I Played Under Pressure Against Quadri – Long
Despite defeating Africa’s top-ranked table tennis player, Quadri Aruna, in the first round of their WTT Champions Macao clash on Monday, Olympic and world champion Ma Long has heaped plaudits on the Nigerian following his performance in the game.
Long, who is ranked fourth in the world, defeated Quadri 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8) to advance to the next round of the competition.
It was the second time the Chinese was facing Quadri and the encounter lived up to expectations as both players stretched themselves in a battle of backhands and forehands.
After the win, Long stated, “I think it was a very tough match.
“I was more active in the first game, but we were very close in the last three games, especially in the third and fourth games. The overall trength of the opponent (Quadri), including the quality of his play, really put a lot of pressure on me.
“People always say Quadri has a really good forehand, but I think his backhand is really good as well.”
Meanwhile, Quadri hopes to make amends when he takes part at the WTT Star Contender Bangkok, Thailand. Quadri is one of the 10 players listed to feature at the four-day tournament billed to hold from April 23 to 29 at Huamark Indoor Stadium.
“I look forward to another good performance in Thailand but I must admit that there is no easy match again because everybody is at the same level, regardless of the world rankings,” he said.
Quadri is not the only African who exited the tournament in the first round as Egypt’s duo Omar Assar and Dina Meshref failed in their bids to progress, losing to Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Australia’s Yangzi Liu respectively.