24 Mar 2019

Keep up-to-date with the action from Muscat with the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open taking place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th March.

First title, second title

Men’s Singles Final

Successful earlier in the day in the men’s doubles event when partnering colleague Chinese Taipei colleague Liao Cheng-Ting, Lin Yun-Ju emerged successful in the men’s singles final. The no.3 seed, in the title deciding contest, he beat Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the top seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8).

Supremely talented, it is the first men’s singles title on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament for Lin Yun-Ju; there are no doubt more to come.

Lin Yun-Ju, the men’s singles winner in Muscat (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Hina Hayata repeats Portuguese feat, regains title

Women’s Singles Final

Winner five weeks ago in Lisbon, Japan’s Hina Hayata repeated the success in Guadalajara and thus regained the title secured two years earlier when she had prevailed in Almeria.

The no.9 seed, she beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the top seed, in the final (11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8). Once again a women’s singles title at an open international tournament eluded Cheng I-Ching. Despite being listed at no.8 on the current world rankings, her only previous women’s singles final appearance was in 2015 on the ITTF World Tour in Austria when beaten by Germany’s Han Ying.

Hina Hayata en route to gold (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Top seeds prevail

Men’s Doubles Final

Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the top seeds, beat Russian qualifiers, Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko to clinch men’s doubles gold (11-8, 11-3, 11-7).

It is for the Chinese Taipei duo their second major international title; last year in November they emerged successful at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open.

Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata win all Japanese final

Women’s Doubles Final

Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds, beat Japanese colleagues, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, to win the women’s doubles title (14-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6).

Thus they collected their third ITTF Challenge Series title as a partnership; last year they also won in Belarus and in Belgium.

Lin Yun-Ju prevails to reach final

Men’s Singles Semi-Finals

Asia remains in the hunt for the Men’s Singles trophy after Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju survived a major scare n his penultimate round contest: the no.3 seed was pushed right down to the wire, requiring seven games to defeat no.20 seed Tomislav Pucar (11-4, 11-7, 13-15, 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).

Mattias Falck and Lin Yun-Ju will fight it out for the Men’s Singles title at 6.50pm local time.

Seedings upset in all-Japanese affair

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Hina Hayata has upset the seeding list in the last four of the Women’s Singles draw with the no.9 seeded player accounting for second seed Miu Hirano in an all-Japanese meeting (11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5).

Semi-finals exit signals end of the road for Miu Hirano (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)

Cheng I-Ching and Hina Hayata will face off in the final at 6.00pm local time.

Dramatic scenes

Men’s Singles Semi-Finals

The full match distance was needed to find out which player would advance from the top half of the Men’s Singles draw with Sweden’s top seed Mattias Falck prevailing over India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran by the narrowest of margins. In an end-to-end contest neither player was able to register back-to-back game wins but by the close of game seven it was Sweden’s Falck who put his name into the gold medal match (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10).

“The tournament has been good. I’ve put in solid displays so far. I had a tough match in the second round also and a close victory. Sathiyan is a good player and strong in open rallies, as am I too! I think it was a good match and I’m happy to get the win. The key to victory was to attack first and put pressure on him early and control the game. He has a strong service, so I needed to receive well and play offensively.” Mattias Falck

Top seed closes in

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Cheng I-Ching is just one victory away from landing the Women’s Singles title at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex following a fine showing from the Chinese Taipei top seed against Japan’s Hitomi Sato: down by a 3-1 margin third seed Hitomi Sato won a tight battle in game five to reduce the deficit but it wasn’t enough to deter Cheng I-Ching, who emerged victorious in game six to seal her spot in the final (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-8).

Final day in Muscat

The final day at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open is here and there’s plenty of exciting action coming your way – find out who meets who in the final stretch of the race for silverware with the Daily Schedule:


Tomislav Pucar upsets the odds

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar upset the odds at the semi-final stage of the men’s singles event; the 23 year old beat Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed, in seven games (14-12, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6).

“This is maybe the best result of my career. I was focusing only to put the ball on the table, because he is a very strong opponent. I was very focused on my serve and receive because in open play he is better than me, so I was looking to gain an advantage early in points. The Challenge Plus is better for young players, who are not yet at the top, to improve and give their best. My objective tomorrow is simply to win!” Tomislav Pucar

Defeat for Chinese Taipei but there was success. Lin Yun-Ju, 17 years old, the no.3 seed, accounted for Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.9 seed in straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9).

According to seeding

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Success as seeding advised, in the top half of the draw, Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the top seed, overcame Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the no.19 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9); India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.4 seed, ended the exploits of Frenchman, Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.7 seed (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10).

