Tin-Tin Ho and Liam Pitchford in action in the mixed doubles in Budapest (ITTF picture)

Tin-Tin and Liam’s run ends in quarters

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho lost to the third seeds in the mixed doubles quarter-finals of the European Championships today – but Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall are through to the last 32 of the men’s singles.

Pitchford was impressive in dispatching Tomasz Lewandowski of Poland in five – a blip in the third the only blemish on the scoreboard for the Chesterfield athlete.

Liam, seeded 22, next faces Stefan Fegerl of Austria at 5.20pm UK time on Friday.

Drinkhall turned in a similar front-foot performance against Ioannis Sgouropoulos, also having his blip in the third, which he lost 14-12.

But an 11-1 scoreline in the next banished any possibility of a comeback by the Greek player and 13th seed Paul next plays against 21st seed Robert Gardos of Austria at 7pm UK time on Friday.

Sam Walker was eliminated at the same stage, beaten in four straight by world No 38 Lei Kou of Ukraine, seeded 16 here.

The day started well in the mixed doubles as Pitchford & Ho, who together won Commonwealth Games silver at Glasgow 2014, showed their partnership was in good shape as they defeated seventh seeds Wang Yang (SVK) & Polina Mikhailova (RUS) 3-1.

It set up a quarter-final against third seeds Mattias Karlsson & Matilda Ekholm of Sweden, and although it was always close, the Swedes just kept their noses in front to win in three straight.

There was further disappointment for Ho in the singles in Budapest as she took world No 34 Georgina Pota to the brink before exiting in the last 64.

In one of the toughest challenges of her career to date, Ho took on Hungary’s Pota, who was backed by a vocal home crowd.

Ho had largely silenced them by the time she was 3-0 up, but her opponent gradually worked her way back into the match, getting the spectators going again and eventually receiving a rousing ovation as she fought all the way back to win 4-3.

In the men’s doubles, the draw threw up the possibility of Drinkhall & Pitchford facing their team-mate Walker and his partner Hunor Szocs of Romania in the last 16.

Pitchford & Drinkhall kept their side of the bargain in the round of 32, but did not have things all their own way against Nandor Ecseki & Bence Majoros of the host nation before carving out a 4-2 victory.

However, Walker & Szocs could not join them in the last-16 tie as they were beaten 4-1 by Jakub Dyjas & Daniel Gorak of Poland. Drinkhall & Pitchford face the Polish pair at 11.15am UK time on Friday.

Results

Men's Singles

Round of 64
  • Paul Drinkhall bt Ioannis Sgouropoulos 4-1 (11-7, 11-7, 12-14, 11-1, 11-5)
  • Liam Pitchford bt Tomasz Lewandowski (POL) 4-1 (11-5, 11-3, 2-11, 11-3, 11-9)
  • Lei Kou (UKR) bt Sam Walker 4-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-4, 15-13)

Women's Singles

Round of 64
  • Georgina Pota (HUN) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-3 (5-11, 4-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5)

Mixed Doubles

Round of 16
  • Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho bt Wang Yang (SVK) & Polina Mikhailova (RUS) 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 14-12, 13-11)
Quarter-finals
  • Mattias Karlsson & Matilda Ekholm (SWE) bt Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (11-9, 14-12, 11-8)

Men's Doubles

Round of 32
  • Paul Drinkhall & Liam Pitchford bt Nandor Ecseki & Bence Majoros (HUN) 4-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7)
  • Jakub Dyjas & Daniel Gorak (POL) bt Sam Walker & Hunor Szocs (ROU) 4-1 (12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-5)

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