Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall are both safely through to the last 64 of the World Championships in Suzhou, China.

Drinkhall was first on court and eased to a 4-0 victory over world-ranked No 367 Elia Schmid of Switzerland, with a one-sided scoreline of 11-1, 11-4, 11-1, 11-1.

Pitchford had a tougher task on paper, against world No 90 Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece.

The 21-year-old lost the first 11-7 but took the next two. He saved two game points in the fourth before eventually losing it 12-10, but he hit back to take the fifth and sixth for a 4-2 victory (7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7).

Pitchford next plays Tiago Apolonia of Portugal, who is No 20 in the world, while Drinkhall faces Hong Kong’s Chun Ting Wong, the world No 18.

Liam is on table 5 at 6am UK time, with Paul at 1.30pm on table 2. You can watch the action on the ITTF TV channel by clicking here

However, the English duo are out of the doubles, beaten 4-2 (7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11) in the round of 64 by Youngsik Jung & Minseok Kim of Korea.

The only other home countries player to make it through the group stages was Gavin Rumgay, who beat both group opponents Steve Herra (CRC) and Rohan Sirisena (SRI) 4-0. He was then defeated 4-1 in the first preliminary round by Gaston Alto of Argentina (11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 10-12).

* The ITTF has become the largest world sports federation, having accepted the affiliation of South Sudan and Sao Tome & Principe. It takes the total number of countries affiliated to the ITTF to 222, with only four countries in the world now not affiliated.

Paul Stimpson
April 28, 2015