04 Mar 2020

The first preliminary round of the men’s singles and women’s singles events at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha completed on Tuesday 3rd March, players whose world ranking suggested they may depart at the first hurdle progressed.

Opportunities were seized on a day when, in the majority, the favourites advanced.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Hard fought contestsd but not for the leading names on qualification duty. It was a day to study the opposition; the likes of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, China’s Zhao Zihao, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson start their journey on the second day of action.

Five points to note……….

Surprise outcomes
  • In the opening round of the men’s singles event, Frenchman Alexandre Cassin no.155 beat Finland’s Benedek Olah no.95 (4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10).
  • Also Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen no.186 overcame Belgium’s Florent Lambiet no.111 (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10).
  • They were results to raise the eyebrows.


Pang Yew En Koen beat Florent Lambiet (Photo: Hussein Sayed)


Surprise or not
  • China’s Yan An no.131 accounted India’s Harmeet Desai no.87 (11-6, 10-12, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9) in the men’s singles first round. Yan An has two ITTF World Tour titles to his credit, he won in Stockholm in 2013 and Budapest in 2017.
  • Similarly Serbia’s Zsolt Peto no.174 defeated Mexico’s Marcos Madrid no.76 (4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-8). Earlier in the year Zsolt Peto had proved crucial to Serbia’s success at the ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament in Gondomar, gaining a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Likewise China’s Xiang Peng no.120 overcame Frenchman Can Akkuzu no.77 (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3, 12-14, 11-6). Xiang Peng is the reigning world junior champion and last December won at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Canada Open.
  • Also, China’s Xu Chenhao no.147 ended the hopes of Austria’s Stefan Fegerl no.87 (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7). Xu Chenhao was the runner up in the men’s singles event at the 2013 ITTF World Tour Japan Open.


Xu Chenhao accounted for Stefan Fegerl (Photo: Hussein Sayed)


Rekindling yesteryear
  • Now some two decades ago and more, Sweden enjoyed a history of beating China to become world champions; those memories were rekindled.
  • Truls Moregard, no.98 secured an opening round men’s singles win against Fang Bo no.296 (11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 11-4, 12-10).


Truls Moregard ended the hopes of Fang Bo (Photo: Hussein Sayed)


Maintaining form
  • Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, no.64 booked his second round men’s singles place. He beat Croatia’s Wei Shihao, no.221 (9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8).
  • Thus he maintained his good form; in early February he won the men’s singles title at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Spanish Open.


Hard fought success for Kirill Gerassimenko (Photo: Hussein Sayed)


Success for Japan
  • No current world ranking, in the opening round of the women’s singles event Sakura Yokoi and Haruna Sugita both caused upsets.
  • Sakura Yokoi beat Denmark’s Stefanie Christensen, no.247 (11-4, 12-10, 11-2, 11-7); Haruna Sugita accounted for Stéphanie Loeuillette, no.95 (8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 15-13, 12-10, 11-4).


Haruna Sugita who beat Stéphanie Loeuillette (Photo: Hussein Sayed)


Note: world rankings appear in italics

World Tour 2020 Qatar Open Zsolt Peto

No results found.

Photo Gallery

Day 4 - 2020 ITTF Qatar Open

Match Highlights