Sam Walker in action in Nantes (ITTF picture by Remy Gros)

Walker at double in winning start for England

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Sam Walker staved off any threat of a shock as England got their European Team Championships campaign off to a winning start against Luxembourg in Nantes today.

Walker sealed a 3-1 victory for England in Group 6, though he had to fight back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to overcome Eric Glod. With England leading overall 2-1 at the time, Luxembourg may have sensed a chance of victory when left-hander Glod moved to within a set of making it 2-2. However, Walker got a grip on proceedings to take the next two sets 11-6, 11-3 and confirm England’s winning start.

Earlier, Paul Drinkhall made a good start to his match, taking the first 11-5 against Glod, but saw his opponent hit back 12-10. Once Drinkhall edged the third 11-9, he asserted his class against the world No 225 to take the fourth 11-4.

Walker needed only three against Gilles Michely, currently ranked at 385 in Match 2 – though he did need to save three game points in the third before completing his 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 victory.

Tom Jarvis’ opponent was Luka Mladenovic, the closest match on paper as Mladenovic is 19 places below the Englishman at No 199 in the world. And it was Mladenovic who took it 3-1 to keep his nation in the match – before Walker shut the door on any potential upset with his victory over Glod.

England do not have a match tomorrow as Luxembourg meet Belarus. England are next in action in the group’s final match at 9am UK time on Thursday against Belarus, with Liam Pitchford likely to come back into the line-up.

Video

Drinkhall v Glod
Walker v Michely
Jarvis v Mladenovic
Walker v Glod

Results

Group 6
England 3 Luxembourg 1
Paul Drinkhall bt Eric Glod 3-1 (11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4)
Sam Walker bt Gilles Michely 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 12-10)
Luka Mladenovic bt Tom Jarvis 3-1 (11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-4)
Walker bt Glod 3-2 (7-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3)

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