31 Mar 2019

Follow all the drama and excitement from Doha with the world's biggest stars in action at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open from Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st March.

Wang Manyu turns the tables

Women’s Singles Final

Beaten by Liu Shiwen one year ago in the title deciding contest, in an all China final, Wang Manyu, the no.4 seed, reversed the decision; she beat Liu Shiwen, the no.3 seed, in six games (11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5).

Success for Wang Manyu means that she collects her fifth ITTF World Tour women’s singles title; in 2017 she won in Austria in addition to last year on home soil in China as well as in Hungary and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, for Liu Shiwen it was her 28th ITTF World Tour women’s singles final, the 15th time the runner up.

Ma Long completes successful return

Men’s Singles Final

Absent from the international scene since August, Ma Long announced his return. The no.11 seed, recovered from a two games to nil deficit against Chinese national team colleague Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed, to secure the men’s singles title (9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).

Having earlier succeeded in 2013, 2016 and 2017, he becomes the only player to have secured the title four times. Moreover, he now equals the record of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus as the most successful player in ITTF World Tour men’s singles events; each has 27 titles to their name.

Still to come…

Following the break in play, the highly anticipated Men’s Singles final between Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan is scheduled to get underway at 3.00pm local time. The action in Doha officially concludes soon after with the Women’s Singles final.

Close but Sun Yingsha out of the running

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Sun Yingsha’s wishes of appearing in the Women’s Singles final were not fulfilled this time around in Doha with the teenage ace losing out at the penultimate hurdle. Leading by a three games to two advantage the 18-year-old qualifier moved to within a single game win from the gold medal match but ultimately couldn’t get the job done as third seed Liu Shiwen kept her title defence ambitions alive (5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5).

Liu Shiwen and Wang Manyu will contest a repeat of last year’s Women’s Singles final – will it be a repeat outcome as well?

Queen of hearts suffers convincing loss

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Top seed Ding Ning has crashed out of the Women’s Singles draw after suffering a comfortable semi-final defeat in Doha.

Outclassed from start to finish Ding Ning was simply second best in a relatively short encounter with no.4 seed Wang Manyu (11-6, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4), who goes on to reach the final for a third consecutive year.

No spot in Women’s Singles final for the “Queen of Hearts” (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Morning session at a glance

Action commences at 10.00am local time with the first semi-final contest in the Women’s Singles draw which sees Ding Ning take on Wang Manyu followed by Liu Shiwen’s meeting with Sun Yingsha in the second semi-final.

Concluding day in Doha

The fourth and final day of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open is here – for a detailed look at the upcoming fixtures make sure to check out the Daily Schedule:


Lin Gaoyuan extracts revenge

Men’s Singles Semi-Final

Beaten in Stockholm by the host nation’s Mattias Falck in the second round last year in early November, in Doha at the semi-final stage of the men’s singles event China’s Lin Gaoyuan gained revenge. The no.2 seed, he beat Mattias Falck, the no.12 seed, by the very narrowest of margins in an enthralling full distance seven games encounter (7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10).

It is for Lin Gaoyuan his third career ITTF World Tour men’s singles final and his third such final this year at an open international tournament. Last year on the ITTF World Tour he won in Austria, earlier this year in January in Hungary. One month later in February he was the runner up at the ITTF Challenge Series tournament in Portugal.

Ma Long books final place

Men’s Singles Semi-Final

Ma Long, the no.11 seed, beat Chinese national team colleague, in six games to reach the final of the men’s singles event (12-14, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6).

It is the 42nd time that he has reached an ITTF World Tour men’s singles final; more significantly it is the fourth time Doha and even more pertinently on the previous three occasions (2013, 2016, 2017) he has always emerged the winner.

Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu secure title

Women’s Doubles Final

China’s Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seeds, won the women’s doubles title beating colleagues Ding Ning and Wang Yidi, in a full distance five games final (12-14, 16-1, 11-6, 11-13, 11-4). Ding Ning and Wang Yidi, notably having started their journey in the qualification tournament,

A contest that ebbed and flowed, crucially in the fifth game Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu established a 5-2 lead at the change of ends; it was to prove a crucial advantage. It is the first ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series women’s doubles title won by Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu as a partnership.

