Paul Drinkhall on his way to victory over Xue Fei (ITTF picture)

Drinkhall sinks young Chinese ace

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall beat former world junior champion Xue Fei of China to move into the next round at the Bulgaria Open, while Tin-Tin Ho also came through her opening match.

Drinkhall’s opponent is currently ranked No 194 in the world but was world junior champion in 2017 and showed how dangerous he can be when edged out 4-3 by Liam Pitchford at last year’s Qatar Open – the Englishman saving five match points.

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

Drinkhall’s opponent in the next round is Japan’s Hibiki Tazoe (WR 476), who came from 3-2 down to defeat world No 157 Elias Ranefur of Sweden 14-12 in a deciding seventh game. The match is at 10.30am UK time tomorrow.

Drinkhall would have to win two matches to take his place in the main draw, where he would join No 6 seed Pitchford.

Ho needed six games to get the better of world No 187 Leila Oliveira of Portugal, recovering from losing the opening game to lead 3-1 and, after her opponent had take the fifth game 13-11, closing it out 11-4 in the sixth.

Tin-Tin Ho in action in Panagyurishte (ITTF picture)

She next plays Germany’s world No 31 Han Ying at 9.40am UK time on Wednesday.

Click here to watch Ho versus Oliveira (registration required).

Ho and partner Karoline Mischek of Austria, with whom she won the European Under-21 Championships gold medal in March, went out in the first preliminary round of the women’s doubles in three straight to French pair Stephanie Loeuillette & Audrey Zarif.

Results

Men’s Singles
Preliminary round 2
Paul Drinkhall bt Xue Fei (CHN) 4-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9)

Women’s Singles
Preliminary round 1
Tin-Tin Ho bt Leila Oliveira (POR) 4-2 (3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 11-4)

Women’s Doubles
Preliminary round 1
Stephanie Loeuillette & Audrey Zarif (FRA) bt Tin-Tin Ho & Karoline Mischek (AUT) 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-9)

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