By Victor Kanayo
After failing to clinch a first ever semi-final ticket in the ongoing World Table Tennis (WTT) Finals, Nigeria’s Table Tennis sensation Quadri Aruna has vowed to return in better fashion even as he prepares to smash all through the season.
Quadri had set a new record as the first African player to reach the semi-final at the WTT Finals, but his hope of surging further came to an end with a quarter-final loss to the Chinese sensation Fan Zhendong.
The African Champion said he couldn’t meet his expectations after his calculations did not work as planned against ZhenDong.
He said, “I am very and satisfied with my performance. Unfortunately, my calculations did not work as planned but I tried so hard; probably if I had won a set, things would have changed a bit.
“We will meet again and I am always positive against him; I think it is possible to beat him. It is once in a life time and looking forward to shocking him in the future.
“I came prepared for him in the quarterfinals. In the first set, my forehand was not working and I lost so many points which is not normal. Next time, I will definitely win a set and see how it will go”.
Quadri suffered a 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-4) defeat against world number one of China.
Aruna’s fightback in the second game was halted and this prevented the Nigerian from exceeding his quarterfinal finish at the WTT Finals.
This is the second time the Nigerian will be playing in the quarterfinal of the tournament as he matched his performance at WTT Cup Finals 2021.
But the icing on the cake for the African super star was the fight back from two games down in his opening round contest against Hugo Calderano of Brazil.
Another Chinese Title Bid
The Chinese has dominated the Nigerian in their last four meetings dropping only a game in all their ties, and at the Infinity Arena in Doha, Zhendong showed why he remains the world best by thwarting all attempts by the African champion to turn the tide.
Both players matched themselves power for power and shots for shots but it was the Asian champion that prevailed in the first quarterfinal of the tournament.
The Chinese is going for his second WTT Finals title after lifting the Men’s Singles trophy in 2021, and he was able to fend off Aruna’s efforts having dropped just one game in their four encounters to date.