Qatar Open Update: Upsets Early in Doha
(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
The 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open is underway in Doha, and two of the top seeds didn’t make it to the Quarterfinals. As a Platinum Event, many of the World’s best are present – and that includes eight of the Top 10. The event began earlier this week with Preliminary Rounds. Those that qualified, faced the top 16 seeded players in the Knock-Out Rounds.
Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin were the top two seeds – and both have advanced to the Quarterfinals. Xu Xin dominated his early matches, while Fan needed a comeback after falling behind 2-3 against Anton Kallberg of Sweden. Fan will face Sweden’s Jon Persson in one Quarterfinal, while Xu Xin will face Simon Gauzy in another. Gauzy earned his spot by upsetting Hugo Calderano 4-1, and Persson earned his spot by upsetting Mattias Falck 4-1.
Ma Long (World No. 3) and Lin Gaoyuan (World No. 4) were seeded third and fourth in this event. Neither lasted two rounds. Ma Long was upset by Wang Chuqin 4-3 and Gaoyuan was defeated by Vladimir Samsonov 4-3. Chuqin has advanced to the Quarterfinals where he will face Liang Jingkun. Samsonov fell to Pitchford. Pitchford will face Chuang Chih-Yuan, who earned his spot with an upset of Tomokazu Harimoto (World No. 5). The Quarterfinal round is scheduled for Saturday with the Semifinals and Finals scheduled for Sunday.
With the exception of a minor upset (Wang Yidi over Kasumi Ishikawa), the Women’s Singles event has proceeded almost exactly by seed. Through to the Semis, it is Chen Meng matched up against Wang Manyu and it will be Mima Ito faced off against Ding Ning.
Americans did not have a great tournament. Lily Zhang fell one match short and didn’t qualify, losing to Miyu Nagasaki in the Preliminaries. And Kanak Jha was scheduled to play, but was a walk-over in his preliminary match.