In the winner’s qualification round of the Dynamic Billard Italian Open, Ivo Aarts (NED) defeated his fellow countryman „The Terminator“ Niels Feijen (NED) in a heartbreaker by a whisker with 9:8.
Both players already had two victories under their belt today when they met on table 10 in the BHR Best Western Hotel in Treviso, Italy. Feijen, currently ranked nr.3 in the Euro-Tour after Gray and Alcaide, made short work with Sergio Lagunas Moreno (ESP) and Mustafa Alnar (TNC). He handed a doughnut to Moreno and only allowed three racks in the account of Alnar. His place in the winner’s qualification round was never in danger at all. Aarts however needed to struggle hard for his spot in that match. He took down Sebastian Staab (GER) 9:4 and then just made it with 9:8 in a fiercely fought over match against Sergey Lutsker (RUS). The odds for the match were pretty obvious: Feijen was the favourite player by a mile. But the course of the match did not follow the odds or the expectations of the audience. In the beginning, Feijen managed to take three consecutive racks against Aarts. But the young Dutch struck back and after eight racks the scoreboard showed 4:4, all square. After his timeout, Aarts seemed to be in the zone and pretty much focussed on his performance. He always allowed Feijen to go ahead with one rack but then pulled the next one back to even the score again. Feijen could try whatever he wanted, he never got an advantage over his teammate.
After 12 racks at 6:6, Feijen took his timeout and probably hoped to somehow be able to turn the tide in the match. But the encounter continued as before. One for Feijen and one for Aarts. That led to the inevitable situation at 8:8 after 16 racks. The final rack had to decide the winner. It was Feijen’ break shot. He had two balls down and the break was good but he had no chance to pocket the 1-ball. To the contrary, the cue ball was hiding partly behind the 5-ball which made it almost impossible for Feijen to attack the table in that situation. Feijen tried a safety but left a possible shot for Aarts. However, it was not easy. The cue ball was at the head rail with the 1-ball close to the foot rail. A thin cut was needed for Aarts. Ivo Aarts pocketed the 1-ball and had position to continue. All balls were nicely spread open and Aarts kept his nerves under control and ran the rack, winning the thrilling match in the deciding rack with 9:8. He advanced to the single elimination round of the last 32 players while Feijen got one more chance on the loser’s side. He will have to deal with Sebastian Staab (GER) there.
Another interesting match from todays’s winner’s qualification round took place between „The Iceman“ Mika Immonen (FIN) and Marco Teutscher (NED). The young Dutch controlled the match from start to beginning and handed a painful defeat to Immonen with 9:6. Immonen went to the loser’s side and ousted local player Daniele Corrieri (ITA) 9:6 for his spot in the last 32. Teutscher avoided the detour and directly booked his seat in the same round.
Several „hot shots“ are still undefeated in the tournament and waiting for their opponents in the single elimination round. Among them are Joshua Filler (GER), Shane van Boening (USA), Albin Ouschan (AUT), Denis Grabe (EST), Nick van den Berg (NED), Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (ESP) and Konstantin Stepanov (RUS), just to name a few. The single elimination round of the last 32 players will be played tonight at 21:00 CET.
Tomorrow, the Dynamic Billard Italian Open will continue at 10:00 CET with matches from the round of the last 16 player single elimination. At 09:00, the Dynamic Billard Italian Women Open will begin with first round matches.
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