WTT Finals: Aruna battles Brazil’s Calderano in the first round
Quadri Aruna was handed a familiar foe on Tuesday, January 2, in Brazil’s Hugo Calderano in the first round of the WTT Finals Men Doha 2023 in Qatar.
The Nigerian who is yet to defeat the Brazilian star in any competitive matches in their last two meetings will be hoping for a change when both Continental Kings clash at the Lusail Sports Arena on Wednesday, January 3.
WTT Finals Men Doha is the climactic conclusion to WTT Series 2023 and it will offer a total prize pool of $340,000 prize money as well as 1500 World Ranking points up top for the Men’s Singles winner.
Being one of the opening matches of the championships, Aruna goes into the encounter as an underdog against the World No.5 from Brazil who holds a 2:0 record against the African king and he will be the favorite to keep his stellar WTT Series year rolling on.
According to WTT, the duo should be well prepared to face each other having spent the last few days on their stay in Doha practicing together, and fans should be in for a treat when they take center stage on the opening day of action.
Aruna remains the only African to have featured in the year-ending WTT Finals since its inaugural edition in 2021 while he also made it to the quarterfinal in his maiden outing after beating the then world number six, Jiang Lingkun of China 3-1 in an explosive encounter held in Singapore while he exited in the first round at the 2022 edition.
Apart from aiming to exceed his 2021 performance, Aruna will be targeting ranking points that will help to shore up his world rating ahead of the qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France.
Also in Doha, standing at the top of the Men’s Singles is World No.1 Fan Zhendong of China. Winner of the inaugural event back in 2021, Fan will be on a campaign to take back the trophy. With three WTT Series titles, including Singapore Smash, to his name this year, Fan will be confident he is up to the task. First up for the top seed will be Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic. Fan goes on holding a 2:0 head-to-head record against the World No.14.
Source: ITTF Media