Europe Youth Top10 achievements for Ho and Walker

Russell Moore

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Tin-Tin Ho and Sam Walker performed admirably at their respective Europe Youth Top10 debuts to finish well in Terni, Italy.

Both were making their maiden appearances at one of Europe’s most elite youth tournaments where nine matches were spread out over three days to test the cream of the crop in a grueling format.

Tin-Tin began the competition well with a trio of victories on the opening day. Ranked above Cristina Dumitrache (ITA), Karoline Mischek (AUT) and Lisa Lung (BEL) she dropped just two games en route to three successive wins.

However, she encountered her first problem with a defeat to European teammate Andreea Clapa (ROU), to whom she lost 4-2 as the Romanian ultimately finished third.

The English girl’s challenge for the title took another setback when she lost to Germany’s Julia Kaim 4-2 late in the second day after she had beaten Anastasia Kolish 4-0 earlier.

Her toughest fixtures by far came on the final day where she lost a narrow encounter with doubles partner, defender Maria Malanina (RUS) 4-3 before also losing to the top seed, and eventual winner Adina Diaconu (ROU) 4-1 as she remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.

Her first-ever Top10 appearance did at least finish on a positive note with a 4-1 win over Jennie Wolf (GER) to secure an overall fifth-place finish.

Walker’s first appearance at the Europe Youth Top10 was a surprise after only originally being selected as the sixth reserve. However, as luck would have it, he got his opportunity and made the most of it by impressing against Europe’s best junior players.

He had a tough initiation on the first day with three consecutive defeats, but he has somewhat unfortunate to lose to both David Reitspies (CZE) and Can Akkuzu (FRA) 4-3 after going the full distance.

He may have been questioning himself after a fourth defeat to Jakub Dyjas (POL) – the eventual winner, but the Worksop-born star picked himself up to win three of his remaining four matches and finish seventh.

First he beat Filip Zeljko (CRO) 4-0 before pushing former European Junior Champion Leonardo Mutti (ITA) to six games. Then he recorded by far his best win by thumping Portugal’s Joao Geraldo 4-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4) on Sunday morning.

With his final match he ended the tournament in style by overturning a 3-2 deficit against Diogo Chen (POR) to finally win a seven-game match 4-3.

Europe Youth Top10 (Terni, ITA) Results
Junior Boys
Alexandre Robinot (FRA) bt Sam Walker 4-1 (11-6, 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7)
David Reitspies (CZE) bt Sam Walker 4-3 (8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3)
Can Akkuzu (FRA) bt Sam Walker 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7)
Jakub Dyjas (POL) bt Sam Walker 4-1 (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7)
Sam Walker bt Filip Zeljko (CRO) 4-0 (14-12, 11-8, 11-5, 13-11)
Leonardo Mutti (ITA) bt Sam Walker 4-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2)
Sam Walker bt Joao Geraldo (POR) 4-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4)
Sam Walker bt Diogo Chen (POR) 4-3 (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7)

Cadet Girls
Tin-Tin Ho bt Cristina Dumitrache (ITA) 4-1 (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Karoline Mischek (AUT) 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Lisa Lung (BEL) 4-1 (11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8)
Andreea Clapa (ROU) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-2 (11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 1-11, 11-7, 11-8)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Anastasia Kolish (RUS) 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 15-13, 11-7)
Julia Kaim (GER) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-2 (11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9)
Maria Malanina (RUS) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-3 (11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7)
Adina Diaconu (ROU) bt Tin-Tin Ho 4-1 (11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Jennie Wolf (GER) 4-1 (6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-2)

Written by Russell Moore (September 22, 2013)

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