Sam Walker rued missed chances as England were beaten 3-1 by Serbia in the final match of their European Championships Stage 1 campaign.
The Worksop Olympian went into his match against Aleksandar Karakasevic with the nations locked at 1-1 following Tom Jarvis’ 3-0 victory over Ivor Katic and Paul Drinkhall’s 3-2 defeat to Zsolt Peto.
Although he is now aged 42, Karakasevic is a four-time European mixed doubles champion and is renowned for his touch play. A close match ensued and Walker led 1-0 and trailed 2-1 before Karakasevic eventually completed a 3-2 (10-12, 13-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8) victory.
Walker felt he should have won the second set and that the outcome might have been different if he had.
“I don’t think I took my chances, especially in the second set, and to be fair after that, he played well. It was a tough match tactically. He’s got good touch and good angles and it wasn’t easy to play my game.
“It’s about trying to play my game and not let him play his. There were patches when I did that and patches when I didn’t. I think it would have been a different story if I’d have closed that second game.”
England went on to lose the tie 3-1 in Gillingham as Peto beat Jarvis 3-2 in the fourth match. It means England will finish second in their group, below Serbia and ahead of Bosnia, and now await the draw for the second phase of qualifying for the 2019 Championships.