(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Doha: Japan's Shunsuke Togami and Hina Hayata yesterday bagged the first silverware in the WTT Star Contender Doha when they won the mixed doubles title at the Lusail Sports Arena.
Hayata, who is currently in placed at the 14th spot in the International Table Tennis Federation World Rankings along with Tomokazu Harimoto, partnered in Doha with Togami to beat South Korea's Jang Woojin and Jeon Jihee 11-6, 3-11, 11-2, 11-8 in the final.
Meanwhile, World No. 8 Hugo Calderano of Brazil booked his place in the mens's singles semi-final after overcoming Frenchman Simon Gauzy in a thrilling contest.
Fifth seed Gauzy couldn't have asked for a better start to the match after winning the first game. However, Calderano, seeded second, managed to hit back immediately and won the 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10.
“I feel very happy. I have lost to Simon a few times before. We know each other very well, so I knew the match was going to be very tough. As you could see, there were some very good rallies. It took a while for me to find the rhythm, but fortunately, I managed to get the second game and played very well in the rest of the match. It was a good performance overall, and I'm very happy with my level,” said Calderano.
Englishman Liam Pitchford too entered the last four after a commanding 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 win over Hong Kong's Wong Chun Ting. Both players played an attacking third game, making for some excellent viewing. Saving two game points, fourth seed Pitchford fought back to end any hopes of a comeback for his sixth-seeded opponent.
“To be honest, this was probably one of the best matches I've played in a long time. I knew what I needed to do against him; the tactic was to play more spin, try not to get into the faster rallies with him, and I think for the most part I did that well so I'm pleased,” said Pitchford
In the women's singles, Hong Kong's Doo Hoi Kem is through to the semi-finals. The second seed encountered an early storm against Archana Girish Kamath, with the 21-year-old Indian qualifier racing into a one-game lead. Crucially, Doo held the slight edge in game two to establish a foothold in the match, and she didn't look back from there winning 9-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6.
“I played with her a few years ago in the Indian Table Tennis League. She has improved a lot. She might be young but she's very good. She beat Zhang Mo and Miyu Nagasaki before, so I did a lot of preparation before the match. I told myself to stay calm, and that if she played well, I shouldn't be upset,” said Doo Hoi Kem.
Top seed Jeon Jihee of South Korea withstood an early onslaught by Thailand's Suthasini Sawettabut before staging her own fightback to keep her title hopes in the women's singles alive.
Sawettabut looked poised to create another tournament upset as she raced to a 2-0 lead by winning the first two games 11-7, 11-8. However, Jeon clawed her way back by taking the third game 11-8 before prevailing in the crucial fourth game 15-13. The Korean then completed her remarkable comeback by winning the decider 11-2.
Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska ended the hopes of Brazil's Bruno Takahashi after prevailing in their enthralling five-game showdown to advance to the semi-final. Pesotska fired the opening salvo by taking the first two games 11-6, 11-7.
However, it was not a straight-forward encounter as Takahashi battled back to level the score 2-2, winning the third and fourth game. The contest went down the wire in the decider before the Ukrainian finally emerged triumphant by winning the fifth game 11-7.
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