Thursday, April 18, 2024

French Star Ends Aruna’s Smooth Ride At WTT Star Contender Goa

Felix Lebrun stopped Aruna in the quarterfinal as he avenged his brother’s loss in the earlier round

French teenage sensation Felix Lebrun has defeated Quadri Aruna 3-1 to advance to the semi-final of the men’s singles in India.

Lebrun halted the smooth journey, which was started by African champion Aruna at the WTT Star Contender Goa on 27 January.

Aruna, the only surviving African in the competition following the first and second round exits of Egypt’s duo of Hana Goda and Omar Assar in the singles event, had in the second round beat Germany’s Ruwen Filus to set up a round of 16 tie against Alexis Lebrun.

Being their second meeting in a WTT event, Aruna was at his best against the senior Lebrun, as the Nigerian came out stronger with a 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8) win to progress to the quarterfinal against the younger Lebrun.

The bespectacled Felix, who lost his first meeting against the Nigerian in 2023, must have been briefed by his brother on how to cage Aruna.

He started the encounter to avenge his brother’s defeat with an 11-4 win in the first game.

Felix took that momentum into the second game, which he won 11-6. Aruna tried to stage another comeback just like he did against Hugo Calderano at the WTT Cup Finals earlier this year against the younger Lebrun, but the French star thwarted this to win the third game 12-10.

Aruna, the world number 14, continues his fine run this year after finishing at the quarterfinal stage of the WTT Cup Finals in Doha earlier this year following his superb comeback against Brazilian Hugo Calderano in the first round of the championships.

He will lead Nigeria to the 2024 World Table Tennis Championships taking place in Busan, South Korea, next month.

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