Paul Drinkhall came from 2-1 down to defeat Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and join Liam Pitchford in the main draw at the WTT STar Contender European Summer Series in Budapest.
Drinkhall (pictured above), currently ranked 79, beat the world No 42 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7), to make it two big wins on the day – in the previous round in the morning he emphatically sunk China’s Liu Dingshuo (WR 48) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-4).
In the last 64 on Wednesday, Drinkhall will get the chance to avenge his first-round defeat by Marcos Freitas at last year’s World Championships in Houston – he faces the Portuguese world No 33 at 9.05am UK time, with the winner to play Sweden’s No 15 seed, Kristian Karlsson.
Liam Pitchford is in action against Tamas Lakatos of Hungary, ranked 179, at 5.50pm, with the winner to play Germany’s Timo Boll, the 11th seed.
Sam Walker, the world No 91, could not join the English contingent in the main draw as he was beaten in the second qualifying round by Emmanuel Lebesson (FRA, 41), who also beat him at the Worlds last year.
Pitchford & Drinkhall went out in the qualifying round of the doubles to Felix & Alexis Lebrun of France.
Qualifying round 2
Emmanuel Lebesson (FRA) bt Walker 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4)
Drinkhall bt Liu Dingshuo (CHN) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-4)
Qualifying round 3
Drinkhall bt Shunsuke Togami (JPN) 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7)
Qualifying round 1
Felix Lebrun & Alexis Lebrun (FRA) bt Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall 3-1 (12-14, 11-5, 13-11, 11-4)