Liam Pitchford went out at the hands of China’s Wang Chuqin in the quarter-finals of the WTT Cup Finals in Singapore.
The England No 1 never quite got close enough to put his left-handed opponent under sustained pressure, the only glimpses of a chance coming at 8-8 in the first – having come back from 7-1 down – and when he held a one-point lead on three occasions in the third.
Pitchford, who may have been hampered by a slight injury as he kept flexing his right wrist, saved two match points in the third, but Chuqin finally got through at the end of a high-octane rally at 11-10 and moves into the semi-finals to face compatriot and new world champion Fan Zhendong.
Pitchford at least can take forward the knowledge that he has tasted victory for the first time in this competition, when he beat Jang Woojin in the last 16. He also earns $18,000 for reaching the quarter-finals.
Wang Chuqin (CHN) bt Liam Pitchford 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 12-10)