Amway Cup Day 3 – Sha Sha stood out in last 24

Han Yu (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)
FURY Cues sponsored LIU ShaSha (Sandy) of China came through from winning in the last 24 to be up against Jasmine Ouschan of Austria on TV table.  The two played in the televised Chinese New Year Exhibition Match in Beijing this year and Jasmine was the winner.  Jasmine had a good opening but Sandy quick made it back to all square at 1-all.  When the score stood at 3-3, Sandy started shooting off and won four games in a row.  It was a funny interlude when Jasmine went up for the handshake, Sandy did not realise that she had already won the match as she thought it is was a race to nine.  At the end of the day, Sandy became the only player standing in the last 8 from the initial line up of 16 runner-ups from the group stage.
The biggest excitement of the day came from the match between FURY’s Kelly Fisher (GBR) and WEI Tzu-Chien (TPE), which was also a replica of the group stage match.  Wei had a good start and soon went ahead in the game, but missed an easy 9 then allowing Kelly to catch up.  Wei missed another 9 and not long finding Kelly waiting on the hill.  Kelly broke for the match, but was unable to clear the table, allowing Wei to match up and a turn to break for the match.  Upon hill-hill, Wei broke but was not able to find a connecting ball.  Wei pushed out, forcing Kelly to play a hooked shot.  Kelly made an excellent jump shot to pot the 1, and then ran the table and made it into the last 8.
The other Fisher (Allison Fisher of GBR) took on FURY’s Agelina Ticoalu of Indonesia, again replicating group B in the round robin stage.  Allison went into a quick lead, but when she was only three racks away from winning, Angeline fought back to stay in the game, making it even at 4-4.  Just when everyone thought that the game might go hill-hill just like yesterday, Allison suddenly realised the situation and started playing more safety shots as the game went on.  This created enough room for Allison to build up her shots and finally made the score stood still for Angeline.  With the 7-4 win, Allison will meet Sandy again (yes again!), which also a replica of group B.
Clash of the titans – Chezka Centeno met the all-time great Karen Corr in the last 16 of the tournament.  Chezka was the first to make it to the hill when she was leading 6-3.  However, Karen cooled down to make it all square, bring the game into a thrilling hill-hill match.  In the decider, Chezka failed to escape the hook shot on the 3, Karen then went on the run the table, but leaving a long straight pot on the 9 for herself.  With her ultra-strong snooker background, Karen made the winning ball and dropped on her knees with a big scream as she moved into the last 8 of the Amway Cup 2017 by knocking out the defending champion.
Han Yu, the current world #1 in women’s pool, has been surfing through the whole tournament without conceding a single match.  In this round, Han kept enjoying her joyride against Veronika Ivanovskaia of Germany.  The young Veronica had her chances to keep the score close but failed in doing so.  Han, the semi-finalist last year, on the other hand, was sweeping the table as soon as she gets chance to come on to the table.  In the end, Han advanced into the last 8 with the final score standing at 7-2.
KIM Ga-Young of South Korea, being another player unbeaten yet in the tournament, faced qualifier WU Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei in the last 16 match.  Wu is an experienced player and at one point found herself 5-4 up against the two times cup winner.  Nevertheless, Ga-Young was able to kept her cool and turned the game around to win at 7-5.  Ga-Young shall meet Han Yu, the current world ranked number one in women's pool, in the last 8 to fight for a seat in the semi-final.
Multiple champion CHEN SiMing of China, the other unbeaten player, seems to be untouchable even when “Hurricane” CHEN Ho-Yun stepped up for the challenge after defeating Grim in the previous round.  SiMing was 6-1 before making a critical mistake that allowed the Hurricane to make two games back.  However, Ho-Yun’s safety shot in the 10th game was not safe enough for SiMing.  After winning this game, SiMing will be playing against Kelly Fisher in the next round, which will be a replica of the World Chinese 8-Ball final last year.
The final match of the day, and could be considered as the biggest encounter of the day, was between the three times cup champion CHOU Chieh-Yu (Rita) of Chinese Taipei and PAN XiaoTing of China.  Rita had a loss on TV yesterday, but was able to benefit from a scratch by Pan to square the match at six-a-piece.  Alternate breaks meant that Pan had a chance to break for the match but was left with no chance to attack.  After exchanging a couple of safety shots, Rita scratched but again Pan found no chance to attack.  After careful consideration, Pan decided to play the 1-9 combo and successfully potted the winning ball.
Upon the exit of Rita, and to everyone's surprise, all Taiwanese players were out of the Amway Cup 2017.  All the four players from China stayed intact in the final 8, joining them were 3 from the United Kingdom, as well as one from South Korea.  What's worthwile mentioning again is that Liu ShaSha (Sandy) became the only player in the last eight that came through as a runner-up in the group stages.  Actions shall continue tomorrow at 12:30 (venue address: #10, Section 4, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District, near Taipei Arena)