“I’d already played against Lebesson twice in the World Championships, so I knew he has a very good serve, so I was studying how to receive his serves properly and then how to capitalise on my serve. I kept attacking because his defence is not as good and I think the strategy worked really well. Tomorrow my objective is clear: I’ll be going for the gold medal but I have a very tough semi-final against Mattias Falck, who I’ve lost to him once in the Indian League, so I’ll come up with a strategy with my coach and look to play my best table tennis. It’s a very nice idea introducing the Challenge Plus competition. The gap between the Challenge Series and World Tour is quite high. You can see already that a lot of top players are beginning to take part in the Challenge Plus events and I think that this will encourage players to participate in more tournaments.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Chen I-Ching stands alone

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the top seed, eventually overcame the defensive skills of Honoka Hashimoto, the no.6 seed (3-11, 14-12, 4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) but that was the only defeat experienced by Japan at the quarter-final stage of the women’s singles event.

“It was the very tough contest. I played very hard throughout the match. I was focused during all the games; that led me to victory. My current target is to concentrate for the upcoming match.” Cheng I-Ching

Hitomi Sato, the no.3 seed beat Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, the no.8 seed (11-2, 8-11, 9-11, 11-0, 11-1, 11-8); Hina Hayata, the no.9 seed, having one round earlier beaten colleague, Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed (10-12, 11-6, 14-12, 11-9, 11-7) accounted for Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the no.5 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7).

“Both of my opponents today are higher ranked in the world than me so I figured I just needed to play without fear. I have played against Shibata once already in Japan and won but my racket was different today. I think I adapted well and I’m happy that I could win both matches in order to reach the semi-final against Miu Hirano. She is a top player and I do my best to challenge her.” Hina Hayata

In a equally impressive manner, Miu Hirano, the no.2 seed, ended the journey of qualifier Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus (11-2, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4).

Bernadette Szocs beaten by Hina Hayata (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Russian success continues

Men’s Doubles Semi-Finals

Required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, Russia’s Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko caused yet another men’s doubles upset; at the semi-final stage they beat Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet, the no.2 seeds (11-9, 9-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7).

In the final they meet the top seeds, the Chinese Taipei combination of Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju; they booked their place in the final by ousting Japanese qualifiers, Takuya Jin and Mizuki Oikawa (13-11, 15-13, 14-12).

Title destined for Japan

Women’s Doubles Semi-Finals

The top step of the women’s doubles podium belongs to Japan; that fact was resolved following the semi-final encounters.

Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, beat the combination formed by Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut and Wu Yue of the United States, the no.3 seeds (11-8, 11-6, 11-9); Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds, overcame Russia’s Yana Noskova and Mariia Tailakova, the no.4 seeds (11-7, 11-6, 16-14).

Gold for Chinese Taipei

Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the top seeds, won the mixed doubles title beating surprise finalists Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova (7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

Not seeded, Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova had been required to compete in the qualification tournament.

The presentations being made in the mixed doubles event (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
A first for Vladimir Sidorenko

Under 21 Men’s Singles Final

In an all Russian final, Vladimir Sidorenko won the under 21 men’s singles event beating Artur Abusev in the final (6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7). Thus he won his first such title and became the first Russian to achieve the feat since the Challenge Series became separate from the ITTF World Tour.

Previously on the ITTF World Tour four Russian players –  Vildan Gadiev, Fedor Kuzmin, Alexander Shibaev, Kirill Skachkov – had won under 21 men’s singles titles.

The under 21 men’s singles podium (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Satsuki Odo claims gold

Under 21 Women’s Singles Final

Japan’s Satsuki Odo won the under 21 women’s singles title; in the final she beat India’s Archana Girish Kamath in three straight games (11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

“My strategy to win this match? Well, I used my backhand a lot since it’s my specialty. My opponent was very good using both her backhand and forehand, it was a very difficult match. There are many strong players here from all over the world, not only Japan. It was difficult to win this title. I have received a lot of support in Oman and I like the country. It helped me to win. Now I’ll keep working towards my long-term goal of participating in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.” Satsuki Odo

It is the second such title of her career; previously she won in Spain in 2017 when beating Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh in the final.

A second ITTF Challenge Series under 21 women’s singles title for Satsuki Odo (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Bernadette Szocs on the front foot

Women’s Singles Round Two

One of the leading names of the European game, Romania’s Bernadette Szocs produced some of her best table tennis in the last 16 of the Women’s Singles event as she powered to a 4-1 victory over Japan’s Sakura Mori (11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7). Belarusian qualifier Viktoria Pavlovich also extended her journey in Muscat, coming out on top in a topsy-turvy fixture against no.12 seed Cheng Hsien-Tzu (3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 15-13).

