The groups came to a close on Saturday afternoon at the Echo Arena with the quarter-finalists securing their places for the big close to the tournament.

A round-up of the final group fixtures can be found below:

Group A

Despite his 4-0 defeat to Chuang Chih-Yuan yesterday, favourite and world no. 2 Ma Long progressed to the quarter-final stage and sent a message out to his opponents with an impressive 4-0 demolition of Paul Drinkhall.

Long’s range of shots and quantity of power were a sight to behold and he was truly back to his best form in Liverpool.

Joining him will be group winner Chuang Chih-Yuan despite his 4-3 defeat to Werder Bremen teammate Adrian Crisan. The pair had met at the Olympic Games where Chuang won 4-0 at a canter but this time Crisan had enough to triumph in the World Cup.

In the end it wasn’t enough for the Romanian as the group was decided on countback: Chuang 7-4, Long 4-5 and Crisan 5-7.

Group B

Group B was won by Xu Xin after a 4-0 win over Englishman Liam Pitchford although he had to work harder than the scoreline suggested. Three of the four games went to deuce despite the 142 ranking differential between the pair.

Also through from that group was three-time World Cup winner Vladimir Samsonov after his 4-2 victory over Marcos Freitas who finishes third.

Group C

Group C saw one of the most entertaining matches of the first session as Adrien Mattenet recovered from 3-0 down to Timo Boll to level at 3-3, only to then lose the final game 11-5.

The result didn’t matter in the end as both Boll and Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi went through, even had Mattenet won that final game. Korea’s Oh Sang Eun retired with an injury on Friday.

Group D

Group D’s qualifiers were decided on Friday with both Michael Maze and Joo Se Hyuk through after Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov lost to both.

Ovtcharov finished his campaign with a 4-1 win over Thiago Monteiro, which left Maze and Joo Se Hyuk to battle out a seven-game thriller for the title.

Maze made the early breakway with a 3-1 lead but Joo Se Hyuk pulled himself back level to 3-3. However, Maze had enough in the bag to secure an amazing seven-game match 11-6.