On-fire Walker upsets Reed

Author:
Russell Moore

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Sam Walker continued his rich vein of form to pull off the biggest shock in the Men’s Singles by knocking-out fourth seed Daniel Reed on Saturday afternoon.

Following up from his courageous Men’s Under 21 final triumph on Friday night, the 17-year-old showed true class to battle past Reed in six thrilling games.

His victory was the highlight of a Men’s Singles competition that is delicately poised after a raft of exciting matches.

The fixture, switched to the livestream table because of its potential, duly delivered in an action packed first two games that both went to deuce. Walker first signalling his intentions in the opener 14-12 before Reed replied with his own game 12-10.

However, the third game turned out to be a crucial blow, both in terms of scoreline and mentality as Walker blew the 23-year-old away 11-2. With Reed still recovering, the under 21s champion won the fourth game 11-9 and opened up a 3-1 lead.

Although Reed replied with his own game 11-4, the damage was done and Walker’s 11-7 sixth game saw him home to a quarter-final meeting with ‘Big D’ Chris Doran, who won both his matches 4-0 against Sam Perry and Sean Cullen respectively.

Elsewhere, top seed and defending champion, Paul Drinkhall, booked his place in the last eight with two confident 4-0 victories. First he beat Laurence Sweeney in straight games after the junior had beaten Daniel Lowe in a mammoth seven-gamer, before the English no. 1 saw off Damien Nicholls 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-5, 13-11).

Meeting him in the quarter-finals will be David McBeath who beat Adam Nutland 4-1 and Lorestas Trumpauskas 4-0 (11-5, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8).

The bottom half of the draw will see Liam Pitchford and Darius Knight meet in a hotly-anticipated quarter-final.

Last year Pitchford met Andrew Baggaley at the same stage and this year his fixture with Knight looks just as enticing. The English no. 2 made the last eight comfortably after consecutive 4-0 wins over Danny Lawrence and Alim Hirji (11-7, 13-11, 11-4, 11-9).

However, Knight had a marathon encounter with Matt Ware before he could book his place. Despite leading 2-0 and 3-1, Knight was pegged back to 3-3 by the determined Ware. In the end Knight’s attacking prowess shone through as he sealed an epic seven-game match 4-3 (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6).

The final fixture sees Andrew Baggaley face Gavin Evans after both overcame testing last 16 matches. Baggaley fell 2-0 behind to Will Maybanks before recovering to win 4-2 (11-13, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7), while Evans defeated Mike O’Driscoll 4-1 at the same stage.

Men’s Singles Quarter-Final Draw:

Paul Drinkhall v David McBeath

Chris Doran v Sam Walker

Andrew Baggaley v Gavin Evans

Darius Knight v Liam Pitchford

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