Fan Zhendong Battles Past Liam Pitchford To Claim 2020 Qatar Open Title

Liam Pitchford (left) and Fan Zhendong (right) at awards ceremony in Doha (Photo: ITTF)

The No.1 seed from China, Fan Zhendong went on to lift the Men’s Singles trophy at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open after besting the ferocious Liam Pitchford at the final hurdle in Doha (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7).

This was to be no easy feat for the Chinese favourite – his English opponent had been impressive throughout the competition, defeating Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan 4-0 in the quarter-finals, as well as the infamous Xu Xin 4-2 in the semi-finals.

However, Fan himself had beaten one of China’s most exciting up-and-coming stars in Wang Chuqin in his semi-final match, and so Pitchford would have to be at his best if he wanted to challenge the 2018 champion.

An incredible match from start to finish featuring world class rallies throughout, the final was a match for the ages and a fantastic spectacle.

Fan looked on form against the Englishman in the first few games of the final, taking a 3-1 lead. Pitchford managed to fight back to claim another game, pressuring the Chinese as he reduced the deficit to 3-2.

With momentum on his side Pitchford gave it his all in an attempt to force a deciding seventh game, however, Fan was simply too strong on this occasion, taking the match 4-2.

Success in Doha means Fan Zhendong now has 14 Men’s Singles titles from his time on the ITTF World Tour – as for Liam Pitchford he celebrates becoming the first English player to reach a Platinum event singles final!

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