Quadri Aruna is on a roll at the ITTF World Tour tagged Bulgaria Open, backing up his opening round exploits against China’s Ma Te with another eye-catching display in the Round of 16.
The no.10 seed Nigerian sealed his spot in the last eight thanks to a superb 4-3 win over no.7 seed Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting (11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5).
The 2019 Nigeria Open champion said he hopes to use the tournament to tune-up for next week’s All African Games holding in Morocco. Having missed out from the 2019 ITTF World Cup following his semifinal loss to eventual winner – Egypt’s Omar Assar and the Nigerian may be heading to his best rating in the world having amassing points from his exploits at the ITTF Africa Cup and Nigeria Open last week.
For the quarterfinal tie, Quadri will face Japan’s Jun Mizutani who has dominated the Nigerian in their last two meetings.
It was quite the turn of events in the women’s singles, as Japan’s Miu Hirano lost in straight games to China’s Chen Xingtong (11-9, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9).
The former World no.7 Chen was imperious against Hirano, taking just over half an hour to see the match through. The Japanese player, playing her first match of the tournament after her opponent withdrew in the last round, could not beat back the force of her Chinese opponent’s forehands.
China’s Wu Yang beat Korea’s Suh Hyowon in five games, with the score-line of 4-1 hardly telling the full story (11-9, 11-3, 11-2, 3-11, 11-5).
Both women were fighting for every point and the match was very much a close mental battle. Wu seemingly came out on top, but it was not for a lack of effort from the Korean. Over on Table 4, a huge upset went down as Singaporean Yu Mengyu beat Japan’s Miyu Kato in fine fashion to reach her first quarter-finals on the World Tour since 2016 (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).