Round one completes as Alcaide fires into semis
THERE WERE two final first round matches as well as the first of the quarter-finals as play continued in Gibraltar at the 24th annual Dafabet World Pool Masters. Taking place at the Tercentenary Hall at the Victoria Stadium, there were wins for Chang Jung Lin, Omar Al Shaheen while defending champion Shane Van Boening saw his glorious run at the event come to a halt as Spain’s David Alcaide romped to an 8-3 win.
Taking place in Gibraltar, the Masters sees 16 top international players competing in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar to determine the destination of the $20,000 top prize. The whole event is broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland and on networks around the world.
In the opening match, 2013 Masters champ Niels Feijen endured a stinker to fall at the first hurdle to Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen by an 8-3 score line. The Dutchman made some elementary mistakes, missing pots and running out of position. Al Shaheen, though, was as sharp as a tack and looked composed throughout the match.
The Kuwaiti took the first two racks, not wasting anytime as he moved around the table. Feijen then found himself 5-1 down before he mounted a mini comeback including a golden break to get to 5-3.
That was Niels last positive contribution to the match as a couple more mistakes lead to his downfall. Al Shaheen brimming with confidence, finished off the match in style.
“You might not have seen it but inside me I am so nervous because Niels is one of the top players in the world and I got lucky because it wasn’t one of Niels’ best days,” said Shaheen.
“When you play Niels and you play that well, it gives you more confidence for the rest of the tournament. I will watch Chang and Gray, they are both tough players.”
It would be Chang, the World No.2, who the young Kuwaiti would be meeting as the Taiwanese overcame England’s Mark Gray in a high quality hard fought encounter. Both players played well but a couple of errors from Gray made the difference.
“I played solid in general but couple of missed shots hurt me. He didn’t miss which is what you expect from the Current World No.2,” said Gray.
The final match of the evening was the first of the four quarter-finals as Shane Van Boening looked to extend his winning run at the Masters to ten matches with David Alcaide standing in his way. With the balls racked by hand and with the one on the spot, players were finding that they needed to give it a good old fashioned dig.
Both players were performing well and at 3-3 the match was finely poised. Alcaide though took the next to reclaim his lead but scratched off the break to present ball in hand to Van Boening. He couldn’t capitalise as he hit the six ball instead of the two and with ball in hand, Alcaide converted for 5-3.
The Spaniard piled the pressure on Van Boening who was starting to feel it as the match went away from him. In the end, the focused Alcaide came with some great shots to close out the match with an 8-3 win.
Alcaide said; “Everybody knows against Shane I would need to play 100 percent. I think I lost one position in the match but otherwise I played perfectly. When I broke I maybe got a little bit lucky but you need some luck in pool.”
2017世界花式撞球大師賽繼續進行，在剩餘場次的首輪較量中，荷蘭名將”終結者” Niels Feijen 3-8慘遭去年世錦賽上大放異彩的科威特選手Omar Al Shaheen橫掃出局，張榮麟 8-6力克Mark Gray，而在率先開打的一場1/4決賽中，衛冕冠軍Van Boening遭遇重挫，3-8不敵西班牙的David Alcaide，止步八強。
在一場焦點戰役中，來自中東的科威特選手Omar Al Shaheen挑戰荷蘭名將“終結者” Feijen，Al Shaheen在去年卡達9球世錦賽上表現驚艷，以一匹黑馬之姿殺入到16強，而Feijen則是荷蘭雙雄之一，曾多次獲得各項賽事冠軍。兩人的比賽出人意料的出現了一邊倒的態勢，Al Shaheen幾乎沒有費多少周折便以8-3的巨大優勢奪得勝利，Feijen因此上演一輪遊。大勝晉級的Al Shaheen並沒有覺得輕鬆，他表示：“你不知道我心裡有多緊張，Feijen是世界頂尖選手之一，很幸運他今天不在最佳狀態”。
在首場比賽戰勝荷蘭”終結者”的Al Shaheen，下場比賽的對手將是目前世界排名第2的台灣名將”火雲邪神” 張榮麟。張榮麟首場比賽迎來了英國好手Mark Gray ，兩人的表現都非常好，共同獻上了一場高質量水平的比賽，但Gray所犯下的幾個失誤，則也成了此場比賽的勝敗關鍵。
而在率先進行的一場1/4決賽中，首日輕取開門紅的衛冕冠軍Van Boening遭遇重挫，在開局僵持後最終沒能招架住西班牙名將Alcaide的猛烈攻勢，3-8敗下陣來，衛冕夢碎，遺憾告別大師賽舞台。驚艷躋身四強的Alcaide說道：“每個人都知道和Van Boening對抗我必須發揮出百分百的實力，儘管第一局我有一個失誤，但其他方面我做得完美，或許比賽中我有受到好運照顧，但比賽中你需要有一些運氣”。
Round One 首輪
Niels Feijen (NED) 3 – 8 Omar Al Shaheen (KUW)
Chang Jung Lin 張榮麟 (TPE) 8 – 6 Mark Gray (ENG)
Quarter Finals 八強
Shane Van Boening (USA) 3 – 8 David Alcaide (ESP)
Play continues tomorrow at 13.00pm local time.
There are a total of five sessions of play and all tickets are available fromhttps://www.buytickets.gi/events/world-pool-masters-2017-87 or on the door.
The Masters carries an $80,000 prize fund, and the event is broadcast live for 20 hours in total.
The World Pool Masters is sponsored by the following suppliers: RASSON (tables), IWAN SIMONIS (cloth), SALUC (balls), PREDATOR (cues) and ULTIMATE TEAM GEAR (clothing).
Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.
CN: master & Alison
Photos: JP Parmentier