Noshad Alamiyan marches on

Men’s Singles Round Three

Iranian star Noshad Alamiyan continues to impress in Muscat after he pulled off his biggest upset of the tournament so far in the Round of 16, beating the German no.6 seed Ricardo Walther in a dramatic six games battle (11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9). Top seed Mattias Falck is also through to the last eight as are Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Emmanuel Lebesson, seeded fourth and seventh respectively.

Belarusian puts up a fight but ultimately falls short

Women’s Singles Round Two

Showing great resolve to fight back from two games down but for Belarus’s Daria Trigolos the round of 16 marked the end of her campaign in the Women’s Singles event with third Hitomi Sato proving too strong on this occasion (11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4). In the last eight the Japanese star will meet Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, who was responsible for sending no.13 seed Dina Meshref out of the running (11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9).

“Despite the result, I liked how I played at this tournament. I like the organisation. Everything is great here. Oman looks a beautiful country and we hope to explore the city of Muscat tomorrow!” Daria Trigolos

Indian partnership bids farewell

Men’s Doubles Quarter-Finals

India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will not be taking home the Men’s Doubles trophy after the third seeds lost out to qualifiers Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko in a dramatic five game meeting (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10).

Fourth seeds Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson are also out following their 3-1 defeat suffered at the hands of Takuya Jin and Mizuki Oikawa (16-14, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10) – second seeds Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet await the Japanese pair in the semi-finals while Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko take on top seeds Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju.

Top four seeds to live up to expectations

Women’s Doubles Quarter-Finals

The partnerships occupying the top four seeded positions in the Women’s Doubles event will contest the semi-finals of the competition as the quarter-finals played out mostly to expectation.

Title favourites Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, seeded first, came through their encounter with Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Marie Migot (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8) while second seeds Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata needed just the three games to see off Mahshid Ashtari and Neda Shahsavari (11-5, 13-11, 11-8). Third seeds Suthasini Sawettabut and Wu Yue recovered from a one game deficit to beat Tatiana Kukulkova and Eva Odorova (8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6) – the no.4 seeded duo of Yana Noskova and Mariia Tailakova were awarded a ‘walkover’ win.

Russian qualifiers reach final

Mixed Doubles Semi-Finals

Unseeded for the competition, Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova will compete in the Mixed Doubles final later today after the Russian pair posted a four games victory over Chew Zhe Yu Clarence and Lin Ye (11-8, 11-13, 11-9 11-6). At the final hurdle they will meet Chinese Taipei top seeds Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, who accounted for Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier in the other semi-final (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 17-15).

And we’re back!

Day Two of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open is here and once again there’s plenty of great quality action to look forward to:


Gold and silver for Russia

The top two steps of the under 21 men’s singles podium are destined for Russia.

At the semi-final stage Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.6 seed, beat colleague Dennis Ivonin, the no.5 seed (5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9); Artur Abusev, the no.7 seed, accounted for India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar,the no.3 seed (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5)

Archana Girish Kamath surprise finalist

Under 21 Women’s Singles Semi-Final

India’s Archana Girish Kamatch upset the order of merit at the semi-final stage of the under 21 women’s singles event. The no.9 seed, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.4 seed, in a five games contest determined by the minimal margin (6-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9).

In the final she meets, Japan’s Satsuki Odo, the top seed; in the penultimate round, she accounted for Daria Trigolos of Belarus, the no.7 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-2).

Russian duo causes major upset

Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals

Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova caused the biggest upset at the quarter-final stage of the mixed doubles event; not seeded, they beat Kanak Jha and Wue Yue of the United States, the no.3 seeds (6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8).

Similarly, in the same half of the draw, not listed amongst the top eight pairs, Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Lin Ye ended the hopes of India’s Harmeet Desai and Madhurika Patkar, the no.6 seeds (11-6, 12-10, 11-5).

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the top seeds, beat Aliaksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos of Belarus (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5); Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier of France, the no.5 seeds, overcame Romania’s Hunor Szocs and Bernadette Szocs (11-8, 11-3, 11-9).

More Indian success

Men’s Singles Round Two

Success earlier in the round for Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran; as the second round of the men’s singles event concluded, Sharath Kamal Achanta added to that success. The no.5 seed, he beat Finland’s Benedek Olah, the no.24 seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12).