Sun Yingsha (left) and (right) Wang Manyu, winners for the first time as a partnership on the ITTF World Tour (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Seeking to repeat Stockholm form

Men’s Singles Semi-Finals

Seeking to repeat the form of last November in Stockholm; Mattias Falck, the no.12 seed, faces China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed. Urged forward by an enthusiastic local crowd, on home soil Mattias Falck prevailed in six games in their second round meeting, It is their only prior encounter.

Somewhat differently, in the opposite half of the Ma Long, the no.11 seed, faces Chinese national team colleague, Xu Xin, the top seed. Ma Long will be seeking a repeat of just over one year ago. On Sunday 25th March he beat Xu Xin to win the men’s singles title at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open.

Third title

Men’s Doubles Final

Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.3 seeds, beat Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziksa in four games (11-4, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9) to secure the men’s doubles title.

It is their third such success; in 2016 they won in the Czech Republic, last your on home soil in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium.

The men’s doubles podium, the top step for Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Status prevails

Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

Selected as members of the Chinese national team for the forthcoming Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha both prevailed against colleagues at the quarter-final stage of play.

Liu Shiwen, the no.3 seed, beat Wang Yidi (11-2, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4); Sun Yingsha accounted for He Zhuojia (6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5).

Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen prove unstoppable

Mixed Doubles Final

A truly formidable combination, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen have added another Mixed Doubles title to their collection following a strong display from the Chinese pair in Doha. At the final hurdle fifth seeds Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen accounted for fourth seeds Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito with a convincing 3-0 victory (11-5, 11-7, 11-7).

This marks the third time Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen have come away with an ITTF World Tour Mixed Doubles trophy having won last year in Austria and earlier this year in Hungary.

The podium in the mixed doubles event (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Emerging star but Lin Yun-Ju falls

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

One of the most exciting young talents Chinese Taipei has to offer Lin Yun-Ju produced another notable performance in the last eight of the Men’s Singles in Doha but ultimately fell short, losing out to second seed Lin Gaoyuan in a tight encounter (14-12, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9).

Lin Gaoyuan meets Mattias Falck in the lower section of the semi-finals draw while Xu Xin and Ma Long do battle in the other fixture – both ties will be contested in the evening session of play.

Mattias Falck stuns third seed

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

What a battle! Sweden’s Mattias Falck has overcome all the odds to put his name into the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles competition following a breathtaking full distance thriller with Tomokazu Harimoto.

Racing into a commanding 3-1 lead no.12 seed Mattias Falck moved to within a game from victory but looked to have blown his opportunity with his Japanese counterpart picking up back-to-back games to level the scores at 3-3. However, the Swede kept his cool, producing an excellent display in the decider to seal one of his greatest wins to date (11-8, 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 8-11, 3-11, 11-5).

Mattias Falck steals the show (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Terrific start but German hopeful departs

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Patrick Franziska’s Men’s Singles journey has come to an end at the quarter-finals stage of play: despite getting off to an impressive start the no.14 seed from Germany proved unable to build upon his early momentum as China’s Xu Xin, seeded first, recovered from a one game deficit to claim the win across five games (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).

Ma Long means business

Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals

Looking to make a statement with his outing in Doha and what a message Ma Long has sent to his rivals at the very top of the game, earning his place in the last four of the Men’s Singles event in emphatic style. Holding the upper hand right from the word go, the Chinese star accounted for Japan’s Jun Mizutani with a dominant 4-0 performance (11-2, 11-6, 11-6, 15-13).

