uncertainty as the final main draw places up for grabs were decided on Tuesday 21st September.
Ema Labosova takes her place in the Women’s Singles round of 64 after rising above the odds to take down higher-ranked opposition. Ranked 348th in the ITTF World Table Tennis Ranking list, Slovakia’s Labosova showed remarkable resilience in the early stages of her match against Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan to beat the world number 192 in four games (12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6).
Further down the draw, Ukraine’s Solomiya Brateyko negotiated a stern test to extend her stay in Doha. Brateyko was forced to dig deep against teenage counterpart Prithika Pavade, holding her nerve at 1-2 down to recover an impressive 3-2 victory over the ever-improving French star (11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Two of Slovenia’s bright young sparks Ana Tofant, 22, and Katarina Strazar, 20, met face-to-face as they fought over national pride and a ticket to the main draw. Come the close of five gruelling games, Strazar held the upper hand (11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9) to set up a round of 64 encounter with Austria’s Karoline Mischek.
Brazil’s Eric Jouti was involved in one of the day’s outstanding comeback performances, securing his passage to the Men’s Singles main draw in the process. Recovering from a slow start to beat Singapore’s Beh Kun Ting in the second qualifying round (10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5), Jouti overcame an even greater deficit one round later. Trailing Bastien Rembert 0-2, Jouti responded with three consecutive game wins to squeeze past his young French counterpart 3-2 (4-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10).
Alexandre Cassin was another up-and-coming French competitor who narrowly missed out in the final round of Men’s Qualifying Singles. The 22-year-old impressed early on with a convincing display against Singapore’s Clarence Chew (11-3, 11-5, 11-8). Unfortunately for French fans, Cassin ended up falling just short as Hong Kong, China’s Lam Siu Hang edged past Cassin in five games (5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10).
Elsewhere, Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin lived up to expectations as he brushed aside fellow countryman Jang Seongil 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-7), while Germany’s Ricardo Walther needed one game more to see off Hong Kong, China’s Ho Kwan Kit (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Iran celebrated success in Women’s Qualifying Doubles as both of its combinations powered through to the round of 16. Neda Shahsavari and Mahshid Ashtari couldn’t have asked for a better start to their campaign as they cruised past Qatar’s Ala Mohamed and Maha Faramarzi 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-2). Meanwhile, Maryam Farei and Shima Safaei proved just as clinical, defeating Slovenia’s Ana Tofant and Katarina Strazar (11-6, 11-6, 15-13) to reserve their place in the main draw.
Men’s Qualifying Doubles painted a positive picture for two players representing different national associations as Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck and Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic partnered to success. Nuytinck and Tokic demonstrated great awareness of each other’s strengths in their qualifying round two fixture against Can Akkuzu and Alexandre Cassin, dispatching the French pair in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee