2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships
Yogyakarta,Sunday 18th September
Ali Alkhadrawi maintaining his nerve
Need a player to keep his nerve when tension mounts; Saudi Arabia Ali Alkhadrawi may well be the young man you would choose, the 22 year emerged the backbone of Saudi Arabia’s 3-2 success against the Philippines in their opening encounter in the men’s team event at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Yogyakarta on the afternoon of Sunday 15th September.
Unbeaten but he kept coach Youssef Rabie on the very edge of his seat; after Abdulaziz Alabbad had given Saudi Arabia the perfect start by overcoming the defensive skills of Richard Gonzales (11-6, 11-7, 11-6), Ali Alkhadrawi accounted for Jann Mari Nayre by the minimal two point margin in the deciding games to double the advantage (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9).
Saudi Arabia in the driving seat, it was at that stage, the Philippines mounted a recovery. John Misal beat Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (11-8, 13-11, 11-7), to be followed by Jann Mari Nayre who overcame Abdulaziz Alabbad (11-4, 11-8, 11-6).
Parity, Ali Alkhadrawi returned to face Richard Gonzales, the contest went the full distance with the Philippine returning the ball from all four corners of the court. At 9-6 in the decider, Al Alkhadrawi appeared in control; Richard Gonzales had other ideas; he reduced the defeat to 10-8, Rabie Youssef called “Time Out”. Richard Gonzales won the next point by in an attempt to level matters slipped. Ali Alkhadrawi looked at his opponent in an apologetic manner; the match of the tournament to date had ended in total anti-climax.
“He uses long pimples on the backhand; he returns with really heavy backspin, it was so hard playing against him. At the “Time Out”, the advice was to stay calm, not play too fast, play for long points, be patient.” Ali Alkhadrawi
Hard earned success for Saudi Arabia, it was the very same in the women’s team event just over an hour earlier for Mongolia’s Doljinzu Batbayer, Bolor-Erdene Batmunkh and Batsaikhan Khongorzul in opposition to Turkmenistan’s Menli Durdyyeva, Enejan Ballyyeva and Oguljennet Nyyazgylyjova.
A 3-2 win was the order of the day, Doljinzu Batbayer the backbone of the Mongolian victory; she accounted for both Menli Durdyyeva (12-10, 11-3, 11-6) and Enejan Ballyyeva (12-14, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4) to set the scene for Bolor-Erdene Batmunkh to complete the victory to determine top spot.
She duly obliged, she overcame Menli Durdyyeva in straight games (11-6, 11-5, 11-5).
In the men’s team event Saudi Arabia meets Macao to decide the final order, in the women’s team competition, Mongolia confronts Thailand.
Editor: Ian Marshall