The opening round of the men’s singles and women’s singles events at the 2021 ITTF Kazakhstan International Open in Karaganda completed on Friday 17th September, there was no shortage of upsets, only four seeded men and two women survived to book quarter-final places.
Notably, India, with increasing numbers prominent on the international scene, experienced mixed fortunes.
In the men’s singles, Mudit Dani, the no.4 seed, was beaten by Saudi Arabia’s Naif Al-Jadi (11-3, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9), Jeet Chandra lost to Pavel Platonov of Belarus, the no.2 seed (11-9, 12-14, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5).
Likewise, Siddesh Pande experienced defeat at the hands of Al Alkhadrawi, the no.3 seed and like Naif Al-Jadi from Saudi Arabia (8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6)
Conversely, Sudhansu Grover and Snehit Suravajjula caused the host nation heartaches. Sudhansu Grover overcame Adios Kenzhigulov, the no.8 seed (8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-2), Snehit Suravajjula accounted for Iskender Kharki (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10).
Similarly, in the women’s singles opening round, there was success for Prapti Sen and Kaushani Nath but defeats for Ankita Das and Selena Selvakumar.
Prapti Sen upset the seeding by beating Zauresh Akasheva
Prapti Sen caused a major upset by overcoming Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva, the no.2 seed (12-10, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 15-13); Kaushani Nath, the no.8 seed, as predicted, prevailed against Uzbekistan’s Kamila Khalikova (11-9, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7).
Alas for Ankita Das and Selena Selvakmar, it was defeat at Russia hands. Valeria Shcherbatykh, the no.3 seed, overcame Ankita Das (7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6), Daria Shadrina defeated Selena Selvakmar (8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-3). Somewhat of a surprise, Selena Selvakumar was the no.4 seed.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, Kirill Gerassimenko, the top seed, flew the flag for the host nation. In the opening round, he beat Heorhi Kunats of Belarus (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8). However, for colleague Erik Raiter, there was defeat, he lost to Austria’s Alexander Chen, the no.6 seed (13-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9).
Similarly, for Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, there was no quarter-final reservation. He was beaten in the opening round by Russia’s Maksim Kaburkin (11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7).
Success for Russia, in the first round of the women’s singles event, it was the same.
In addition to Valeria Shcherbatykh and Daria Shadrina, Ekaterina Okhotnikova beat Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Lavrova, the top seed (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5), Valeria Kotcyur received a walk-over when due to face Mongolia’s Doljinzuu Batbayer.
Defeat for Anastassiya Lavrova but there was success in the women’s singles opening round for Kazakhstan.
Aiya Alimbayeva and Sarvinoz Mirkadirova prevailed at the hands of Uzbekistan. Aiya Alimbayeva beat Rozalina Khadjieva, the no.6 seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5); Sarvinoz Mirkadirova overcame Makhrinisio Norkulova (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 17-15, 11-13, 7-11, 11-2).
Following the close of play on Saturday 18th September, the men’s singles and women’s singles semi-finalists will be known, the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finalists will have been determined, the first title, the mixed doubles will be awarded.
Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals
Kirill Gerassimenko (KAZ) v Alexander Chen (AUT)
Maksim Kaburkin (RUS) v Naif Al-Jadi (KSA)
Ali Alkhadrawi (KSA) v Snehit Suravajjula (IND)
Sudhansu Grover (IND) v Pavel Platonov (BLR)
Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals
Ekaterina Okhotnikova (RUS) v Sarvinoz Mirkadirova (KAZ)
Kaushani Nath (IND) v Valeria Shcherbatykh (RUS)
Daria Shadrina (RUS) v Aiya Alimbayeva (KAZ)
Valeria Kotcyur (RUS) v Prapti Sen (IND)
Men’s Doubles: Quarter-Finals
Ali Alkhadrawi / Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (KSA) v Elmurod Kholikov / Stanislav Tyan (UZN)
Denis Zholudev / Sagantay Kurmambaev (KAZ) v Siddesh Pande / Mudit Dani (IND)
Snehit Suravajjula / Sudanshu Grover (IND) v Iskender Kharki / Aidos Kenzhigulov (KAZ)
Kirill Gerassimenko / Alan Kurmangaliyev (KAZ) v Alexander Chen / Pavel Platonov (AUT/BLR)
Women’s Doubles: Quarter-Finals
Valeria Kotcyur / Valeria Shcherbarykh (RUS) v Elaterina Okhotnikova / Daria Shadrina (RUS)
Angelina Romanovskaya / Anel Bakhyt (KAZ) v Zauresh Akasheva / Sarvinoz Mirkadirova (KAZ)
Kamila Khalikova / Mekhrinisio Norkulova (UZB) v Aiya Alimbayeva / Alexandra Smirnova (KAZ)
Anastassiya Lavrova / Alsu Saparova (KAZ) v Kaushami Nath / Prapti Sen (IND)
Mixed Doubles: Semi-Finals
Maksim Kaburkin / Valeria Kotcyur v Eric Raiter / Array Ashkeyeva (KAZ)
Mukhammad Uktamboev / Sugdiyona Madalieva (UZB) v Elmurod Kholikov / Kamila Khalikov
Editor: Ian Marshall