14 Mar 2020

Join us from 11:00 am local time in Muscat as the main event continues for the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open on Saturday 14th March.

Strong end to the day for India

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Harmeet Desai and Sharath Kamal Achanta will represent India in the last four of the men’s singles event following impressive performances from the duo against Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-1) and Finland’s Benedek Olah (11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6).

The other two quarter-final fixtures resulted in victories for Portuguese top seed Marcos Freitas and Russia’s Kirill Skachkov, who saw off Slovakia’s Wang Yang (11-4, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7) and Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8).

European hopes take a big hit

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Four players representing the European continent were involved in the women’s singles quarter-finals, only one came away smiling.

Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova, the continent’s highest seeded player remaining in the draw, couldn’t keep up with Japanese no.3 seed Miyu Kato (11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-7) a feeling Luxembourg’s Sarah De Nutte also experienced as she fell to defensive specialist Hitomi Sato (11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5). Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin registered a win but at the expense of another European in France’s Yuan Jia Nan (11-4, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5).

Barbora Balazova departs the women’s singles race (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Dramatic comeback as Belgians edge through

Men’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

Talk about edge of the seat action! Down by a 0-2 deficit the top seeded Belgian pair of Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet have survived by a gruelling men’s doubles semi-final, recovering three games on the bounce to see off India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6).

India also suffered defeat in the other semi-final fixture as second seeds Sharath Kamal Achanta and Harmeet Desai lost out to Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej (16-14, 11-4, 11-7).

Top two seeded pairs to meet in final

Women’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

The seeding list for the women’s doubles event has proven quite accurate with the top two seeded partnerships moving through to the gold medal match.

Japanese no.1 seeds Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato negotiated a tricky meeting with the pair seeded two places lower, Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and Tatiana Kukulkova (11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8). As for the second seeded combination of Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zeng Jian, a 3-1 victory over India’s Diya Parag Chitale and Archana Girish Kamath (7-11, 11-1, 12-10, 11-9) sealed their passage to the final.

Zeng Jian (pictured) and partner Lin Ye secure passage to women’s doubles final (Photo courtesy of Oman Table Tennis Federation)
Medal ceremony selfies

Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier take mixed doubles gold!

Mixed Doubles: Final

Runners-up at last month’s 2020 Portugal Open, Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier have gone one step higher up the podium in Muscat following a successful showing in the mixed doubles final.

The second seeded French pair managed a commanding 3-0 win over Spanish no.5 seeds Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao (11-7, 11-5, 11-7), taking just under 20 minutes to complete the job. Congratulations to the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open mixed doubles champions!

Maki Shiomi and Jeet Chandra are Under 21 champions!

Under 21 Women’s and Men’s Singles: Final

It was a tale of mixed emotions for the top seeded entries in the Under 21 singles finals as one experienced victory and the other defeat.

Japan’s Maki Shiomi faced a fierce challenge at the start of the Under 21 women’s singles final but stayed the course, getting the better of Spain’s Sofia-Xuan Zhang (14-12, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7). However, over in the Under 21 men’s singles final there was an upset as title favourite Manav Vikash Thakkar lost out to fellow Indian player Jeet Chandra in straight games (11-6, 11-7, 13-11).

Jeet Chandra claims Under 21 men’s singles title in Muscat (Photo courtesy of Oman Table Tennis Federation)
Russian prevails in dramatic contest

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Wow! What a match. Kirill Skachkov has just come out on top in a dramatic seven-game encounter to secure his spot in the men’s singles quarter-finals. The Russian no.9 seed was on table for just over an hour, prevailing 4-3 over France’s Tristan Flore (6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 6-11, 16-14).

2020 Spanish Open champion Kirill Gerassimenko is also through with the Kazakhstan international emerging victorious over Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9).

The Freight train runs on!

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Marcos Freitas, the top seed in the men’s singles competition looks set to make it mean something. Facing off against Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej, the Portuguese star won in straight games and in under 21 minutes (11-5, 11-4, 11-5, 11-0). Who’s betting against him going all the way?

