There is to be no World Championships medal for Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall after they were defeated in the quarter-finals for the second edition in succession.
They lost in four to German duo Dimitrij Ovtcharov & Patrick Franziska, the result delivering a first World Championships individual medal for the former to add to his extensive collection on silverware.
The first game saw England in control, taking an early lead and never losing it, though the German pair did pull back to 8-7.
That was as close as they got though, as Pitchford in particular put in some well disguised shots off both flanks and the English pair closed it out 11-7.
The second saw Pitchford & Drinkhall lead 8-4 after a run of four points, but Ovtcharov & Franziska found a run of their own to take the next six points.
England saved the first game point and the German coach made a late call to take the timeout at that point, sensing a potentially pivotal moment was upon them. They duly took the second game point as a Drinkhall shot flicked the net and went long.
It was a similar tale in the third as Pitchford & Drinkhall saw a 6-4 advantage turn into a 10-6 deficit. They saved two game points but Franziska sealed it as he put away a Drinkhall return which saw up nicely.
The German pair were getting more than their share of luck, and when they went 3-1 up in the fourth with a dead net cord and a back edge in successive points, Gavin Evans took the English timeout.
There was another back edge soon afterwards and at 2-6 it was slipping away from England. They fought hard, of course, winning four of the next five points, but could not close the gap completely and when Ovtcharov punched a forehand down the line while practically falling over backwards, it brought up three match points.
They needed only one as a Drinkhall backhand spun long off the net and put the Germans into the semi-finals.
So once again Pitchford & Drinkhall prove they are amongst the best in the world, but cannot bag that elusive medal.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov & Patrick Franziska (GER) bt Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7)
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