Paul Drinkhall saved two match points on his way to booking a place in the final qualifying round of the WTT Contender Rio – and Tom Jarvis joined him at the same stage.
Drinkhall was up against Norway’s Borgar Haug (WR 240) and found himself 2-0 down after a protracted second game which saw him save six game points, including three from 7-10, and miss three game points of his own before losing it 18-16.
He started the comeback with an 11-8 scoreline in game three, but the fourth was close throughout and Drinkhall needed to save match points at 9-10 and 10-11 before he sealed the game 13-11.
The English No 2 took charge of the decider by winning four points in a row from 4-4 and he clinched it 11-7 to set up a third qualifying round tie against Germany’s world No 70 Ricardo Walther. The match is on Table 2 at 6.35pm UK time on Wednesday.
Jarvis, meanwhile, had a great 3-1 win over Germany’s Cedric Meissner, who is ranked 79 places above him at No 94.
Having led 2-0, Jarvis saw his opponent hit back to take the third and them lead the fourth 10-8. But four points in a row saw Jarvis through to a tie against world No 63 Harmeet Desai of India.
That tie is also at 6.35pm UK time on Wednesday, on Table 4. They have met three times in the last two years, Jarvis winning twice but losing the most recent at the WTT Star Contender Goa earlier this year. Every match between the pair has gone to a decider.
Drinkhall and Jarvis as bidding to join Liam Pitchford in the main draw. Pitchford is seeded into the last 32, where he will face Germany’s third seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov (WR 10).
In the Mixed Doubles, GB pair Pitchford & Anna Hursey were beaten in the qualifying round by Italian duo John Oyebode & Gaia Monfardini.
Qualifying round 2
Paul Drinkhall bt Borgar Haug (NOR) 3-2 (9-11 16-18, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7)
Tom Jarvis bt Cedric Meissner (GER) 3-1 (11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 12-10)
John Oyebode & Gaia Monfardini (ITA) bt Liam Pitchford & Anna Hursey 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-6)