Tom Jarvis & Charlotte Bardsley claimed another superb victory at the Commonwealth Games today as they advanced to the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals.
Photos by Michael Loveder
Up against Canadian pair Jeremy Hazin & Fu Ching Nam, the young English pair (pictured above) lost the first and looked in trouble at 6-10 in the second.
Then they lit the touchpaper with a run of six successive points and rode that momentum through the third to lead 2-1.
The fourth saw them trail 8-3, but they worked it back to 9-9 and then traded game (and in their case match) points with their opponents.
England missed out at 11-10 and 13-12, each nation profiting from a dead net cord at one point, but the Canadians finally took it at 15-13.
The fifth saw England in charge from the off, changing ends at 5-2 and pulling out to 9-6. The Canadians won the next two points to raise concerns, but when England took the next point in an amazing rally – Bardsley twice levering the ball back over the net from practically on the floor – they had broken their opponents and they sealed it next point.
Liam Pitchford had come to offer his support from the crowd part-way through the match, as he and Tin-Tin Ho had already won their last-16 tie with ease, 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-2) against Edward Ly & Sophie Gauthier, also of Canada.
The quarter-finals are later today, when Pitchford & Ho take on Sharath Kamal Achanta & Sreeja Akula of India, and Jarvis & Bardsley play Nicholas Lum & Jee Minhyung of Australia. The winning pairs will meet in the semi-finals, raising the possibility of an all-England clash.
Meanwhile, Emily Bolton made her long-awaited Games debut as she and Bardsley took on Jemimah Nakawala & Judith Nangonzi of Uganda in the last 32 of the Women’s Doubles.
Bolton was a late replacement for the injured Mollie Patterson and was not used in the team events, leaving the WD as her only chance to step on to court at the Games.
It was a great start as the English pair won 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-4) to go into the last 16, where they face a tough tie against Singapore’s Feng Tianwei & Zeng Jian tomorrow morning.
In the Men’s Doubles, there were routine victories in the round of 16 for Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall and for Sam Walker & Tom Jarvis.
The top English pair, who are the No 1 seeds, defeated Tyrese Knight & Ramon Maxwell of Barbados 5, 5, 6 and will face Amadi Omeh & Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria in the quarter-finals at 5.35 today.
Walker & Jarvis overcame South Africa’s Theo Cogill & Chetan Ooka Nathoo 8, 4, 5 and their quarter-final opponents are second seeds Sharath Kamal Achanta & Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India at the same time.
Pitchford, Drinkhall and Walker all had their first singles matches and it was a 100% success rate.
Pitchford was up against Qi Shen Wong of Malaysia and, apart from needing a third game point in the first and being edged out of the third, was always in control. He won it 4-1 (12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11,5, 11-7) and will face Yew En Coen Pang of Singapore in the last 16.
Sixth seed Drinkhall had little trouble with the Pakistani athlete Fahad Khawaja, who did win four of the first five points of the match but never hand an answer when Drinkhall found his range.
The final game scores were 6, 5, 3, 4 and Drinkhall will next face Zhe Yu Clarence Chew of Singapore.
It was pretty routine as well for Sam Walker, up against Kevin Farley of Barbados, the seventh seed advancing courtesy of a 4-0 (7, 7, 4, 10) margin. He next plays Jeremy Hazin of Canada.
All the last-16 matches are at 7.45pm.
In the last 16 of the Women’s Singles, Tin-Tin Ho, seeded 12th, was defeated in four by the sixth seed Yangzi Liu of Australia.
The second was the key game, going to 14-12 in the Australian’s favour as both athletes had their chances. Liu will face Wales’ Anna Hursey in the quarter-finals at 7pm today.
Round of 16
Yangzi Liu (AUS) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-0 (11-8, 14-12, 11-6, 11-6)
Round of 32
Paul Drinkhall bt Fahad Khawaja (PAK) 4-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4)
Sam Walker bt Kevin Farley (BAR) 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10)
Liam Pitchford bt Qi Shen Wong (MAS) 4-1 (12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7)
Round of 16
Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho bt Edward Ly & Sophie Gauthier (CAN) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-2)
Tom Jarvis & Charlotte Bardsley bt Jeremy Hazin & Fu Ching Nam (CAN) 3-2 (8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 13-15, 11-8)
Round of 16
Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall bt Tyrese Knight & Ramon Maxwell (BAR) 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-6)
Sam Walker & Tom Jarvis bt Theo Cogill & Chetan Ooka Nathoo (RSA) 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-5)
Round of 32
Charlotte Bardsley & Emily Bolton bt Jemimah Nakawala & Judith Nangonzi (UGA) 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-4)