Pitchford knocked out of world championships at first hurdle

Liam Pitchford
Liam Pitchford

Liam Pitchford’s World Championships came to a premature end when the Chesterfield athlete was knocked out in the first round of the singles.

Pitchford was seeded into the first round proper – the last 128 – but was defeated by Iran’s world No 128 Nima Alamian.

Pitchford was seeded into the first round proper – the last 128 – but was defeated by Iran’s world No 128 Nima Alamian.

In the proverbial rollercoaster match, he led twice and then recovered from 3-2 down only to see his opponent win 4-3 (8-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9) to go into the last 64.

It follows his defeat in the last 64 of the doubles, alongside Paul Drinkhall, in Dusseldorf on Tuesday.

Afterwards, Pitchford tweeted: “Tough loss to take after having a lead in the last set..been an up and down season for me but I will work harder to make next season better!

“Thank you for all the support everyone has given me and I hope I can bring some more for you to cheer about soon!”

Tuesday had seen Pitchford and partner Paul Drinkhall eliminated in the last 64 of the men’s doubles.

England’s No 1 pair bowed out at the hands of Indian pair Sharath Kamal Achanta & Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, going down 4-2 (10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 15-13, 11-6).

It means they missed out on a plum tie against world No 1 Ma Long & Germany’s Timo Boll in the last 32.

Earlier in Dusseldorf, Drinkhall & Pitchford started with two routine three-set victories in their preliminary matches to move into the main draw, seeing off opposing pairs from French Polynesia and Dominican Republic.