Ralf Souquet (GER), also known as „The Kaiser“, is still alive and kicking in the single elimination stage of the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships in NH Conference Centre in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. With two victories in the single elimination stage of the 8-ball individuals, he is right on track in his quest for another title.
Souquet’s working day started with the match against Nick Malai (GRE). The Greek player is known to be really good at times but he is not as consistent as Souquet is. Today, Souquet did not face too much of an obstacle in the Greek. he clearly won this match 8:3. He then advanced to the next round to face Konstantin Stepanov (RUS). That match was definitely much more work than the previous one. After 8 racks, Souquet found himself trailing 3:5 to the Russian. He needed to find some momentum in the match. And he did! Following Souquet for many years, it is well-known that he never gives up before the match is not over. Today, he managed to tie the match at 6:6. Then, „The Kaiser“ went on the hill first and got to 7:6. Stepanov had the break shot in rack 14 and achieved a good result. He had some balls down and a doable in front of him. He ran the rack and made the match a hill-hill affair at 7:7. Souquet’s break shot was up next. He also had a good break with balls down and a nice layout in front of him. However, the pressure was unbelievably high at that time. But Souquet is a second to none when it comes to experience and performing well under fire. He cleared the table in his typical „surgeon“ way with perfect positioning and won the match with 8:7 over a disappointed Stepanov who has to settle for 17th place now. Souquet will be up against Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski in the next round.
Other remarkable results include Germany’s wonderkid Joshua Filler eliminating Sergey Lutsker (RUS) 8:5 and Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) 8:6 back to back. He will go up against Ivar Saris (NED) in the round of the last 16 players which is scheduled for 11:30 CET tomorrow morning. The Dutch men did not have their best day today. In the round of the last 64 players, most of their top athletes lost. Niels Feijen (NED) fell 4:8 to Fedor Gorst (RUS). Match Bijsterbosch (NED) had a tough struggle against Alex Montpellier (FRA) and succumbed 7:8 in the end. The only two Dutch players advancing into the round of the last 32 athletes were Ivar Saris and Alex Lely. While Saris is still in for the battle for the title, having defeated defending Champion Jani Uski (FIN) 8:6, Lely got eliminated by Bahram Lotfy (DEN) with 7:8.
The women only had one round of play today in the 8-ball individuals. The toughest match was definitely the encounter between Sara Rocha (POR) and Yana Shut (BLR). They also went all the way to 5:5 when Rocha had the better outcome in rack 13, winning by a whisker with 6:5.
The senior’s division saw a huge surprise today when Joakim Gunnarsson (SWE) ended the run of defending Champion Enrique Correia (POR) with 7:4. The other favourites Sandor Tot (HUN) and Reiner Wirsbitzki (GER) are also still in the race for the title.
In the girls’ division, the four athletes who have qualified for the quarter-finals already are Aleksandra Guleikova (RUS), Palina Chernik (BLR), Alina Brummer (GER) and Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS). They are awaiting their opponents from the loser’s qualification round which is played tomorrow at 11:30 CET.
The four athletes who are in the quarter-finals of the Under 23’s are Johannes Schmitt (GER), Pijus Labutis (LIT), Aleksa Pecelj (SRB) and Casper Matikainen (FIN). They will get the winner’s from the loser’s qualification round which is filled with good names like Mark Magi (EST), Kevin Schiller (GER), Samuel Santos (POR) and Vitaliy Patsura (UKR), just to name a few. The division is open for surprises.
In the wheelchair division, Henrik Larsson (SWE) delivered the upset of the day in defeating defending Champion and long time rival Jouni Tahti (FIN) with 5:4.
The Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships 2018 will commence tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with matches from the team competition.
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