Amway Cup Day 1 - Han Yu, ShaSha going strong
Samuel Lai
Mar. 2, 2017
Chieh-Yu Chau (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)
Chieh-Yu Chau (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)
The Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship 2017 started its official matches of stage 2 at 10:00 this morning (Mar 2 local time) back at the good old Taipei Gymnasium again this year, with the first 6 matches featuring players from 8 different countries and regions.
 
      FURY, the official cues of the tournament, immediately felt the excitement as two of their sponsored players, former world #1 Sandy Liu (ShaSha) of China and South-East Asian gold medalist Angelina Ticoalu of Indonesia, also being a semi-finalist in 2015 after taking down Sandy two years ago, faced each other again this year in one of the opening matches in Group B.
 
     Angelina managed to snatch the first point on the scoreboard but her opponent soon settled down and took over to lead the match all the way.  In the end, Sandy was the better one in the FURY derby and took her “revenge” with the final score standing at 7-4.  Later on during the day, Angelina recovered her lost ground by beating the Japanese Triple-Crown winner Joana Wu (Zhi-Ting) of Chinese Taipei, as well as the all-time multiple world champion “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher, who is also a 5-times winner of the Amway Cup, in a hill-hill thriller on TV table.  Sandy then extended her lead overnight in the group by beating Joana Wu 7-4 in the evening session.
 
      The 2013 Amway Cup winner as well as multiple world champions Kelly Fisher of England, came back from behind to beat LIM Yun-Mi of South Korea 7-5.  Kelly, also sponsored by FURY, is coming back in good form after her surgery and is looking to stay strong against her other opponents in Group H.  These shall include Longasy Tips sponsored WEI Tzu-Chien as well as her Taiwanese comrade HO Hsin-Ju who came through from the qualifiers.
 
      In the other groups, even though Kristina Tkach of Russia had a bad opening after scratching on her first 8-ball and eventually losing the match to the 2004 Amway Cup champion LIU Sin-Mei of Chinese Taipei, she was able to re-strengthen her position in Group A with two hill-hill wins over qualifier WU Hsiao-Wen (Chinese Taipei) and the 2016 Amway Cup winner Chezka Centeno of the Philippines respectively.  Earlier on, the defending champion had a relatively comfortable win over European Jasmine Ouschan of Austria.
 
      Multiple world champions Karen Corr of Northern Ireland had wins over Japanese #1 Chihiro Kawahara and qualifier FAN Yu-Hsuan (Chinese Taipei) to lead in Group C.  Karen will be facing the 2015 Videoland Year-End Champion CHEN He-Yun, who had lost to her Taiwanese comrade Fan in another match.  Claudia Von Rohr of Switzerland made her debut in the Amway Cup this year, but lost both of her matches against Chen and Fan.
 
      Three times Amway Cup Champion Rita CHOU (Chieh-Yu) made both of her wins on TV table by taking down Oliwia Czuprynska of Poland and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan of New Zealand.  The great PAN XiaoTing of China, who won the Amway Cup exactly ten years back, missed her action last year but now returning to the scene brighter than ever, beat Molrudee and qualifier MU Shu-Fong of Chinese Taipei to equal Rita in Group D overnight.
 
     Han Yu of China, the recently selected AZB player of the Year, current world #1 as well as a semi-finalist last year, marked the first absolute win of the day by whitewashing the Taiwanese qualifier HSIEH Yu-Wen on TV table, then moved on to beat Pia Plaeser of Germany in Group E.  Two times world champion Rubilen Amit copied Han and gave a lesson to the young South Korean rising star Woo-Jin LEE, being the only non-Taiwanese that came through from stage one.  Lee lost in an hill-hill encounter with Hsieh but was able to win over Pia that saved a last hope for her against Han in the afternoon session tomorrow.
 
      Ga-Young Kim, the two times Amway Cup winner from South Korea, stands out in Group F by beating Jennifer McCulla of Australia and qualifier Bean Hung (Meng-Hsia), who is coincidentally working in Australia.  The 17-years old Taiwanese Amber Chen (Chia-Hua), being the youngest player on board, enjoys her first direct-entry to stage 2 this year, had 1 win and 1 lost on the day, and will be facing Kim on TV table tomorrow.
 
     LIN Yuan-Chun of Chinese Taipei, also a two times Amway Cup winner, won her first match 7-4 in Group G against Kristina Grim of Germany.  Kristina, who almost broke down to tears after having a good lead but still lost to Kelly Fisher on TV table last year, celebrated her victory over a deciding rack on TV this year against qualifier KUO Szu-Ting of Chinese Taipei.  She will be playing again on TV tomorrow at 4pm against the almighty CHEN SiMing of China.
 
     Action continues tomorrow at the Taipei Gymnasium (#10, Section 4, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District, near Taipei Arena) to decide the last 24 players in the knockout stage.
 
     All Results (Group Stage) : click here