Quarter finals await for Baggaley

Table tennis stock image ENGPNL00220101221114354
Table tennis stock image ENGPNL00220101221114354

Andrew Baggaley will face Richard Gonzalez in the quarter finals of the Ping Pong World Championships after qualifying without losing a leg.

The winner of Baggaley’s and Gonzalez’ showdown will then face Englishman Andrew Rushton or Slovakian Lubomir Pistej in the best of five legs semi-final.

The defending champion opened the days playing with a 15-6 15-14 win over Slovakian Adam Brat where he never looked like losing despite taking the second on a winner takes all point at 14-14.

He had a whole new challenge in the last 16 as he faced Northern Irishman Paul McCreery with the winner moving into the final day of the Championships.

McCreery showed his worth, coming from behind to beat Englishman Matt Ware in the round of 32, backed by a rather vocal Irish support.

Baggaley didn’t look fazed by the off court goings on however as he took the game 15-9 15-9.

Baggaley said: “I’m relieved to get through to the final day, the first match was very tough and the second was also very hard.

“I won both 2-0 but I still got a battle, I don’t think the score line reflected the second game especially.”

Milton Keynes’ Baggaley certainly looked the more comfortable of the top seeds during the day.

Second seed and last year’s losing finalist Alexander Flemming was just a point away from being knocked out by his countryman Ewgenij Milchin.

Milchin took the first leg 15-10 and had the chance to create the biggest shock of the championships but lost the winner takes all point in the second leg to lose 15-14.

‘The Flash’ Flemming composed himself however and showed why he came so close to winning last year, taking the third leg 15-9 to book a quarter final meeting with Northampton’s seventh seed Chris Doran.

Three time world champion Maxim Shmyrev eased past the promising Ashley Stokes 15-7 15-2 in the last 16 but had a real dogfight to get to that stage.

The Russian also struggled against a countryman on Saturday night, but eventually ran out 10-15 15-11 15-9 winner against Vladislav Kutsenko.

Shmyrev will play fiery Scot Gavin Rumgay, who has already told Sky cameras he thinks he can win the championship, in what is sure to be a competitive quarter final tonight.