Freitas continues to look unstoppable (Photo courtesy of Oman Table Tennis Federation)

However, it was not plain sailing for Freitas’ compatriot, Joao Geraldo, who found himself losing out to Alvaro Robles in a 4-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8) win for the Spaniard. Even though he led 2-0, Geraldo could not stop the comeback from Robles, who moves on to the quarter-finals with the wind in his sails.

Bernie loses an epic encounter

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

It took 49 minutes and seven games but Yuan Jia Nan has managed to eliminate Romanian superstar Bernadette Szocs from the Oman Open. In a pure pendulum-encounter, neither athlete gave up any room and it took the very best from the Frenchwoman to see off Szocs in a 4-3 (7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-1, 11-6) win.

Meanwhile, Miyu Kato won 4-1 (11-7, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-2) against her Japanese compatriot and Under 21 women’s singles finalist Maki Shiomi.

Hashimoto makes it look easy

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

The top seed in Oman, Honoka Hashimoto found little resistance at the hands of Singapore’s Zeng Jian, who could not stop the Japanese player from winning in straight games (11-6, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5).

Hashimoto’s compatriot, Hitomi Sato, also followed in her footsteps as she accounted for the French athlete, Laura Gasnier in a brilliant 4-0 (11-6, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8) win.

One of the top seeds, Hitomi Sato in action.
Chandra claims final spot in Indian domestic

Under 21 Men’s Singles: Semi-finals

Manush Utpalbhai Shah could not stop the in-form Jeet Chandra from making his way to the final of the Under 21 men’s singles event, as the latter player beat his Indian compatriot 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-7) in under 22 minutes.

In the other semi-final, it took a decider to put Manav Vikash Thakkar through, as he beat Snehit Suravajjula 3-2 (7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12) in a match which kept the crowd on their toes throughout.

Shiomi makes final, Zhang follows

Under 21 Women’s Singles: Semi-finals

Maki Shiomi handed Daria Trigolos her second defeat of the morning as the Japanese youngster made the final of the Under 21 women’s singles event, prevailing over the Belarusian by a 3-2 margin (11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 11-4). Despite taking a two game lead, Shiomi had to deal with the pressure from Trigolos who had almost set her mind on a comeback, but fell short.

For Spain’s Sofia Xuan Zhang, it was a swifter win as she beat Slovakian favorite in Oman, Tatiana Kukulkova 3-1 (9-11, 14-12, 11-3, 11-7). Kukulkova, after winning the first game, just didn’t have enough to keep going against Zhang, and will have to continue her campaign in the women’s doubles.

Not her day, Tatiana Kukulkova (Photo courtesy of Oman Table Tennis Federation)
Contrasting session for Indian pairs

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

The Serbian-Slovakian duo of Aleksandar Kararkasevic and Lubomir Pistej were too hot to handle for India’s Jeet Chandra and Snehit Suravajjula, as the mixed association pair won in straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-6).

Sharath Kamal Achanta, in partnership with Harmeet Desai fared better than their compatriots in the quarter-finals, beating Oman’s Asad Alraisi with Muhannad Al Balushi as they cruised to a 3-0 win (11-4, 11-3, 11-7) over the host nation pairing.

Balazova/Kukulkova reach semis

Women’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

In the only match of day two’s opening session, Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova with Tatiana Kukulkova reached the women’s doubles semi-finals as they saw off the challenge of Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti and Daria Trigolos of Belarus.

Winning 3-2 (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8), it was a match to be remembered after the mixed association pair opened with a win – the Slovakians won two games in a row, only to be pegged back by Marchetti and Trigolos. In the final game, the patience of Balazova matched with the exuberance of Kukulkova to claim the win.

Who will get to the podium?
Challenge Series 2020 Oman Open Oman Muscat

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Day 3 - 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open