Chesterfield’s Liam Pitchford will have to concentrate on the singles after he and partner Paul Drinkhall were eliminated in the last 64 of the men’s doubles at the World Championships tonight.
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 and 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.
Worksop’s Sam Walker and David McBeath are into the last 32 of the doubles however, thanks to a 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-8, 13-11) victory over Gaston Alto & Horacio Cifuentes of Argentina.
They next face France’s Simon Gauzy & Quentin Robinot at 5.45pm UK time on Wednesday for a place in the last 16.
Walker and McBeath defeated opponents from Ivory Coast/Senegal in four games and then came from 2-0 down to defeat a pair from Singapore to books their place in the last 64.
England’s top three begin their singles campaigns on Wednesday. Drinkhall faces Cazuo Matsumoto of Brazil at 4pm UK time, Pitchford is up against Nima Alamian of Iran at 1pm and Walker plays Jakub Dyjas of Poland, also at 1pm.
But there was disappointment for McBeath in the singles as he was beaten in his second group match and went out of the competition.