Similarly, there were wins for Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, Kanak Jha of the United States and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan. All beat qualifiers. Tomislav Pucar accounted for Ecuador’s Alberto Miño (11-3, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9), Kanak Jha overcame Russia’s Alexey Liventsov (12-10, 20-18, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6); Chuang Chih-Yuan ended the hopes of Vladimir Sidorenko, like Alexey Liventsov from Russia (11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 12-14,9-11, 11-5).

Prominent names prevail

Men’s Singles Round Two

The favourites prevailed as men’s singles round two progressed. Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.3 seed, beat Romania’s Hunor Szocs, the no.26 seed (8-11, 11-1, 11-2, 11-1, 11-9); Germany’s Bastien Steger, the no.11 seed, accounted for Croatian qualifier Frane Kojic (9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6).

Likewise, Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.9 seed, overcame Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the no.30 seed (6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5); Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Slovakian qualifier, Alexander Valuch (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9).

Indians impress

Men’s Singles Round Two

A quarter-final place for India is guaranteed in the men’s singles event following the third round of play.

Amalraj Anthony beat fellow qualifier Frenchman Tristan Flore (11-6, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8); Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus, the no.29 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7).

French champion maintains form

Men’s Singles Round

Recently crowned French champion, Can Akkuzu maintained the outstanding form displayed early in the month; the no.22 seed, he caused a major second round upset. He beat Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.12 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5).

Can Akkuzu now meets compatriot Emmanuel Lebesson in the third round; the no.7 seed, he beat Japanese qualifier, Takuya Ji (11-2, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 6-11, 12-10).

Close call for top seed

Men’s Singles Round One

Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the top seeds, booked his third round men’s singles place but only just; he had to recover from a three games to one deficit to beat Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.17 seed (9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10).

Defeat for Nima Alamian but not for elder brother Noshad; the no.19 seed, he accounted for Indian qualifier Harmeet Desai in four straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9). Impressive from Noshad Alimyan, it was the same from Korea Republic qualifier, Choi Deokhwa, who beat Belgium’s Florent Lambiet, the no.28 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6) and from Germany’s Ricardo Walther, the no.6 seed who ended the progress of India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar (11-7, 12-10, 11-8, 11-4).

Top names prevail

Women’s Singles Round One

The top names all emerged successful in the opening round of the women’s singles event; there was success for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the top seed, as there was for the next in the order of merit, the Japanese trio of Miu Hirano, Hitomi Sato and Saki Shibata.

Ching I-Ching beat Singapore’s Wong Xin Ru (11-6, 15-13, 12-10, 15-13); Miu Hirano accounted for Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz (11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6). Similarly, Hitomi Sato overcame India’s Riti Shankar (11-4, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6), Saki Shibata ended the hopes of Anastasiyia Lavrova (11-5, 11-3, 11-2, 12-10).

Japanese pair upsets seeding

Women’s Singles Round One

Maki Shiomi and Sakura Mori both upset the seeding in the opening round of the women’s singles event.

Sakura Mori beat Singapore’s Zeng Jian, the no.15 seed (10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-1, 11-8); Maki Shiomi accounted for Wu Yue of the United States, the no.10 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Belarus duo cause upsets

Women’s Singles Round One

Daria Trigolos and Viktoria Pavlovich caused major first round women’s singles upsets.

Both required to qualify, Daria Trigolos beat Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.11 seed (6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1); Viktoria Pavlovich ousted Germany’s Petrissa Solja, the no.7 seed (11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8).

Vladimir Sidorenko beat top seed

Under 21 Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Vladimir Sidorenko caused the biggest upset at the quarter-final stage of the under 21 men’s singles event; he beat Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the top seed (11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5).

The win means a Russian player will appear in the final; in the penultimate round he meets Denis Ivonin. The no.5 seed, he accounted for Korea Republic’s Kim Byunghyeon (13-15, 12-10, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10), the reserve his penultimate round place.

Manav Vikash Thakkar end colleague’s hope

Under 21 Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Manav Vikash Thakkar prevailed in the all Indian under 21 men’s singles quarter-final contest; the no.3 seed, he beat Jeet Chandra, the no.8 seed, in three straight games (11-2, 11-9, 11-9).

In the semi-final he meets Russia’s Artur Abusev. The no.7 seed, he ousted Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodai, the no.16 seed (11-4, 11-6, 11-5).

Mixed Fortunes for India

Under 21 Women’s Singles Quarter-Finals

It was mixed fortunes for India at the quarter-final stage of the under 21 women’s singles event; success for Archana Girish Kamath, defeat for Selena Selvakumar.

