Drinkhall sets up Ovtcharov clash at Worlds

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall is through to the last 64 of the World Championship singles and Sam Walker & David McBeath are into the last 16 of the doubles.

However, Liam Pitchford and Walker are both out of the singles.

Drinkhall, having seen his two compatriots already eliminated, was up against Cazuo Matsumoto of Brazil, whose left-handed penholder style makes him something of a rarity.

Drinkhall lost the first game, won two and three for the combined loss of only four points and was then pegged back. But he showed his class when it mattered to seal a 4-2 (8-11, 11-3, 11-1, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7) victory – and set up a clash against Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the next round.

Speaking after the match, Drinkhall said:

“I was not hoping for an easy game anyways, I had played against him at the Rio Olympic Games test event where I was trailing 0-3 and won 4-3. He is an extremly unpredictable player which makes it very hard to stay consistent.”

Germany’s Ovtcharov, world ranked No 5, is a familiar opponent, Paul having beaten him in the Russian Open in 2014 and pushed him close at the 2015 European Games – but he will have a home crowd behind him in Dusseldorf. The match is at 6.30pm UK time tomorrow and will be shown live on Table 1 – click here to watch.

Drinkhall added:

“I have got nothing to lose against Ovtcharov. I have seen his preparations, but he had a close one in the first round, I am confident going in and will do my best.”

Walker & McBeath followed up with a superb performance to sink French pair Simon Gauzy & Quentin Robinot in the last 32 of the doubles.

The English pair moved ahead confidently, taking a 2-0 lead in style and making it 3-0 with a 14-12 scoreline in the third.

Their opponents closed the gap to 3-2 and appeared to have the momentum but, after a delay to change the net at the start of the sixth game, Walker & McBeath rediscovered their form and completed a victory by 4-2 (11-9, 11-6, 14-12, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8).

They next play at 11.15am UK time tomorrow against Chien-An Chen & Cheng-Ting Liao of Taipei, the 12th seeds.

Earlier, Pitchford was defeated by Iran’s world No 128 Nima Alamian, twice leading and then recovering from 3-2 down only to see his opponent win 4-3 (8-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9).

Walker was 3-1 up against world No 57 Jakub Dyjas of Poland but saw his opponent come back to also complete a scoreline of 4-3 (11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8).

Walker would have played Timo Boll in the last 64, Boll having easily defeated Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay 4-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-7, 11-4).

Walker & David McBeath play their last 32 doubles tie against Simon Gauzy & Quentin Robinot of France at 5.45pm – click here to watch the action live.

In the women’s singles, Wales’ Charlotte Carey was beaten 4-1 (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8) by Kristin Silbereisen of Germany in the last 128.

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