England trio ready for top-class Qatar Open

England’s top trio are ready for some tough tests at the world-class Qatar Open, which starts tomorrow.

Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker are taking on the world’s best in the Gulf state and will all start in the second preliminary round of the Seamaster ITTF World Tour Platinum event.

World No 17 Pitchford just missed out on the seedings as 15 of the world’s top 16 are there – world No 1 fan Zhendong the exception – and the 16th seed is a Qatari player. It means Pitchford starts against Yevhen Pryshchepa of Ukraine, ranked No 161, at 11am UK time on Tuesday.

Drinkhall plays at 1.30pm against world No 62 Nima Alamian of Iran, while Walker is on court against Japan’s world No 29 Jin Ueda at 2.20pm.

Pitchford is partnering Denmark’s Jonathan Groth in the doubles and they begin in the preliminary round against Jakub Dyjas of Poland & Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium at 11.30am on Wednesday.

Drinkhall & Walker are in action at the same time against Indian duo Sharath Achanta & Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.