(by Steve Hopkins)
Five Koreans, four Japanese, and four Germans have made it to the Round of 32 in the second ITTF event of 2021 – The WTT Middle East Hub Star Contender Event in Doha, Qatar. Top seeded Harimoto will face India’s Gnanasekaran on Tuesday. Second seeded Hugo Calderano will see is first action as he faces 18 year old Daeseong Cho, the youngest player on the Korean team – with speed and power making him a potentially dangerous early opponent.
Other matches of interest include Anton Kallberg facing Sangsu Lee, Patrick Franziska facing Sharath Kamal Achanta, Lin Yun-Ju against Joao Moneiro, and Dimitrij Ovtcharov matched up against Ahmed Saleh.
Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador fought through the qualifiers to the main draw, but fell in his opening match against Kamal. The same is true for Vladimir Samsonov, who fell to Monteiro and Benedikt Duda who lost to Jaehyun An.
On the women’s side, Mima Ito and Cheng I-Ching will see their first action tomorrow as the top two seeds. The same is true for USA’s Lily Zhang who will face Japan’s Odo and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz who will face Singapore’s Mengyu Yu.
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