08 Mar 2018

There was no shortage of drama on the opening day of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha as a number of high-profile names exited the competition on Thursday 8th March including the player located at the top of the Women's World Rankings list.

Here are some of the standout moments from day one.

by Simon Daish

Success For Qualifiers, Seeds Stumble

Beginning his campaign in the two-day qualification tournament Mattias Karlsson has extended his Men’s Singles run with yet another win in Doha with the Swedish competitor coming out on top against seventh seed Simon Gauzy across five games (11-3, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9).

Frenchman Simon Gauzy was not the only seeded player to make an early exit in the opening round: Marcos Freitas had little to smile about on day one as the ninth seed from Portugal lost out to Ukraine’s Kou Lei (11-8, 16-14, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-2).

10th seed Chuang Chih-Yuan was also eliminated at the first hurdle with the Chinese Taipei representative narrowly missing out to China’s Fang Bo (11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 13-15, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7), who will meets fellow countryman Lin Gaoyuan in the next round.

On what will be looked back at as a mixed day out in Doha for the Japanese team, Koki Niwa and Yuya Oshima were left stunned by Indian opponents Sharath Kamal Achanta (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 14-12, 11-9) and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (6-11, 11-5, 2-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8). However, there was success for Jun Mizutani and Tomokazu Harimoto, defeating Patrick Franziska (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 11-5) and Mihai Bobocica (11-5, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-3) to reach to Round of 16.

World No.1 Departs And European Hopes Dashed

The Women’s Singles competition has got off to a dramatic start with the World No.1 suffering an opening round defeat in Doha.

Named as the second seed for the event Zhu Yuling would of course face an unseeded opponent in the Round of 32, however, unfortunately for her she was handed a difficult fixture with Liu Shiwen who prevailed against her fellow compatriot by four games to two (12-14, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Opening round upset for Mima Ito (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Another major name to lose out on the opening day of the main event was Mima Ito after the Japanese teenage star ended up on the wrong side of a seven games encounter with Wang Yidi (11-7, 4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4) while there was also an opening round exit for ninth seed Doo Hoi Kem.

There will be no European representation in the last 16 of the Women’s Singles draw following eliminations for Bernadette Szocs, Fu Yu and Yang Xiaoxin. Chen Meng’s fine display against Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-2), coupled with Zhu Yuling’s opening round defeat, means that Chen Meng will move back to the summit of the Women’s World Rankings list in April’s publication.

Asian Partnerships Reach Penultimate Round

There was plenty of drama at the quarter-finals stage of the Women’s Doubles tournament as three matches went right down to the wire; top seeds Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato narrowly came through their match with the Japanese duo beating Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu by the closest of margins (5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11).

Over in the Men’s Doubles event there was just the one deciding game thriller as Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu accounted for the mixed nationality pairing of Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth (11-2, 11-8, 11-13, 8-11, 11-9) of Germany and Denmark respectively.

Latest Results

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Qatar Open Mima Ito Chen Meng Zhu Yuling Marcos Freitas Chuang Chih-Yuan Mattias Karlsson

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Photo Gallery

Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 Qatar Open

Match Highlights