Africa number one table tennis player, Aruna Quadri began his quest for a first title at the ITTF Nigeria Open with a straight set win over Bulgaria Yavor Andreev on Friday.
The world number 29 wasted no time to dispatch Andreev 11-2 11-2 11-6 11-7 at the indoor sports hall of the Molade Okoya Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Earlier, Quadri partnered his closest rival Omar Assar in the doubles beating Nigerian duo of Bode Abiodun and Seun Ajetumobi 3-1.
There were controversial points awarded to Assar and Aruna during the match which prompted the Nigerian duo to object the umpire’s decision on several occasions.
Quadri revealed after the game that the serial complaints made by his opponents destabilised their game in the first set and described their attitude as “unsportsmanlike”.
“They were actually disturbing the match and trying to get us to lose our concentration by complaining several times which was a very big problem for us. We couldn’t understand ourselves in the first set and that was why we lost the set. In the second set, we were able to keep calm and come back into the game, “said Aruna.
He added, “Everyone has the right to complain if you think the umpire is doing something wrong. They complained like 6 times and they were stopping the match at intervals. This was not good for the match and they didn’t show fair play.”
The African champion debunked reports about having a feisty relationship with the Egyptian number one who missed out of the last edition to injury.
“We are good friends not rivals and we have been playing together for like a year now. We have played in almost 8 tournaments internationally during the world tour and decided to try something here at the Nigeria Open. We hope it’s possible to win here on home soil.”
In his response, 26 year old Assar described his relationship with the Nigerian as very cordial which would yield results on the world tour.
“Our relationship outside the table has been the best. We communicate well especially in the tough moments. We can speak and share ideas with each other.
“I chose him because he is an offensive player and we agreed to try something different outside Africa , Hungary, Nigeria Open, Spain, Qatar, the world tour especially and we have been doing well beating some seeded players.” said Assar.
The two time Nigeria Open champion also dispatched his opponent Oluyomi Salako in four straight sets in the men’s singles.