July 15, 2022
Park Survives and Advances in Opening Round of World Games
Eunji Park 9, Monica Webb 8
South Korea’s Eunji Park fought back from an early 3-0 deficit in her round-of-16 match and defeated American Monica Webb, 9-8.
Webb had an opportunity to increase her lead in the fourth game but missed the winning 9 ball. Park climbed onto the scoreboard then won the next two to tie the match and the two players battled back-and-forth the rest of the way, with neither competitor holding more than a two-rack lead. Park climbed ahead 7-6 after Webb missed the 4 ball but the American quickly tied the score again when Park failed to pocket a ball on the break. Park pulled ahead again when she potted a successful combination shot on the 9 ball in the 15th rack but Webb was able to gut out the next game with a pair of victorious safety exchanges.
At the table with the break and a chance to win the match, Webb was unable to pocket a ball on the break and Park ran out the rack to snatch the victory.
“I feel like I played well, except for a couple of shots,” said Webb after the match. “I think she played well. She did her thing. I feel like I got a little unfortunate in that set, but with single elimination, that’s what we’re dealing with.”
Chieh-Yu Chou 9, Adriana Villar 6
Former Amway World Open champion Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei came from behind and used an innovative jump shot to get past Costa Rica’s Adriana Villar, 9-6.
Chou jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage against Villar before the Costa Rican won four consecutive racks to build a 5-3 lead. Chou, starting to feel some pressure in championship competition, took a timeout to walk away and collect her thoughts.
“Before the timeout I felt like I was getting tense,” she said though her translator after the match. “After the time out, I relaxed and felt like I was okay.”
Villar, who struggled with her break at times, failed to maintain momentum as Chou on two of the next three to tie the match at six racks each. The player from Chinese Taipei, who was setting up the cue ball in the center of the table for break shots, regained the lead with a break and run in the 13th game to regain a 7-6 lead. After her opponent snookered her with a safety on the 2 ball, Chou jumped the cue ball over the blocking 7 ball, struck the 2 ball and watched the cue ball roll across table and pocket the game-winning 9 ball.
“I knew that was the route for the 9 ball but I know that was also lucky,” she said.
Chou then closed out the match with another break and run to eliminate Villar.
“I feel good about how I played but she’s a good player,” Villar said.
Tran Quyet Chien 40, Javier Teran 19
Ecuador’s Javier Teran jumped out to an early lead thanks to a 10 break early in his match with Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chien, but a missed chance at extending the break further allowed his opponent to the table, missing the object ball by a hair.
“I missed it by nothing and I left the game open so he could get into it really fast,” said Teran.
Chien did exactly that, using four breaks of five-or-more points to cruise to victory in his opening round match of three-cushion competition.
Chien executed a six-point break to cut his deficit to 10-9, connected on another six-pointer to tie the match 16-16 then took the lead with an eight-point break which gave him a 24-16 advantage. He then put the match out of reach with a 13-point break which increased his lead to a commanding 37-17. Meanwhile, Teran struggled to connect on many points in the second half of the match.
“I started to really struggle and he started to get confidence and make more and more balls,” said Teran.
Jose Juan Garcia 40, Tayfun Tasdemir 35
Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia and Turkey’s Tayfun Tasdemir staged a nip-and-tuck, back-and-forth match in their opening round-of-16 match Thursday afternoon in which neither player could gain any kind of momentum as both struggled to score points. After Tasdemir used a four-break and a three-break to build a 10-5 advantage, his opponent came back with runs of four, three and five points to build a 21-15 lead at intermission.
The second half continued in much the same fashion, as the two competitors traded points and the lead down the stretch. After Garcia built a 29-22 lead, Tasdemir used a 10-break to snag a 32-29 lead, only to watch his opponent run off four straight to regain the lead, 33-32. The player from Turkey ticked off three consecutive points to snatch the lead again but Garcia followed by putting up a four-break to establish a 37-35 advantage.
Tasdemir mounted one last attempt at regaining the lead but watched as the cue ball double-kissed a moving ball and took the carom out of play.
Florian Nuessle 3-0 Renat Denkha
71-2, 57-44, 86-35
Abdelrahman Shahin 3-0 Victor Sarkis
59-55, 125-4 (95), 61-55
Under-21 World Champion Florian Nuessle took a little over an hour to defeat USA’s Renat Denkha and reach the quarter-finals of the snooker division, where he’ll face Egypt’s Abdelrahman Shahin on Friday.
Both players won their last 16 matches 3-0, with Shahin also setting the tournament high break of 95. The Egyptian had won the first frame against Brazil’s Victor Sarkis on the black before his 95 made the second frame a more comfortable affair. The third was another close one and the Egyptian required the pink and blue after Sarkis’ attempt at winning the frame broke down on the brown.
Shahin will now face Nuessle, the 20-year-old from Graz, in Friday’s last eight. The Austrian made breaks of over 30 in all three frames and is enjoying the experience of playing The World Games.
“It is the first time at The World Games for me, so it is a new experience and I am glad to have the first match completed now,” he said. “It is exciting to be here; it gives me a boost and an adrenaline rush, so that is all helping and I feel quite comfortable.
“I love watching everyone and supporting Austria, it is brilliant to be here. I am quite comfortable and quite confident and I have high expectations, especially now coming from good achievements back home. There is some interest from media back home, and the snooker community is all following me, so it is quite exciting.”
John Morra 11-5 Hunter Lombardo
Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-3 Omar Al-Shaheen*
*Al-Shaheen forfeited the match at 7-3
Canada’s John Morra will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the Men’s Pool quarter-finals after a dominant 11-5 display against Hunter Lombardo.
Two sets of four consecutive games helped the Canadian to an 10-2 lead in the match. USA’s Lombardo, who only received the call to play this event at the end of last week, showed grit and determination in taking three games with his opponent on the hill, but the alternative break format was always going to afford Morra a chance to see out the win, and a runout in the 16th saw him complete an 11-5 win.
“I played well and was comfortable until 10-2, and then started to feel a little fatigued and made a few mistakes,” said Morra. “I broke well throughout the match, felt confident and was calm out there and comfortable with the conditions.
“I got tired towards the end of the match because I didn’t sleep too well last night. I was waiting for that opportunity to close out the match and I broke and ran out with a good shot on the 7; I wasn’t sure if it was going to drop but the pocket accepted the ball.
“I have represented Canada many times but never at this event, and it is awesome. It is an honor to be here, playing this event for the love of the game. The pure enjoyment and passion is what made me fall in love with the game and it is nice to know I still have it 20 years later.”
Despite his defeat, Lombardo was pleased to represent USA in this event and was determined to fight until the end despite a huge scoreboard deficit. “John played great. Every time he broke he seemed to run out and I broke dry a couple of times, and he capitalized when I missed a couple of balls early on.
“I hung in there and never quit; there was a time when things shifted a little bit but in the end he made a really nice out on the hill.”
Pehlivanovic, the European 10-Ball Champion, awaits Morra in the next round. The Bosnia and Herzegovina representative was 7-3 up against Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen when the 2021 World Championship runner-up forfeited the match.
“I understand he didn’t have his own cue,” said Pehlivanovic. “I feel bad for him because these things happen. I was happy with how I was playing and I will continue with that into the next round. The only thing is the break wasn’t quite working for me.”
One of the great aspects of The World Games is the number of other sports taking place, and Pehlivanovic was happy to find some time to take them in. “At home I do boxing for fitness, so it was incredible to watch some kick boxing yesterday; I loved it.”
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
Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.