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Aruna begins 2023 WTT Contender campaign in Doha today

By Samuel Ifetoye
18 January 2023   |   4:11 am
Africa’s top seed, Quadri Aruna, has been drawn to meet Portuguese star, Marcos Freitas, in the first round of the 2023 World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha 2023 holding in Qatar.

[FILES] Quadri Aruna

Africa’s top seed, Quadri Aruna, has been drawn to meet Portuguese star, Marcos Freitas, in the first round of the 2023 World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha 2023 holding in Qatar.

Aruna, who is the highest ranked African in the world, 14th, following the latest ratings released by the ITTF on Monday, is seeded number two in the men’s singles behind Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, winner of the WTT Contender Durban, which ended last week. Aruna only managed a quarterfinal finish at the WTT Contender in Durban.

Speaking on today’s encounter against a familiar foe, Aruna, who was defeated by Freitas in their last meeting in 2018, said the experience in Durban was a good start for him after moving from the German league to the Russian.

“I think my performance was impressive, because I gave my all in Durban and the two matches I played were not that easy, especially the round of 16 against the French teenager, Felix Lebrun, who has been beating some of the top players in the world.”

“The wins have boosted my confidence going to Russia for my league debut. I look forward to another good performance in Doha, but I must admit that there is no easy match again because everybody is at the same level regardless of the world ranking,” he said.

Aruna, a semifinalist at the Star Contender Doha 2022, believes the quality of players shows what to expect when the main draw of the championship begins at the Lusail Sports Arena.

A total prize pool of $75,000 and 400 World Ranking points will be at stake for winners at this year’s championship in Doha.

Top players at the 2023 WTT Contender Doha will include Contender Muscat II 2022 winner, South Korea’s Jang Woojin and Star Contender Doha 2022 winner, Andrej Gacina of Croatia, among others.

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