Sam Walker

Pitchford and Walker through

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker are left to fly the flag for England Leopards after the first day of the Czech Open in Olomouc.

Pitchford, fresh from defeating Ma Long at last week’s Bulgaria Open, twice trailed against 214th-ranked Qiu Dang of Germany but levelled and then took a pivotal fifth game 15-13 as he went on to prevail 4-2. He next plays Tamas Lakatos of Hungary, world ranked 137, on Wednesday.

Walker impressed in a 4-0 victory over Tobia Rasmussen (#220, DEN) and next faces Austria’s Daniel Habesohn, the world No 53, in the third preliminary round on Wednesday.

Tom Jarvis gave world No 89 Yukiya Uda of Japan an almighty fright. The 280th-ranked teenager, who came through the first preliminary round by beating Thomas Keinath of Slovakia in six, led Uda 3-1 and after the Japanese had fought back to take the fifth and sixth in short order, the decider went all the way before Jarvis lost it 13-11.

Like Pitchford and Walker, Paul Drinkhall was seeded through to the second preliminary round, and although he led China’s Zhang Yudong 2-1, his opponent stepped up to take the next three games.

In the first preliminary round, David McBeath went out in a deciding game to Yusuke Sadamatsu (#628, JPN), while Andrew Baggaley went out in five to the host nation’s Jakub Kleprlik (#679).

Tin-Tin Ho is the only English woman competing in Olomouc and was seeded into the second preliminary round, where she was beaten by China’s Wen Jia, ranked at No 178.

In their respective Under-21 events, Ho and Jarvis fell at the first hurdle to higher-ranked players, Ho at the hands of No 37 Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico and Jarvis to No 125 Andreas Levenko of Austria.

Results

Men’s Singles
Preliminary Round 1
Tom Jarvis bt Thomas Keinath (SVK) 4-2 (11-13, 11-7, 14-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6)
Yusuke Sadamatsu (JPN) bt David McBeath 4-3 (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6)
Jakub Kleprlik (CZE) bt Andrew Baggaley 4-1 (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 3-11, 11-7)

Preliminary Round 2
Liam Pitchford bt Qiu Dang (GER) 4-2 (8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8)
Zhang Yudong (CHN) bt Paul Drinkhall 4-2 (3-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6)
Sam Walker bt Tobias Rasmussen (DEN) 4-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10)
Yukiya Uda (JPN) bt Jarvis 4-3 (8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-2, 11-4, 13-11)

Women’s Singles
Preliminary Round 2
Wen Jia (CHN) by Tin-Tin Ho 4-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3)

Under-21 Men’s Singles
Round of 32
Andreas Levenko (AUT) bt Tom Jarvis 3-0 (13-11, 11-4, 14-12)

Under-21 Women’s Singles
Round of 32
Adriana Diaz (PUR) bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-6)

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