Euro-Tour’s ranked #1 player Mark Gray (GBR) just notched a 9:5 victory over up and rising Joshua Filler (GER) in the winner’s qualification round of the Dynamic Billard Albanian Open in the Expo Center in Tirana, Albania.
Mark Gray is always a hot favorite for the title in any Euro-Tour event. Currently leading the rankings, the Brit still was favored in this match with Filler who is regarded as „the“ rising star in European Billiards by many. The signs for the match were on the wall: This was going to be a tough battle for both of the two players. Indeed, Filler was a great challenge for Gray over a long period in the match. After ten racks, the score was 5:5. This proved that none of the two really got any momentum until then. Filler was at the table having won the safety scenario in that rack and had a clear layout in front of him. He incomprehensibly missed an easy 3-ball and gave the potential lead away to Gray who thanked him and went ahead with 6:5. The next break was Filler’s. He had balls down but no shot at the 2-ball. So again, a safety exchange opened the rack. Gray played the better shots and took two-point lead with 7:5.
Then Filler took a time-out since he needed to get going now otherwise Gray would be too far ahead of him. Rack 13 saw again Gray as the better safety player and he managed to win that rack too, climbing on the hill 8:5. Now it was Filler’s break and his last chance to somehow turn the tide in the match. Filler had a good break and a nice layout in front of him. However, he again missed an easy shot on the 4-ball and gave the rack away to Gray who took the rack and the match 9:5 over Filler. In this match, Filler committed too many mistakes and Gray was the deserved winner in the end.
Other remarkable results from today include Ronald Regli (SUI) eliminating Mario He (AUT) from the tournament in loser’s round 3 with 9:8. Mario He, being the winner of the last event in North Cyprus, met Regli who was the runner-up from Austria, the event before. Two high-class players that one would not have expected in the early loser’s rounds. But they both already lost once so they had to joust on the left side of the flowchart. At 8:8, He played a poor safety shot which allowed Regli to run out and stay alive in the tournament. In the next round he will face Mark Mägi (EST) who also managed to win his last match with 9:8 over Michal Turkowski (POL).
Earlier today, Karlo Dalmatin (CRO) ended the hopes of Daniel Tangudd (SWE), overrunning him with 9:6. Alen Muratovic (BIH) sneaked past Dimitri Jungo (SUI) with a 9:8 triumph over the Suisse. Ermal Dylie (ALB) also kept a foot in the door, winning his match with Rui-Edgar Franco (POR) 9:8. Dylie’s teammate Arjan Matrizi (ALB) also stayed alive in the event defeating French legend Stephan Cohen (FRA) 9:7. Jim Chawki (SWE) send Nick Malai (GRE) home by sweeping him 9:7.
In the Albanian Women Open, Katarzyna Wesolowska (POL) pipped her teammate Oliwia Czuprynska (POL) 7:6 in the first round. She will play Sandra Baumgartner (AUT) in winner’s round 1 at 15:30 CET today. Baumgartner remained the upper hand over Yini Gaspar (SUI) 7:4 in her first match. Diana Khodjaeva (BEL) shelled Palina Chernik (BLR) 7:1 in round 1 and will now encounter Kateryna Polovinchuk (UKR) in the next round.
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