Paul Drinkhall & Sam Walker saw a 1-0, 10-6 lead evaporate as they were knocked out of the doubles at the Qatar Open by China’s Lin Gaoyuan & Ma Long.

The English pair started confidently in their last-16 clash, taking the first game 11-6 when Drinkhall sent a blistering forehand winner down the line.

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It looked as if they were going 2-0 up as they opened up a 10-6 lead in the second but the Chinese clawed back three points, prompting an English timeout, and then won the next three to level the game score.

It remained close in the third, a Chinese timeout at 9-8 saw them go on to take the next two points they needed. And it was also 11-8 in the fourth, though on this occasion the Chinese pair led 10-4. Drinkhall & Walker saved four match points, but six was a big ask and the Chinese duly settled things.

That ends English involvement in the event in Doha, with Liam Pitchford and Walker having exited the singles yesterday.


Men’s Doubles
Round of 16
Lin Gaoyuan & Ma Long (CHN) bt Paul Drinkhall & Sam Walker 3-1 (10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8)