Both required to compete in the qualification tournament, Archana Girish Kamath beat fellow qualifier, Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan (11-7, 11-5, 11-8), Selena Selvakumar suffered at the hands of Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-2, 11-7).

Daria Trigolos causes quarter-final upset

Under 21 Women’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Daria Trigolos of Belarus caused the major upset at the quarter-final stage of the under 21 women’s singles event. The no.7 seed, she beat Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the no.3 seed, in straight games (11-6, 11-5, 14-12).

Defeat for Maki Shiomi but for colleague Satsuki Odo, it was success. The top seed, she beat Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.6 seed (11-0, 11-4, 11-8).

Daria Trigolos (left) on route to (right) beating Maki Shiomi (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Brave effort but Saudi Arabian qualifiers exit

Men’s Singles Round One

Impressive in the two-day qualification event but for Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi and Naif Al-Jadai reaching the Round of 32 proved one step too far: on the back foot right from the start of the match Ali Alkhadrawi experienced a five games defeat at the hands of Austria’s Andreas Levenko (11-3, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8) while Naif Al-Jadai was shown the exit by eighth seed Gustavo Tsuboi (11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-2).

Trailing but Gerassimenko fights back

Men’s Singles Round One

Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko was pushed hard in his opening encounter against Belarus’s Pavel Platonov with the no.12 seed being forced to recover from a difficult situation. Falling 1-2 behind but Gerassimenko responded well, claiming the next three games in a row (11-7, 5-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6) to book his spot in the next stage of the competition.

Iranian competitors pass first test

Men’s Singles Round One 

Nima Alamian is through to the last 32 of the Men’s Singles tournament in Muscat after the no.17 seed from Iran held off a strong challenge from Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev (11-13, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-3). Fellow Iranian Noshad Alamiyan, seeded 19th, negotiated a more straightforward affair, beating Slovak opponent Thomas Keinath 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6).

Mixed association partnerships strike perfect chords

Women’s Doubles Round One

For the three mixed association pairs taking part in the opening round of the Women’s Doubles draw it was a story of success.

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Marie Migot of France combined well to see off Singapore’s Wong Xinru and Zhang Wanling (11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4), Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut and USA’s Wu Yue outclassed the Belarusian duo of Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos (11-5, 19-17, 11-7) while Zauresh Akasheva and Magdalena Sikorska, of Kazakhstan and Poland respectively, accounted for Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz and Reem El-Eraky (11-6, 11-8, 13-11).

Home advantage but Omani duo fall

Men’s Doubles Round One

Haitham Al-Mandhari and Asad Alraisi were left disappointed in the Men’s Doubles event with the host nation duo suffering defeat in the Round of 16 – unable to put a game on the scoreboard the Omani pair were beaten by Russia’s Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko (11-1, 11-2, 11-6).

Japanese stars advance

Under 21 Men’s Singles Round One

There were no issues for the two Japanese players involved in the opening round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event: Satsuki Odo and Maki Shiomi both negotiated their meetings with Egyptian opposition without dropping a game between them, sending Mariam Alhodaby (11-4, 11-5, 11-1) and Sarah Abousetta (11-7, 11-4, 11-4) out of the running.

Title favourite scrapes through

Under 21 Men’s Singles Round One

Andreas Levenko experienced a difficult start to the Under 21 Men’s Singles draw in Muscat as the top seeded Austrian star required a mini comeback from 1-2 down on his way to defeating Russia’s Aleksandr Tiutriumov 3-2 (4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5). There was, however, an early exit for the no.2 seed as Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus lost out to Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodaei (12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Second seeds eliminated at first hurdle

Mixed Doubles Round One

Seeded second and considered major challengers for silverware but for Lubomir Pistej and Tatiana Kukulkova the journey concluded in the Round of 16. The Serbian pair were beaten by Singapore qualifiers Chew Zhe Yu Clarence and Lin Ye in a dramatic full distance battle (11-3, 11-1, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9).

The only other seeded partnership to fall was the Indian duo of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Archana Girish Kamath, who lost out to Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova despite having held a two games lead against the young Russian team (6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 12-10).

Qualification over, main event begins in Muscat

Following two days of exciting qualification action it’s time for the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open! Grab a look at the day’s match schedule below:


Balance in favour of Singapore

Mixed Doubles Preliminary Round

It was defeat for Josh Chua Shao Han and Zhang Wenling in the mixed doubles preliminary round; they were beaten by Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova (9-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-6).

