July 16, 2022
Ivanovskaia Snatches Victory from Defeat’s Jaws to Advance to World Games Semifinal
Veronika Ivanovskaia 9-8 Rubilen Amit
Thursday night, Rubilen Amit of the Philippines stunned Germany’s Pia Filler with a pressure-packed, come-from-behind 9-8 victory, winning three consecutive racks to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
A mere 24 hours later, it appeared history might be repeating itself, as Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage, only to watch it all evaporate as a handful of missed shots allowed her opponent to climb back into the match and tie the score, 8-8.
“I couldn’t finish easy tables anymore,” said Ivanovskaia. ”I was shaking and my head was all over.”
While the Filipino used a heavy dose of luck to advance the night before, this time her luck ran out, as Ivanovskaia received a timely roll after a missed shot to defeat Amit, 9-8, and advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
With the score tied at eight games each, Amit scratched on the break and gave the ball-in-hand to her opponent, who promptly missed a routine 3 ball minutes later. Fortunately for the German, the object ball rolled to a safe place on the table and forced her opponent to execute a kick shot. Amit’s kick left a wide-open table and, despite the rattled nerves along with the memory of a handful of missed shots, Ivanovskaia closed out the final rack with authority, rifling each ball into the pocket with confidence.
“I said to myself, ‘this is your final chance and if you don’t take it, then you’re just stupid,’” she said. “I just tried to stay committed on my shots and focus on my cue action and just make the
Chieh-Yu Chou 9, Eunji Park 1
Chinese Taipei’s Chieh-Yu Chou led start-to-finish in her match against Korea’s Eunji Park and coasted to a commanding 9-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the World Games in Birmingham.
“I think I had a pretty good break today at the beginning and at the end,” said Chou.
After winning the first two racks, Park climbed onto the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 2-1. That would be her lone win of the match, as Chou won seven straight games to close out the set and advance to the semifinals.
Park’s play was the polar opposite of what she had exhibited a day earlier when she battled to the wire to defeat Monica Webb of the United States, 9-8, in the opening round, struggling with her break and ball pocketing throughout the evening session match.
“Yesterday, I think I had a good influence on the game by preparing my mind before the game and today, unlike yesterday, I lost because I was nervous,” said Park.
Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-9 John Morra
Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 7-11 Aloysuis Yapp
Aloysius Yapp will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in The World Games semi-finals. Pehlivanovic overturned a 5-1 deficit to beat John Morra 11-9, while Yapp defeated Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11-7.
Morra opened an early 5-1 lead over his opponent, but a scratch on the 7 ball allowed Pehlivanovic back in and the European 10-Ball Champion seized his moment, putting together a four-pack to tie the match.
The Canadian responded in the 11th to regain the lead at 6-5 but missed the 9 in the subsequent game. Pehlivanovic could only go safe and Morra made an up-table bank to lead 5-7.
The Bosnian took the next game and a golden break had him level at 7-7. The match continued to swing back and forth before it was the Bosnian who arrived first on the hill, and he wasn’t going to let his opportunity slip and he closed out an 11-9 victory.
“I was down 5-1 because I started badly. The last couple of months every match I was losing, I won, so that is good and gives me confidence. I had a little bit of luck, the same as him but I am happy to be in the semi-final. When he scratched on the 7, that was the turning point and I tried to play every rack as if it was the last one.
“It would be a dream to win The World Games. This is an important match tomorrow so I will look forward to it. To be the first player from Boznia to win a billiards gold, for the country, I cannot find the words to describe how big that achievement would be.
Yapp earned his place in the semis with an 11-7 win against in-form Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz of Spain. Sanchez-Ruiz had early leads of 2-1 and 4-2 before Yapp found his stride to open up an 8-5 advantage. Despite winning games on his break, Sanchez-Ruiz wasn’t given chances by Yapp, who closed out an 11-7 win.
Florian Nuessle 1-3 Abdelrahman Shahin
29-55, 65-36, 37-70, 21-59
Darren Morgan 3-1 Antoni Kowalski
75-56 (52), 20-73, 66-9, 84-0 (73)
Darren Morgan completed his World Games quarter-final win over Poland’s Antoni Kowalski with a 73 break as he set up a semi-final clash with Egypt’s Abdelrahman Shahin.
Morgan had won the opening frame despite the Polish youngster making a 52. It was a 48 followed by a visit of 20 which got Morgan on the board but he was pegged back to 1-1 after a 40 by Kowalski. That was the last meaning visit for the Polish potter, however, as Morgan made a 49 to lead 2-1 and closed out the match with a 73.
“It was always going to be a tough match, Anton is a top up and coming player and has showed that over the last couple of years,”said the Welshman. “I knew I wouldn’t have it all my own way and I knew I would have to play well. After beating Pankaj last night it settled me down. It’s all about me, and if I can hold myself together. I am very pleased with the way I closed the match out because there were a couple of tricky shots.
“You take each match as it comes and the only person I am worried about is me; if I turn up I have a chance against anybody.”
Shahin won his place in the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over 20-year-old Austrian Nuessle. Shain took a low-scoring first frame but Nuessle replied with a 48 to level at 1-1. With notable breaks at a premium, the following two frames were about scoring where possible and Shahin managed to accumulate 70 points to take a 2-1 lead, and 59 in the fourth frame to progress to the semi-finals.
Jose Juan Garcia 40, Tran Quyet Chieh 26
The improvement in the quality of play in cue sports in South America has been noticeable in recent years.
This spring, Peru’s Christopher Tevez and advanced all the way to the finals of the Predator World 10-Ball championship and fellow countryman Gerson Martinez Bosa as well as Argentina’s Ariel Casto have been known in recent years to take down a major champion from time to time.
Now, the continent has another bullet point on its expanding resume, with Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez advancing to the semifinals of the carom three-cushion competition of the World Games in Birmingham. Playing in his first World Games, Garcia used a workmanlike consistency to collect points against Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chieh, who is ranked number three in the world. The two previously met in Los Angeles a couple of months earlier with Chieh emerging victorious.
“It gave me motivation, not for revenge to pass the last final and give me the concentration and power to finish the match,” said Garcia.
Garcia only amassed one break of five straight points through the match but was consistently able to rack up two-or-three points at a clip as his opponent usually couldn’t score much more than a single point in an inning.
“I’m really happy,” he said. “This is very special for me.”
Pedro Gonzalez 40, Kouji Funaki 24
Pedro Gonzalez implemented a similar style as his countryman on his way to a 40-24 victory over Japan’s Kouji Funaki in the quarterfinals of the World Games carom three-cushion tournament Friday evening.
Much like Garcia, Gonzalez was unable to go on a long break in order to rack up points, instead tacking on two-or-three at a clip while building a 10-point shortly after the halfway intermission. Trailing 28-15, Funaki would use a three-point and two-point break to cut the lead to 29-20 but that was as close as he would get, with Gonzalez using a three-point and four-point run to increase his lead to 38-20 and continue to apply pressure to Funaki, who defeated Marco Zanetti in the opening round of play.
Funaki would tack on two straight points to cut the lead to 39-22, but was unable to cut into the lead any further, as Gonzalez ended the match in the next frame with a single point.
The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl
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