Sam Walker

Sam Walker clinched an impressive victory over Frenchman Quentin Robinot to earn a crack at fifth seed Maharu Yoshimura at the Belarus Open – and also took on the doubles top seeds.

Walker, ranked No 186 in the world, won a tight match against 134-ranked Robinot 4-2 (11-13, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10) in Minsk.

It saw him go through to face world No 43 Yoshimura of Japan in the last 32, and although the Worksop player acquitted himself well, he was unable to cause an upset and went down 4-1 (7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11).

Earlier in the competition, Walker won his two group matches with something to spare, beating Artjom Lohvinov of the host nation 4-1 (11-4, 11-6, 11-2, 10-12, 11-4) and Russia’s Alan Zaikin also 4-1 (10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 14-12).

In the Men’s Doubles, Walker and his partner Alvaro Robles of Spain sunk the sixth seeds as they marched into the quarter-finals.

The pair were given a bye into the second preliminary round, where they beat Illia Barbolin & Vitaly Nekhvedovich of Belarus 3-2 (5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4).

That put them into the last 16, where they extended their run with a 3-1 victory over Romanian duo Ovidiu Ionescu & Hunor Szocs (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8).

In the quarters, they faced top-seeded Russians Mikhail Paikov & Grigory Vlasov but it proved a step too far as they were beaten 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

In the Under-21 Men’s Singles, Walker was seeded sixth and went straight into the last 16.

However, he was beaten by Italian Leonardo Mutti, who came from behind and won it 3-2 in a close fifth (6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 14-12).