Penultimate day in Doha

Just two days remain at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha but there’s still plenty of exciting action coming your way – take a look at the penultimate day’s fixture plan below:


Don’t upset Ding Ning

Women’s Singles Quarter-Finals

It is not a good idea to upset the great players of sport; a fact Japan’s Mima Ito discovered at the semi-final stage of the women’s singles event. Last November in Sweden, Ding Ning had lost to Mima Ito in their semi-final encounter; in Doha she extracted revenge. In the same round as in Stockholm, the top seed, she beat Mima Ito, the no.5 seed, in four straight games (12-10, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

At the semi-final stage Ding Ning meets colleague Wang Manyu, the no.4 seed; she reserved her place in the penultimate round by overcoming Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.8 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7).

Thrilling semi-final, top seeds beaten

Men’s Doubles Semi-Finals

Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting caused an upset of note at the semi-final stage of the men’s doubles event; the no.3 seeds, they beat Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds by the very narrowest of margins (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10).

In the final they meet Germany’s Timo Boll and Franziska; in the penultimate round they accounted for fellow qualifiers, the combination of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck (11-8, 16-14, 11-3).

Spot the ball, Ho Kwan Kit (left) and (right) Wong Chun Ting en route to the final (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
China books final places at Japanese expense

Women’s Doubles Semi-Finals

China emerged successful at the semi-final stage of the women’s singles event, Japan perished.

Ding Ning and Wang Yidi, required to qualify, upset the pecking order by beating Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds (11-9, 11-5, 11-5); Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seeds, overcame Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.3 seeds (11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6).

Sheer talent

Men’s Singles Round Two

Name the most talented player on view in Doha, Chinese Taipei’s 17 year old Lin Yun-Ju would come top of the list; in the second round of the men’s singles event his high skill level was on view. Required to qualify he beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.13 seed, in six games (11-4, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7).

Success for one left hander who oozes talent and there was success for another; China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed, accounted for Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.10 seed (11-4, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7).

Ma Long makes statement

Men’s Singles Round Two

Doubts as to whether China’s Ma Long was match fit were quickly eradicated in the second round of the men’s singles event. He was imperious, the no.11 seed, he beat Germany’s Timo Boll, the no.4 seed, in four straight games (12-10, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8).

A thoroughly efficient performance from Ma Long, it was very much the same from Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.12 seed; he ended the progress of Belgian qualifier, Cédric Nuytinck (10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4).

Ma Long leaving doubters in no doubt (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Tomokazu Harimoto impressive

Men’s Singles Round Two

Very much the player to attract the attention in recent months having won last November on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in Austria and earlier this year at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Portugal Open, China’s Liang Jingkun was a name tipped for a podium place.

No longer, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto held the answers; the no.3 seed, he justified his billing, he beat Liang Jingkun, the no.15 seed, in four straight games (12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).

Koki Niwa and Yuya Oshima suffer, Jun Mizutani progresses

Men’s Singles Round Two

Patrick Franziska upset the seeding as play commenced in the second round of the men’s singles event; the no.14 seed, he accounted for Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.8 seed (10-12, 13-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6).

Defeat contrary to status for Koki Niwa, likewise it was the end of the road for colleague Yuya Oshima, the plus factor for the Land of the Rising Sun being success for Jun Mizutani and Tomokazu Harimoto. Yuya Oshima was beaten by China’s Xu Xin, the top seed (9-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 13-11, 11-4); Jun Mizutani, the no.9 seed, overcame the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek (11-8, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5), like Yuya Oshima a qualifier.

Sensational recovery sends fourth seeds to final

Mixed Doubles Semi-Finals

What a comeback! An absolute thriller has just been played out in the upper half of the Mixed Doubles semi-finals draw after fourth seeds Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito fought back from two games behind to squeeze through to the gold medal contest by the narrowest of margins (9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 16-14).

Awaiting the Japanese duo in the final is the pair seeded directly below them in China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen who enjoyed a much more straightforward experience in their semi-finals encounter, requiring just the three games to eliminate Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching from the running (11-6, 11-1, 11-9).

