Hard Work for Stepanov

Konstantin Stepanov (RUS)

Hill-hill match decided over success or failure

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: At the maximum level of excitement, Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) defeated Senharip Azar (SWE) with 8:7.

In the third loser's round, Stepanov had to enter the ring against Azar. The Russian received a tough defeat from Romanian Viziru Augustin in his first match so he was forced to seek his fortune on the loser's side. His opponent, Senharip Azar does not regularly play on the Euro-Tour. In the recent 12 months, he has attended only three out of seven tournaments. That is part of the reason why he is only ranked 101 in the current rankings. But Azar is a regular for Sweden at the European Championships and should not be underestimated. The match with Stepanov was a living testimony for that. It was actually Azar who took control over the match from the beginning and dominated the happenings on the slate. He was ahead 3:0 and 5:2 before Stepanov managed to get back a bit. The top ten player from Moscow tied the match even after 10 racks at a score of 5:5. It looked like the favorite had found his rhythm and everything would turn to normal with Stepanov winning the match easily from then on. But one should never count one's chicken before they are hatched! Azar took the next two racks and got on the hill with a nice 7:5 lead. That put all the pressure of the World on Stepanov. It was time now to show whether he was a top ten player. And he proved it. He got back, and with excellent positional, safety and shotmaking skills he managed to turn the match around and win it with 8:7. Stepanov will now face Mark Magi (EST) in his next round while Azar will have to settle for 65th.


Other notable results from today's loser's side matches include Tommy Wolff (NOR) eliminating "the dark horse" from Turkish North Cyprus, Berk Mehmetcik, with 8:7. Mats Nygren (SWE) ended all hopes for local junior hero Alen Muratovic (BIH), creaming him with 8:5.

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The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website http://www.eurotouronline.eu or contact our press office.