Italian Open – Fortunski wrestles down van den Berg in a tough showdown

Mieszko Fortunski and Nick Van den Berg
The Dynamic Billard Italian Open have started today in the Best Western Premier BHR Hotel in Treviso, Italy. 137 players from 28 countries play for 34.000,-€ prize money and ranking points for the European rankings.
The tournament contained some real surprises on day one. Probably the biggest upset was young Mieszko Fortunski (POL) sending nr.1 ranked player Nick Van Den Berg (NED) to the loser’s side with the closest of all results, 9:8. It was already an enormous effort from the Polish to keep up the speed with van den Berg. He never allowed the favorite player to get away from him during the match. They took turns, running and winning racks. This finally led to a hill-hill situation at 8:8. The 17th rack was action-packed and full of drama and excitement. With his own break shot coming up, Nick van den berg had all the chances in the World to leave the final arena as the winner. His break shot worked. He had some object balls down and a shot at the lowest numbered ball. During the rack, he ran out of position for the 6-ball. Instead of playing a safety shot, van den Berg tried to cut the 6-ball in the side pocket and missed. That brought Fortunski back to the table. He probably did not believe that he would get another chance. However, he also had a thin cut on the 6-ball and missed it as well. Fortunately for him, he left van den Berg a bad position on the table. The 6-ball was hidden by some object balls. Van den Berg needed to play rails first and try to come up with a resafe. He hit the 6-ball but after that contact, no ball had any cushion anymore so it was a foul. Fortunski got back to the table and ran the rack, winning 9:8 over Nick van den Berg, sending him to the loser’s side of the event. Mieszko Fortunski will play Marc Bijsterbosch (NED) in the winner’s qualification round while Nick van den Berg needs to win three more matches to get to the final stage of the tournament. His next opponent will be Mehmetali Sözgen (TNC).
Number 2 ranked played Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) also lost his match in winner’s round 2 with 4:9 to Serge Das (BEL).
Former World 9-Ball Champion Daryl Peach (GBR) won his match with Marco Dorenburg (GER) with 9:8. Dorenburg is a German junior player. Peach commented after the match on his Facebook page: "Won my first match here in Eurotour 9-8. Played really well and so did my young German opponent." That post says it all. Dorenburg gave Peach a hard time but in the end, the British won through his experience.
Another victim from winner’s round 2 was BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet (GER). He fell to Chris Melling (GBR) in a tight encounter with 8:9.
"Napoleon" Marcus Chamat from Sweden won both his opening matches today. After one year of absence from the Euro-Tour, Chamat had to deal with England’s Phil Burford in winner’s round 1. He demonstrated that he did not lose any of his class, winning the match with 9:5. "Phil is a good player. I think the reason for that clear victory is that his break did not work for him today", stated Chamat after the match. In the next round, Chamat was almost defeated by unheralded Henrikas Strolis from Lithuania. The underdog surprised the crowd with rock solid pool and Chamat needed 17 racks to win the match with 9:8 over Strolis.
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The tournament will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time. For more info, check out