Sam Walker and Paul Drinkhall moved a step closer to joining Liam Pitchford in the main draw of the Czech Open on a day when four English players were eliminated.
Walker came from 2-0 down to defeat Frenchman Antoine Hachard (WR 146) in six games in the second preliminary round, earning a tie against Germany’s world No 46 Benedikt Duda in the next round tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Drinkhall needed only four albeit close sets to see off young German Tobias Hippler (WR 192) and he next plays Alexander Shibaev of Russia, world ranked 65.
Click here to watch Drinkhall v Hippler (registration required).
Both those matches are at 11am tomorrow and Walker and Drinkhall must win those, plus one further match to go into the main draw which begins on Thursday.
There was no joy for the English trio earlier involved in the first preliminary round as Tom Jarvis, Andrew Baggaley and David McBeath all went out.
Baggaley shared the first four games against Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama and then saw the fifth go to 17-15 in his opponent’s favour. Matsuyama (WR 278) then added the sixth to ensure he advanced to the next found.
Jarvis led 2-1 against Feng Yi-Hsin of Chinese Taipei but saw his opponent, ranked 73 places below him at No 243 in the world, came back to take the next three.
McBeath also led, taking the first game before losing in five to Tamas Lakatos, the world No 158 from Hungary.
In the women’s singles, Tin-Tin Ho was defeated in four by Chinese opponent Yang Huijing.
Ho, Jarvis and McBeath are all involved in the doubles competitions which start on Wednesday. Pitchford, seeded eighth in the men’s singles, is not in action until Thursday.
Preliminary round 1
Feng Yi-Hsin (TPE) bt Tom Jarvis 4-2 (11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5)
Yuki Matsuyama (JPN) bt Andrew Baggaley 4-2 (7-11, 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 17-15, 11-6)
Tamas Lakatos (HUN) bt David McBeath 4-1 (6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6)
Preliminary round 2
Sam Walker bt Antoine Hachard (FRA) 4-2 (10-12, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10)
Paul Drinkhall bt Tobias Hippler (GER) 4-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11)
Preliminary round 2
Yang Huijing (CHN) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5)