Russian Open runner-up Drinkhall toasts best ever showing

10 November 2014 / 14:54

He may have just missed out on gold in the final of the Russian Open, but Paul Drinkhall insisted there was still plenty to celebrate after playing what he described as the best table tennis of his life.

London 2012 Olympian Drinkhall made the headlines in April when he won the Spanish Open to become the first British player to win an ITTF World Tour singles event for 18 years.

He followed that up with two medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, helping England to team silver before claiming mixed doubles gold with wife Joanna.

And proving it was quickly turning into a year to remember, the 24-year-old knocked out top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov, third seed Marcos Freitas and sixth seed Eonrae Cho en route to booking his place in the final of the Russian Open this weekend.

The 21st seed took an early advantage, winning the first game against Japan’s Koki Niwa – although he could not maintain his momentum, eventually losing out 4-1.

And while disappointed to come up just short of another title, Drinkhall was still smiling.

"It's probably the tournament of my life and the best table tennis I've ever played,” he said.

"The results I've had here are much bigger and better than the Spanish results.

"I'm very happy with the way I've played, but slightly disappointed with the final. I've played him before and always had difficulty with his serves."

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