Tom Jarvis and Paul Drinkhall both made winning starts at the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro – Jarvis recovering from the rare event of losing a game to love, winning in four.
The English national champion’s match was against Ovidiu Ionescu (WR 191) of Romania, a possible opponent at the European Team Championships in Sweden next month.
Jarvis (above) took the first, never trailing after taking the lead at 4-3 and going on to clinch it 11-8. The second saw Ionescu blitz through without losing a point, but Jarvis quickly put that behind him in a third game which saw no more than a point between the two until the end, when Jarvis won three successive points from 8-9 to restore his lead.
The fourth saw Jarvis lead all the way and take the game 11-7 to set up a second qualifying round clash against Germany’s Cedric Meissner (WR 94). The match is on Table 3 at 8.05pm UK time on Tuesday and will be streamed live on the WTT YouTube channel.
Drinkhall was up against local player Lucas Carvalho and eased through to the second qualifying round in three straight – the only high spot for his unranked opponent was taking the first two points of the match.
Drinkhall next plays Borgar Haug (WR 240) of Norway – another possible European Championships opponent as Norway are in the same group as England and Romania. The match follows Jarvis on Table 3 at 8.40pm UK time on Tuesday.
Before the two singles matches, Liam Pitchford and Wales’ Anna Hursey are in Mixed Doubles action against John Oyebode & Gaia Monfardini of Italy. That match is on Table 2 at 7.30pm.
Qualifying round 1
Paul Drinkhall bt Lucas Carvalho (BRA) 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-5)
Tom Jarvis bt Ovidiu Ionescu (ROU) 3-1 (11-8, 0-11, 11-9, 11-7)