Not good enough, admits honest Pitchford

Paul Stimpson

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Liam Pitchford admitted his match against Hugo Calderano at the ITTF Finals left him feeling “disappointed and quite angry with myself”.

The England No 1 was beaten 4-0 by the world No 6 from Brazil, Calderano making a fast start to take the first two games by an 11-4 margin, before holding off a Pitchford fightback in two close games to seal a 4-0 (11-4, 11-4, 13-11, 12-10) victory.

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“It was one of the worst matches I’ve played for a long time – it wasn’t good at all,” said Pitchford, who was seeded 12th at the event.

“I’m not really 100% sure what went wrong, it just didn’t feel like me. I didn’t get into the game. He came out aggressively, but from my point of view I gave him too many opportunities.

“My timing was a bit off, I was missing too many easy balls and trying to win the point a bit too quickly.

“When you’re playing against the world No 6, you get punished for that, and when you go 2-0 down like that, it’s hard to come back.”

The match also produced the ITTF’s point of the day, this blistering rally which enabled Calderano to win the third game:

It was Pitchford’s first defeat in four international meetings with Calderano – his previous victories including at the Team World Cup in London in 2018.

He added: “The bottom line is it wasn’t a good match, and sometimes that happens. Hopefully, I can learn from it and not let it happen again, but then it’s about forgetting about it and moving on, getting back to doing the work.”

Pitchford will next move on to the WTT Macau event next week. Calderano, meanwhile, was defeated 4-1 in the quarter-finals by world No 1 Fan Zhendong this morning.

Don’t forget, you can watch the rest of the tournament on the FreeSports channel.

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