by Simon Daish
The meeting between Yan An and Hugo Calderano ended up being a topsy-turvy encounter with both players holding strong advantages throughout the tie; Hugo Calderano took the lead following a positive display in the opening game, but almost straightaway Yan An responded and after the capture of back-to-back games it was the player from China who held a two-one lead.
Then another two successive games were won but this time by Hugo Calderano as the Brazilian moved to within a game win from the next stage. Yan An, however, wasn’t done yet and managed to pull the match level at three games apiece to send the contest into a final game.
Having made a disappointing start to the deciding game Calderano then recovered from 5-2 down pulling back two points to reduce the score to 5-4, but a “Time Out” was called from the Chinese camp allowing Yan An to regain his composure. He progressed to claim the next six points in a row to take the seventh end and complete the victory (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4).
“I was focused and playing well but in the last game I needed that time out. I did not change anything I just believed I could win and the most important factor was the ‘Calm Head’ “, Yan An.
Another Chinese contestant competing in the lower half of the round of 16 draw was Fang Bo, the Men’s Singles runner up at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou. Fang Bo also managed to make the last eight in Budapest with a four-one triumph over Germany’s Wang Xi (11-5, 9-11, 11-2, 11-5, 12-10) setting up a thrilling duel with fellow compatriot Yan An in the next round.
Quadri Aruna will head into the Men’s Singles quarter-finals with the hopes of a continent resting on his shoulders, after the Nigerian competitor came from behind on multiple occasions to defeat Czech opponent Tomas Konecny (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8) to ensure Africa’s representation in the last eight.
“Today I felt really tired and I was fighting for the result. His service game gave me lots of trouble I could not make clear decisions. My heart took me through to the next round”, said a delighted Quadri Aruna following his victory over Tomas Konecny.
The next opponent for Quadri Aruna will be another European player, after Ruwen Filus beat his Men’s Doubles partner Ricardo Walther (11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7) in an all-German quarter-finals match up.