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Long journey to determine qualifiers in Karaganda

Friday 17 September

A lengthy procedure was scenario order to gain main draw places in the men’s singles and women’s singles events at the 2021 ITTF Kazakhstan International Open in Karaganda.

At the close of play on Thursday 16th September, the names of those who joined the seeded players were known.

In both events, players finishing in first and second positions in the group phase advanced to the preliminary round stage.

Thus, in the men’s singles, a total of 10 groups, two preliminary rounds were needed, 12 players gaining direct entries to the second preliminary round.

Five players who finished in first positions in their initial phase group contests maintained their form to reach the knock-out stage. India’s Jeet Chandra, Snehit Suravajjula, Sudhansu Grover and Siddesh Pande duly progressed as did Saudi Arabia’s Naif Al-Jadai.

Siddesh Pande through to the main draw

However, three players who had finished in runners up positions in their group contests, emerged successful in the second preliminary round. Kazakhstan’s Iskender Kharki and Erik Raiter reserved main draw places as did Russia’s Maksim Kaburkin.

Eight names determined, in fact there was one more owing to the withdrawal of India’s Sanil Shetty, the no.5 seed. Heorhi Kunats of Belarus, who had been beaten in the second preliminary round by Siddesh Pande (11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5), gained the place on the “lucky loser” principle.

Somewhat differently, in the women’s singles, just one preliminary round was needed.

Seven groups, a total of 14 players, Russia’s Ekaterina Okhotnikova and Dana Shadrina, having finished in first positions in the top two groups, gained byes and thus direct entries to the knock-out stage.

Similar to the men’s singles, three players who had concluded their group matches in second positions advanced.

India’s Ankita Das, Russia’s Servinov Mirkadirova and Uzbekistan’s Kamila Khalikova claimed main draw places.

The three remaining places were all gained by players who finished in first place in their respective groups, India’s Prapti Sen, Kazakhstan’s Aiya Alimbayeva and Russia’s Valeria Kotcyur.

Play in the opening round of the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles will be held on Friday 17th September as will the opening round and quarter-finals of the mixed doubles.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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