Liam Pitchford fell at the first hurdle at the WTT Star Contender Doha as he was beaten in the last 64 by Japan’s Shunsuke Togami.

The draw pitted together two athletes who are alongside each other in the world rankings – Togami at 24 and Pitchford at 25.

Pitchford trailed by five points early on but fought back to 9-9 and then saved two game points before taking the lead for the first time at 12-11 – he won the next point to put the first game on the board.

A run of seven points from 0-2 to 7-2 put Togami in charge of the second, which he won 11-6, and he also led for most of the third.

The fourth saw Pitchford 5-3 up, but another good run by the Japanese, this time five points, gave him a lead which he never relinquished and it finished 11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8.

In the Mixed Doubles, Pitchford & Anna Hursey of Wales had won two qualifying matches to reach the last 16, but they were comfortably defeated by the six-ranked pair from Hong Kong, Wong Chun Ting & Doo Hoi Kem.


Men’s Singles
Round of 64

Shunsuke Togami (JPN) bt Liam Pitchford 3-1 (11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8)

Mixed Doubles
Round of 16

Wong Chun Ting & Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) bt Liam Pitchford & Anna Hursey (WAL) 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-7)