Super Sam takes big scalp before great runs end

Paul Stimpson

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Sam Walker in action in Budapest (Picture: ITTF)

Sam Walker came from 3-1 down to reach the last 32 of the Hungarian Open today with one of the best victories of his career.

The Worksop teenager, ranked No 268 in the world, trailed to No 79 Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece in his last-64 clash in Budapest, but his got his game together to turn the match around and advance 4-3 (6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8).

It follows his victory over world No 168 Jeremy Petiot of France in the final preliminary round yesterday, when he lost the first set before coming back to prevail 4-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 14-12).

Walker’s run came to an end in the last 32 as he lost to Frenchman Antoine Hachard, ranked No 170 on the ITTF list, despite fighting hard on his way to a 2-4 (8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 3-11, 11-2, 6-11) defeat.

Walker also moved into the quarter-finals of the under-21 singles. He today beat Chia-Sheng Lee of Taipei 3-2, withstanding a comeback from his opponent to win 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6.

He then eliminated Asuka Sakai of Japan 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-6). His run was ended by Cheng-Ting Liao of Taipei who, despite Walker coming from 2-0 down to level after a monumental fourth set, won 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 12-14, 11-5).

Walker and David McBeath are out of the doubles, beaten last night by Deni Kozul and Ludvik Persolja of Slovenia 2-3 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 6-11).

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