Paul Drinkhall was unable to join Liam Pitchford in the main singles draw of the Qatar Open, but the pair are through in the Men’s Doubles after a tremendous comeback win today.

The pair, who won the Men’s Doubles title for the seventh time together at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships on Sunday, were two games down to Serbian pair Marko Jevtovic & Zsolt Peto in the preliminary round today.

But they turned it around to win 3-2 (10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5) and move into the last 16, where they were drawn against the eighth seeds, Mohammed Abdulwahhab & Ahmad Khalil Al-Mohannadi of the host nation.

In the singles, Drinkhall entered in the second preliminary round and picked up a good win over China’s Xu Haidong (WR 130), coming from 2-0 and 3-2 down to win 4-3. He faced former European champion Emmanuel Lebesson of France in the final preliminary round, but got off to a slow start and, although he had a game point in the third, was unable to turn it around and was beaten in four straight.

Click here to watch Drinkhall v Lebesson (registration required).

Pitchford is 15th seed and went straight through to the last 32, where he will face Alvaro Robles of Spain at 4pm UK time on Thursday.

How to watch live – Thursday, March 5th

Paul Drinkhall & Liam Pitchford vs Mohammed Abdulwahhab & Adhmad Khalil Al-Mohannadi – table 2 – 10.20am UK time – click here to watch (registration with the ITTF required)

Liam Pitchford vs Alvaro Robles – table 2 – 4pm UK time – click here to watch (registration with the ITTF required)


Men’s Singles
Preliminary round 2
Paul Drinkhall bt Xu Haidong (CHN) 4-3 (7-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8)

Preliminary round 3
Emmanuel Lebesson (FRA) bt Drinkhall 4-0 (11-5, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8)

Men’s Doubles
Preliminary Round 1
Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall bt Marko Jevtovic & Zsolt Peto (SRB) 3-2 (10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5)