African champions Quadri Aruna of Nigeria and Dina Meshref of Egypt will lead the African contingent to the first WTT Series event of the year tagged WTT Contender Durban 2023.
This will be the first time a WTT Series event will be staged in South Africa and the cast of the continent will have Aruna and Meshref in their fold including home stars like Theo Cogill and Danisha Patel.
Aruna who recently moved to Russia from Germany to continue his professional career is number four seed in the men’s singles ranked 14th in the world while Meshref is also the number four seed in the women’s singles and ranked 28th in the world.
The Nigerian is the highest ranked African in the world and he will lock horns against some of the world’s best including Brazil’s Hugo Calderano who heads to Durban as the highest ranked player in action.
The World No.7 picked up a Contender win in Tunis last year, his sole WTT Series title in 2022. The Brazilian will be eager to make a quick start to title winning ways with the new series underway. Also close behind Calderano in the entry list is Germany’s Dang Qiu. One of the biggest movers in 2022, Qiu will look to repeat his WTT Contender Lima 2022 form where he claimed his second ever singles title. Other notable names include reigning World Youth champion Lin Shidong of China and 2022 breakout star Felix Lebrun of France.
Meshref will slug it out with Germany’s Nina Mittelham who heads the Women’s Singles entry list. The World No.14 reached new heights in 2022, climbing from World No.33 to a career best of No.12 throughout the year.
The Women’s singles line-up is fully loaded with a host of the biggest performers in 2022 Contender events ready to do battle.
Local hopes will rest on Cogill in the Men’s Singles and Patel in the Women’s Singles, the highest ranked athletes from South Africa in action.