Sam Walker celebrates his victory (ITTF picture by Remy Gros)

Walker wins European Games thriller

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Please note - this news article was published more than one year ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Sam Walker dug deep to beat the host nation’s Pavel Platonov and advance to the third round of the men’s singles at the European Games in Minsk.

Walker took the first two games on deuce but was stunned as the Belarussian fought back to lead 3-2. But the Englishman rallied and claimed the last two games to secure a 4-3 victory.

He joins fourth seed Liam Pitchford in the third round – Pitchford was seeded to that stage – and will next play No 10 seed Jonathan Groth of Denmark.

Pitchford’s opponent is Greek star Panagiotis Gionis, with both matches to be played on Sunday – Pitchford at 4pm UK time and Walker an hour later.

Tin-Tin Ho in action in Minsk (ITTF picture by Remy Gros)

The two women representing Team GB in Minsk both went out of the singles to higher-ranked opponents, though Tin-Tin Ho did get through her first-round match against Anna Kirichenko of Finland in four straight.

She then faced Yang Xiaoxin (WR 73) of Monaco and was beaten 4-0, and it was the same score for Charlotte Carey as she started her campaign in the second round against Amelie Solja of Austria (WR 67).

Ho said: “Although it was 4-0 it’s a bit frustrating because I could have got at least three sets. A bit disappointed, but at the same time I didn’t play well enough to win.”

Click the play button below to hear more of Tin-Tin’s interview.

Carey said: “Obviously I’m pretty disappointed. I beat her the last time but she was a lot more consistent this time. It’s a very difficult style to play, with the anti-spin and long pimples on forehand.

“It’s hard to try to get through a player like that. She was kind of like a wall and I didn’t have the power to get through her. I need to keep workin on playing against those strange, tricky styles.”

Results

Men’s Singles
Second round
Sam Walker bt Pavel Platonov (BLR) 4-3 (13-11, 12-10, 5-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6)

Women’s Singles
First round
Tin-Tin Ho bt Anna Kirichenko (FIN) 4-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5)

Second round
Amelie Solja (AUT) bt Charlotte Carey 4-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6)
Yang Xiaoxin (MON) bt Ho 4-0 (13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7)

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