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Chen Chien-An, expect the unexpected

Thursday 23 September

Present in all three possible events on offer at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 tournament, on Wednesday 22nd September, it was a day of differing fortunes for Chinese Taipei’s 30 year old, Chen Chien-An.

A day of mixed fortunes for Chen Chien-An

In each competition the outcome was not as status advised.

Listed at no.72 on the current men’s world rankings, in the opening round of the men’s singles, he was beaten by Germany’s Ricardo Walther (11-7, 11-6, 13-15, 9-11, 11-7).

Likewise in the men’s doubles, partnering Chuang Chih-Yuan, the top seeds and the player with whom he struck gold at the Liebherr 2013 World Championships in Paris, it was defeat at the hands of England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford (11-7, 11-1, 5-11, 11-7).

Conversely, in the opening round of the mixed doubles, partnering colleague Chen Szu-Yu, the pair recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the top seeds (4-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5).

A close defeat for Chen Chien-An in the opening round of the men’s singles event, for Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, it was the reverse scenario; both emerged successful in full distance five games duels.

Lam Siu Hang beat Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun, the player who had sensationally concluded matters a bronze medallist at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships (11-7, 13-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6);  Kazuhiro Yoshimura eventually overcame Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-3).

Progress by narrow margins, it was the same in the first round of the women’s singles event for India’s Sreeja Akula, Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo, Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam and Iran’s Neda Shahsavari.

Sreeja Akula was tested by Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova (11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9); Choi Hyojoo by compatriot Yang Haeun (11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7).

Similarly, Ng Wing Nam needed the full five games to beat Pauline Chasselin of France (11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9), a situation that applied also to Nada Shahsavari in opposition to Ukraine’s Solomiya Brateyko (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7.

Results of note and in the women’s doubles, there was one outcome in particular that caught the eye; in the opening round Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zhen Jian accounted for Japan’s Hitomi Sato and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).

Play continues on Thursday 23rd September.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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