Liam Pitchford in action in Linz (ITTF picture)

Pitchford powers into last 16

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Liam Pitchford defeated 11th seed Jun Mizutani in a deciding set to move into the last 16 of the Austrian Open, where he will play Timo Boll.

Although it was 4-3, it was a match in which Pitchford looked to be in control, at least after Mizutani took the first 11-8. Pitchford’s response was blistering as he won the next two for the combined loss of only three points – Mizutani only avoiding a whitewash at 0-10 in the second and looking somewhat bewildered by it all.

He recovered to make it 2-2 but Pitchford won the fifth and then missed two match points – one of those brought up with a sensational mid-rally behind-the-back shot – in the sixth as Mizutani won 15-13 to take it into a decider.

But there was no second chance as Pitchford rediscovered his form from the earlier games to blitz it 11-3. His next match is on Friday against Germany’s Boll, the fifth seed. The match will be on table 1 at 5.40pm UK time.

Click here to watch Pitchford v Mizutani (registration required)

Paul Drinkhall & Sam Walker were up against Chen Chien-An & Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei in the last 16 of the Men’s Doubles – Chen a familiar foe who played a key role in his nation’s Team World Cup quarter-final victory over England this month.

Although close, the English pair never quite managed to engineer a lead in the latter stages of the match and they went down 3-0 (9, 7, 9).

Click here to watch Drinkhall & Walker v Chen & Chuang (registration required).

In the Women’s Doubles, the European Under-21 champions Tin-Tin Ho and Karoline Mischek (AUT) were up against third seeds Barbora Balazova (SVK) & Hana Matelova (CZE) and had chances in a relatively close three-set match – notably in the first, which they lost 14-12. They also fought back from 7-1 down in the third to lead 9-8, but ultimately lost 11-9 to a back edge.

Click here to watch Ho & Mischek v Balazova & Matelova

Results

Men’s Singles
Round of 32
Liam Pitchford bt Jun Mizutani (JPN) 4-3 (8-11, 11-1, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-3)

Men’s Doubles
Round of 16
Chen Chien-An & Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE) bt Paul Drinkhall & Sam Walker 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9)

Women’s Doubles
Round of 16
Barbora Balazova (SVK) & Hana Matelova (CZE) bt Tin-Tin Ho & Karoline Mischek (AUT) 3-0 (14-12, 11-8, 11-9)

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