Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open – Sanchez Ruiz Hunts Win Number Four

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

The Dynamic Billard Euro Tour returns to the Slovenian resort town of Lasko for its penultimate event of the year; the Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open. 162 players have come from across Europe in search of ranking points, prizemoney and of course, glory. The tournament gets underway on Saturday morning with a field of 162 players and 28 tables in operation.

Top of the tree on the Euro Tour rankings is Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz who in the past 18 months, has developed into one of the leading players in the world. Last time out in Petrich, Bulgaria in August, he took down his third ET title in 12 months, defeating Eklent Kaci 9-6 in an entertaining final.

Add that to wins here in Lasko and Antalya, Turkey in the latter part of 2021, a runners-up spot in Austria in June and a semi-final finish in Treviso in November ’21 and it’s fair to say that the in-form Spaniard is the man to beat.

Since Bulgaria, Sanchez Ruiz enjoyed another win at the world-ranking PRP Nineball Open in his home country and will be heading to Slovenia brimming with confidence.

“I know that there can be expectation but I always take it match-by-match and round-by-round and I try to stay focused throughout, said Francisco.

“The last victory in Bulgaria was special for me. My grandmother had died shortly before the tournament so it was an emotional time and it felt so good to have won it for her. I had a win in Spain recently so I feel very good and comfortable.

“But every tournament is different and it is always very tough to win. I know the standard is high and that you’ll need to win a series of matches against the best quality opposition,” he added.

With all of the current top 20 players on the Dynamic Billard Euro Tour rankings all in attendance, the competition will be fierce and the likes of No.2 ranked Wiktor Zielinski (Poland) and Germany’s Joshua Filler (No.3) will be looking to narrow the gap between themselves and Sanchez Ruiz in the No.1 position.

Sanchez-Ruiz will be defending the 550 ranking points he won here in Lasko in August 2021 and with 330 his lowest tally over the ranking period, he will need to finish high not to lose points. However, in the Spaniard’s favour, his two closest rivals are also defending high finishes and Francisco’s current lead of 360 points will likely maintain him ahead of the pack.

Amazingly, to demonstrate the top three players grip on the Dynamic Billard Euro Tour, Sanchez-Ruiz, Filler and Zielinski have won six out of the last seven tournaments. Only veteran Niels Feijen, winning in St Johann im Pongau in June, has interrupted their superb collective run.

Matches commence at 9.00am local time on Saturday morning, with the championship match concluding proceedings on Monday evening.

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.

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

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