Paul Drinkhall and Tom Jarvis each won their Round 1 Men’s Singles qualifying matches in the biggest WTT event of the year so far, the Singapore Smash.
Drinkhall managed to secure victory after an incredible comeback from Maciej Kubik of Poland (WR#102). Paul was ahead 10-4 in the fourth game, but Kubik came back to win the game 12-14 despite Drinkhall having two further match points. Drinkhall held his nerve after losing this game, coming out on top 3-2 (10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9). Drinkhall’s current world ranking is 72.
Jarvis, who has a world ranking of 121, had a relatively easier journey through to Round 2 as he cruised through against Jeremy Dey (New Caledonia – WR#119) winning 3-0 (11-2, 11-6, 11-5).
Meanwhile Sam Walker (WR#117), fell at the first hurdle against Lubomir Jancarik (Czechia WR#115) losing 0-3 (10-12, 9-11,11-13). The scoreline indicating it was a closer match than the straight game defeat would suggest.
Both Drinkhall and Jarvis are next in action in the second qualifying round on Thursday – Jarvis faces South Korea’s An Jaehyun, the top-ranked player in qualifying at No 59 in the world. Drinkhall’s opponent is Belgium’s Martin Allegro (WR 82), who recently beat him in the semi-finals of the WTT Feeder Dusseldorf.
Liam Pitchford is seeded into the main draw which begins on March 11.
In the women’s singles, Tin-Tin Ho was defeated by Lee Zion of South Korea – the world No 71 who is the sixth-highest ranked player in the qualifying section.
It was in four games as Ho took the third to stay in the match, but was unable to keep the momentum in the fourth.
Qualifying round 1
Tom Jarvis bt Jeremy Dey (FRA) 3-0 (11-2, 11-6, 11-5)
Paul Drinkhall bt Maciej Kubik (POL) 3-2 (10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9)
Lubomir Jancarik (CZE) bt Sam Walker 3-0 (12-10, 11-9, 13-11)
Qualifying round 1
Lee Zion (KOR) bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-1 (11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5)