Paul Drinkhall in action in Sweden. Picture courtesy of ITTF

Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall have safely come through the qualifying rounds of the men’s doubles at the Swedish Open.

In their first match, the pair came from 2-1 down to beat Croatians Frane Kojic and Filip Zeljko 3-2 (11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7).

And they then emphatically saw off Polish combination Pawel Fertokowski and Patryk Zatowka 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8) in the next round to advance into the last 16 of the qualifying rounds.

Knowing victory in their next match against Korea’s Eonrae Cho and Donghyun Kim would put them through to the main draw which begins tomorrow night, the top English pair turned in another good performance, holding their nerve in a protracted third to clinch a 3-0 scoreline (11-9, 11-9, 18-16).

Sam Walker and David McBeath went out at the first stage, beaten 3-2 (16-14, 8-11, 13-11, 6-11, 4-11) by Indian duo Amalraj Anthony and Sanil Shetty.

Andrew Baggaley, England’s only surviving player in the singles from yesterday, was knocked out in the second qualifying round by Stephane Ouaiche of France.

The world No 97 took the first game, but Baggaley fought back to level. But Ouaiche shaded the next three close games to win 4-1 (12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10).

Pitchford starts his singles campaign tomorrow.

Paul Stimpson
November 13, 2014