Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri, the only surviving African in the men’s singles of the World Table Tennis Contender Series, bowed out in the quarter-finals in Doha, Qatar on Friday, after losing 3-1 to Chinese Taipei’s Yun-Ju Lin.
Aruna, who is ranked 21 in the world, was set up against world number seven in the quarter-finals after his triumph over Joao Geraldo of Portugal in the round of 16.
Aruna’s powerful forehand most times confused his opponent but his inaccuracy in backhand became his undoing and this earned Lin some points in the first game, which ended 11-8 in favour of Lin.
Just like the first game, the second game was full of rallies and both players matched themselves shots for shots with the Asian having the upper hand again with an 11-9 win.
However, in the third game, Aruna fought back to level the game at 10-10, but the Nigerian eventually prevailed at 17-15 to put the match at 2-1.
In the fourth game, Aruna at some point led 6-4, but the inability of the Nigerian bench to read the game cost the player the game 11-9, as Lin completed a 3-1 win.
Despite his exit, Aruna has set a standard for African players to look beyond the quarterfinal at the WTT tournament.
The second tier of the WTT Middle East Hub ‘WTT Star Contender’ holds from March 7 to 13 with the preliminary round involving the likes of Olajide Omotayo and other African stars in their quest to join Aruna in the main draw.