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Anthony Amalraj only Indian singles player to reach main draw of Qatar Open Table Tennis Tournament

  • Anthony Amalraj qualifies for the main draw of Qatar Open TT Tournament, Amalraj and Sathiyan make the main draw in doubles.
Kartik Iyer
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 05 Mar 2020, 16:58 IST
Anthony Amalraj, the only Indian to make the singles main draw
Anthony Amalraj, the only Indian to make the singles main draw

What's the story?

On an otherwise disappointing day for India, Anthony Amalraj was the only Indian to make the main draw in the singles events at the Qatar Open Table Tennis Tournament. He also made the main draw of the men's doubles event along with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

In case you didn't know

The Qatar Open 2020 Table Tennis Tournament is an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum level tournament being staged in Doha, Qatar. The tournament started with the preliminary qualifiers held on 3rd and 4th March and will be followed by the main draw from 5th to 8th March.

Most of the top Indian table tennis stars participated in the preliminary qualifiers to make it to the main draw. Having failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in the team events, the Indian paddlers are gearing up for the Asian zone individual Olympic Qualification Event to be held in Bangkok from 6th to 12th April. The Qatar Open was supposed to serve as a good preparation event before the all-important Olympic qualifiers.

Also Checkout: the full Olympics 2020 Schedule

Heart of the matter

The final day of qualification for the main draw of the Qatar Open Table Tennis Tournament did not turn out as per expectations for the Indian table tennis players as only Anthony Amalraj was able to make it through to the main draw in the singles events.

Having made it through to the 2nd round of the qualifiers on Tuesday, Amalraj started the day with a hard-fought 11-6, 12-14, 11-5, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 win against Kirill Skachkov of Russia in the 2nd round preliminary encounter.

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The 34-year-old Indian followed that up with a relatively easier 14-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-1 win against Badowski Marek of Poland in the final qualification round to make it through to the main draw in the men's singles event.

Playing alongside Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Amalraj also made it through to the main draw in the men's doubles event. The Indian pair defeated Aliaksandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov of Belarus in straight games 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 to make it through to the main draw.

The other Indian men's doubles pair of Harmeet Desai and Sushmit Sriram bowed out after losing to Aleksandar Karakasevic of Serbia and Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia 11-9, 14-16, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11.

Although Sathiyan made it through to the doubles main draw, it was not a good day for him in the singles event. He started the day well by putting it across Shunsuke Togami of Japan 11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, but faltered in the final qualification round losing to World No. 18 Alvaro Robles of Spain 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 4-11.

None of the Indian players managed to make it through to the main draw of the women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles events.

In the women's singles, Madhurika Patkar was the only Indian to make it through to the final qualification round after she got a walkover in the 2nd qualification round. But she failed to make the best of this opportunity, losing to Elizabeta Samara of Romania 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-9, 3-11.

Sutirtha Mukherjee lost to Miyu Kato of Japan 12-14, 11-5, 6-11, 2-11, 4-11 while Krittwika Roy was defeated by another Japanese player Sakura Mori 2-11, 4-11, 11-8, 4-11, 2-11. The other Indian women's singles player Sreeja Akula lost to Mengyu Yu of Singapore in straight games 3-11, 6-11, 7-11, 6-11.

Madhurika Patkar and Sreeja Akula bowed out of the women's doubles losing 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 7-11 to Stefanie Christensen of Denmark and Nathalie Marchetti of Belgium. The Indian challenge in the mixed doubles ended as well with Harmeet Desai and Sutirtha Mukherjee losing 2-11, 8-11, 6-11 to the Hungarian pair of Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel.

What's next?

Anthony Amalraj will now be up against the World No.7 Hugo Calderano in the Round of 32 men's singles encounter on Thursday.

The pair of Anthony Amalraj and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will be facing Kit Ho Kwan and Chun Ting Wong of Hong Kong in their pre-quarterfinal match on the same day.

Also check out: India's medal tally in olympics


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Published 05 Mar 2020, 11:32 IST
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