Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open – Down To The Final Four In Lasko

Ralf Souquet

There were seven rounds of matches today at the Dynamic Billards Slovenian Open, and we’re down to the last four men standing. After a heavy day’s play, the semi-finals are made up of Mario He against Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Joshua Filler v Ralf Souquet.

Veteran Souquet was the story of the day as he went through the winners side, and then defeated Oliver Szolnoki of Hungary in the last 16 before taking care of Holland’s Marc Bijsterbosch 9-4 to make it through to the final day.

Souquet, 53, has won every title pool has to offer but he is still as competitive as they come, even if the results don’t come quite as often.

Commented Ralf, “It was definitely a pleasant day for me, no doubt! I had four matches and although I didn’t play perfect, I‘m quite happy with my performance today. It seems like I have found the old Ralf Souquet inside again; he was probably a little bit asleep and I woke him up and it looks like the old Ralf is back to the table.

“I always do the same preparation, I always try to practice hard, a lot and I have more practice nowadays than I ever had. I feel way more comfortable. I’ve tried several things over the years to improve my game and change some things, some for good, some not so but I’m in a good way. Being in the semi-final may bring a bit of extra pressure but on the other hand, it’s just another match like any of the other thousands I’ve played.”

He will play Joshua Filler who beat Niels Feijen 9-8 in a match where the table played a significant part in the proceedings. With some of the cushions acting a little bouncy, both players struggled with the speed.

Filler said, “The table was so bouncy and you couldn’t really calculate any shots and then it’s tough to play good. We both tried our best and both wanted to win but it wasn’t a good match as we couldn’t adjust to the table

“I’m happy to win and be in the semi-final but I want to play like it’s just for fun but if conditions are bad, I’m struggling. I’m happy for Ralf as he seemed to be struggling the last few tournaments but he’s playing well and I’ve always watched Ralf as he’s a great player,” he added.

The second semi-final will be between Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who has stormed the Euro Tour in recent times, racking up three titles and Austria’s Mario He who will be looking to go one better than last time out in Petrich where he fell at the semi-final stage. This time he won a hard-fought contest over Sanjin Pehlivanovic.

“I’m playing very good at the moment; I’m feeling good and my break is working well so I’m very confident playing tomorrow against Sanchez. I’m looking forward to semis and give my all and I’ll try to win it this time.  Sometimes you get tired but today I felt really good, didn’t get tired and I could have played another set. Tomorrow, I’ll try to relax and focus on the semi-final.”

For Sanchez-Ruiz, tomorrow presents a golden opportunity to win his fourth Euro Tour title in 14 months but he knows Mario He represents a difficult challenge.

“It was tough day! In the last 32 I had to come back and win on the hill and now with Sanjin I played really good and felt confident but I’m so tired right now! I’ll try and get some rest tonight but don’t play till late afternoon so that will give me plenty of time. I’m really happy with my performance. I’m playing really good this year and on the Euro Tour, I like the format and the break and I really enjoy it,” said the Spaniard.

The first semi-final commences at 16.00 local time with the second following straight after at 17.30. The final gets underway at 19.00.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals
and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

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