Liam Pitchford saved a match point as he turned around his opening match at the WTT Contender Amman to beat China’s Yan Sheng in a deciding game.
Pitchford took some time to come to terms with his opponent’s style, but found a way to win against penholder Yan (WR 208).
He lost the opening game, but led the second 9-4 only for Yan to peg him back to 9-9. Both men missed game points before Yan finally claim it 16-14 to take a 2-0 lead.
The third saw Pitchford up 9-6 but again Yan went on a run of points and held a match point at 10-9. Pitchford then took three in a row to win the game and stay in the match.
It wasn’t always plain sailing from that point, but he always stayed in front and eventually claimed victory in a barrage of shots in the fifth, which he took 11-3.
Pitchford faces more Chinese opposition in the last 16 – he takes on Lin Shidong (WR 37), who beat Tiago Apolonia of Portugal in three straight today.
The match is scheduled for 1.20pm UK time on Friday on Table 1. Watch live on the WTT YouTube channel.
In the Mixed Doubles earlier, Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho were beaten in the last 16 by Hungarian pair Nandor Ecseki & Dora Madarasz.
Round of 32
Liam Pitchford bt Yan Sheng (CHN) 3-2 (7-11, 14-16, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3)
Round of 16
Nandor Ecseki & Dora Madarasz (HUN) bt Liam Pitchford & Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5)