06 Jul 2017

Paul Drinkhall continues to enjoy his stay on the Gold Coast, while Vladimir Samsonov surprises himself as he sneaks in to the semi-final.

by Wade Townsend

Paul Drinkhall (ENG) has moved in to the semi-final of the Men’s Singles at the Seamaster 2017 Australian Open after defeating Yuya Oshima (JPN) 4-2 on the Gold Coast this evening.

While England and Australia may be fierce competitors in sport, Drinkhall’s on court charisma got the crowd on his side.

“I like trying to get some atmosphere and getting pumped. The more pumped I am the better I can move and concentrate, so it’s good when I can get a little help from the crowd.” Paul Drinkhall

Drinkhall looks to be having a truck load of fun out on the court. Who wouldn’t when they are playing points like this?

A smile may be the secret to Drinkhall’s success.

“I’m enjoying myself out there. Recently that’s what I have managed to do the last couple of years, spending a little more time with family and remembering how fun it is to play table tennis; I managed to show that in the match today. I was told when I was seven that you can’t play well if you’re not having fun; I’m only just remembering it now.” Paul Drinkhall

Drinkhall’s opponent in the semi-final will be Vladimir Samsonov (BLR), who managed to overcome Kenta Matsuidaira (JPN) in five games.

It was a solid performance and there are murmurs and whisperings around the venue that Samsonov could soon be adding another World Tour title to his collection.

At the beginning of the week he had singled out Jun Mizutani as having the best chance of taking the title. Now the top seed as been eliminated surely the Belorussian thinks his odds have improved.

He kept his match against Matsudaira short and sweet, dropping just one game. Every bit of energy conserved will help. Samsonov is also being sure to keep his body in check, immediately spending half an hour stretching after his matches.

Meanwhile, Japan has finished on a lacklustre note. Four men in quarterfinals, all four eliminated. It will be back to the drawing board for Team Japan.

Be sure to catch semi-final action live on when it gets underway tonight at 18:30 local time.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Australian Open Vladimir Samsonov Yuya Oshima Paul Drinkhall Kenta Matsudaira

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