Sam Walker enjoyed one of the best victories of his career at the German Open as he defeated world No 43 Kim Donghyun.
The Worksop star raced into a 3-0 lead against his Korean opponent, who won the Bulgarian Open five months ago. Kim then fought back to close the gap to 3-2 but Walker was able to close out the match 4-2 (11-9, 11-4, 11-6, 12-14, 7-11, 11-6).
That put Walker through to the third preliminary round, but he was unable to repeat the feat against world No 66 Kirill Skachkov of Russia, going down 4-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7).
The event is the strongest in the 20-year history of the ITTF World Tour as players battle for ranking points in the run-up to the Rio Olympics. Walker’s victory is likely to move him up from the career-high No 165 he currently occupies.
The European Olympics qualifying tournament takes place in Istanbul in April.