Its Down to Darius…


Last man standing Darius hopes for U21 success

As the Austrian Open moves into day four only Darius Knight remains in competition for the later stages as the British players fell by the wayside in a day of defeats.

Knight began the day well with victory over Mattias Oversjo from Sweden with a 3-1 scoreline before he progressed to the last eight of the boys Under-21s with a fine victory against Omar Assar from Egypt who is ranked 75 places higher than Knight.

After his 3-2 win against the Egyptian he will now face Jin Ueda from Japan tomorrow morning who earlier in the competition beat Liam Pitchford.

The other Under-21 hopefuls Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall were both beaten in the last 16 by players ranked lower than them.

If they wanted to seek revenge for those defeats to Ricardo Walther and Kristian Karlsson respectively then their hopes didn’t last long in the Men’s doubles match against the Austrian pair of Robert Gardos (47) and Daniel Habesohn (97).

The Austrians flew out of the blocks, taking the first two sets to just four and five. The Brit pair fought back in the third and raised hope with a tight 13-11 win. However, the home fans were delighted when the Austrians took the fourth set 11-7 and sealed the win.

Earlier Drinkhall, Andrew Baggaley and Jo Parker all lost their singles first round matches to much higher ranked opponents as British hopes were extinguished half-way through day three of the Austrian Open.

All three fought well and were unfortunate to lose. Drinkhall lost 4-2 to World number 6 Jun Mizutani from Japan. He was 2-0 down but fought back to level 2-2 before the Japanese player found another gear to progress.

Baggaley lost 4-0 to World number 22 Alexey Smirnov but the scoreline defied his performance. Baggaley averaged 10 points per set and never failed to reach at least nine points in a set but somehow still lost.

Parker was defeated by World number 35 Yi-Hua Huang 4-1 but the story could have been different had she won either of the last two sets that finished 16-14 and 11-9 to the player from Teipei.

Selected Results:

Men’s singles:

J Mizutani bt P Drinkhall 4-2 (11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-9)

A Smirnov bt A Baggaley 4-0 (13-11, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10)

Women’s singles:

Y Huang bt J Parker 4-1 (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 16-14, 11-9)

Men’s Doubles:

Drinkhall/Pitchford bt Rogiers/Vostes 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-9)

Gardos/Habesohn bt Drinkhall/Pitchford 3-1 (11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-7)

Boys Under-21s:

L Pitchford bt R Floras 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7)

P Drinkhall bt T Lau 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-2)

D Knight bt M Oversjo 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 11-6)

R Walther bt L Pitchford 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8)

K Karlsson bt P Drinkhall 3-1 (11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11)

D Knight bt O Assar 3-2 (8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 4-11, 11-6)