Pitchford makes more history at Qatar Open

Liam Pitchford made a historic week even more remarkable as he reached the men's singles final of an ITTF World Tour event for the first time at the Qatar Open, before ultimately falling at the last hurdle.

Pitchford had already enjoyed a record-breaking tournament by reaching the men’s doubles final with Paul Drinkhall – a first on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series for an English pairing.

But Pitchford was not content with stopping there, as he beat Chuang Chih-Yuan in the quarter-finals 4-0 before remarkably getting past world number one Xu Xin in the semi-finals 4-2.

And despite failing to take the crown, as Pitchford lost 4-2 (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7) by world number two Fan Zhendong of China, the English star showed that he belongs at the very top level with a brilliant showing in the final.

Pitchford made a fast start and took a 9-6 lead in the first game but Fan showed his quality to launch a run of five straight points and take the game.

And the Chinese player clinched the second game too but Pitchford fought back in the third, responding brilliantly to win it 11-8.

An incredible long rally was the highlight of the fourth game as Fan triumphed 11-4 but again Pitchford showed his resiliency as he claimed his second game afterwards to give himself an outside chance at 3-2 down.

However, it was not to be as Fan accelerated away when at 6-6 in the sixth game to claim it and take the title.

Sportsbeat 2020