However, to balance the scales, Lucas Tan and Goi Rui Xuan accounted for Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudev and Gulchekhra Khusseinova (11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8), Clarence Chew and Lin Ye overcame Pavel Platonov and Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8).

Last places secured

Men’s Singles Preliminary Round

Promoting the Singapore cause, Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh Shao Feng both emerged successful in the men’s singles preliminary round.

Clarence Chew beat Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al-Abbad (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9), Ethan Poh Shao Feng accounted for colleague Pang Yew En Koen (7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9). Alas for Josh Chua Shao Han, it was agonizing defeat; after holding a three games to nil lead, he was beaten by Russia’s Aleksandr Tiutriumov (9-11, 10-12, 6-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-9, 11-4).

Main draw places decided

Progress for India and Singapore

India’s Garima Goyal and Riti Shankar alongside Singapore’s Eunice Lim and Tan En Hui emerged successful in the two required preliminary round women’s doubles contests.

Garima Goyal and Riti Shankar beat Iran’s Parinaz Hajilou and Melika Karami (11-7, 13-11, 10-12, 11-13, 11-6), Eunice Lim and Tan En Hui accounted for Egypt’s Sarah Abousetta and Mariam Alhodaby (11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

Differing fortunes for Leading Pairs

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round Two

The combination of Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre and Ecuador’s Albert Miño duly booked their places in the main event following success in opposition to Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al-Abbad and Naif Al-Jadai (11-4, 11-9, 11-7).

However for three further leading pairs in the decisive preliminary round it was defeat; Iranian brothers Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan lost to Frenchmen Can Akuzzu and Alexandre Cassin (11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9), Egypt’s Khalid Assar and Mohamed Shouman experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko (11-4, 11-3, 11-2). Also, amongst the higher rated pairs, Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi suffered against Japan’s Takuya Jin and Mizuki Oikawa.

Women’s Singles draw unveiled

Take a look at the line-up for the Round of 32:

Main draw awaits for Nadezhda Bogdanova

Women’s Singles Group Stage

Belarus will have three competitors in the Round of 32 of the Women’s Singles draw with Nadezhda Bogdanova joining Viktoria Pavlovich and Daria Trigolos in the main event. Nadezhda Bogdanova cruised to a 3-0 victory over Egypt’s Reem El-Eraky (11-6, 11-5, 11-9) to finish at the summit of the Group 9 standings.

Doubles joy for Italy, woe for hosts

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round 

The Italian duo of Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov have edged ever closer to a place in the Men’s Doubles main event following a dominant performance against Oman’s Muhannad Al Balushi and Julanda Al Kharusi Al (11-4, 11-6, 11-5). Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov  take on the Iranian pair of Amir Hossein Hodaei and Miad Lotfijanabadi for a spot in the Round of 16.

Japanese stars produce perfect records

Women’s Singles Group Stage

Maki Shiomi and Sakura Mori are through to the next round of the Women’s Singles tournament after securing the no.1 spot in their respective groups without dropping a single game between them. Needing just three games to get the job done Maki Shiomi thundered past Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Lavrova (11-4, 11-6, 11-9) while Sakura Mori came away with a perfect record, claiming a straight games victory over India’s Archana Girish Kamath (11-9, 11-7, 11-5).

Journey continues for Saudi Arabia

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Earning an impressive win against group favourite David Serdaroglu in his opening encounter, now Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi has backed it up with another victory to his name in Muscat: coming through a tight opening game Ali Alkhadrawi negotiated his meeting with Egypt’s Ahmed Zayed with a convincing display (12-10, 11-6, 11-4) to extend his stay in the competition.

Patrick Baum too strong for home favourite

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Germany’s Patrick Baum has topped Group 14 in the hunt for Men’s Singles qualification after earning his second success of the campaign in Muscat, defeating Oman’s Julanda Al Kharusi Al in straight games (11-1, 11-2, 11-4). The other competitor representing Oman, Muhannad Al Balushi also lost out by a 3-0 margin with Russia’s Denis Ivonin taking the runner-up spot in Group 13 (11-1, 11-2, 11-3).

Class act, Patrick Baum storms past host nation hopeful (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Unexpected name tops group

Under 21 Women’s Singles Group Stage

When the draw for the group stage was conducted many would have anticipated India’s Archana Girish Kamath to claim top spot in Group 1, however, that honour went to Iran’s Parinaz Hajilou. Beating the group favourite on the opening day of qualification, Hajilou added a 3-0 win over Singapore’s Zhang Wanling on the morning of day two (11-7, 11-5, 11-3) to guarantee the no.1 spot.

