France’s Xue shocks defending champion Samara
The preliminary rounds of the $220,000 IttF World tour Qatar Open 2016 concluded with lots of drama and excite-ment at the state-of-the-art ali Bin Hamad al attiya arena in al sadd on Thursday.
the major upset of the day was recorded in the women’s event where defending champi-on romania’s Elizabeta samara relinquished her title after being trounced 4-3 (11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4) by Li Xue of France in the third prelimi-nary round, the round that de-termined the names of the play-ers who would join the 16 seeds in the main draw.
Li Xue is No.66 in the Wom-en’s World rankings while Eliz-abeta samara is No.26. “I lost to Elizabeta at last years the European Champion-ships,” explained Xue. the two had met in the con-cluding group stage contest of the women’s team event, in the opening tie of the fixtures. samara won in five games (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 2-11, 11-8) and set her team on course for a three-one success. “today I was well organ-ised. I was patient but I also made more changes than in Ekaterinburg,” added Xue, who uses smooth reversed rubber for forehand and the long pim-ples side for her backhand.
In one of the most excit-ing match of the day, Croatia’s Frane Kojic came from a three games to one deficit to beat sweden’s Jon Persson (7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 12-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8) and in so doing beat a player in form, a player who had also en-joyed success the previous week at the Kuwait Open. In one of the most excit-ing match of the day, Croatia’s Frane Kojic came from a three games to one deficit to beat sweden’s Jon Persson (7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 12-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8) and in so doing beat a player in form, a player who had also en-joyed success the previous week at the Kuwait Open.
“I was down three-one be-cause most of the time he could play forehands; he was really good in open play”, explained Kojic. “I had to try to close the game down, return service short and above all stay cool.” “I was not too worried when I was down three-one”, added Kojic. “twice this year I’ve been in a similar situation; at the Hungarian Open I was three-one down against to-mas Lakatos and won, at the German Open, I was three-nil down against anton Källberg and came through to win.” In the other matches of the day, Maharu Yoshimura of Ja-pan, the Men’s world No.19 and the highest rated name on duty in the initial stage of proceed-ings, accounted for Kosovo’s Linor Citaku in four straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-2) to set up a date with Kojic in the next round.
Kenta Matsudaira, at no.28 in the world order, the fourth highest rated player in action trounced Hong Kong’s Lam siu Hang (9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9) while Germany’s Benedikt
Duda, named at No.121 on the Men’s World rankings, beat the slovak republic’s Wang Yang, ranked 59 (11-5, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5), whilst Italy’s Marco rech Daldosso, listed at no.184, defeated sweden’s anton Kall-berg, who is No.84. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, who reached the final rounds of the preliminaries in Kuwait last week, accounted for the ouster of Yuya Oshima of Japan, who is ranked 21, in one of the major upsets of the day. the 242-ranked Kazakh remained calm throughout the match, underlining the fact that he is a young man who can deal with the pressure of high level international play, he saved two match points in the vital seventh game, he trailed 8-10, before running away with a 4-3 (3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 14-12) victory against one of the leading name in the preliminary stages of the five-day competi-tion. “Predominantly I served short to his forehand and then attacked the middle of the ta-ble and then his forehand”, ex-plained Gerassimenko. “Before the match I’d been advised by Dimitrij Levenko, one of the coaches at the Werner schlager academy, that this was the best way to play against Yuya Os-hima.” In the other upsets of the day, Italy’s alessandro Baci-occhi beat Brazil’s Hugo Cal-derano (11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6), the Czech republic’s tomas Konecny accounted for Chinese taipei’s Chen Chien-an (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9).