Italy defeat leaves England in 20th place

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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England men ended their European Championships team event with a 3-0 defeat to Italy in Ekaterinburg today as they finished in 20th position.

With Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall not in action, Sam Walker led England off but was beaten in three straight by world No 243 Marco Rech Daldosso (6-11, 9-11, 5-11).

Danny Reed then had his first action of the tournament in the second match, but the outcome was the same as he was defeated by No 232 Leonardo Mutti (5-11, 9-11, 10-12).

Andrew Baggaley twice came from a set down to level against world No 105 Niagol Stoyanov before eventually losing it 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 4-11).

Focus for the men now turns to the Singles and Doubles events, which begin tomorrow.

In the singles, Pitchford and Drinkhall are seeded into the main draw, while Baggaley, Walker and Reed start in in the qualifying groups.

Reed is in Group 3 with Wen He Zhi of Spain, Tomislav Pucar of Croatia and Austria’s Dominik Habesohn, while Walker is in Group 12 with Israel’s Shimon Rabinovich, Khayal Hashimli of Azerbaijan and Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania.

In Group 27, Baggaley is up against four opponents – Denis Terna of Macedonia, Switzerland’s Nicolas Champod, Kestutis Zeimys of Lithuania and Yaroslav Zhmudenko of Ukraine.

In the doubles, Reed & Walker face French pair Tristan Flore & Stephan Ouaiche, Robin Devos & Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium and Alessando Baciocchi (ITA) & Patryk Zatowka (POL) in Group 5.

In Group 6, Andrew Baggaley partners Norway’s Espen Ronneberg and will face Ewardus Oostwouder (NED) & Jan Zibrat (SLO), Eric Glod & Luka Mladenovic of Luxembourg and Italian pair Mihai Bobocica & Leonardo Mutti.

Pitchford & Drinkhall again enter the competition at a later stage.

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