Mima Ito in partnership with Masataka Morizono performed a recovery of note (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Chinese and Japanese combinations advance

Women’s Doubles Quarter-Finals

The Women’s Doubles title will be awarded to a partnership representing either China or Japan after the two countries dominated the quarter-finals stage of the category.

Top seeds Hina Hayata and Mima Ito fought back from a game down to defeat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7) while fellow Japanese compatriots Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato accounted for Germany’s Nina Mittelham and Sabine Winter (11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10). For China, Ding Ning and Wang Yidi needed four games to see off Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching (11-8, 11-4, 12-14, 11-2) with Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu beating the Slovak/Czech duo of Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova (13-11, 11-6, 14-12).

Top seeds overcome serious challenge in style

Men’s Doubles Quarter-Finals

Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu continue to live up to the expectations in regards to their status as top seeds for the Men’s Doubles draw, coming through a tricky Round of 16 match against China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long in more comfortable a fashion than some may have anticipated (11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

However, they won’t be joined in the last eight by second seeds Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima after the Japanese pair failed to convert a commanding two games lead on their way to a dramatic 3-2 defeat against German qualifiers Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 15-13).

Major contender falls, Miu Hirano bids farewell

Women’s Singles Round Two

Miu Hirano has fallen in round two of the Women’s Singles event, despite heading to Doha as one of the big favourites to achieve a podium finish. In the last 16 the no.7 seed proved unable to form a successful comeback attempt, losing out to Chinese qualifier He Zhuojia across six games (11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5).

Miu Hirano beaten by He Zhuojia (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Experienced display from young star

Women’s Singles Round Two

At just 18 years of age Sun Yingsha has already achieved so much on the international stage and offers an exciting future for Chinese table tennis. In her Round of 16 fixture in Doha, Sun Yingsha produced a performance well beyond her years, showing great composure to beat Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong in quick fashion (11-4, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3).

Nervy moments but Wang Manyu moves through

Women’s Singles Round Two

Wang Manyu experienced a difficult test in her Round of 16 encounter with Chen Xingtong as two of China’s finest emerging talents met face-to-face. Down 1-2 on the scoreboard following the conclusion of the opening three games but fourth seed Wang Manyu made the perfect response, winning three consecutive games to get over the finish line by a 4-2 margin (4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4).

Mima Ito extends stay

Women’s Singles Round Two

Seeded fifth in Doha, Japan’s Mima Ito will compete in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles draw following a fine display in her second round encounter against no.11 seed Doo Hoi Kem, defeating the Hong Kong representative without dropping a game (11-9, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8). The Japanese star will meet China’s Ding Ning in the last eight after the top seed posted a straight games victory over German opponent Han Ying (11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 18-16).

Day two arrives

Hungry for more exciting action? Don’t worry because day two of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open is here – find out who plays who with a look at the day’s fixture line-up:


Ideal pair progresses

Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals

The ideal combination, the left handed pen-hold grip style of Xu Xin allied with right handed technical skills of Liu Shiwen booked their semi-final place. The Chinese duo, the no.5 seeds, beat Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the no.2 seeds, in the quarter-final round 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6).

They now meet Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching; they reserved their penultimate round place courtesy of success in opposition to fellow qualifiers, Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier of France (11-6, 11-9, 11-3).

Lin Yun-Jun and Cheng I-Ching on course

Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals

Winners at the recent Seamaster ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.6 seeds, beat Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Choi Hyojoo (11-4, 11-3, 11-5) to book their place in the mixed doubles’ semi-final round.

They meet Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito, the no.4 seeds; at the quarter-final stage they ousted colleagues Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.7 seeds (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9)

Tomislav Pucar so close

Men’s Singles Round One

Outstanding in the qualification tournament, causing surprise after surprise, Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar nearly caused another. In the opening round of the men’s singles event he stretched China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed, full seven games distance, experiencing defeat by the minimal two point margin in the decider (7-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9).

A close for Lin Gaoyuan; for Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed and in the same half of the draw, life was less fraught. He beat Japanese national team colleague, Masataka Morizono in five games (12-10, 14-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).

