Liam Pitchford happy with run to Swedish Open quarter final
Chesterfield's Liam PItchford says he is happy despite his Swedish Open being ended in the quarter-finals by Europe's top player, Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
The double Olympian, world ranked 48, was seeded 20th in a high-quality field in Stockholm, which meant he started his tournament at the last-64 stage.
Pitchford said: “I didn’t really know what to expect. I had a match in France on Tuesday and came straight to Stockholm on Wednesday. I hadn’t been in such good form but knew if I found form I could have a good tournament.
“The first game (against Harald Andersson) was important – I practise with him in Halmstad. I got through that and got a crack at Calderano, who I played with for two years in Ochsenhausen.
“That was a good win and then against the Japanese guy, he was playing well but I had a plan and in the last two sets I sort of figured him out.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with how the match went against Ovtcharov. I had my chances in the first set and if I had taken them then who knows, it might have been different.
“But overall I’m happy to get to the quarter-finals.”
He had to contend with a noisy crowd in his first match as he took on world No 123 Harald Andersson of Sweden, but always had the edge in a 4-2 (11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) victory.
Next up was Brazilian world No 31 Hugo Calderano, and Pitchford staved off a comeback to register another 4-2 win (11-2, 11-8, 4-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7).
Japan’s Jin Ueda was also seen off 4-2 (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 11-4) in the last 16, putting the Englishman into a quarter-final against world No 6 Ovtcharov of Germany, the London Olympic bronze medallist.
Pitchford competed well, even saving four match points before his opponent closed out a 4-1 (14-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3, 16-14) victory.