Following his quarterfinal finish at the WTT Contender Durban in South Africa last week, Quadri Aruna will on Wednesday, January 18, return to action when he takes on Portuguese star Marcos Freitas in the first round of the WTT Contender Doha 2023 in Qatar.
Listed as the number two seed in the men’s singles behind Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, winner of the WTT Contender Durban, Aruna will have to be at his best against his familiar opponent who won their last meeting in 2018.
Aruna who remains the highest ranked African in the world following the release of the ITTF ranking on Monday is rated 14th being the position he started this year.
A determined Aruna described the experience in Durban as a good start for him following his exit from the German league to the Russian league, adding that this would boost his confidence heading the Russian last this month for his league debut in the lucrative European league.
“I think my performance was impressive because I gave my all in Durban and the two matches I played were not that easy, especially the round of 16 against the French teenager Felix Lebrun who has been beating some of the top players in the world.
The wins have boosted my confidence going to Russian for my league debut. I look forward to another good performance in Doha but I must admit that there is no easy match again because everybody is at the same level regardless of the world ranking,” he said.
Aruna, semifinalist at the Star Contender Doha 2022 believes the quality of players in Doha attested to what to expect when the main draw begins at the Lusail Sports Arena as a total prize pool of $75,000 and 400 World Ranking points at the top for the winners will be up for grabs.
There is serious depth in Doha with Contender Muscat II 2022 winner South Korea’s Jang Woojin and Star Contender Doha 2022 winner Andrej Gacina of Croatia also both in the midst.