Nigeria’s top table tennis player, ArunaQuadri made an early exit at the 2018 ITTF World Tour China Open, after losing 1-4 to former World and Olympic champion, Zhan Jike of China in the third round of the men’s singles preliminaries.
Before playing against the Chinese star, Quadristarted his campaign against an opponent from France, who he gave a 4-0 bashing, then beat Iran’s NimaAlamian in the second round (of 64).
Quadri repeated the same result against the Iranian star with a convincing 15-13, 17-15, 11-4, 11-8 (4-0) bashing to set up an epic clash against Zhan Jike.
Being the second meeting against the Chinese star, the encounter witnessed huge support for Zhan Jike who wanted to fight his way into the main draw but he was made to work for the victory.
Despite racing to a 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-9), the Chinese got from Quadri a scare in the fourth game which the Nigerian won 8-11.
The fifth game brought out the best in the two players, with support from the home fans inspiring Zhan Jike.
When the Chinese star was leading 10-8 with a point to end the game, Quadri levelled up at 10-10.
However, Zhan Jike knew what the loss of the match meant to him and he won the next two crucial points to end the encounter at 12-10 to get an overall 4-1 win.
Nonetheless, Quadri will benefit from his performance at the Hong Kong and China Opens when the world ranking is released next week by the ITTF.
At the Hong Kong Open, the Nigerian made it to the last 16. He managed to win two of three matches needed to make it to the main draw of the men’s singles.