WORLD No.4 Zhang Jike’s Qatar Open hopes ended in the quarterfinal when he gave Japan’s No.13 seed Koki Niwa a walkover after complaining of high fever.
Zhang, who won the Rotterdam World Championships in 2011 as well as Paris in 2013 and was one of the top contenders in Doha, said, “I had no choice, but to give up because of fever.”
The 29-year-old had been out of action since last year’s Rio Olympics and had missed the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha last December due to an ankle injury.
“I came here with a lot of hopes having recovered from the injury. Doha is one place where I would’ve loved to win, but I think I’ll have to wait till next year. It’s unfortunate I couldn’t continue due to fever,” he added. “The recovery from injury was good. I was trying to return to competition. I hope to return.”
Earlier, Zhang and his partner Ma Long exited from doubles, where they were the defending champions. They lost to Karlsson Kristian and Karlsson Mattias 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 3-11.