Darius Knight must beat Yoshiyuki Kato (JPN) tomorrow to keep his Spanish Open hopes alive after losing a seven-game thriller to host nation player Oriol Monzo.
Knight had earlier cruised to a 4-0 victory against Quentin Pradelle from France but struggled against the Spanish player.
He fell 3-0 down with big trouble in getting his backhand started. He lost the first four points of the match which set the tone for those first three games as Knight cut a frustrated figure at the table.
However, the Londoner pulled himself back into contention with an 11-7 game before winning the fifth game 11-5 to help his chances.
The sixth game was even better for Knight as he raced from 1-1 to 9-1 up before eventually sealing the game 11-6 to level the match 3-3. At that point Knight was favourite but at 7-4 down in the decider he was forced to call a time-out to compose himself.
In the end it didn’t work as he lost the seventh 11-8 to an overjoyed Monzo.
Knight now has to beat Kato, who has won both his other matches, in order to progress.
Men’s Singles Qualifying Group 12:
Darius Knight bt Quentin Pradelle (FRA) 4-0 (11-5, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9)
Oriol Monzo (ESP) bt Darius Knight 4-3 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8)
Round of 16:
Darius Knight/Philipp Floritz (GER) vs Bai/Kobes (SVK) or Soderlund/Andersson (SWE)