Sam Walker and Charlotte Bardsley were both eliminated from their respective singles at the European Championships in Warsaw today – but both still have the doubles to aim for.
Walker, who finished second in his group yesterday, went into the qualification rounds to earn a place in the main draw, and he advanced through the first of those with a four-game victory over Eric Glod of Luxembourg (WR 210).
He next faced Tobias Rasmussen of Denmark, a player he knows well having partnered him to the Men’s Doubles quarter-finals of these championships in 2018 – the first English player to have reached that stage since 1990.
It was close, but once Rasmussen had edged the first two games 13-11, 11-9, it was a big ask for Walker, and the Dane was able to close out the match in the third game, 11-6.
Walker is through to the main draw of the doubles, however, as he and partner Filip Zeljko of Croatia defeated Michael Tauber & Yonatan Shusterman of Israel in three straight.
In the Women’s Singles, Bardsley had chances in her third and final group match, against the second-ranked player in the group, Bernadett Balint of Hungary. The tie was effectively a winner-take-all match to see who would qualify behind the top player in the group, Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc.
Bardsley led 10-8 and 11-10 in the first game against Balint, and later saved three game points before losing it 16-14. She then fought back from 8-2 down to lead 11-10 in the second, but saw her opponent hit back to win that game 13-11.
Thereafter it proved too much for the Englishwoman to turn around and she lost the third and final game 11-3.
Meanwhile, Wales’ Anna Hursey, the youngest competitor in the field, reached the main draw as she topped her qualifying group thanks to a 3-1 (11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6) victory over Prithika Pavade of France – her second win over a higher-ranked opponent.
Tin-Tin Ho starts her singles campaign against Ana Tofant of Slovenia in the round of 64 at 3.10pm on table 7, while Paul Drinkhall is on at the same stage of the Men’s Singles at 5.10pm against Adam Szudi of Hungary on table 6. Neither match will be live-streamed.
Ho & Bardsley take on German 15th seeds Nina Mittelham & Sabine Winter in the Women’s Doubles round of 32. The match is on table 3 at 10.15am UK time. Walker & Zeljko are on the same table at 11.15am in their Men’s Doubles round of 32 clash against Samuel Kulczycki & Maciej Kubik of Poland, the 14th seeds.
Preliminary round 1
Sam Walker bt Eric Glod (LUX) 3-1 (11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5)
Preliminary round 2
Tobias Rasmussen (DEN) bt Walker 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-6)
Qualifying group 19
Bernadett Balint (HUN) bt Charlotte Bardsley 3-0 (16-14, 13-11, 11-3)
Qualifying round 1
Sam Walker & Filip Zeljko (CRO) bt Michael Tauber & Yonatan Shusterman (ISR) 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-3)