Chesterfield’s Liam Pitchford knocked out of German Open

Liam Pitchford during his defeat. Pic credit: ITTF: Remy Gros
Liam Pitchford during his defeat. Pic credit: ITTF: Remy Gros

Liam Pitchford took two sets off the world No 31 before bowing out of the German Open in the round of 64 today.

The Chesterfield player, himself ranked No 61, won the first set against Li Ping of Qatar and had chances to extend his lead before losing a protracted second game 19-17.

Ping took the third, but 22-year-old Pitchford hit back to level. However, his opponent stepped up a gear to blitz the fifth game 11-1 and Pitchford could not get back into it, Ping clinching a 4-2 (9-11, 19-17, 11-8, 8-11, 11-1, 11-7) victory.

The event is the strongest in the 20-year history of the ITTF World Tour as players battle for ranking points in the run-up to the Rio Olympics.

The European Olympics qualifying tournament takes place in Istanbul in April but before that Pitchford will attempt to defend his English National Championships title in March.