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Oct. 17, 2016
Day one of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships is now in the books. Opening rounds in large events present few surprises as the heavyweights have by and large not yet run into one another. But there are always matches that stand out for one reason or the other.
Former U.S. Open Champion (2004) Gabe Owen ran into Taiwanese powerhouse Ching Shun Yang and wound up wounded 11-2. In his defense, Owen is now a One Pocket player who does not spend as much time in this discipline as he once did, but the performance of Yang is not to be diminished. He just kept connecting the dots and dominated throughout the match.
One great matchup found Ralf Souquet facing Wang Can of China. This one was close, but in the end the experience of Souquet ruled the day as he walked away a winner at 11-9. Then Earl Strickland had a great match with Jeremy Jones, and these two former Open Champions battled down to the same scoreline as Jones took the win 11-9.
Probably the crowd favorite match of the day came when 17-year old Filipino powerhouse Chezka Centeno came to the show table to play James Blackburn. We in the States had been hearing of this amazing young lady and now we had the chance to watch her work. Work she did. She breaks the balls like a cannon, once driving all 9 balls above the side pocket. But her break is not the best part of her game. That is reserved for her stroke. Her stroke is powerful, fluid and compact. We estimate her wrist moves only 8 inches or so from back pause to follow-through but it is just a thing of beauty. Her acceleration is perfect and she commands the cue ball like few you have ever seen. The object balls split the pocket and the cue ball seems to know exactly where to go after each stroke. If you have not seen this young lady play you are in for a treat when you do. She won the match 11-4.
The Open continues play today at 10:30 AM and there are lots of great matches that everyone is anticipating. Accu-Stats had technical difficulties yesterday but they are hard at work instituting cures and should be back online some time today. Check them out at www.accu-stats.com and join us at the Open!