Defending champions Falcons TTC made a winning start against Maharashtra United in the opening tie of the second CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) here on Thursday.
After losing the first game 11-5, Pitchford came back into the contest by winning the second 11-8.
However, the Indian raced to a 7-1 lead in the third game only to fritter away the advantage, allowing the World No. 49 and last season's Most Valuable Player to clinch the game 11-9.
Earlier, Zhang proved too strong for Suthirtha, 22, and any contest between the two was restricted to the first game which the American won on a golden point 11-10. But thereafter, 21-year-old Zhang ranked 56thin the world, eased to victories in the next two games 11-8, 11-5.
Remaining matches: Mixed doubles: Bernadette Szocs (Rom) / Sanil Shetty v Elizabeta Samara (Rom) / Amalraj Anthony; Men's singles: Alvaro Robles (ESP) v Joao Monteiro (Por); Women's singles: Bernadette Szocs (Rom) v Elizabeta Samara (Rom); Men's singles: Sanil Shetty v Kristian Karlsson (Swe); Women's singles: Matilda Ekholm (Swe) v Madhurika Patkar.
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