Darius Knight battling it out at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals


England’s Darius Knight lost his opening under 21 men’s singles group match to Chen Feng (Singapore), at the ITTF Pro Tour Finals being held at the ExCel Arena, London as a test event for the 2012 Olympics.

The left -handed Knight did not look outclassed against the slick and powerful loops of the right-handed shake-hands Singapore attacker, but he was slightly less consistent and dropped the first three fast and furious games 7-11, 7-11, 8-11.   At 4-6 down in the 4th game, he seemed finished, but then began a fight back with a big forehand loop winner, and levelled at 6-6.  Thereafter the rest of the game came alive with every point fought strongly for and some tremendous two wing loop the loop rallies. Knight finally won the game 17-15, with a long counter-driving and blocking rally, finishing with a cross-court forehand smash off a high ball on his backhand side wide to Chen’s forehand.

Unfortunately for Knight, that was a good is it got, and he faded in the fifth game, going down 7-11, 7-11, 8-11, 17-15, 2-11.

Knight commented, “I was chilling out with relatives in Battersea, when I got the late call to play at 11am yesterday. I think I could have beaten Chen who I haven’t played before, but it was difficult to adjust to playing in a big event at the last moment. But it is great to be here and I beat my next opponent (Hung Tze-Hsinang) when I last played him in March, so I hope to do better then.”