Liam Pitchford is through to the last 16 of the WTT Contender Nova Gorica, but Paul Drinkhall was edged out 14-12 in a decider, having seen three match points pass him by.

Up against Can Akkuzu of France (WR 101), Drinkhall lost a close first but hit back to win the next two, but Akkuzu levelled to take it into a decider.

Drinkhall was first to bring up a match point – two of them at 10-8, but Akkuzu again fought back. Drinkhall then saved a match point at 10-11, but missed another at 12-11 before Akkuzu took his next chance to go into the last 16.

Pitchford has found Slovakia’s Wang Yang (WR 37) an awkward opponent in the past, but today went through in three straight – saving four game points en route to taking the second 12-10.

Pitchford, seeded fifth in Slovenia, will Feng Yi-Hsin (WR 77) of Chinese Taipei in the next round tomorrow. Feng came from two games down to defeat France’s Simon Gauzy (WR 32) in the last 32.

Watch Pitchford v Feng at 12.15pm UK time on Friday on table 2, on the WTT YouTube channel.

In the doubles, third seeds Pitchford & Drinkhall went out in their first match at the last-16 stage, defeated in four by Hungarian pair Nandor Ecseki & Adam Szudi, while it was defeat by a very similar scoreline in the women’s event for Tin-Tin Ho & Karoline Mischek (AUT) who went out to Tatiana Kukulkova & Ema Labosova of Slovakia.

In the mixed, Pitchford & Ho twice came from a game down to level against second seeds Ovidiu Ionescu & Bernadette Szocs of Romania, before going down 11-6 in the decider.


Men’s Singles
Round of 32

Liam Pitchford bt Wang Yang (SVK) 3-0 (11-5, 12-10, 11-5)
Can Akkuzu (FRA) bt Paul Drinkhall 3-2 (13-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 14-12)

Women’s Doubles
Round of 16

Tatiana Kukulkova & Ema Labosova (SVK) bt Tin-Tin Ho & Karoline Mischeck (AUT) 3-1 (12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9)

Men’s Doubles
Round of 16

Nandor Ecseki & Adam Szudi (HUN) bt Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall 3-1 (13-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9)

Mixed Doubles
Round of 16

Ovidiu Ionescu & Bernadette Szocs (ROU) bt Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6)