Doha, 5 March 2020 - Vladimir Samsonov fought off France's Alexandre Cassin by winning 4-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3) at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open singles round 2 qualifier here on Wednesday.
The Belarussian registered more points on Cassin's serve and showcased his calmness to dictate the outcome of the match.
“There are many possible reasons I won after today's match. Of course after Hungary we tried to find out why we lost and prepared better. Could also be that he didn't play as well today and I played better. Overall it was still not an easy match," said Samsonov, who had won the title here in 2003 and 2015 respectively.
India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran used his experience to the maximum against Japan's latest prodigious teenager Shunsuke Togami to win 4-1 (11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8).
On table 2, it was a battle between two experienced athletes – where Spain's Alvaro Robles' came out on top against Hungary's Bence Majoros in a brilliant 4-2 (8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3) win.
England's Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford fought back after 0-2 down to beat Serbian opponents Marko Jevtovic and Zsolt Peto 3-2 (10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5) at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open doubles qualifier here on Wednesday.
But there was victory for another Serbian pair as Aleksandar Karakasevic and Lubomir Pistej came out on top against India's Harmeet Desai and Sushmit Sriram (9-11, 16-14, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6).
In the women's doubles Preliminary Round 1, Denmark's Stefanie Christensen and Belgium's Nathalie Marchetti secured their place in the main event, recovering from 1-2 down to beat India's Sreeja Akula and Madhurika Patkar 3-2 (11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7).
China's reigning world champion Liu Shiwen has withdrawn from the competition due to injury as the main draw starts on Thursday.
Originally she was the no.4 seed in the women's singles event, the top seed in the mixed doubles partnering colleague Xu Xin.