Drinkhall ready for India test

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall is aiming to live up to his status as sixth seed as he joins Sam Walker at the India Open.

The English No 1 flies out to the ITTF World Tour event in New Delhi today, having been seeded straight into the last 32.

He and Walker – who is playing singles qualifying group matches today – will also play doubles at the event.

Drinkhall is scheduled to meet Germany’s Ruwen Filus in the last 16, and could face the likes of top two seeds Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Vladimir Samsonov further down the line, if he progresses.

He said:

“I’m quite a high seed, which is different to some of the Tour events. Ovtcharov is in decent form and is definitely favourite, but there are people who can challenge him and hopefully I can be one of them.

“I would want to get to where I’m seeded, which is the quarter-finals, but I’ll need to beat Filus to do that and he’s just gone above me in the world rankings even though I’m seeded higher than him. But I’ll take one match at a time and hopefully put in some good performances.

“I haven’t played a competition for a while, since the Olympics it’s been one-off league and international matches, so it’s good to get that mentality back.

“It’s a new event on the circuit, so who knows what it will bring. I’ve been to India for the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but that’s totally different because you are in your own bubble. But it was good playing there and the fans got behind us against most countries – though not when we were playing India, obviously.

“With no disrespect, I’m hoping I don’t see too much of India though, because the better you play and the further you go in a tournament, the less you see of any country.”

In the doubles, Drinkhall and Walker have been drawn to face French duo Tristan Flore and Quentin Robinot in the last 16 in Thursday.

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