Drinkhall goes out after brilliant win

Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall picked up a superb seventh-set victory over world No 31 Masataka Morizono at the Hong Kong Open this morning, before exiting in the final preliminary round.

Drinkhall saved a handful of match points before prevailing 15-13 in the decider in their second preliminary round clash, a match which both players led.

He faced China’s world No 62 Zheng Peifeng in the next round, the final one before the main draw, and had his chances in a 4-0 defeat which was not as one-sided as the score suggests.

Drinkhall led the first game 9-5 before losing it 11-9 and had chances in the second, which was a 14-12 reverse. Zheng took four points in a row to take the thirdand clinched it 12-10 on his third match point in the fourth.

Click here to watch Drinkhall v Peifeng (registration required).

Sam Walker also went out as he was beaten in four straight by Romania’s world No 50 Ovidiu Ionescu in the previous round.

Click here to watch Walker v Ionescu (registration required).

Liam Pitchford, seeded 10 for the event, comes in for tomorrow’s last 32 against Ma Te, the Chinese defender who beat him at last year’s Bulgaria Open.

Drinkhall & Walker teamed up to beat Russian pair Vildan Gadiev & Kirill Skachkov in the second preliminary round of the men’s doubles and will play Chinese pair Liang Jingkun & Lin Gaoyuan in tomorrow’s last 16.


Men’s Singles
Preliminary round 2
Ovidiu Ionescu (ROU) bt Sam Walker 4-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9)
Paul Drinkhall bt Masataka Morizono (JPN) 4-3 (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 15-13)

Preliminary round 3
Zheng Paifeng (CHN) bt Drinkhall 4-0 (11-9, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10)

Men’s Doubles
Preliminary round 2
Drinkhall & Walker bt Vildan Gadiev & Kirill Skachkov (RUS) 3-1 (11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10)

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