Liam Pitchford beat South Korea’s Cho Seungmin in four games at the WTT Contender Muscat, avenging a narrow defeat by the same opponent at the Lanzhou event last week.
Cho had climbed to No 38 in the world, five places behind Pitchford, on the back of his performances last week, but this time the Englishman had the best of him.
Cho took the lead, pulling away from 5-5 to take the first game 11-8, but Pitchford changed the momentum in the second, which he took 13-11 having led 10-8 but trailed 11-10.
Pitchford was 4-0 and 6-3 down in the third, but won it without losing another point, and he recovered a 6-3 deficit again in the fourth, which he took 11-8 to set up a last-16 tie against third seed and world No 8 Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei.
That match is at 12.55pm UK time on Thursday on Table 1 – watch on the WTT YouTube channel.
Tom Jarvis is also in the Omani capital, and he & Pitchford had a great win against third seeds Chuang Chih-Yuan & Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei in the last 16 of the Men’s Doubles later on Wednesday.
They lost the first game, their opponents taking three successive points from 8-8, but hit back in the second when they fought back from a 9-6 deficit with five points in a row.
As is so often the case, the third proved pivotal. Pitchford & Jarvis led pretty much all the way to 10-8, but eventually won it 16-14 on their fifth game point, having also saved two.
The fourth saw Pitchford & Jarvis make a decisive move from 5-5 to 8-5 and stayed in front, winning it 11-8. They next face Yiu Kwan To & Chan Baldwin of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals at 7.35am UK time on Thursday on Table 2 – watch on the WTT YouTube channel.
Earlier in the tournament, Jarvis narrowly missed out in the first qualifying round to Ng Pak Nam of Hong Kong, currently ranked No 531 in the world, but who has been much higher in the past two years and was in the top 60 five years ago.
Pitchford & Anna Hursey were defeated in four games in the last 16 of the Mixed Doubles by Yew En Koen Pang & Xin Ru Wong of Singapore.
Hursey was beaten in five by Sutirtha Mukherjee (WR 112) of India in the Women’s Singles qualifying round, despite fighting back from 2-0 down to level.
Qualifying round 1
Ng Pak Nam (HKG) bt Tom Jarvis 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5)
Round of 32
Liam Pitchford bt Cho Seungmin (KOR) 3-1 (8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8)
Round of 16
Yew En Koen Pang & Xin Ru Wong (SGP) bt Liam Pitchford & Anna Hursey 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4)
Round of 16
Liam Pitchford & Tom Jarvis bt Chuang Chih-Yuan & Lin Yun-Ju (TPE) 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 16-14, 11-8)