Liam Pitchford won his opening tie at the Singapore Smash to set up a match against Truls Moregard, while he and Paul Drinkhall will play Lin Gaoyuan and the great Ma Long in the doubles.

The doubles was first up as England’s top pair took on Nandor Ecseki & Bence Majoros of Hungary and their opponents took the first 11-7, largely thanks to a run of five points from 5-5.

Pitchford & Drinkhall had a run of six points from 7-3 down on their way to taking the second, and they pulled ahead from 7-7 to take the third.

They were never behind in the fourth and five successive points from 3-3 broke the back of the game as they moved through to the last 16 to face Chinese fourth seeds Lin Gaoyuan & Ma Long. The match is on Wednesday, at a time to be confirmed.

In the singles, Pitchford was up against Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh (WR 53) and always look to have too much power and placement for his 44-year-old opponent.

He had some tricky moments, notably trailing the first 10-7, but once he had reeled off the next five points, he was never really threatened.

He took the second 11-3 and although the third was closer, he pulled away from 6-6 to set up a match against world No 14 Truls Moregard, of Sweden.

Tin-Tin Ho, partnering Wales’ Anna Hursey in the doubles, went out in the first round to the higher-ranked Austria-Romania combination of Sofia Polcanova & Bernadette Szocs.


Men’s Singles
Round of 64

Liam Pitchford bt Ahmed Saleh (EGY) 3-0 (12-10, 11-3, 11-8)

Men’s Doubles
Round of 32

Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall bt Nandor Ecseki & Bence Majoros (HUN) 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7)

Women’s Doubles
Round of 32

Sofia Polcanova (AUT) & Bernadette Szocs (ROU) bt Tin-Tin Ho & Anna Hursey (WAL) 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-5)