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Xu Xin and Fang Bo to go head-to-head on action packed day in Doha

Friday 24th February will mark Day Two of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha, and one of the standout fixtures of the day comes from the Men's Singles event where China's Xu Xin and Fang Bo will battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.

Xu Xin (pictured) set to take on Fang Bo for a place in the quarter-finals (Photo: QTTA)

Xu Xin, who is seeded third for the competition, was victorious in his opening match in Doha as he saw off French qualifier Abdel-Kader Salifou in straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6) while Fang Bo endured a difficult tie against Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin in their Round of 32 encounter with seven games being required before the Chinese representative finally sealed his progress (8-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3).

The Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, China hosted a tie between Xu Xin and Fang Bo in the last 16. Fang Bo won on that day and would eventually go on to reach the Men’s Singles final, but Xu Xin prevailed in their most recent on the World Tour which took place at the Laox 2016 ITTF World Tour Japan Open.

Another intriguing encounter in Doha that could be worth keeping a close eye on is the match up of Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar in the top half of the Round of 16 draw.

Tomislav Pucar has been in fine form so far at the Qatar Open and his seven games triumph over Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan in the previous round (5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5) will provide the Croatian contestant with great confidence heading into his match against the no.12 seed Marcos Freitas.

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching is the no.4 seeded player for the Women’s Singles draw, and awaiting her in the last 16 is a tricky encounter with Misaki Morizono of Japan.