Parinaz Hajilou tops under 21 group in Muscat (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Perfect three for Canadian

Under 21 Men’s Singles Group Stage

Jeremy Hazin completed a perfect record in his Under 21 Men’s Singles group, picking up his third victory to top Group 3. The Canadian player saw off Singapore’s Lucas Tan across four games (11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4) and moves through to the Round of 16 with plenty of confidence on his side.

Action resumes

We are back for a second day of qualification in Muscat – here’s what’s coming your way:


Better news for Qatar

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round

Disappointments earlier in the day in both the men’s singles and under 21 men’s singles events, it was a successful end to the day for Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Abdulrahman Al-Naggar; in the opening preliminary round of the men’s doubles event, they beat Kazakhstan’s Timur Kelbuganov and Denis Zholudev in four games (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Success for Qatar, there was also success for neighbouring Saudi Arabia; Abdulaziz Al-Abbad and Naif Al-Jadi overcame Singapore’ Clarence Chew and Josh Chua Shao Han (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 1-11, 11-2).

A successful end to the day for Mohammed Abdulrahhman (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Top names make convincing starts

Women’s Singles Group Stage

Leading names in the group stage of the women’s singles event all made impressive starts to their campaigns; Russia’s Yana Noskova and Mariia Tailakova asserted their authority. Yana Noskova beat Kazakhstan’s Guichekhra Khusseinova (11-7, 11-7, 11-5), Mariia Tailakova accounted for Singapore’s Zhang Wanling (11-7, 11-6, 12-10.

Meanwhile, Laura Gasnier of France and Japan’s Maki Shiomi both overcame Singaporean adversaries. Laura Gasnier accounted for Goi Rui Xuan (11-4, 11-5, 11-3), Maki Shiomi accounted for Eunice Lim (11-3, 11-2, 11-1).

A successful start for Yana Noskova (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Flying the Flag for Saudi Arabia

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Setting the standard for Saudi Arabia, Ali Alkhadrawi was very much the player to catch the eye as the men’s singles group stage matches concluded on the opening day of play.

Listed at no.282 on the current men’s world rankings, he beat Austria’s David Serdaroglu, named at no.246 in four games (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).

Ali Akhadrawi in impressive form (Photo by: Deepak Malik / SPORTZPICS)
Upsetting the order

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Wins against the odds Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudov, Japan’s Takuya Jin and Russia’s Artur Abusev all upset the order of merit as the day concluded.

World ranked no.322, Denis Zhoudev beat Singapore’s Ethan Pao Shao Feng, named at no.28 (11-8, 11-5, 11-5); Takuya Jin listed at no.314 accounted for Miad Lotfijanabadi, rated at no.237 (13-11, 11-4, 11-1). Similarly Artur Abusev used his defensive skills to good effect to overcome Slovakia’s Samuel Novota (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6). Presently, Artur Abusev is listed at no.276, Samuel Novota at no.26i.

Patrick Baum find form of a decade earlier

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Runner up in Wakayama when beaten by Korea Republic’s Oh Sangeun and later in Olomouc in 2014 when losing the Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, Germany’s Patrick Baum performed a stunning recovery in his opening men’s singles contest.

Presently listed at no.334 on the men’s world rankings, the 31 year old beat Egypt’s Khalid Assar, named at no.182 in five games (9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3).

Khalid Assar beaten by Patrick Baum (Photo: Ismail Al Farsi)
Alexandre Cassin in fast lane

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Winner of the junior boys’ singles title at the European Youth Championships in both 2014 and 2016, sandwiched in between the runner up, Frenchman Alexandre Cassin was very much the player in form on the opening day of action.

He beat Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab in three straight games, surrendering a mere ten points (11-3, 11-4, 11-1); furthermore the result was somewhat of an upset, presently on the men’s world rankings, Mohamed Abdulwahhab is listed at no.262, Alexandre Cassin at no.307.

Alexandre Cassin showed no charity (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Thomas Keinath causes upset, keep qualification hopes alive

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Slovakia’s Thomas Keinath, at 41 years of age, one of the more experienced players on the international scene, caused a major upset and kept his hopes of main draw qualification very much alive.

Listed at a lowly no.669, he beat Belgium’s Martin Allegro, named at no.109, the second highest rated player on initial phase duty, in his opening contest (11-9, 16-14, 6-11, 11-13, 12-10).

Thomas Keinath, the appetite for success as strong as ever (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Close call for Mohamed El-Beiali

Men’s Singles Group Stage

There was a close call for Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali; the fourth highest rated player on initial phase duty, he needed the full five games to beat Slovakia’s Samuel Kaluzny (6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8).

