Sam’s journey in the singles out in Slovenia started against Norwegian Borgar Haug, who was dispatched in four games, whilst his opponent, Rassenfosse, overcame world number 178 Vincent Picard of France 3-0 in the Round of 64 to set up the tie against Walker.
Sam took the first game 11-6 of the Last 32 fixture, and looked in good spirits heading into the second. Despite some phases where Rassenfosse looked more dominant, Sam found himself unlucky not to convert his game point before going on to lose 13-11.
From here, it looked as though the match could go either way with some great rallies being exchanged, and luck playing it’s hand with both of the players on occasion. Although the Belgian had the fine margins to see off the third game 11-8.
Sam showed great resilience in the fourth game and looked clinical, like he had done earlier in the match. With momentum swinging his way, he took the game 11-8 and sent it to a decider. Rassenfosse pulled out all of his tricks and managed to pull together a 5-1 lead, before Sam rallied back to level the scores at 8-8. From here, Sam saved a match point to send the decider in extra points. Agonisingly for Walker, Rassenfosse cashed in on the advantage and won the decider 12-10 to send the Englishman packing.
England’s other competitors in Otočec were already been eliminated, with Tom Jarvis succumbing to Poland’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk in the Round of 64. Andrew Baggaley was also taking part in the qualifying rounds, and he beat Lee Seunghwan of South Korea 3-0 in Round 1 before losing Nandor Ecseki of Hungary in the second round of qualifying.
In the Men’s Doubles, Jarvis and Walker teamed up, but in a thrilling and narrow matchup against Zhou Kai & Liu Dingshuo of China, the English pair lost 3-2 despite coming from a game down on two occasions. They lost the fifth 11-9.
For all results from the English contingent at the WTT Feeder Otočec, see below. And to keep up to date with matches, visit the WTT event page here.
Qualifying round 1
Andrew Baggaley (ENG) bt Lee Seunghwan (KOR) 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-6)
Qualifying round 2
Nandor Ecseki (HUN) bt Andrew Baggaley (ENG) 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-8)
Round of 64
Maciej Kolodziejczyk (POL) bt Tom Jarvis (ENG) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-6)
Sam Walker (ENG) bt Borgar Haug (NOR) 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 13-11)
Round of 32
Adrien Rassenfosse (BEL) bt Sam Walker 3-2 (6-11, 13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10)
Round of 16
Zhou Kai & Liu Dingshuo (CHN) bt Tom Jarvis & Sam Walker (ENG) 3-2 (11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9)