Three from four for England players in singles

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Andrew Baggaley won both his matches as the Men’s Singles got under way at the European Championships in Ekaterinburg.

But the Milton Keynes player was forced to dig deep in his first match, coming from 2-0 down to see off Macedonia’s Denis Terna 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7).

He followed up with a comfortable defeat of Swiss world No 436 Nicolas Champod in three straight – 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.

Baggaley is in a group of five and will play Kestutis Zeimys (LTU, 405) and Yaroslav Zhmudenko (UKR, 150) on Thursday.

Sam Walker was defeated in his first match against left-handed world No 307 Shimon Rabinovich when, despite battling back from 2-0 down and saving three match points in two separate sets, he saw his Israeli opponent win it 3-2 (11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 12-14, 9-11).

Walker bounced back to beat Khayal Hashimli of Azerbaijan at a canter, 11-1, 11-6, 11-5.

He faces world No 104 Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania in his final group match tomorrow at 7.30am UK time the match is due to be live streamed – click here to view

Only the group winners advance to the main draw, with a total of four lucky losers also going into the last 64.

But there was bad news for Danny Reed, who was forced to withdraw from the event through illness, which also meant no place in the doubles for him and Walker.

Baggaley also had to scratch from the doubles because of an injury to his partner, Espen Ronneberg of Norway.

Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford are seeded through to the later stages of the event – Drinkhall is No 15 seed and Pitchford No 19 in the singles and the pair are seeded 12th in the doubles.

Pitchford’s first singles match is scheduled for 4.30pm UK time on Thursday, with Drinkhall on 45 minutes later.

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