First place in the group confirmed for Mohamed El-Beiali, it was the same for Pavel Platonov of Belarus and India’s Harmeet Desai; both completed the group phase unbeaten. Pavel Platonov, the highest rated on initial phase action, beat Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodaei (11-4, 11-5, 11-6); Harmeet Desai, the third highest listed, accounted for Saudia Arabia’s Naif Al-Jadai (11-6, 11-7, 11-8).

Leading names depart

Under 21 Men’s Singles Group Stage

Disappointment for Qatar, as the top three names in the group phase of the under 21 men’s singles event all experienced defeat and thus hopes of qualifying for the main draw ended. Mohammed Abdulwahhab lost to Russia’s Aleksandr Tuitriumov (11-4, 12-14, 11-5, 11-6), Abdulraham Al-Naggar suffered at the hands of Canada’s Jeremy Hazin (11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Similarly, the highest rated player on first phase duty also bid farewell; India’s Siddesh Pande was beaten by Singapore’s Joshua Chua (11-7, 11-4, 11-8).

Joshua Chua who beat Siddesh Pande (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Slow start but Valeria Shcherbatykh fights back

Women’s Singles Group Stage

In the final round of group stage fixtures before the break Valeria Shcherbatykh got her campaign underway in Muscat – the Russian player took a little while to find her footing in her meeting with India’s Naina but once she found her rhythm there was only one winner (8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-2).

The Women’s Singles action resumes at 18.50pm local time.

Two out of three for Kazakhstan

Women’s Singles Group Stage

Kazakhstan met Singapore in three exciting Women’s Singles group stage encounters with the former of the two nations emerging the happier in the head-to-head contest.

Anastassiya Lavrova and Zauresh Akasheva accounted for Eunice Lim (6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7) and Goi Rui Xuan (11-5, 11-6, 13-11) to hand Kazakhstan two victories to celebrate but there was a reverse outcome to note with Singapore’s Tan En Hui getting the better of Gulchekhra Khusseinova (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8).

Mohammed Abdulwahhab responds

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Suffering defeat in his opening Under 21 fixture but it was a winning start for Mohammed Abdulwahhab in the Men’s Singles group stage with the Qatari athlete claiming a superb 3-0 win against Egypt’s Ahmed Sharafeldin (11-9, 11-9, 11-7).

Disappointment for home duo

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Oman’s first involvement of the day didn’t pan out as hoped by the host nation as both Muhannad Al Balushi and Julanda Al Kharusi Al experienced defeat, losing out to India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar (11-5, 11-5, 11-5) and Egypt’s Khalid Assar (11-4, 11-4, 11-2) respectively.

No dream start for Julanda Al Kharusi Al (Photo: Ismail Al-Farsi)
Ecuadorian shines

Men’s Singles Group Stage

Alberto Miño couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Men’s Singles group stage after the Ecuadorian competitor began his campaign with an impressive straight games win at Korea Republic’s Kim Byunghyeon’s expense (11-5, 11-9, 11-6).

Comebacks lead to victories

Under 21 Women’s Singles Group Stage

The Under 21 Women’s Singles group stage is off to a dramatic start in Muscat with three fixtures being decided by full distance score-lines.

Trailing by a two games to one deficit India’s Archana Girish Kamath prevailed over Iran’s Parinaz Hajilou by the narrowest of margins (11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10), but there was success for another Iranian in action as Mahshid Ashtari beat Egypt’s Sarah Abousetta (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9). Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus surely achieved the finest comeback, fighting back from 0-2 down to defeat India’s Pranitha Garlapati 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9).

Archana Girish Kamath pulls off narrow escape (Photo: Ismail Al-Farsi)
Singapore trio show their class

Under 21 Men’s Singles Group Stage

In the opening action of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open it was Singapore who made an impressive start with victories for three of the country’s players: Ethan Poh Shao Feng and Lucas Tan proved too strong for Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-2) and Abdulrahman Al-Naggar (11-2, 11-8, 11-8) while Pang Yew En Koen needed just three games to see off India’s Mudit Dani (11-7, 11-5, 11-7).

Ethan Poh Shao Feng off to winning start (Photo: Ismail Al-Farsi)
Action commences

Qualification for the second-ever ITTF Challenge Plus event is underway in Muscat. Take a look at what’s coming your way with the official Daily Schedule:

Challenge Series 2019 Oman Open Oman Muscat

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Match Highlights

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus, Oman Open