by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Liam Pitchford led the charge; in the second match of the fixture against Nigeria, he had lost to Bode Abiodun after having held a two games to nil lead (8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5).
In the second round of the Men’s Singles event they met again; Liam Pitchford, not at his best but with glimpses of his best, recorded a five games win (13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7).
“Monday was poor, I was very disappointed. I was hard on myself. I saw the draw and I didn’t want to lose to him for a second time, I was ready. It wasn’t great today by I won four-one. Today my service and receive was better. Also several time I caught him out with a backhand down the line. Just today everything was better; these things happy. Today I won, I’m happy.” Liam Pitchford
Hard fought but with no moments of drama; it was the same for his colleagues Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker; Sam Walker beat Canada’s Antoine Bernadet in four straight games (11-2, 11-5, 11-8, 17-15), by a very similar margin Paul Drinkhall defeated Northern Ireland’s Ashley Robinson (11-4, 11-8,11-4, 11-5).
Success for England and there was success for the leading names on duty but there was a scare. India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta needed the full seven games to beat Malaysia’s Javen Choongm, staving off a spirited recovery (11-2, 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7).
Testing times for Sharath Kamal Achanta; it was not the situation for the other leading names.
Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna beat Brian Chan Yook Fo of Mauritius (11-4, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10), Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, like Sharath Kamal Achanta from India, accounted for Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez (11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3). In a similar vein, Singapore’s Gao Ning ended the hopes of Scotland’s Craig Howieson (11-2, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
The third round of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Thursday 12th April.