Snooker: Walker targets last 16 of German Masters

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Hot prospect Joel Walker believes he has got nothing to lose when he faces Jamie Burnett in the last 32 of the German Masters this afternoon.

The Sheffield potter rattled off three frames in a row to defeat Aditya Mehta 5-4 in the first round of the world ranking event, held at the Tempodrom in Berlin, yesterday.

Walker, who qualified for the tournament, which runs until February 2, after humbling Robert Milkins at the Barnsley Metrodome last month, is 46 places below Burnett in the world rankings.

Nonetheless, the 19-year-old is confident he can defy the odds and beat Burnett, who cruised past Ratchayothin Yotharuck by five frames to two.

Walker told The Star: “I’m really looking forward to playing Jamie. He is a great player who has a lot of experience.

“I’m just treating it like any other match. If I play to my best, I will have a good chance of winning. On current form, I feel like I can compete against anyone.

“I am young and I am learning with every match. I’ve certainly not got anything to lose when I play Jamie. I’m just going to go out there, try and enjoy the occasion and concentrate on my own game.”

When asked to assess his performance against Mehta, the world number 86 claimed he “played good in patches”. Walker scored heavily amongst the balls, with clearances of 74, 104, 54 and then a superb 97 break in the decider.

“I’ve been scoring really well since the end of last year,” he said. “My scoring seems to have moved up a level or two since October/November. I’m pretty pleased with my form.

“Both Aditya and I struggled at times and then I would clear up - it is such a strange game! I played good in patches. I just hope I am a bit more consistent when I play Jamie [Burnett] in my next match. I just need to cut out the few mistakes I am making and I will do alright.

“I know if I can get my long potting going that I can do well.”

Walker has already pocketed £6,500 for reaching the second round of the Masters. Either he or Burnett will play Dechawat Poomjaeng of Xiao Guodong in the last 16.