England’s men and women both duly booked their places in the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games team event today, completing the group stages without conceding a set.
Joanna Drinkhall and Kelly Sibley won their singles matches against Tanzania, before Hannah Hicks got her first outing of the Games, joining Sibley to win the doubles at a canter.
Afterwards, Sibley said: “Obviously we were seeded to get through the group but it’s never as easy as it sounds. I thought we all played really well in all three of the matches, we played a little bit better than the day before which is always good.
“What happened to us four years ago in Delhi with missing out on the medal, it was heartbreaking and hard to take really. Saturday is the day, it’s like D-day with the quarter-finals and then maybe a semi. It’s what we’ve all been working towards so just bring it on, really. We want to get in that final on Sunday.”
In the men’s match, Liam Pitchford and Andrew Baggaley took their singles ties against Barbados although Baggaley, after rushing through the first two sets, was taken to 16-14 in the third. Baggaley then partnered Paul Drinkhall to a straightforward doubles win.
Drinkhall said: “It was a great performance, we’ve still not lost a set and hopefully we can keep on doing that.
“We’ve prepared well, we’re in good shape as we’re showing here so we’ve just got to think positive and be ready for tougher matches.”
Both men and women will play their quarter-finals on Saturday having received a bye through the first round. The men will face Wales at 18:30 while the women begin the day against Malaysia at 09:30.
Women – full draw can be seen here
Men’s Team Group 2:
England 3-0 Barbados
Liam Pitchford bt Trevor Farley 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-5)
Andrew Baggaley bt Kevin Farley 3-0 (11-2, 11-1, 16-14)
Andrew Baggaley/Paul Drinkhall 3-0 Trevor Farley/Mark-Anthony Dowell (11-4, 11-2, 11-5)
Women’s Team Group 3:
England 3-0 Tanzania
Joanna Drinkhall bt Agnes Wiron Ngodoki 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-3)
Kelly Sibley bt Neema Dennis Mwaisyula 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 12-10)
Hannah Hicks/Kelly Sibley bt Mwamvita Abdu Mohammed/Neema Dennis Mwaisyula 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-2)
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