England beat Austria 3-0 to top their group at the ZEN-NOH ITTF Team World Cup and move into the quarter-finals, where their opponents will be Chinese Taipei.

England selected the same team that had beaten Japan, meaning Paul Drinkhall & Tom Jarvis opened up with the doubles against Andreas Levenko & Daniel Habesohn.

It was tight throughout, every game decided to 8 or 9, as the English pair stretched out a 2-0 lead only for the Austrian duo to level.

Drinkhall & Jarvis led the decider 10-6, but when the Austrians closed to 10-9, England called their time-out. It did the trick as England took the next point thanks to a blistering Drinkhall forehand. The final scoreline was 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9).

Pitchford was next up against Robert Gardos (WR33) and it also went the distance, Pitchford being edged out of the second and fourth games – Gardos saved two match points in the latter at 10-9 and 11-10.

But Pitchford had been the classier throughout and duly sealed the victory 11-4 in the decider, completing a 3-2 (11-8, 12-14, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4) scoreline.

Drinkhall’s singles against Habesohn (WR43) was more emphatic, as he sealed overall victory and a place in the quarter-finals 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-9).

Afterwards, Pitchford said: “I think we like this environment particularly playing in team event. It has now become like fun to us and especially that we are in good form now. We love the environment and this has really given us confidence going into any match.”

Chinese Taipei came through as runners-up of Group A behind China, having won their second match 3-1 against Nigeria. They are seeded seventh in this tournament, while England are ranked ninth.

England last played them at the World Team Championships last year and won 3-1, with Pitchford winning twice and Drinkhall once.

The match will be at 4am UK time on Friday and will be streamed live on the itTV – click here to view. The tournament is also being shown on Eurosport – check listings for details.

Watch the matches

Click on the links below to watch the matches on itTV (registration required).

Drinkhall & Jarvis v Levenko & Habesohn

Pitchford v Gardos

Drinkhall v Habesohn

There was a surprise in Group D, where USA beat Sweden 3-2, with Kanak Jha defeating Anton Kallberg 3-2 in the deciding match. Their reward is a quarter-final against China.

Men’s quarter-final draw: China v USA, Japan v Germany, South Korea v Brazil, England v Chinese Taipei.

Women’s quarter-final draw: China v USA, Hong Kong v Chinese Taipei, South Korea v Ukraine, Japan v Romania.


Group B
England 3 Austria 0
Paul Drinkhall & Tom Jarvis bt Andreas Levenko & Daniel Habesohn 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9)
Liam Pitchford bt Robert Gardos 3-2 (11-8, 12-14, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4)
Drinkhall bt Habesohn 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-9)