Liam Pitchford found the great Timo Boll in irresistible form in the quarter-finals of the Europe Top 16 in Montreux tonight.

The German left-hander, seeded third, came through in four straight against the England No 1 to advance to the last four.

Pitchford was allowed to show only flashes of his top form by an opponent who was ruthless at the business end of games, and at times sublime.

The Englishman scented a couple of openings, notably at 8-7 up in the third, but Boll snuffed them out to go through to a meeting with Austria’s Robert Gardos, who knocked out top seed Mattias Falck of Sweden.

Click here to watch Pitchford v Boll

Earlier, Pitchford successfully came through his first match with a straight-game victory over host nation player Lionel Weber, improving on his first-round exit at the same tournament last year.

The English No 1, the fifth seed in Switzerland, would certainly have been happy to have been paired with Weber, the 16th-ranked player in the tournament, in the draw.

But the Swiss still had to be beaten and Pitchford put in a confident performance to triumph in four straight, his only difficult moments coming in having to save two game points in the third.

Click here to watch Pitchford v Weber


Round of 16
Liam Pitchford bt Lionel Weber (SUI) 4-0 (11-7, 11-8, 14-12, 11-7)

Timo Boll (GER) bt Pitchford 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7)