Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova made a shock exit as the top seed mixed doubles pair lost to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chen Szu-Yu at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021.
In the round of 16 match at the Lusail Sports Arena yesterday, Pistej and Balazova took a two-game lead but Chien-An and Szu-Yu fought back to win (4-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5).
However, second seeds Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem from Hong Kong, China lived up to expectations when they won their opening mixed doubles contest against India’s Manav Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath with a 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8) straight-game victory.
Another shock exit was recorded in the women's doubles when second-seeded Hitomi Sato and Saki Shibata were shown the exit by Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zeng Jian (11-6, 11-4, 11-7), who set up a quarter-final meeting with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Li Yu-Jhun.
Meanwhile, in the men's singles draw, Qatar's Ahmed Khalil al-Mohannadi lost 0-3 (11-7, 11-2, 11-3) to South Korea's Lim Jonghoon, ranked No. 75 in the world, in their Round of 64 match yesterday.
Al Mohannadi's compatriot Mohamed Abdulwahhab, also failed to advance after losing 0-3 (11-5, 11-7, 11-5) to Croatian Andrei Gasina, ranked 48th in the world.
France’s Can Akkuzu delivered one of the day’s standout recoveries to keep his dreams alive coming back from a two-game deficit to defeat Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10).
Germany’s Ricardo Walther advanced into the men’s singles round of 32 after holding off a late comeback charge from Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An (11-7, 11-6, 13-15, 9-11, 11-7) to book a meeting with United States’ Kanak Jha.
“I’m happy to win 3-2 against Chen Chien-An as it was a tough match. I was leading 2-0, then I had two match points in the third game, but he came back, and it was really close. I had a good start in the fifth, and I’m happy to play again tomorrow. I played really well in the qualifying rounds, I feel really good, and it was a nice feeling to play on the main table in the octagon,” said Walther
Earlier, Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy who turned 26 yesterday, received a welcome birthday gift in Doha as he partnered Bruna Takahashi to a Round of 16 victory in the mixed doubles event. Falling short in a tight opening game, Ishiy and Takahashi recovered a 3-1 win over Finland’s Benedek Olah and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5).
“For me, it was really nice to play my first tournament since the Olympics. I’m happy that we won, we played well, and it was a very good birthday gift for me. I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports us, especially people from Brazil who follow the matches.
Meanwhile, Iran will have representation in the women’s singles Round of 32 after Neda Shahsavari successfully navigated a dramatic five-game encounter. Taking on Ukraine’s Solomiya Brateyko, Shahsavari never trailed during the match (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7) and now moves on to face Hong Kong, China’s Lee Ho Ching.
Singapore’s Lin Ye stormed back from her opening game loss to Russia’s Mariia Tailakova by winning her next three games against the Russian to progress to her next Round of 32.
France’s Jia Nan Yuan also advanced when she beat Zhu Chengzhu of Hong Kong, China, in straight games, winning 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-9).