Tournaments

10 Aug 2018

Just one day into the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open and there has already been plenty of drama for spectators in Lagos to enjoy, including unexpected early exits for a number of seeded players across both singles events on Friday 10th August.

by Simon Daish

Rares Sipos experienced a dramatic outing in the early stages of the Men’s Singles draw with the young Romanian star coming through both of his opening day fixtures across seven games: recovering from a deficit against Nigeria’s Jamiu Ayanwale (9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 16-14, 5-11, 11-8, 11-2), no.29 seed Rares Sipos accounted for fifth seed Sam Walker later in the day (11-6, 7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 11-9) to book his spot in the last 16.

Top seed Quadri Aruna made an impressive start to his campaign in Lagos, opening with a straight games victory over Italy’s Antonino Amato (11-7, 14-12, 11-6, 11-5) before rounding off his day with a fine display against Khalid Assar (11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 17-15). Three further Nigerian competitors went on to reach the Round of 16 including Azeez Olugbenga Jamiu following an outstanding win from the qualifier over no.4 seed Thiago Monteiro (11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 11-3, 3-11, 11-8).

Crowned Champion in 2016, Finland’s Benedek Olah has successfully made it through, defeating the host nation’s Emmanuel Augustine (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4) and Iran’s Miad Lotfijanabadi (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9) but for Alexandre Robinot and Laurens Tromer, seeded sixth and 12th respectively, the journey concluded.

The opening day of the Women’s Singles draw provided plenty of upsets as seeded players fell by the number. Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin was one of the biggest names to exit in the Round of 32 with the third seed losing out to China’s Wang Shu in straight games (11-5, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9).

10th seed Yousra Helmy and no.13 seed Olga Kulikova also failed to negotiate their day one encounters as the Egyptian and Russian representatives suffered defeats at the hands of India’s Sreeja Akula (10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10) and China’s Guo Yan (11-2, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10) respectively.

On the whole the host nation experienced a somewhat disappointing day in the Women’s Singles event with eight defeats but there were two results to celebrate as Olufunke Oshonaike and Cecilia Akpan produced winning displays against Mauritian opponents Elodie Ho Wan Kau (11-9, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4) and Nandeshwaree Jalim (11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8).

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Challenge Series 2018 Nigeria Open Quadri Aruna Rares Sipos Yousra Helmy Giorgia Piccolin
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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open