Cédric Nuytinck of Belgium was among the winners on a disappointing day for Russia at the Kuwait Open ©Getty Images

Belgium's Cédric Nuytinck and Denmark's Zhai Yujia were among the surprise winners as qualification concluded today at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Kuwait Open.

Nuytinck, ranked 112 in the world, overcame Russia's 101 ranked Kirill Skachkov in straight sets, albeit four tight ones.

He won 11-9, 13-11, 12-10, 12-10 to set-up a main draw clash with Jung Youngsik of South Korea.

Chinese-born Zhai, the under-21 winner in Kuwait last year, beat another Russian in world number 94 Alexey Liventsov, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.

There was some success for the world's largest nation, however, as world number 108 Mikhail Paikov beat Taiwan's 72nd ranked Chiang Hung-Chieh, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 17-15.

Other winners today included French rising star Simon Gauzy, the world number 24 who defeated Singapore’s Chen Feng 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 13-11, and Portugal’s 20th ranked Tiago Apolonia.

France's Simon Gauzy enjoyed smooth progression into the main draw ©AFP/Getty Images
France's Simon Gauzy enjoyed smooth progression into the main draw ©AFP/Getty Images

Apalonia beat Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 and will face Japan's Jun Mizutani in a mouth-watering first round clash tomorrow.

Gauzy will be up against 39-year-old Belorussian veteran Vladimir Samsonov.

Qualification also ended today in the women's singles, where Samsonov's compatriot Viktoria Pavlovich impressed in defending her way to a gruelling victory over Japan's 58th ranked Hina Hayata, 12-14, 15-13, 3-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8.

“Today, it was just fighting, fighting and fighting, I don’t feel so safe and secure with my defence as before”, said the victorious world number 76.

“I lost the sixth game quite comfortably, at the start of the seventh I just said to myself put the ball on the table.

"It was a really difficult match because Hina kept changing the length of her top spin attacks, some short, some long.”

Another shock result came in an all-Japanese duel where world number 232 Saki Shibata overcame compatriot Hitomi Sato, ranked 33rd, in four straight games, 9-11, 8-11, 7-11, 10-12.

All the top-seeded players, including the dominant Chinese, will enter proceedings tomorrow.