Tomokazu Harimoto who beat Masataka Morizono (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Lin Yun-Ju once again excels

Men’s Singles Round Two

Crowned men’s singles champion four days earlier in Oman; Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Jun maintained his outstanding form. The 17 year old caused a major opening round men’s singles upset; he accounted for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.7 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-3, 5-11, 11-7).

Also there was success for Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the player Lin Yun-Ju beat in the Oman final; the no.12 seed, he ended the progress of China’s Zhou Qihao (11-4, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4).

Different fortunes one year later

Men’s Singles Round One

Runner up one year ago when beaten by China’s Fan Zhendong, one year later for Hugo Calderano, the no.5 seed, it was a first round men’s singles exit; he was beaten by Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck (11-4, 16-14, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7).

It was not the best of rounds for Brazil, in addition Thiago Monteiro suffered defeat at the hands of Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.10 seed (11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4).

Positive start for leading names

Men’s Singles Round One

China’s Xu Xin and Germany’s Timo Boll, the leading names on duty in the top half of the men’s singles draw both made successful starts to their campaigns.

Xu Xin, the top seed, beat Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7); Timo Boll, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of colleague, Benedek Duda (11-4, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2).

Lim Jonghoon beaten by Xu Xin (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Ma Long returns

Men’s Singles Round One

Eagerly awaited, China’s Ma Long returned to the international scene after an eighth month absence; success but not without some moments of trepidation for his supporters.

The no.11 seed, he needed six games to over come Frenchman, Tristan Flore (6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Czech mate

Men’s Singles Round One

Listed at no.82 on the current men’s world rankings, the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek caused an early upset as play began in the opening round of the men’s singles event.

He beat Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.6 seed and listed at no.7 in the global order; furthermore, he won in style. He prevailed in straight games (11-9, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8).

Second seed departs

Women’s Singles Round One

Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed, suffered defeat in her opening contest; she was beaten by China’s Sun Yingsha (11-7, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5).

Success for Sun Yingsha, there were also successes for colleagues who had been required to compete in the qualification stage. Gu Yuting beat Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.15 seed (11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7); He Zhuojia accounted for Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, the no.14 seed (11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 12-14, 11-6, 11-8). Meanwhile, Wang Yidi received a walk-over when due to face Korea Republic’s injured Su Hyo Won.

Sun Yingsha who beat Kasumi Ishikawa (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Cheng Hsien-Tzu causes upset beats colleague

Women’s Singles Round One

Cheng Hsien-Tzu caused a major first round women’s singles upset; she beat Chinese Taipei colleague, Cheng I-Ching, the no.6 seed.

In a hard fought contest she prevailed in six games (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 13-11, 11-6).

Differing fortunes for defensive art

Women’s Singles Round One

Germany’s Han Ying prevailed, Japan’s Hitomi Sato fell, the two players in the top half of the women’s singles draw who practise the defensive art.

Han Ying beat Saki Shibata, the no.12 seed and like Hitomi Sato from Japan (11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4); by the very narrowest of margins, Hitomi Sato, the no.10 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of colleague Miyu Kato (11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 15-13).

Behind the scenes with Ma Long

Ma Long’s eagerly anticipated return to Men’s Singles action will come at 6.25pm local time when he takes to the table to face French opponent Tristan Flore – grab a quick glimpse of the World and Olympic champion preparing behind the scenes:

Last 16 awaits for Feng Tianwei

Women’s Singles Round One

Eliminated in round one at the opening ITTF World Tour event of the year in Budapest, but Feng Tianwei won’t be suffering the same fate in Doha after she passed her Round of 32 test with flying colours. Seeded eighth for the Women’s Singles draw the Singapore competitor needed just five games to get the job done, sending qualification star Yoo Eunchong out of the running (11-7, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10).

Doo Hoi Kem wins Hong Kong thriller!

