He Struggles Against Rocha

Sara Rocha (POR)

A match of wasted chances

Friday, 17 August 2012: In a match that seemed to be never ending, Mario He (AUT)
eventually took the victory and sent Sara Rocha (POR) to the loser’s side.

Rocha’s performance was quite impressive so far. Not too many women compete in men’s events. And if they do, normally the odds for them are not so good. But Rocha has already won her first match over Russia’s Roman Yaroshenko and now met the reigning men’s European 8-ball Champion Mario He in the second winner’s round. Everything looked like a walk in the park for He, but that was definitely not the case. In fact, Rocha did beat herself. She played some magnificent shots and escapes from safeties just to miss an easy shot afterwards and give the match to He. “Mario is not good when he has to play against women”, stated Michael Neumann, the Austrian Coach, “he met Jasmin Ouschan about 9 to 10 times in competition and has never won against her so far. I think the problem is in his mind”. And it almost proved to become true. Though Rocha gave away so many racks by making easy mistakes on one of the last remaining balls on the table, she still kept the match close and gave He a tough challenge. However, in the end she had to give in and allow He to take the victory with 8:6. Rocha will have another chance to stay in the men’s event by winning her next matches on the loser’s side.

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