Ouschan takes first blood in Tirana
In his first match at the Dynamic Billard Albanian Open in Tirana, Albania, newly crowned World 9-Ball Champion Albin Ouschan (AUT) took first blood with 9:6 over Jani Siekkinen (FIN).
Having just arrived this morning from Doha, Qatar, where he won the title of the World 9-ball Champion, Albin Ouschan had to be on duty again at 14:00 local time and cross swords with Jani Siekkinen in the Euro-Tour. The match started slow and Siekkinen got a small lead. When Ouschan had the chance to tie the match at 3:3, he even missed an easy 9-ball and allowed Siekkinen to gain a two-rack lead over him with 4:2. The audience was curious whether Ouschan had not yet overcome his travel exertions and whether he was able to bring his level of play on the table today. But that lack of concentration turned out to be a one off thing. In the rest of the match, the World Champion got more and more focussed and improved his performance step by step. After having trailed 3:5 in the match, Ouschan left not many chances anymore for Siekkinen. To the contrary, the Finish missed a few important shots and seemed to show some nervousness. That is a kind of weakness that one should not show when playing a heavyweight like Ouschan. The Austrian cruel-heartedly punished the mistakes from Siekkinen and finally took the match quite convincingly with 9:6.
Other remarkable results from today’s matches include Imran Majid (GBR) teaching a lesson to Dimitri Jungo (SUI) 9:1. Alen Muratovic (BIH), first medal winner for his country three years ago at the European Youth Championships, defeated Euro’s ranked #26 Daniel Tangudd (SWE) unexpectedly with 9:7. Tour leader Mark Gray (GBR) wasted no time with unrated local player Arenc Norja (ALB) and overpowered him with 9:1. The all-Polish matchup between Piotr Kudlik and Mieszko Fortunski went 9:8 in favor of Fortunski. Euro-Tour’s #6, Mario He (AUT) had a lot of work to do against young Andreas Madsen (DEN). After a tough fight and 16 exhausting racks, He was the winner with a close result of 9:7 only.
Another favorite who had to struggle more than he liked was BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet (GER). He had to deal with 16-year-old Osman Sanlisoy (TNC). What looked like a walk in the park for Souquet before the match turned into a nightmare for the German legend. After 14 racks, Souquet was with one foot in the grave, trailing 6:8 against Sanlisoy. With his own break coming up, he needed to win three consecutive racks in order to stay on the winner’s side. But he had no ball down on his break. Sanlisoy attempted a safety shot but left the 1-ball open for Souquet. The German cleared the table to get to 7:8. Rack 16 was opened by Sanlisoy then. He had a good break shot but the lowest numbered ball was a very tough thin cut. He attempted it and missed. He left a really tough shot for Souquet who actually made it into the pocket and cleared the table again, leveling the match hill-hill at 8:8. Now the advantage was on Souquet’s side. He had his own break shot coming up and took the last two racks off Sanlisoy. The pressure was strained to the breaking point. This time Souquet played a cut break and succeeded in pocketing the 1-ball in the side pocket. Three other balls broke the kitchen line so the break was legal and he also had a long shot at the 2-ball. He played a safety shot and left no other chance to Sanlisoy than leaving him a shot. Souquet took the chance and sneaked over the winning-line, winning the match 9:8 over strong Osman Sanlisoy.
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