Women’s Singles Round One

Talk about a topsy-turvy encounter. Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching have just played out an exciting head-to-head contest with the former of the two coming out on top: the early signs very much favoured Lee Ho Ching, who raced into a two games lead with little difficulty. However, out of nowhere no.11 seed Doo Hoi Kem turned the match on its head, winning the next four games on the bounce to squeeze through (6-11, 1-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9, 15-13).

Queen of hearts advances

Women’s Singles Round One

Ding Ning is through to the last 16 of the Women’s Singles draw but not in as convincing a fashion as the end score-line might suggest: pushed hard by Chen Szu-Yu in the early stages of the encounter, Ding Ning narrowly edged the opening two games in deuce. The top seed eventually found another level in her game, finishing the match with a 4-0 victory to her name (12-10, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4).

Disappointment for Chinese Taipei

Men’s Doubles Round One

Occupying the no.4 spot on the Men’s Doubles seeding list but for Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju the first round was as far as they would go in Doha, falling to Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck across five games (12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).

Seeded one position lower in fifth, another Chinese Taipei partnership suffered defeat at the first attempt as Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan lost out to Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).

Brave effort but English duo fall short

Men’s Doubles Round One

Putting up a respectable fight but England’s Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker will play no further part in the Men’s Doubles tournament after China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long, no.7 seeds, recovered from a 0-1 deficit to beat the qualifiers 3-1 (10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8).

Elsewhere, the host nation had its hopes dashed with the mixed association partnership of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles proving too strong for Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Abdulrahman Al-Naggar (9-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-9).

Revenge for Hina Hayata

Women’s Doubles Round One

Hina Hayata and Mima Ito have made a strong opening to their Women’s Singles campaign in Doha after the no.1 seeds from Japan comfortably negotiated their meeting with Korean qualifiers Choi Hyojoo and Yoo Eunchong in three straight games (11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

Success and a hint of revenge for Hina Hayata, who had been eliminated in the final round of Women’s Singles qualifying by Yoo Eunchong only the day before.

Masterclass from China

Women’s Doubles Round One

China’s Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu produced a confident performance at the first hurdle of the Women’s Doubles event with a straight games victory over Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hsing-Yin and Su Pei-Ling (11-6, 11-9, 11-7) sending the second seeds through. The news was just as positive for Ding Ning and Wang Yidi, who accounted for Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam and Soo Wai Yam Minnie without dropping a game to the fifth seeds (11-4, 11-9, 11-8).

Comeback delight for second seeds

Mixed Doubles Round One

Well, well, well – there’s been plenty of edge of your seat action so far on the opening day in Doha and we’ve just seen another dramatic twist in the Mixed Doubles draw with Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee achieving a mighty comeback from two games down to see off the Austrian pair of Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova by a 3-2 margin (11-13, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-4).

However, third seeds Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova enjoyed no such luck in their opening round outing as the Slovak duo experienced an unexpected defeat at the hands of France’s Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier (10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10).

No issues for Japanese partnerships

Mixed Doubles Round One

Fourth seeds Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito will contest the quarter-finals stage of the Mixed Doubles event in Doha after the Japanese pair produced a solid display to see off Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Han Ying (11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-8). Fellow Japanese compatriots Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa are also through with the no.7 seeded duo thundering past Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs in convincing fashion (11-6, 11-2, 11-1).

Grand Finals champions knocked out!

Mixed Doubles Round One

What a dramatic start to the day we’ve just witnessed after 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals champions Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem were dealt an opening round exit in Doha!

The Hong Kong pair, seeded first, struggled to establish any form of momentum in the match, losing out to Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Choi Hyojoo in straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-5).

And we’re underway!

Action has commenced on day one of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open – cast your eye over the day’s fixture plan here:


Let the Main Draw begin!

The thrills and spills of the qualification rounds in Qatar are now over. Join us on Thursday 28th March when many of the sport’s biggest names enter the action, including the much-awaited return of Ma Long.

Before play resumes, make sure to check out the Main Draw in full:

World Tour 2019 Seamaster Qatar Open Doha Qatar

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open

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