Battling Walker poised for Burnett showdown after Mehta victory

Joel Walker has spoken of his joy at reaching the last 32 of the German Masters - but he had to do it the hard way.

The prodigiously talented cueman, ranked 86 in the world, looked on the brink of bowing out of the world ranking event, staged at the Tempodrom in Berlin, at the first hurdle yesterday after losing the opening three frames to Aditya Mehta.

But Sheffield potter Walker rallied, winning the next two frames after clearances of 74 and 104.

Mehta comfortably secured the sixth, meaning the Indian only needed one more frame to seal his place in the next round of the tournament.

However, Walker had other ideas, edging a scrappy seventh before claiming the final two frames thanks to breaks of 54 and 97.

The 19-year-old felt he played “well in patches” against Mehta but accepts he needs to play much better if he is to defeat Jamie Burnett this afternoon. The world number 40 eased past Ratchayothin Yotharuck.

Walker, who has earned £6,500 for qualifying for the second round of the Masters, said: “Both Mehta and I struggled at times but I played well in patches. There were times when I didn’t play well and then I would clear up - it is such a strange game!”