Jayson Shaw (SCO) just won the 42nd US Open title in a very one-sided match over Albanian newcomer Eklent Kaci with 13:4 in the final match.
An undefeated Champion came out strong of the 42nd US Open in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Jayson Shaw demonstrated high class pool on a stellar level throughout the whole tournament and with his performance gained many news fans and respect from his opponents. His first heavy test was the third round match against Ko Pin Yi (TPE). After two relatively easy victories, Shaw was now confronted with an exceptional player and 2015 World Champion in 8-ball and 9-ball from Taiwan. That match went all the way and Shaw managed to defeat Ko by a whisker with 11:10. Another clear victory over another former World Champion, Yukio Akagaiyama (JPN) followed with 11:3. The next test was against American Billy Thorpe (USA). Again, Shaw had the better nerves and got control in the match, winning it 11:8. After Thorpe, another Ko from Taiwan got in the ring against Shaw. This time it was Ko Ping Chung. Shaw again demonstrated his skills on the table and defeated Ko Ping Chung 11:8. That took him to the final match on the winner’s side where he met Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP). The former World Junior Champion had no chance against Shaw. What really stood out in Shaw’s game was his shotmaking skills. He seemed to pocket balls from anywhere on the table without any effort. Sanchez had no chance against Shaw who took that match as well with 11:4. This brought him to the final of the US Open.
His opponent there was Eklent Kaci, an 18-year-old newcomer from Albania who has had a tremendous development over the last year. He won one tournament of the World Pool Series earlier this year in New York which was his first major victory. Kaci had taken down several straight shooters in the tournament so far. Among them were Ronnie Alcano (PHI) 11:7, Darren Appleton (GBR) 11:8, Corey Deuel (USA) 11:10, Naoyuki Oi (JPN) 11:8 and finally Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11:7 to get to the final over the loser’s side. The final match however, was completely dominated by Shaw. It took 9 racks before Kaci was even able to open his account against Shaw. The Scotsman was simply on a mission and wanted to win that title and the prize money of 40.000,- US$. He did not let anyone get in his way and finally overpowered a well-playing Kaci with 13:4 in order to enter the circle of US Open winners. „I’m very excited right now. This is all just crazy,“ Shaw stated after the match, „so many people just coming over and congratulating me… I’m just all over the place right now!“ „I would like to thank all the people especially in Europe who supported me. I got quite close to the title a couple of times but this time I really got it,“ added Shaw. „I feel like I’m on top of the World!“ Jayson Shaw is a well-deserved winner of the 42nd US Open and with this victory in his bags, he definitely has a good chance to make it on to this year’s Mosconi Cup team for Europe. So far, Ralf Souquet (GER), Joshua Filler (GER) and Nick van den Berg (NED) are definite players on the team.
As a conclusion it can be stated that Europe can be very proud and happy with the performance of the European players. Being it experienced players like Souquet, van den Berg, Feijen, Appleton or Shaw or being it the young guns like Filler, Kaci and Sanchez-Ruiz. The potential of pool in Europe is really second to none at the moment and the results in the World tournaments are always proving this fact. The work, the consistency of events like the Euro-Tour and the European Championships as well as the work of the national federations over the past years is certainly paying out right now. Europe can definitely look into a bright future regarding the strength of the players and the youngsters that are coming to join the circuit in the future.
This concludes the coverage of the 42nd US Open in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. The next tournament to be covered will be the final tournament of the 2017 Euro-Tour series, the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open in Treviso, Italy, November 16th-18th, 2017.