The International Dr. Fazil Küçük 9-ball tournament was held for the first time last week in Kyrenia, Turkish North Cyprus.
The event started with a team competition. Nine nations have sent their youth teams to North Cyprus: Austria, Belarus, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey and North Cyprus. Team Sweden (consisting of Daniel Tangudd, Tian Zhang and Lukas Andersson) as well as Team Russia (Maksim Dudanets, Fedor Gorst and Marsel Safullin) reached the semi-final matches undefeated and were considered favorites in the field. The semi-final was the final destination for the Swedes. While Andersson won the 9-ball clearly with 7:0, Joey Haegmans (NED) took the 10-ball with 6:0 and tied the match at 1:1. Cyriel Ledoux (NED) was trailing 1:5 to Tangudd and it looked like a clear affair for team Sweden. But Ledoux pulled back rack after rack from Tangudd, tied the match at 5:5 and even managed to snatch the victory for his country with a 6:5 over Tangudd. That provided team The Netherlands with a spot in the final match.
The other semi-final match between Russia and Austria was a thriller as well. Daniel Guttenberger (AUT) took the point in 9-ball by a whisker with 7:6. Also by a hair’s breadth was the victory of Maksim Dudanets (RUS) over Ajdin Ljubunicic (AUT). 6:5 was the result on the scoreboard in favor of Dudanets. That brought this match also to a 1:1 tie situation. The decision had to come from the match between Daniel Resch (AUT) and Marsel Saiullin (RUS). After eight racks, the score was tied at 4:4. Then, Safiullin ran the table and got on the hill with 5:4. In the next rack, Resch was unlucky when he executed the break shot and the cue ball scratched. That was all Safiullin needed to clear the table and win the match with 6:4 to take his team Russia to the final of the team competition against The Netherlands.
The final match was clearly determined by the Russians. Dudanets defeated Ledoux 6:1 while Safiullin overpowered Haegmans 6:3. Team Russia won the team competition in North Cyprus.
After the team competition, an individual tournament in 9-ball was played with 33 players from 9 nations. That event was won by local hero Mehmetali Sözgen (TNC) in the final with a 7:3 victory over Daniel Tangudd (SWE). The Russian contestants Fedor Gorst and Maksim Dudanets both lost the semi-finals. Results from the individual tournament can be found here: