Mark Gray takes Treviso Open Title

Mark Gray (Foto: EPBF/AMM)

In a gripping final match, Mark Gray (GBR) defeated David Alcaide (ESP) by an eyelash 9-8 to win the Eurotour's Treviso Open. 

In the early stage of the match, neither player performed very well. They seemed to not feel comfortable at the TV arena table. After eight racks being played, Alcaide could have been leading 6:2, but since he missed a 9-ball and scratched on another 7-ball the score was tied at 4-4. In the 9th rack, Gray ran out to the 7-ball, which he left hanging over a pocker for Alcaide. Alcaide accepted the gift to take a 5-4 lead in the match. At that time, the lead for Alcaide was definitely justified.

As the match continued, both players enhanced their performance and the standard of the match got really high. No more errors were made and Alcaide managed to get on the hill first, taking an 8-6 lead over Gray. In the 15th rack, Alcaide broke the rack and found the cue ball behind a cluster of balls with no chance to hit the 1-ball. Since it was a dry break, Gray passed the inning back to Alcaide. The Spaniard played a push out which Gray also passed back. A safety battle evolved where Gray had the better end on his side, making the score 8-7. At that time, Mark Gray took a time out. The venue was packed with people and the tension was almost physical. In the 16th rack, Gray had to play a push out after his break shot and Alcaide passed it back to him. He played a really thin cut shot into another ball and made the 1-ball, running the rack and making the match a hill-hill battle. What a drama! In the final rack, Alcaide broke and made a ball but didn't get the required number of balls past the side pockets. A very good safety shot from Gray followed that put a lot of pressure on Alcaide. After several more tactical safety shots, Gray way able to break through and pocket the final 9-ball, winning the match with 9-8.

“The first half of the match was not the best standard”, said Gray after the awards ceremony, “I don't know why but the rails started acting a bit differently and we both suffered from it. The second half of the match was a lot better standard.” “I think when I was 6-8 down I played my best pool”, stated Gray, “I made my clearances when I needed them whereas David missed a few easy shots in the earlier stage of the match.” When asked about what he thought when he was 6:8 down, he replied: “I knew I'd get my chances. I played some solid pool here this week and I've beaten some real good players, including Chris Melling, Nick van den Berg and Imran Majid. I knew my game is in a real good shape. That's why I never gave in”.

Euro Tour Top 10 Final Rankings
2. Mark Gray
3. Nick van den Berg
5. Chris Mellings

This concludes the coverage of the Dynamic Treviso Open 2011, the final tournament of this year's Euro-Tour series.