Liam Pitchford beat upcoming Japanese star Hiroto Shinozuka to set up a second-round clash against world No 2 Wang Chuqin at the WTT Champions Frankfurt.

The English No 1 continued the good form that saw him reach the final in the WTT Contender Muscat earlier this month as he took on the 19-year-old world no 33.

Pitchford, currently ranked No 24, made a fast start, going into a 4-0 lead and taking the first 11-4 with the minimum of fuss against an opponent who looked a little nervous early on.

The second was almost a mirror image of the first as the left-handed Shinozuka took an early lead and extended it out to 10-2. If he thought that was unassailable, he was thinking again by the time it got to 10-8, but he did eventually close it out.

That late momentum stayed with Pitchford in game three, although he saw his 6-1 lead whittled away to 10-8. The two game points were saved by Shinozuka as he showed good speed around the table to stay in rallies before Pitchford twice saw his final attack clip the net and go off.

Another game point came and went but when Pitchford took his fourth chance, there was a sense the match was now in his pocket.

So it proved as Pitchford opened up 4-0 and 10-3 leads before sealing it on the third match point.

His match against Wang Chuqin in the last 16 will be at 6pm UK time on Wednesday.

The have met three times previously, most recently in the last 32 at the Singapore Smash last year, and Pitchford has yet to take a game off Wang.

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Men’s Singles
Round of 32

Liam Pitchford bt Hiroto Shinozuka (JPN) 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5)