Walker marches into last fourPhoto: ITTF
Sam WALKER beat world No 46 Sathiyan GNANASEKARAN to move into the men’s singles semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games today, while Liam PITCHFORD & Paul DRINKHALL made it through into the men’s doubles final and Kim DAYBELL and Ross WILSON will meet in the men’s para final.
WALKER set down an early marker against his Indian opponent by marching out to a 7-1 lead in the first, and he was never behind as he went on to take a 4-0 victory.
Not that it was easy – far from it – as he took it 11-8, 11-8, 13-11, 17-15. That fourth was a real tussle as WALKER saved several game points but saw his opponent save two match points. The Worksop man saved another game point at 14-15 and then took his next chance to set up a clash with Singapore’s GAO Ning.
However, Liam PITCHFORD will not repeat his singles medal heroics from Glasgow 2014 after losing a tight match to India’s Sharath Kamal ACHANTA. It was close throughout the quarter-final against the world No 48, with only one of the six games having more than two points between the athletes. ACHANTA twice came from a game down to level and just kept himself in front for most of the last two games to win 4-2 (9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9) and go through to the last four.
But PITCHFORD will have the chance to go for gold in the men’s doubles as he and Drinkhall came through two matches today. They took a third match point against Harmeet Desai & Sanil Shetty of India to win 3-0 (11-7, 13-11, 13-11) and it is ACHANTA & GNANASEKARAN – who earlier beat WALKER & David MCBEATH – who await in the final tomorrow.