Drinkhall’s Spanish Open defence comes up short

Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall (ITTF photo)

Paul Drinkhall’s defence of his Spanish Open title ended in the last 32 as he was beaten in six sets by Dmitrij Prokopcov of the Czech Republic.

Drinkhall, who beat his opponent on the way to winning the title as 23rd seed last year, saw the tables turned in Almeria.

Seeded eighth this year, Drinkhall came from 3-0 down to pull back to 3-2 before succumbing to the world No 83 4-2 (7-11, 5-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11).

He had earlier beaten France’s world No 121 Quentin Robinot in four straight in the first round (12-10, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6).

David McBeath was eliminated in the group stage, losing 4-1 (9-11, 4-11, 13-15, 14-12, 7-11) to Julian Mohr of Germany and 4-0 (9-11, 11-13, 9-11, 6-11) to Kwan Kit Ho of Hong Kong.

The two Englishmen paired up with success in the doubles, reaching the quarter-finals. They started with a routine 3-0 victory (11-4, 11-3, 11-4) against Hungarian pair Tamas Lakatos & Adam Pattantyus and followed up by beating Egyptians Khalid & Omar Assar 3-1 (11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6).

Their last-16 clash saw another 3-0 victory – 11-7, 11-6, 11-0 over Russia’s Viacheslav Burov & Alexey Liventsov – to earn a crack at fourth seeds Fedor Kuzmin & Grigory Vlasov, also of Russia. But that was where their run ended, beaten 3-1 (9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-14).

Paul Stimpson
March 28, 2015

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